I got this recipe from my mother who had seen this on a Kannada TV program in Bangalore. Gooseberry are called as Nellikayi in Kannada.
Indian Gooseberryis known to be a robust source of Vitamin C. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties it has been widely used in hemorrhage, diarrhea and dysentery. It also prevents infection due to the antibacterial and astringent attributes present in it. It has been widely used for treatment of leucorrhea and atherosclerosis. In India, consuming gooseberry is considered the best antidote against aging-related disorders. (Source)
I found these gooseberries in the frozen section of the Indian grocery here in the US. Even though these are light green in color, the frozen ones that I bought had pale white color. Maybe because of the way they were frozen (freeze-burn), they lost their color and turned into that pale color.
It takes a bit time to get used to the taste of the gooseberry. It has an intense sour and tangy in the beginning and gradually toward the end turns sweetish in taste. So if you are using this for the first time, please use caution and start with small quantity. Also do not forget to remove the pit from the gooseberry before grinding.
Cook the rice separately in the pressure cooker and keep aside.
Grind the coconut, gooseberry (remove the pits), green chillies and salt by adding very little water.
Meanwhile, take a heavy bottom pan, heat it and add 3 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, and peanuts (if using), urad daal and mix until the peanuts turn crisp. ( Do this on low flame else the peanuts will burn fast)
Add the chopped onion and mix until it turns transparent. Now add the ground paste and stir for about a minute until the mixture turns light brown.
Add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix well. Check taste and adjust seasonings as required.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Also Madhuram and Sushma have given me these awards. Than you very much for thinking of me and presenting me these awards:
This is a specialty in our Konkani (predominantly South Kanara) cooking. There is no good way of naming this recipe; the name that I have used is actually the description of this ‘Polo’. Even though I call it a Dosa, it is not the usual Dosa with urad daal and rice that we are used to. This is not eaten a main dish either, instead this is eaten as a side dish along with rice and plain daal during lunch/dinner. No other subzi, salad is required to go along with this as the taste of the “sanna polo” is predominant and forms a flavorful accompaniment with yogurt or daal rice.
Traditionally this is prepared using freshly available coconut and that forms the crux of this recipe. Coconut is available in abundance in the Kanara region and also readily available at most homes. The coconuts turn bad pretty fast and so there is always a need to come up with something that uses lots of coconut. But now that there is so much concern about coconut and its impact on health; my MIL has modified this to use more rice and Toor Daal. I do have to admit that this taste best when lots of coconut is used.
Konkani people swear by this and consider it a small ‘parab’ (festival) whenever this is prepared at home.
½ cup toor daal
¼ cup rice (regular sona masoori rice)
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup finely chopped cabbage
½ cup shredded coconut
3 Tbsp tamarind paste
Soak the rice and Toor Daal separately in enough water for about 5-6 hours.
After they are soaked, drain the water completely from the rice and toor daal.
Chop the onions and cabbage finely and keep aside.
First grind the coconut along with soaked red chillies, Toor Daal, tamarind and salt. Make sure that the paste is coarse. There is no need to water while grinding.
Add the rice, jaggery more salt and grind again. The mixture should be coarse and not a smooth paste.
Check for taste. Please note: At this point the taste of the mixture is not at all appealing. Make sure that when you taste that salt, jaggery, tamarind and spice (chilli) level is all above average (don’t hesitate to kick up a notch as once the cabbage, onions are added and cooked the taste tends to go bland).
I have consistently found that the salt and jaggery have to be added very liberally and periodically to get the seasonings right.
Add the chopped onions and cabbage to the mixture and mix well. The mixture is very thick and coarse and there is no need to add extra water.
Heat a dosa/chapathi tava. Take lemon sized ball of mixture and place it on the hot tava. Pat it using the tip of hands and make it into circle.
The moment the mixture hits the heat, the cabbage, onion and coconut
Proceed with the step above and place as many dosas possible on the Tava.
Add oil to each one of them and cover that tava with a lid. The dosas cook up very fast and also brown fast. Keep a close watch.
After they are browned on one side, let it cook on another side.
Please note: It is best to use up all the batter/mixture in one go. If kept for a long time, the raw onions in the mixture begin to smell. The ‘polo’ can be made in batches and ahead of time. They store well when kept covered and in cool palce.
My mother used to make this Poha (Flattened Rice) when we were younger. This is very easy to make and can be put together in about 10 minutes. This used to be a great hit with my college friends. Whenever I took this to college, my friends would make it a point to exchange lunch boxes with me and neatly finish off my stuff. Of course, my friends would not leave me hungry; they would be gracious enough to share their delicious food with me as well. I even remember that one of my friends used to call this “Poha Chaat”. Apparently it reminded her of Chaat mainly because of the sweet, spicy taste and also because of the presence of raw onions in the dish. This brought back so many memories when I made this at home recently.
The distinct flavor of this Poha comes by dry roasting cumin and coriander seeds and then powdering it. It is best to make this fresh as the store bought cumin and coriander powder does not do justice to the flavor. Traditionally the seasoning is done using coconut oil, but since most people do not use coconut oil for seasoning, vegetable oil could be used instead.
Please note that this is different from the regular Kanda Poha as the Poha is not cooked on stove top.
1 1/2 cup thick poha
1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds
½ Tbsp Coriander seeds
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup finely chopped onion
Red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish
Coconut oil for seasoning ( use vegetable oil as substitute)
Soak the poha in enough water; let it sit until it turns soft. Drain the water completely. (Here in the US (States), even the thick poha/avalakki does not take time to turn soft, so exercise caution.
Dry roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Allow it to cool. Powder it using mortar and pestle or spread the roasted seeds on a sheet of paper. Now use the roti/chapathi rolling pin to make powder.
The powder need not have to be very fine, but should not be coarse either.
Chop the onions finely and also the coriander leaves and keep aside.
Add the dry powders, turmeric, chilli powder salt, and sugar to the poha and mix thoroughly but lightly using tip of the hand.
Add the chopped onion and coconut to this mixture and mix well.
Now for the tadka(seasoning) heat oil, add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves.
Put this onto the poha mixture and add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.