Avarekalu Kadubu / Indian Beans Kadubu

It is going  to be a long rant on a contentious topic... the latest Time magazine's cover page depicting a mother nursing a toddler. Somewhere inside me there was a voice that kind of made me nod my head in disapproval that TIME had to resort to sensational photos to be able to sell more. But looking at all the resentment and disgust the photo generated, the other part in me got up vehemently to defend both TIME and the women in the photo.
I personally nursed my sunny boy well past two. In fact I weaned him without much protest (sort of baby led weaning) a couple of months ago. It was a very fulfilling experience for me and nourishing for my baby.I knew I was giving him the best while he knew his Amma is always there for him. It was such a blessing when we were traveling, when  he bumped into something and got a boo-boo, when he was sick, when he was tired, when he woke up hungry in the middle of night. I did not have to worry about a thing. Nursing comforted him, satisfied his hungry, reassured him that things are alright and he did not have to keep howling though long hours on international flights. I have nursed him in public areas, airports, train stations, trains, flights, bus, subway, Central Park, malls, kerbside, in the parked car, even while he is strapped in his car seat in a moving car(that was quite an acrobatic feat,but it was better than his nerve wracking cries). I have nursed him with cover as well as without cover. Nursed him even as people smiled at me in appreciation and also when some jerks smirked. I was just feeding my son. If I could eat my food in full public view, so should my baby. It is just the way nature intended. What can be wrong about it?

But strangely in the modern world, we find nursing especially older babies disgusting, even if it is something very very natural. The very fact that people talk about it is strange. No one talks about the urge to eat when hungry, nobody is judgmental about cauldrons of coffee people carry with them in the morning. Why even talk of breastfeeding?or worse why be judgmental about it? It is just a baby eating his food. Even with teeth babies are entitled to the food that the nature designed. Why should a baby stop nursing soon after he has his teeth? Just because he has his teeth does not means he knows how to use it. A few babies teeth pretty early, does that mean you wean them at 4-5 months? a few babies do not teeth till they are 15 months old, so are they entitled to a much longer nursing routine? Why should we even decide how long it is appropriate for a baby to nurse? Should it not be decided by the baby and the mother? If it is OK for adults to have choice and control over what they eat, should not a baby have a say in what it wants to eat (errrr apart from coins, tiny toys and every little thing that comes in the grip of their tiny hands.I mean only the edible stuff). So it is OK for me to say I hate broccoli, I love Carrots, but it is wrong if my baby wants 'Amma's milk' and not 'cow's milk'. Is it not unreasonable?

About the cover, great! the model is attractive, the baby is cute. So what? should not a nursing mother have a positive body image? Should not she feel that she is attractive. According to the public psyche, she should not. Just look at the choice of nursing clothes available at any major retailer, It is woefully boring. So a nursing mother is supposed to be boring, be discreet about nursing and not nurse in full public view. Is it fair?
Would not the world be a better place if we lived and let other live their life!!

Back to the food part now..I have always been fond of rice based dishes for breakfast.  Idli, Dosa, Kadubu et al. On days I run out of Idli/Dosa batters, it is going to be Kadubus, sometimes spiked with Averakalu, some times mixed vegetables and sometimes greens. It is Avarekalu for now.

Serves  2-3

Idli Rawa/ Rice Rawa/ Cream of Rice  3/4 Cup
Avarekalu 1/2 cup
Green Chillies 3-4 (adjust according to taste)
Ginger 1/2" minced
Curry leaves a handful
Coriander a handful
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Hing a dash
Salt to taste

  • Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Throw in a generous pinch of salt and the Avarekalu. Cover and cook till the Avarekalu is tender. Remove from heat.
  • Place the cream of rice in a mixing bowl.
  • Mince the green chillies. (If serving the Kadubu to kids, slit the green chillies length wise so  that it is easy to fish it out later). Chop the curry leaves and coriander fine.
  • Throw in the green chillies, curry leaves, coriander, Jeera, Hing,ginger and salt into the cream of rice.
  • Fish out the Avarekalu out of the water. Toss it with the cream of rice mixture. 
  • Set up a steamer to steam the Kadubu. I set up a pot of boiling water and place a steel  colander to steam my Kadubu. A bamboo steamer or a Idli steamer will also work.
  • Make a well in the center of the cream of rice mixture. Pour about 1/4 cup of hot water used to cook the Avarekalu. Stir the mixture. It should resemble bread crumbs. If not add little more water. Upto 1/2 cup of water might be needed. The mixture should resemble  bread crumbs but should come together if patted into small balls. But  it should not be as soft and moist as say a chapati dough.
  • Bring together about 1/4 cup of the mixture and pat it gently into small balls using both your palms.
  • Place the balls in the greased steamer and steam for 7-10 minutes  till the Kadubus are cooked.
  • Remove and serve it with coconut chutney.
 Busy little hands..Sunny boy loved it.
As prosaic as it might sound, this is my Doddamma's- (my aunt-my mother's only sister) recipe.  When I got married, break fast was a hard time. I had no ideas for breakfast except Idli and Dosa. My Dodamma gave me a host of recipes including this one. She makes the cream of rice herself using the stone grinders which makes amazing upmas and Kadubus but I get things done from the super market :)
Sending it out to Cooking with love series hosted by Torviewtoronto


Sravs said...

Super delicious and tasty ones !!

Ongoing event CC:Splash Into Summer

Unknown said...

Yummy, love the kadubus any day. Seems like your son really appreciated the tasty kadubu :-)

Torviewtoronto said...

looks wonderful hope you can join the cooking with love aunt event in my site

Priya Suresh said...

Those kadubu looks highly addictive,excellent guilt free dish.

lubnakarim06 said...

Times cover page is mostly sensational and mostly leads into debates....this is something new with Avarekalu....looks yum...

Akila said...

Looks delicious...

Event: Dish Name Starts With M

Spice up the Curry said...

wow superb. lovely recipe.

Kannada Cuisine said...

@Sravs, thanks
@Nagashree..yep! he does

@Torviewtoranto.. done!

@Priya, Lubna, Akhila and spiceupthecurry thanks

Sangeetha Nambi said...

perfect kids delight...


radha said...

The little one has loved it. So evident. And yes, I had mixed reactions on the Time cover too.

Savi-Ruchi said...

tumba dina aithu idannu maadi. next week madoke plan madthene. Enjoyed reading your post.

M D said...

reminds me of my childhood when my mom would make these for festivals. delicious!

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Sure Sangeetha..at least in my family :)
@Radha..good! now I have some company over the times cover

@Sushma, thanks and of course madi pa! neevu variety Kadubu madtira ansutte alwa.

@ Thanks MD. Boy you got to eat these on festivals! that must have been royal. In my family festivals meant pooja in empty stomach followed by a brunch, else just uppittu :(

Sudhir R said...

Hats of to you, Siddhu probably was more than three when he stopped. Issues apart, photography is an art, and believe this was a wonderful piece of art so well composed. I think I had these kadubu in Tumkur, may not have relished back then, but with age probably I would love to have it frequently

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for linking to the cooking with love aunt event :)

Smitha said...

@ Sudhir..
I remember Siddu...I found it funny back then but now I know how important it is.. Sunny boy is like Siddu in so many ways