Khanavali Part 1

According to our newest resolution of eating healthy, we are roughly equating traditional Indian foods to 'healthy' therefore the best option. This week end we decided to have something elaborate. Though today I was hard put for time, shopping for my India trip taking the most part of the day. (Yes!! yippee i am going home in the next couple of weeks!!) Even after a tedious day, we decided to eat something good and something that satisfies our palate. In fact I had been thinking of making the Khanavali style meal ever since I saw the spread on monsoon spice . The recipe on the blog reminded me of our erstwhile neighbor Mangala Aunty. Like the southern Kannadiga's Huli pudi/ Sambar Powder, the Northern Kannadigas have this spice blend called 'Khara masale'. Amongst other spices, the blend also contains onions and garlic. It is rather surprising that a spice blend that has fresh vegetable stays good for months! It does. The key again is in roasting the vegetables. It has been a while that I got in touch with Mangala aunty. Therefore I have no access to her 'Khara Masale' recipe. However, the recipe for Kolhapuri Masala on monsoon spice is a very good approximation. I used the recipe as a base for my 'Khara Masale' tweaking it just right for my palate. I wanted to note down the recipe before I forget the measurement because, I almost got it right!!

For the Khara Masale Powder, based on Sia's Kolhapuri Masala :

You will need,

Dry red Chillies 8 (I used the Thai variety, alternately ground chillies can also be used)
Dhania 2 tbsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 1/4"
Pepper corn 1 tsp
Sesame Seeds 1 tbsp
Copra 1 tbsp
Onion 1/2 medium
Salt 1 tsp (to taste)
Garlic 3 cloves
Curry leaves 10

Method:
Toast all the spices individually on low flame till fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Toast slivered onions and garlic till almost dehydrated and crisp but not charred. Once all the spices are cool enough to handle, grind in into a coarse powder using a coffee grinder. Store in an airtight box. I am still not convinced this blend will stay good for long. For this reason, I am using up all of the blend with in this week!
Once again, if not sure about the pungency of the dry red chillies using, you can omit the chillies, grind the rest of the spices and at the end can mix in chilly powder starting with two teaspoons and increasing as you go until the desired level of pungency is reached.

Using this base Khara masale , I prepared Badanekai ennegai ( I know there is already at least one version on Kannadacuisine!! But there are innumarable varieties, that we Kannadigas keep comming up with! Check out for more by dear LG.


This is what we had to night! Jowar/ Jolada Rotti, Badanekai ennegai, Madike Kaal Palya, yogurt, Shenga chutney /Peanut chutney pudi along with a salad of onions and limes. It was heavenly. Honey's immediate reaction was surprise! "OMG! this tastes so much like Khanavali!!" Yes it better did for all my efforts and of course not to forget Sia, Thanks Sia!

A word about Khanavali. Khanavali is the north Karnataka equivalent of Darshini. They are mostly family owned-operated with the most accomplished member looking after the kitchen (usually the martiarch) They serve jolada/ sajje/navane/rotti/ chapati along with ennegai/kal palya/ junka/ assorted chutney pudis, salad, fresh butter and fiery red chutney that needs a fire extinguisher indeed..They are also very inexpensive. They are mostly vegetarian but I have heard of those serving Marathi-style non vegetarian food as well. In short they are foodies' paradise. So the next time you happen to visit north Karnataka, try Khanavali. Of course the rule of thumb is go to those that are rather crowded, you know it is good that way. Kamat Yatrinivas is but an under-performing but more expensive cousin of these Khanavali..

4 comments:

DEESHA said...

thatz a lovely series .. I habe never eaten khanavali food

Smitha said...

Thanks Deesha! I urge you to try Khanavali style meal this time when you go to Bangalore... Kamat is not bad to start with

Ashwini said...

Wow I am drooling..love the khanavali food..very tempting..Nice platter with all my fav..

Smitha said...

Thanks Ashwini!
Hope you enjoyed it...