Hesaru Kaalu Kosambari / Sprouted Moong Salad

Salad time here..Our salads traditionally are called Kosambari. Kosambari is a mixture of fresh vegetables, pulses and dressed with a touch of expeller pressed peanut oil, hing, mustard, green chillies, salt and lemon juice. 
Some of the vegetables popular in Kosambaris include carrot, cucumber, kohlrabi, cabbage, radish, onions, tomatoes....

We will need..

Carrot       2 Cups grated
Radish       1/4 cups
Coconut  grated   1/4 cup
Sprouted Moong/ Hesaru kaalu  2/4 Cup
Green Chillies   minced to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste
Expeller pressed peanut oil 1 tsp
Hing a pinch
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves  a handful

  • Toss all the vegetables in a  big bowl.
  • Heat oil in a small wok. Once the oil is hot, throw in the hing and mustard. Once the mustard stops spluttering throw in the curry leaves. Remove from heat. 
  • Pour the seasoned oil on to the vegetables. Adjust salt, lemon juice and serve it immediately.

Alasande Dantu Sapneeru/ Spicy broth and braised Greens and Black eyed Peas

New Years usually starts with resolution to eat healthy, loose weight etc etc.. many a new years, many a heros, many villains, once a hero, now a villain example carbs- once a villain now a hero example fats! and so many researches, so many  fads later I have finally decided to go back to my ultimate comfort food, the food that my folks have been eating for generations and led a healthy life. May be the recipes that are traditional in my part of the world suits my genetic makeup the best. My great grandfather knew nothing of Atkins', Mediterranean diet or what the American Heart Association recommended.. but he did live a healthy life! So here, it is time to rewind and go back to our traditional recipes for at least four times a week and may be indulge in palate pleasing adventures the rest of the week.

Sapneeru is a very healthy dish, made with practically any vegetable, any greens and any pulses. Slight variation is also called Upsaaru. I will post the recipe sometime later. Sapneeru is a peasant food. If we envisage the life back in time, folks in the plains of Karnataka gathered a handful of greens, a handful of pulses simmered them in earthen pots, drained the mixture reserving the broth. Prepared some Ragi mudde mixed it with the condiment called "Khara" and demolished their meals. Those who could afford would add a dollop of butter on top of the Mudde. That made up for the most balanced of meals. The "Khara" would be ground on granite mortar and kept in coconut shells in a cool place. Even without any refrigeration, it would last for a few days. How convenient it would be to come back home after a long day at the fields to eat such a meal? Should not food mean 'availability' and 'convenience'? though in modern context, 'availability' has a different connotation altogether! These days you cannot predict the vegetable in season if you depend on the 'availability' in super markets...

Here is Sapneeru,
Use any hardy greens of your choice, same with the black eyed peas. Substitute it with Moong dal, Moth Beans, Indian Beans/ Avarekalu etc..

Serves 6 ||  Calories per serving (Kcl) | total 298| Protein 5.5 |  fat 5 || Fiber 10 gm |

Alsande / Black eyed peas/ Red Chori  2 Cups
Dantu Sappu / Red Spinach  2 Cups

For the Khara:
Green Chillies       5-6
Cumin  1 tsp
Pepper Corns  1 tsp
Garlic cloves   4
Tamarind  (whole) about  2" piece
Fresh Coriander  a handful

For the palya:
Expeller pressed peanut oil  1 tbsp
Onion          chopped 1 medium
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chillies like Byadagi  3-4
Garlic            2 cloves

  • Pick and wash the peas in multiple changes of water. Pressure cook till soft and done. Else soak it for to hours and cook in a thick bottomed pot till tender.
  • Clean and chop the spinach, dump it in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle some water over it and pop it in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes till the greens are slightly wilted but still green and bright.  Else pop the chopped spinach with the boiling peas just five minutes before you take the peas off the heat.
  • Drain the peas and spinach and save the broth. 
  • Pulse all the ingredients for the "khara" in a blender with as little water possible; better yet crush it in a mortar-pestle till smooth. Set it aside.
  • For the Palya, heat oil in a wok. Tip in the mustard, chillies and garlic for a few seconds. Throw in the chopped onions. Once the onions are soft and translucent, throw in the cooked peas and spinach. Adjust salt and turn off the heat.
  • To serve, Pour the broth over a bed of rice, place a dollop of the "Khara" and vegetables on the side. or Serve it this way with Ragi Mudde! 

