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.


Lakshmi said...

I miss kitchu haisodu :( these days it is rarely done in other places. When we lived in Mandya, we went to see this in the evenings. Decked up cows and kitchu haisodu made the evenings special on Sankranti day. Happy Sankranti to you.

Savi-Ruchi said...

Happy Sankranthi Smitha. I have never made yellu-bella. My mom always prepared it for me too. Miss my childhood days.

Gayu said...

I miss Bangalore badly now..Yellu bella is never prepared at my home but we would eagerly wait for the neighbors to get them at our place..The click is superb!


Saraswathi Iyer said...

Sankranthiya Subhashaya. I miss Bangalore.

Rachana said...

Happy Sankranti! This is a new recipe to me, looks great :-)

Kannada Cuisine said...

@LG...Hitch haisodu has become rare indeed insutte Lakshmi..Happy Sankranti to you and your family..

@Sush,G, Saraswati...looks like our home sickness increases during festival...right. after all festivals mean family food celebration all of which are absent to us expats..

Unknown said...

Beautiful pic.anh HAPPY SANKRANTI to u..

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sudhir R said...

Nice Shot! Perfect lighting! I love to eat this. Back home This festival reminds me of the Saje roti, Til Laddus, Mixed vegetable curry. Wow!