Beetroot Pacchadi/ Raita

My family loves yogurt based dishes. We Kannadigas are pretty good at making use of Yogurt in Paccchdi or Raita. We are not quite as innovative as the Moghuls who used it in gravies. These Pacchadis are not stand alone dishes, instead they can make a nice accompaniment to chutney, neutralizing the spicy heat of the Chutney. These Pacchadis are very mild and not to mention adds colour to the dinner palate. I like them in every which way, all possible vegetables.
Mom has a practice of making Pacchadi at lunch time during summers. It is cooling and soothing as well. She made some the other day even though this is no summer. I am still off yogurt. But the rest of the family enjoyed it.


We will need

Beetroot 2 big chopped
Yogurt 1 cup
Oil 2 tsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Garlic 2 cloves crushed
Curry leaves a handful
Green Chillies 2 slit length wise
Fresh Coriander chopped

  1.  Beat yogurt till smooth and creamy. Set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Drop the mustard. Once it stops spluttering, add the garlic, saute till fragrant. Follow it with Chillies
  3. Drop the curry leaves. Follow it with the chopped beetroot. 
  4. Cook till the beetroot is cooked but still not mushy. Remove from fire. Cool completely
  5. Before serving, stir in the yogurt. Adjust salt, garnish with fresh coriander and serve at room temperature.

Halkheer/ Milk Kheer

I have developed an incredibly incurable sweet tooth! Of late I am craving for sweet like nobody’s business!! Now that my mother will be going back to India in two weeks, I am resorting to sweets for comfort. Mom is making all sorts of sweets to comfort me and my palate. She made Halkheer the other day. Kheer is one of those victuals associated with celebrations, festivities, joy and comfort. There are umpteen number of Kheer recipes calling for ingredients as varied as Channa dal, rice to Lotus seeds/ Makhana.
Halkheer aka Milk-Kheer is one of my mom's specialties. I have not had it else where. I am not sure if it is a standard recipe at all!It is kinda a hybrid between plain Milk kheer and Badam Milk..


We will need,

Milk 2 Cups + 3 tbsp
Cashew nut unsalted 4 tbsp
Coconut grated, unsweetened 4 tbsp
Sugar   2 tbsp + according to taste.

  1. Soak Cashew nuts in the 3 tbsp warm milk for at least two hours.
  2. Pulse coconut and soaked cashews + milk in a blender till very smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into the remaining milk, stir in the sugar and bring it to a boil. Simmer for a few more minutes till all the flavours mingle. Remove from fire and cool. Refrigerate before serving.
  4. Use a few strands of saffron or a pinch of crushed cardamom for extra flavour.
Serves two, (only one if it is me :)

Togaribele/ Pigeon pea Chutney

Chutneys are incredibly versatile condiment. Of course chutney assumes a different dimension in the western world. In India chutney mostly conjures up images of freshly ground, fragrant sweet-sour-spicy condiment that goes well with practically everything from breads like Roti to hot rice. In the western hemisphere Chutney instead conjures up images of bottled sugary jelly like substance that has a hint of some spice and fruit! That is how different chutney can be.
Well now for an authentic old time Kannada recipe. This is a Chutney mom seldom made because it was simply forgotten and kind of old fashioned. This is one more recipe that she had to dig out from her memory chest. Like all recipes this one too brought back some memories. Apparently my grandmother who is a fabulous cook (all grandmothers are for some reason fabulous cooks!!!) never made chutney this way. All legume chutneys like toor dal, green gram, Channa dal chutneys are poor people’s food. After all during those days, legumes and grains were the staple food of poor people. Not many could afford expensive spices or ingredients like coconut, assorted fresh vegetables and fruits. My grandmother whose father was the village headman hailed from a wealthy family and knew to cook the more elaborate dishes like sweets. But she was married to a less fortunate household and her MIL, i.e. my great grandmother taught her to eat like the unprivileged majority!!! This is what it was back then. Once the fortunes of the family improved these legume chutneys gradually took a back seat and were made occasionally. Mom tells me that when one of the children in the family, there were six of them, fell sick and recovered they were served these chutneys as the chutney tends to tickle the bland sick palate. In fact mom says they got to eat white bread only when they fell sick and prayed to fall sick so that they could get to eat white bread with coffee and subsequently legume chutney!