Goes out my favorite event the MLLA @ Briciole brainchild of Susan

Carrot Halwa

Happy Sankranti to all you wonderful people. Have a great time. Right now it is Carrot Halwa here! Well I did say Carrot Halwa is not the traditional sweet at this time of the year. It ought to be Pongal sweet and savory,but I am not a big fan of sweet Pongal. Besides, with sweet Pongal somehow there is always a problem of left overs. This weekend being a long weekend we are heading out and there was no scope for leftovers! Hence some Carrot Halwa.
Back home, winters are the best time for Carrot Halwa. Winter weather miraculously turns carrots sweeter and juicer and hence perfect for Halwa. Ah! I miss the Delhi -carrot Halwas and Moongdal Halwa consumed at this time of the year. Here it is Carrot Halwa.
One special sweet note about Carrot halwa. It somehow follows me on all big moments in my life..our engagement, Wedding, Sonny boy's first birthday, invariably served with Ice Cream :) I am not complaining. 

We will need

Carrots grated  3 Cups (packed)
Khoa               1/2 Cup
Sugar               1 1/2 Cup
Almond slivers
Ghee              1/4 Cup
Salt                  a pinch
Nutmeg           a pinch (optional, I love it)

  • Heat Ghee in a thick bottomed skillet. Dump the grated carrots and salt. Stir and saute till fragrant and slightly translucent. 
  • Add the Khoa and sugar. Simmer and keep stirring at regular intervals. It burns rather easily at this point. 
  • Once it is thoroughly cooked, throw in the nutmeg. Mix well. Cook for a few more minutes and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with slivered toasted Almonds. I somehow like the crunch and prefer almonds. If preferred raisins and cashews can also be used. 
  • Serve warm with Ice cream on the side.

Yellu Bella

Sankranti is just round the corner. I had been procrastination the preparation of Yellu Bella and finally finished it today. It is a tradition in old Mysore area to exchange packets of Yellu Bella, Sakkare Acchu (Sugar candy), Sugarcane, Bananas and Yelchihannu a sort of berry. I remember as a little girl, well into my late teens I did wear the Resme Langa - the traditional long silk skirt and take two baskets, one full of stuff from our home the other basket empty, to pile goodies that I did receive from other families. Strangely the system of two baskets started after I messed up big time one Sankranti and brought back the goodies i was supposed to distribute and had given away all the stuff I was supposed to take home. I must have been really young back then.

Then the evenings we would stand at our gates to see the festive cattle in all their gaiety. There is a tradition in old Mysore area called 'Kitch Haisodu' literal translation is fire-jumping. Cows are decorated with colours and jewelry (think Mysore Dasara Elephants!) and are paraded on streets before being taken to the temple grounds when the cows are made to jump across small bonfires. This is probably a prayer for prosperity or something. I have never been to the bonfire part but diligently waited for the cows to be paraded on our street each Sankranti evening. I wonder if these practices are still alive.

Coming to Yellu bella, I find it rather intriguing that Punjabi celebrating Lodhri around the time we celebrate Sankranti, eat the same foods we do. Mile away, speaking different language, practicing different life style, yet they eat sesame seed and Jaggery Chikkis for Lodhri sitting around a bonfire. Food indeed such a great connection.

