Spicy Rice Toor Daal Cabbage Onion Dosa (Sanna Polo)

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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
  •  5-6 redchillies
  • 3 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • Jaggery
  • Salt
  • oil

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Preparation:

  • 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.

Method:

  • 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.

 

Healthy Breakfast: Pumpkin Idli (Dudhi Idli)

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I was introduced to the new concept of Pumpkin Idli only after my wedding. My mother-in-law had prepared it early in the morning for breakfast and I had it with some ghee. Suffice to say that the taste was totally out of this world and I became a big fan of it ever since. This is an instant idly/idlies and requires no fermentation or grinding. It has a sweetish taste because of the pumpkin but when combined with salt, coconut and green chillies, the Idli imparts totally unique flavor. 

Pumpkin is chock full of goodness. Not only is pumpkin loaded with Vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of Vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron.

 

This along wit some fruits, orange juice/ milk/yogurt can serve as a well balanced breakfast and keep us going through out the day. 

This is my entry to Balanced Breakfast WBB#20 hosted by the wonderful and talented Mansi.


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Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated yellow pumpkin

  • 3/4 cup of idli rava (not the upma rav, adjust according to the coarseness you want, less the bettter)

  • Handful of coriander leaves

  • ½ cup shredded coconut (optional)

  • 4-5 green chillies

  • salt

Preparation:

  • Remove the skin from the pumpkin and grate it.

  • Chop up the green chilies and coriander leaves very finely.

  • Add the idli rava, green chilies, coriander leaves to grated pumpkin and mix well. Add salt as required. No need to add water at all.

  • Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and separate and not “gooey” or sticky like regular idli batter. The mixture should have more of pumpkin than the idli rava.

  •  Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Procedure:

  • Grease the idli stand and pour the pumpkin mixture in each groove.

  • Steam this in a pressure cooker without whistle for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with ghee. This can be had as snacks as is without chutney or pudis.

Bitter Gourd Curry/ Karate Ghashi

 

Bitter Gourd I feel is a funky vegetable, so different in its taste and texture as compared to any other vegetable. The bitter taste is what sets it apart and you either love it or hate it. Luckily everybody in my family loves it and we cannot have enough of it.

This is a favorite dish of mine and is a typical Konkani recipe. I have learnt this from MIL. She is an expert in making this and whenever she is here, she makes an extra batch for me and stores it in the fridge. I then go on for days eating it with rice, rotis, or right about anything.

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Ingredients

1 medium sized bitter gourd (karela/ bitter melon)

½ cup shredded coconut

5-6 red chillies

Juice of lemon size tamarind

3 tsps of jaggery

Pinch of Asafotedia

Turmeric

2 tsps Corriander seeds

1 tsp jeera

Oil, salt, mustard

1 cup of water

Method:

v     Clean the bitter gourd thoroughly and cut it into small cubes.

v     Boil 1 cup of water and add the diced bitter gourd cubes and cook until done.

v     Meanwhile roast the red chillies, coriander seeds, jeera with little oil and keep aside to cool.

v     Grind coconut along with red chillies, tamarind extract, and roasted spices into fine paste.

v     Add this ground paste to the cooked bitter gourd and heat again.

v     Add salt, jaggery and let it continue to boil more.

v     Make a tadka of mustard, curry leaves, asafetida, and 1 broken red chilly and add to the mixture.

 The dish is ready and has a unique combination of sweet, tangy, bitter, spicy taste that goes well with rice, Rotis, literally anything.