Monday, 2 May 2016

Journey Through The Cuisines...

Updated- May 2 / 2016

This post was actually written before we started the marathon and today I am posting this as the roundup for the mega marathon

 Here is what I did in the month of April....

I cooked and wrote about the recipes from the Madhwa cuisine and a few dishes from Karnataka in the alphabetical order.This marathon is very special to me as I shared a lot of dishes that are unique to our cuisine and our family.

By far, this is the one marathon where I breezed through in cooking and clicking. I had a few in my drafts but there are days when I cooked an entire meal with 6 dishes and each one was posted for a day. Many of the dishes got done only after we started the marathon but I did not feel the stress or strain. It was altogether a very enjoyable experience.

This is the intro I wrote before we began this marathon...

April is going to be a very busy month. The kids sit for the final exam in March and by the first week of April, the summer vacation starts. Keeping them entertained inside the house and taking care of their snacks and meals needs special attention this year as the summer is in full blast here with temperatures are soaring very high like never before!!

The kids being at home is only one part of the aforesaid 'busy'. The next part is because each year a few bloggers get together and take part in a food event called Mega Blogging Marathon .

Blogging Marathon is a monthly event spearheaded by Srivalli of Spice your Life blog.Each month we take up themes and post 3 recipes per week. And in April and September we run a month long Marathon,posting 26 recipes with the Sundays off.

Each of these mega marathons come with a very interesting and challenging theme and it is something that we always look forward to.

The planning and execution of the themes starts months ahead and by the time we wrap up the Mega marathon posts, we feel satisfied, proud and attain an extreme sense of achievement laced with a little exhaustion!

For these mega marathons we push our limits and strive to prepare something that we normally hesitate to make. We usually refrain from making the mundane dishes for the mega marathon and the themes get tougher and interesting as the years go by. But this year, I have changed this notion!! Read on to know more..

So far in the mega marathons,, we did...

April 2013 - Weekly themes...
September 2013 - A-Z Marathon - Blogged dishes starting with A all the way through Z
April 2014- Indian food Odyssey- Showcased the cuisines of  Indian states
September  2014 -Around the world in 30 days - We traveled across the globe to create some culinary magic
April 2015 - Fire Up Your Oven - Month long baking marathon
September 2015 - Buffet on the table  where we took one theme for each week

This year, we are doing a theme called Journey Through The Cuisines...


We are a group of 28 bloggers this time and each of us are interpreting this theme in different ways. The theme is that we take a region from a country and blog 26 recipes from it or take a region a week and cook dishes specific to that region.

I am going to take you through the Karnataka cuisine with a little emphasis on Madhwa cuisine.  Though I was born and brought up Tamil Nadu, I have an affinity to what was once the home town of my forefathers. My grandparents and parents still follow the traditional Madhwa cuisine and through this marathon, I want to add a few more dishes to my blog.

Let me explain...
Madhwas are a group of Kannada speaking brahmins hailing from South Karnataka.The Madhwa cuisine is also referred to as Udupi cuisine and has its origin in the holy town of Udupi which is the seat of Madhwa philosophy with Sri Madhwacharya as our Guru. Udupi is also famous for Sri Krishna Matha,a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the most important place of pilgrimage for the people following Madhwa philosophy .This place also happens to be the seat of Vedic learning.

Our cuisine is a vegetarian one and traditionally we refrain from using onion and garlic on all days.But nowadays, many of them have changed this practise.A variety of dishes are prepared with grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

A simple meal can comprise of just a couple of dishes and that can transform to as many as 10-15 dishes or more per meal during functions / festivals / poojas.

Just like any other sect, we too follow prayers and functions that are unique to our community,many of which I have already shared here in my blog.

What I am going to post now for this marathon will be in alphabetical order and  are mostly my family recipes . As with any dish / recipes, the ones that I post will have variations and is bound to differ from family to family.

Usually, for the mega marathons, I come out of my comfort zone and look for something different and new. But this time, I am going to showcase day to day recipes that are cooked at mom's place. For the alphabets  that already have a recipe from our cuisine on this blog, I am going to post something unique / special / common from the state of Karnataka.

Here is what has been cooking in my kitchen...

1.Akki Kadalebele Payasa - Rice and Lentil Kheer

2.Balehannu Kosambari - A Sweet and savory Banana salad.

