Konkani Undi/ Steamed Rice dumpling

Blame it on the winter season, but lately I have been on the lookout for ‘chatpata’ steamed food that can be made ‘zhatpat’. One some really cold days, I don’t care for heavy meals, but feel like nibbling on some warm finger food along with hearty soup. So while on quest for such recipes on the net I landed on Lakshmi Canteen a wonderful blog which is a store house of tradition Konkani recipes.

 When I looked at her “Undi recipe, I froze as I had completely forgotten about it. It is a well loved breakfast/snack dish our favorite and one my mom-in-law makes for us often when we are in Bangalore. Traditionally this is made by soaking rice overnight and then grinding it in the morning along with coconut. But I took some shortcuts and made it the quicker way using Idli rava. 

Note that the rava that is used here in this dish is rice rava (used for making idlis) and not the sooji rava. Also using chopped coriander leaves in this is traditionally scoffed upon, but I for one cannot do without these leaves and use it in almost anything savory. If you do not like then do skip them. 

I have been told that these are called as upma khozukattai in Tamil.

Recipe Adapted from Lakshmi Canteen 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup idli rava [not sooji rava]
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves 

Seasoning/Tadka 

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds
  • 4- curry leaves (broken)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated) [optional]
  • 2-3 Green chillies [chopped finely]
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal  

Method 

  • Heat a big pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter then add urad daal and continue to stir until it turns light brown
  • Add the methi seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger and mix again.
  • Now add 2.5 cups of water and let it come to boil.
  • Add the idli rava, salt and continue to stir until the water has evaporated.  Add the shredded coconut, chopped coriander and stir. Turn off the gas.
  • Let this cool (not completely).Rub some oil on the palms and make small balls out of the dough. Using index finger make a hole in the middle.
  • Now take these balls and steam it in a pressure cooker like idli for 8-10 minutes.  (Without the weight). I used the idli stand greased it and placed 6-8 undis on one plate.
  • Serve hot as is or along with coconut oil or podi. 

Kulith Kadgi Ambat/ Horse Gram raw Jackfruit coconut curry

For folks here in the United States hope you had a wonderful Thanks Giving weekend. We had a relaxing time where in we spent most of the time indoors along with family and friends, thanks in part to the weather. The weather has now changed and we are inching closer to those dreaded cold snowy, winter days. 

Like I said we spent most of the days at home, cooking some feel good food, comforting food, apt for cold weather. Luckily we get most (if not all) ingredients that we grew up eating and it is not difficult to re-create the taste in the kitchen. Food is a part and parcel of our lives, be it a celebration or not and it is a wonderful way to bring back memories and re-live those treasured moments. 

In Konkani cuisine, it is quite common to find a seasoned coconut curry with the combination of bean/legume and or vegetable. The ground coconut paste is called ‘Maasolu’ and depending on the type of seasoning that is done (mustard, garlic, onion), the curry is referred to as that (Ambat/koddel/ghashi) At home we love the tempering of onion, garlic and curry leaves and so I have made this ‘Ambat’( curry) that way.

We use Horse Gram (called as Kulith) and raw Jackfruit in our cooking. For people not familiar with raw or young Jackfruit it is a smaller version of ripe jackfruit. It is called as ‘Kadgi/Chakko’ in Konkani and has mild flavor, with unique thick green texture and unlike the ripe fruit does not have a sweet taste and goes well in making curries. We found this in the frozen section at an Indian grocery. You can see how it looks here and some other recipes here and here

This spicy coconut curry is a delight to have during cold days, the pungent flavor of the chillies along with the sweetness of onions and garlic is sure to drive away those winter blues. 

It has been a long time since I have participated in Food related event. But I could not let this go as Lisa’s blog is one of my favorites and being a vegetarian her cooking style is close to my heart. This recipe is my contribution to the event “A celebration of Indian food” at Lisa’s kitchen.

 

Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup chopped Unripe Green jackfruit (fresh frozen) [optional or substitute with chopped potato or chopped raw banana or yam]
  • ½ cup kulith/ huruli/ Horse Gram (soak it in enough water for 6-8 hours)
  • salt 

Grinding

  • ¾ cup coconut (shredded) [fresh or frozen]
  • 4-5 red chillies ( I use byadgi variety) [roast this in 1 tsp of oil]
  • Tamarind juice – 2 tablespoon
  • Salt
  • Water (as required to make fine paste)

For seasoning/tadka/tempering

  • 4-5 garlic pods (peeled and crushed)
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Oil (coconut or regular vegetable)

Method:

  • Pressure cook the horse gram in enough water for about 8-10 whistles. (yes, mine takes a long time). Keep aside to cool.
  • If using fresh jackfruit then peel the skin and chop it into small pieces. (You can see how it looks here). Boil along with salt till jackfruit gets cooked completely. If using frozen then defrost and heat it in little water for 5 minutes.
  • Roast the red chilies in little oil till they are crispy.
  • Grind the roasted chillies along with coconut, tamarind to a smooth paste. Add water as required.
  • Heat a container and add the paste, salt, add the cooked horse gram along with the water, boiled jackfruit and continue to boil. Simmer on medium for the next 15-20 minutes until the gravy thickens a bit and then switch off.
  • In another small pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and then add the onions until it turns pale and then fry garlic, curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the boiled horse gram curry and mix well.
  • Serve hot as a side dish with rice along with Aloo Raita and some pappads.

Banana Sooji Halwa/Sheera/ Balehannu Sajjige

Wishing all readers a happy and blessed festival of Navarathri.


This Banana Semolina pudding or halwa or sheera is one of the easiest Indian sweet dishes that I know of. Although it involves three different processes, all made simultaneously it comes together in no time. If I need to make something quick for a pooja neivedya then I either resort to preparing this or the Sweet Poha. This recipe is also a good way to use up any overripe bananas.

This Sheera or the plain one (without any fruits) is usually prepared during SatyaNarayana Pooja and offered as Prasad. While preparing this please be sure to be liberal with the Ghee, otherwise the Halwa might have a dry taste. That said, do not overindulge in ghee, otherwise it will end up being greasy. Using oil as substitute for ghee might not have the desired taste.

Even though I am a huge fan of using cardamom and saffron (kesari) in Indian desserts, I do not use them here. I feel that way just the flavors of the cooked banana and ghee will be able to stand out, instead of the powering taste of the cardamom.

If you want, you can substitute pineapple or mango pulp instead of the mashed banana for a different fruity take on this Indian semolina pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rava/Semolina/Sooji (fine)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 2 medium ripe bananas (peeled & mashed)
  • Handful of raisins, cashews (broken into pieces)

Method:

  • Boil the water and milk together in a sauce pan/vessel.
  • While this is boiling in another big pan roast the Rava/ Sooji/Semolina on medium flame in 2 Tbsp of Ghee until it turns nutty and light brown. At this time there will be a heavenly toasted aroma of semolina waffling through.
  • Add in the sugar to the roasted rava and stir well.
  • Add the boiled milk and water to this in batches, while stirring the roasted rava/semolina continuously.
  • After a while the liquid gets completely absorbed and the rava/semolina plumps up.
  • Add the mashed banana to this semolina mixture and mix well.
  • Now add the remaining ghee and stir making sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Fry the raisins and cashews in about 2 tsp of ghee. Make sure the raisins plump up and the cashews obtain light brown color.
  • Add this toasted raisin and cashew to the freshly prepared halwa. Serve warm.