Togaribele Chutney

We will need,
Toor dal/Split Pigeon peas   1/2 C
Dried Red Chillies  5-6 (adjust according to taste, but chutney should be on the spicier side)
Tamarind                1/2 tsp (extract)         
Garlic                     1 clove
Curry Leaves          5-6
Coconut                 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

  1. Toast Toor dal on a skillet till golden in colour and fragrant.
  2. Toast the chillies, curry leaves on a skillet. Combine all ingredients, little water and pulse till combined but still coarse. Serve with hot rice or breads like Naan/Roti

Gattakki Payasa, Rice & Chickpea Pudding

Continuing with long lost traditional Kannadiga recipes, I present Gattakki Payasa. This particular sweet dish like all ancient recipes requires very few ingredients, the things that were handy back in the days when there were no commercial agriculture and supermarkets, and food mostly meant something that was harvested during the past season. As we can see the ingredients are simple. Broken rice, the coarse leftover from paddy husking, is the primary ingredient of the dish. Split chickpeas or Channa dal was one of the most common legume in our region during those days. A few decades ago when the social fabric was still tight knit, entire community used to pool in scare resources to grow Chickpeas on dry but fertile tank beds when rains failed. Not only are chickpeas hardy crop but also bountiful enough to see folks through difficult times. My grandmother tells me that her father who was the village headman led such projects quite a few times. One person from each household in the village was dedicated to the community project and at the end of the harvest, each household used to get a share in the harvest. A wonderful way of life is it not?

I have been pushing mom for ancient recipes. Everyone else will probably think high of Gulab Jamoons and Mysore Paks but then who will care for these 'subaltern' sweets that are almost out of collective memories!! She probably thinks I am a nut to pursue such recipes. In fact I had never heard of this recipe before. Even mom kind of forgot about this one, just that my prodding brought back the memory of this dish. Well, the recipe actually calls for Akki-nucchu or broken rice but we did not get it here in USA, instead we got cream of rice and Mom used it instead. She opines that broken rice is still the best bet but like us if you fail to find broken rice, go ahead with some cream of rice.

Gattakki Payasa

We will need,

Broken Rice /Akki Nuchhu 1 Cups
Channa Dal 3/4 Cup
Jaggery 2 Cups
Coconut 1/2 Cup
Cardamon 2-3 crushed
Ghee 3 tbsp

  1. Pick and clean the broken rice. Wash in several changes of water. Combine with 4-4.5 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer till cooked half way.
  2. Throw in the Channa Dal. Cook till the dal is tender but has a bite to it- al dente!
  3. Stir in crushed Jaggery, crushed and simmer till the flavors bend.
  4. Finish by stirring in the ghee. The ghee adds a nice simmer apart from of course enhancing the taste.
Traditionally it is served with freshly extracted coconut milk! I did say just dig in :)
This recipe goes out to the MLLA 20th helping started by Susan

Anda Kalimirchi Hydrabadi

My family is pretty diverse when it comes to culinary tradition. Our family has of course grown in number with new members bringing in their own traditions along. My BIL is from Coorg, my eldest cousin has strong Hydrabadi roots, born in north Karnataka and lived in Kerala for close to two decades. My SIL is a tambram. So all of them have brought in their own array of delicacies. So our food spectrum has widened over the past few years. Personally, my tastes have been affected greatly by my oft traveling father and related relocation. However, the comfort food has always been what we grew up eating. That is essentially south-Kannada cuisine. Most of which are already on the blog. So instead of trying something on my own to post, I have been asking my folks to contribute their favorite recipes. Starting with my eldest cousin, he is a connoisseur of great foods. His family is known for their Hydrabadi style food. I hope this is just the beginning of a series of contribution!!

My cousin says this particular dish goes well as a party food/ finger food. Of course more so if accompanied with good Whiskey!!!! it is also a good way to start eating eggs if particularly averse to eggs.

Anda Hydrabadi

Serves 6 ||  Calories per serving  130 Kcl || Protein 6.3 gm ||  fat 11.5 gm || Fiber 0.05 gm

Organic Eggs 6
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Vegetable Oil 2 tbsp

  1. Wash eggs. Fill a wide mouthed pot with cold water. Place the eggs. Cook till the eggs are hard boiled. Cool, crack the skin open and slit the eggs horizontally.
  2. Heat oil on a Tawa/griddle. Arrange the eggs, yolk side up. Sprinkle pepper and salt generously. Drizzle some oil.
  3. Once the eggs are golden flip the eggs. Sprinkle some more pepper and salt. Cook till the yolks also are golden on the edges. Serve warm.