Sep 30, 2008

Pumpkin Bhaaji

This one’s a simple recipe, quick and easy to make and completely fat-free. To begin with, peel and chop pumpkin into a little lesser then one inch size pieces. If you can get some pumpkin leaves as well, that would be great [not frequently available, check out your neighbors garden too :) ]. You need to draw out some fibrous strings from the pumpkin leaves and then wash the leaves well. Chop the stems to about one inch size pieces. Chop the leaves to about 1 cm size pieces. Slit about 3 green chillies. Grate a handful of coconut. So that's all with chopping... let's get on to real cooking now.

Take a vessel and mix together, the pumpkin pieces, chopped stems and leaves, green chillies, coconut, salt as per taste, 1/4 tsp of sugar and 1/4 cup or less of water. Cover the vessel and leave it on a low flame for 10 mins. Stir well and leave covered for another 10 mins. Once the pumpkin is cooked, it's ready.

This goes best with rice as an accompaniment.

Sep 28, 2008

Avalakki for breakfast

Frankly speaking, I do not relish Avalakki but I like it when it's made with lot of tomato in it. Tomato adds a great flavor to it. Today, Sunday morning, I made avalakki... taking a break from the usual uppit (also called upma).

In Karnataka, especially North Karnataka, avalakki is a favorite snack. It's easy to prepare and needs a few basic things. Of course, there are plenty of types of avalakkis- spicy, lemony, sweet and sweet & sour. I like it simple but with lots of tomatoes in it.

I'll let the pictures tell how it was made with some words in the background.

First I organized the ingredients-


Chopped onions, chilly, tomato.

Fresh curry leaves.
Split a lemon into two.
Cooking oil.
Jeera, mustard, turmeric powder and salt in table spoons.

And soaked avalakki in water and drained away all the water.

The stove is lit, low flame and the cooking vessel is in place. Poured oil into the vessel, let it warm a bit. First to go into the oil were sesame and mustard followed by curry leaves and chilly. The onions went in after little over a minute. The flame turned to high. Stirring is must. The tomatoes went in after five minutes. Salt and turmeric the were the last to go in. Kept stirring round and round. After 3-4 minutes the flame was turned down. Let it seam for about five minutes and turned if off.

When the 'vaggarni' was cool enough I mixed it into the soaked avalakki- first by hand and them with a spoon. Finally I added the lemon juice and mixed it again. There you go- Avalkki is ready!

The whole process took me about 40 minutes since I had to pause in between to clean my hands and shoot pictures. Normally this can be done in about 20 -30 minutes.

Yes. It tasted good.