Saturday, April 1, 2017

Obbattu/Holigey/Puran Poli

This authentic gem of recipe of South India is passed on to us from ages. Kannadigas Obbattu is sweet dish made using flour with filling of lentils and jaggery. Aroma sparks the festive vibes making us crave for more. Our feast on auspicious days is incomplete without the presence of these obbattu. As grand mom says, they had luxury of nibbling these splendid preparations only during festivals in those days; hence preparation marks the celebrations in various aspects. However, as days passed it’s not confined to festivals.  It is served hot with dollop of ghee and/or milk. Use your hand, take a small bite, dip in the ghee and then in milk, then straight to mouth.
Lentils obbattu



Ugadi festival marks the significance of Hindu New Year in the Southern states of India as per Hindu lunisolar calendar. The day starts with decorating doors with thorana (Mango leaves) and flowers, taking oil bath, exchanging gifts, charity, and visiting the temple. ‘Bevu bella’ (Neem and jagerry) is the first thing to eat soon after pooja is completed. It’s symbolic reminder for complex phases of life that one must be ready to take bitter and sweet in the coming days equally. Obbattu is the showstopper of the scrumptious feast.

These being versatile it has different versions. Fillings can be as simple as khoya/maua, carrot, coconut or use your imagination to create your own. Yes! You heard that right, but traditionally it's made with yellow lentils and jaggery filling. I personally have tried my hands on lentils, Coconut, and carrot version. Each one taste absolutely different but equally delicious. I think the key to perfect obbattu/holige lies in dough preparation.

 
Carrot Holige
Ingredients:

 For Dough

1 ¼ cup plain flour
2 pinches turmeric
Pinch of salt
6-7 tbsp Sunflower/vegetable oil + few spns for frying

 For Filling

¾ th cup lentils (toor dal)
2 cardamoms, powdered
1 cup jaggery, powdered
¼ cup grated fresh coconut

Method:


Step1: Take all ingredients mentioned under dough except oil in a large mixing bowl. Add 1tbsp oil, water as needed and start mixing. Dough is slightly sticky, add 2 more tbsp oil and knead dough for 3-4 minutes. Pour the remaining oil over the dough and keep it covered. Let it rest for 2-3 hours.

Step 2: Cook lentils in an open pan using 5 cups water in medium heat until it is 3/4th done. It should be firm, not mushy. Drain the excess water, don’t discard, can be used for sambar, soups or rice.

Step 3: Heat a sauce pan, add powdered jiggery and let it melt in low heat. Add boiled lentils and stir until there is not much moisture. Add coconut, cardamom, continue stirring for 2 minutes and turn off. Set aside until it’s completely cool.

Step 4: Using a blender/mixer blend the mixture to fine paste. Do not use water. Divide the mixture into 12 lemon sized balls.

Step 5: Knead the dough again, Divide into 12 equal parts. Oil your palm and slightly spread it by patting to accommodate the filling. Place 1 lentil ball in center and gently pull the dough from sides to cover the filling. Pinch the edges to hold filling intact. Repeat the same for rest of the dough.

Step 6: Grease the parchment paper. Take the prepared ball and flatten it on the paper by gentle patting using fingers to size equal to chapathi (3-4mm thickness approximately), you can take help of rolling pin but be gentle to make sure you don’t knock out the filling.


Step 7: Heat the tava/griddle, drizzle a tsp oil, invert the paper on tava and carefully remove the paper leaving the obbattu. Flip and cook both sides until light brown patches appear and transfer to plate. Repeat the same for the rest. Serve with milk and ghee.

Note:


Obbattu/holige sheet or banana leaf is generally used in preparation. Any sheet/paper with non-sticky surface can be used.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bisibele Bath




Bisibelebath is wholesome meal with all nutrients in a bowl. The rich, wholesome, authentic dish originates from Karnataka which is usually cooked for breakfast and served with ghee and kara boondi (crackers/sev)  Bisi means ‘Hot’, bele means ‘lentils’. It has all the richness of creamy lentils combined with rice and vegetables. This being a hot favorite amongst veg lovers in the region mom’s genuinely express their love by pouring more ghee on piping hot Bisibelebath, my mom always does that.

Kara boondi (deep fried snack made from gram flour) or papad, and/or potato chips, any savory crispy snacks served on side makes perfect combo to munch on this yumminess. There are variations in the modern days to suit the individual palate but, the true essence associated with the original dish is vivid. Poha (Beaten rice) can be substituted for rice. You may have to hit the Asian grocery to grab readily available MTR bisibelebath powder if you are looking for cut short the process of making powder and save the trouble. But, the goodness of aroma arising from kitchen while making the powder from scratch makes the dish more enticing to gulp up.



Ingredients;

For Bisibele bath

1 cup rice
½ cup yellow lentils (toor dal)
1 cup vegetables (Beans, Carrot, Green Peas), diced
1 tbsp oil/ghee
2 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 ½ - 3 tbsp bisibele bath powder
1 tsp jaggery (optional)
Salt to taste

For seasoning

1 tbsp ghee
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp grated dry coconut
1 tsp mustards
2 dry red chillies (broken)
1 tbsp peanuts (optional)
Few cashews
1 sprig curry leaves
Pinch of hing(optional)

For Bisi bele bath powder

6-8 dry red chillies
½ inch cinnamon
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp grated dry coconut
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Chana dal

Method:


Step 1: Dry roast all the ingredients under bisibele bath powder until aromatic in medium to low heat, don’t burn, let it cool, and make powder in food processor/mixer. Make it slightly chunky do not make fine powder.

Step 2: Wash rice and dal. Add 4 cups water, salt and pressure cook for 3 whistles, keep aside. Meanwhile, Heat oil in a deep sauce pan, add peanuts and stir, add tamarind paste, bisibelebath powder, jaggery, ¼cup water and stir everything, boil for 2min. Add vegetable, cook covered for 15-20 min or until done.

Step 3: Add the cooked rice, lentils and mix until everything is well combined. Add 2-3 cups water, adjust salt, boil for 4-5min, and turn off.

Step 4: For seasoning, heat ghee in pan, add mustards, peanuts, cashews, dry chillies and fry till cashews turn slightly brown, add curry leaves, add onion and fry till brown, and turn off, add dry coconut and stir. 

Step5: Pour the seasoning onto the prepared bisibele bath, it’s done. Scoop out generous amount onto serving plate serve with ghee and kara boondi. Enjoy!


Note

Adjust water accordingly to get the desired consistency. It should not be runny consistency nor like regular pulao/pilaf.