Traditional recipe calls for more sesame seeds, but with experience and long left over sesame seeds from Yellu bella of yester years I have figured out that this proportions work out. 
We will need,

Peanuts   1 Cup
Roasted Channa Dal / Kadale Pappu  3/4 Cup
Jaggery     1 -1.5 Cups
Copra /Kobbari   3/4 Cup
Sesame Seeds    1/4 Cup

  • Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread the peanuts on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes till golden and fragrant. Remove and set aside to  cool.
  • Using a grater remove the dark skin of the copra and chop it finely the size of say the roasted channa dal. 
  • Chop the Jaggery similarly. If you find that Jaggery is crumbly and difficult to chop, chop it into chunks and air dry it for a few hours. It will be easier to proceed. Once chopped,air dry it and set it aside.
  • Hull the peanuts and split it into two, remove the ear by rubbing the peanuts between your palms.
  • Heat a thick bottom pan and toast the sesame seeds for about a minute or two till they pop. Set it aside.
  • Finally mix the dried Jaggery chunks, peanut halves, roasted channa dal, copra and cooled sesame seeds. Enjoy...
Happy Sankranti to all of you and your beloved families.

Assorted Eggless Cupcakes

My baking season has just come to an end? or my be a just begin. We have been having batches after batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fruit cakes, Cheesecakes etc. Well I am not very good at frosting but then taste wise we had nothing to complain.

All purpose flour 1.5 cups
Sugar  3/4 to 1 Cup
Heavy Cream about a cup
Strawberry Puree  1/4 Cup / Coco powder  2 tbsp/ Orange Juice  1/4 Cup
Butter 1 stick /almost 100 grams
Salt a pinch
Baking powder  1tsp

For froasting
Heavy Cream  1/2 Cup
Sugar        1/8 Cup
Vanilla Extract a pinch / Strawberry Extract
Chocolate chips/ Strawberry bits/Orange segments (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Shift the flour a couple of times. Stir in the baking powder (cocoa) and salt. 
  3. Cut the butter into the flour mixture till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Combine the heavy cream and the fruit puree/juice. 
  5. Mix the flour mixture, sugar and the heavy cream gently. Do not over mix.
  6. Spoon in the mixture into the mini muffin tin (line paper cups if necessary)
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye, it is done pretty fast.
  8. Remove and cool them on wire racks. 
  9. Now whipped up the cream with the sugar and the extract till it forms soft peaks. Frost the cupcakes with the whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate chips/strawberry bits/ orange segments. 

Kesavuna Gedde Gojju/ Colocasia Curry/ Arbi Curry

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year..Eat well and have a good time.

It was all quiet all home this time around. With my little sunny boy we could not think of much.We loved the quiet new year celebration though. We had some Bisibelebath and Mango ice-cream with some Prosecco!

I am ready with my first post for the new year. It is a grossly under appreciated vegetable i happened to be head over heels in love with! Apparently Honey too adores this vegetable. We reserve  it for special occasions because it is rather too rich prepared this way. This last week as well said our fond farewell to 2010, we celebrated with a rich meal of this curry, rice and chapatis. Boy could it be better? No..

We will need,

Kesavina gedde/colocasia /Arbi  1 lb
Onion           1 big sliced lengthwise
Garlic         3-4 cloves minced
Green chillies  2-3
Oil             1/4 Cup + for deep frying
Tomato          1 chopped
Red Chilli powder 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Dhania            1 tsp
Turmeric           1/2 tsp
Mustard             1/4 tsp
Fenel               1/2 tsp
Jeera                1/2 tsp
Coriander           a handful
Salt to taste
Cloves and cinnamon    ground 1/4 tsp


  1. Scrub and wash the colocasia in plenty of water.Dump them in the pressure cooker with water to almost cover them and cook for about 2-3 whistles.Remove from heat and cool. 
  2. Once the colocasia is cool enough to handle, pull the skin off the vegetable and wash it in water once again. It is tricky till here, because sometimes this temperamental vegetable causes allergic itching if not done te right way!
  3. Slice the vegetable and deep fry them in hot oil till golden brown. Drain on paper towels
  4. Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a skillet. Throw in the mustard jeera and fenel seeds. Once they stop spluttering throw in the onion, garlic, green chillies. Saute for a couple of minutes, throw in the tomatoes and all the spices except the ground cloves and cinnamon. Cook for a few minutes till the rawness of the spices disapper, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Add the the fried Colocasia. Cover and cook till everything is well combined.Adjust salt, throw in the ground cloves and cinamon. sprinkle the coriander, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, serve hot with rice or rotis.