3.Congress Kadalekaye - An addictive and popular peanut snack

4. Dwadashi Gangi - A coconut milk-rice based porridge to break the fast.

 5. Ellu Juice - A superb summer cooler made with sesame seeds

6.Menthyadha Bajji - A tasty fenugreek seed chutney / dip

 7.Govardhanakaye Sandige - Sundried Cluster beans

8.Heeraykaye Thoovay - Ridgegourd in Dal

9.Irulli Gojju - Tangy Onion Stew

10.Jeerige Menasu Saaru - Cumin and Pepper Flavored Rasam / Soup

11.Kanchay Soppu Raita - Black Nightshade Leaves Raita

12. Lemon Paanaka - Lemon and Jaggery Flavored cooler

13.Majjige Huli - Buttermilk gravy[with lentil dumplings]

14.Neer Majjige - Spiced Buttermilk

15.Oggarnay Huli - Seasoned Dal

16.Punarpuli Saaru - Kokkum Rasam / Soup

17.Quinoa Bisi Bele Bhath - Karnataka's famous one pot meal made with a twist

18.Rava Vade- Semolina Fritters

19.Soppina Kootu - A Greens and Dal Medley

20. Tambli with Nelikaye - Gooseberry in Yogurt Sauce

21. Upperi - Chips

22. Vangi Avalakki Bhath

23 Wintermelon Kootu

24 Xtra Special Belladha Rave Tiffin

25.Yeriappa - Sweet Dumplings

26.Zunka Vadi - A popular Snack from North Karnataka

Hope you enjoyed the dishes...

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Zunka Vadi | Jhunka Vadi

We come to the end of the Journey Through The Cuisines,where I am doing an A-Z recipe posts through the cuisine of Karnataka. Like they say on Master Chef, this has really been an incredible journey through the dishes and I enjoyed cooking and writing about the dishes that are special to me and my family!

The last dish is this Zunka or Jhunka which is a popular one in North Karnataka and also in Maharashtra. It is a besan / chickpea flour based dish that forms a tasty snack.

I used:
Adapted from - Archana's Kitchen

Kadale hittu / Chickpea flour- 1 cup
Irulli / Onion-1 finely chopped
Belulli/ Garlic- 2 pearls, finely chopped
Sonti / Ginger- 1" piece, finely chopped
Sasve / mustard- 1 teaspoon
Jeerige / Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Menasinkaai Pudi / Red chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Arisin Pudi / Turmeric powder - a pinch
Ingu / Asafoetida powder- a large pinch
Sakkaray / Sugar-1/2 teaspoon
Nimbe hannu rasa / Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
Uppu / Salt- to taste
Yennay / Oil- 2 tablespoons

Ogarnay / Seasoning

Ellu / Sesame seeds[white] -1 tablespoon
Karibevu / Curry leaves - a few

Kothamari Soppu / Coriander leaves- to garnish

Take the besan/ chickpea flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.Add water little by little to make a thick batter without lumps. Grease a square tray. I used 8X8 Baking tray.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard and cumin. When the mustard pops, add the onion, garlic, ginger and saute till onion is soft.

Pour in the batter and turn the flame to low. Keep stirring till it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan .By then the mixture will turn glossy

Immediately transfer it onto the greased pan and flatten it evenly. After 5 minutes mark squares with a greased knife.

Heat a small pan with a teaspoon of oil and add sesame seeds and curry leaves.

When the sesame seeds sizzle, pour over the squares. Spread it out evenly and remove the squares from the pan

Serve as a snack garnished with coriander leaves.

 I toasted the Zunka vadi using a little oil on a hot griddle till both the sides were brown and slightly crisp. We liked this version better.


If the chickpea flour does not get cooked properly / throughly, it will smell and taste raw and be sticky. You will not be able to take out the squares out of the pan. In that case, remove from pan and cook for some more time adding an extra spoon of oil.

This post also goes to the A-Z Challenge 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63

Friday, 29 April 2016

Yeriappa | Sweet Dumplings

Yeriappa is a sweet dish from Karnataka that is prepared during Navarathi, on Saraswathi Pooja Day. There are so many variations for this dish.Some make it with ground rice batter, others with a mix of rice flour and wheat flour batter.Pieces of coconut are added as such to the batter while some prefer to grind it along with the batter.Jaggery is the sweetener here and sugar is added to get a golden brown color on the Yeriappa.

This is generally a deep fried dish but now a days many prefer to go the low cal way.I too have joined them.I have used the kuzhi paniyaram pan .In can you don't have it and don't prefer the deep fried way, then you can make it like small dosas on a griddle.

This is my dish for Y in the Journey Through The Cuisines,where I am doing an A-Z recipe posts through the cuisine of Karnataka.

I used:

Hasi akki /Raw rice - 1 cup
Bella /Jaggery- 1/2 cup,powdered
Bale Hannu/Banana -2,small, peeled and roughly chopped
Yalakki/Cardamom seeds from 2 pods
Sakkaray / Sugar- 1 teaspoon
Thengin Thuri / Grated / chopped coconut - 1/4 cup
Uppu/Salt- a pinch
Yennay / Oil to cook the yeriappa

Soak the rice in water for a couple of hours. Drain and take in a mixie jar.Add banana and coconut.

Grind to a smooth batter adding water little by little. Add jaggery, cardamom and grind once again. Remove onto a vessel.

Let the batter sit for 15 minutes. Mix once again. The batter should not be too runny.Heat a kuzhi panuyaram pan and lightly grease the moulds with oil.

Pour batter into the each depression and cover and cook.The side will pull inside. Using a spoon turn them over and cook till it is golden brown on each side. Repeat for the remaining batter.



This post also goes to the A-Z Challenge 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63