Reader's Post - Menthya Hittu

Blogging has given me many friends, appreciation e-mails from reader's which encourage me to blog more and more. Many of you write to me asking whether or not they can send me their recipes to be published. The answer is YES, but I would definitely try them in my kitchen before I publish them on TOM. All recipes published on TOM are approved for their taste by my family members and I appreciate their co operation in this regard.

This recipe was sent by one of my Singapore reader and friend. Many thanks Ibbani for this healthy recipe. Menthya hittu is a medley of 4-5 different types of pulses flour. The resulting cocktail powder is a protein rich powder which is good for health. Here is how Ibbani makes menthya hittu ..

P.S. Please use same cup for measuring all ingredients

Togaribele/Toordal/Kandipappu- 1 cup
Kadalebele/Chanadal/Shenagapappu- 1 cup
Hesarubele/Moongdal/Pesarapappu- 1 cup
Uddinabele/Dhuli urdadal/Minapappu - 1 cup
Menthekaalu/Methidana/Menthulu- 2 tsp
Jeerige/Jeera/Jilakara - 1tsp
Kempumenasinakayi/RedChillies - 5-7 (adjust according to your taste)
Hingu/Asafoetida- a big pinch
Harishina/Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

Method :
Roast/fry all ingredients without oil on medium heat separately. Let them cool down.
Powder them and mix them well and store in a airtight container

Serving :
Serve with plain hot rice and ghee/clarified butter. Add little salt, mix and eat :) enjoy!!


Reader's Request-Seemantha/Bale Shastra/Valakappu

One of my reader, who lives in Australia emailed me requesting the procedures for Seemantha/Bale Shastra/Valakappu. My friends had arranged baby shower ceremony for me recently and pictures, rituals written down below were observed on that day. 

There can be elaborate celebrations followed as per family traditions and customs as mentioned here (click), here and here. Happy beginnings call for happy endings and probably this what we hope for when all the above traditions are observed. A would-be mother is blessed by all and wished her good luck for delivering the baby. Even in west when baby shower is celebrated it means 'showering the blessings to the mother-to-be' and wishing her luck. So East or West all customs share the same idea behind the ritual.

Some of the common procedures followed across the south Indian states for Seemantha/Bale Shastra/Valakappu..

Preparation before celebrating Seemantha/Bale Shastra/Valakappu :
1. Prepare (Make ;) )/Buy (easy)  all items that would-be mother likes to eat like chakkuli, Puri unde, kodubale, nippattu, sweets ....list can go on :D
2. Buy a saree (green), blouse piece, bangles (green colored), harishina (turmeric), Kumkuma (vermilion) and flowers. Optional items which may be given are hair clips, rubber bands, nail polish, Kadige/Kajal (eyeliner)etc
3. Any gift of choice.
4. Fruits 5 varieties
5. Add more varieties if you wish to give :)
6. A chair to sit and arathi plate filled with turmeric water

 A closeup at all the items that were arranged before arathi........

On the day of Seemantha/Bale Shastra/Valakappu :
The mother-to be dresses in the new saree, green bangles and jewelary
She is made to sit on the chair and married women give her harishina, kumkuma, flowers and bangles. Bangles are put on to her hand ( valakappu or bale todisuva shastra is probably derived from this activity). It is said that it is auspicious for the baby to hear the tinkling sound of bangles that mother wears. By 28 weeks baby listens actively and also senses light. So 7th month is considered ideal for performing this activity.
Gifts, food items are filled in her lap (probably that is why it is called Godh Bharai in North Indian states)
Every member of the family and guests fill the lap with their gifts. 
Finally aarthi is given to the mother-to be :), last but not least guests are served delicious food just like this.......

Badanekayi chutny/Auberjine/Brinjal chutny

I had never tasted brinjal in the form of chutny nor had imagined it! When I read this recipe in mallika badrinath's cookbook I thought of giving it a try. It was a super hit at home. It went well with hot rice and akki rotti. I have used green brinjals for preparation and would suggest you to use that as the skin of green brinjals are thin and would blend easily. 

Recipe Source : Mallika Badrinath's Ruchikara ootada thinisugalu
Brinjal : 1 long (green long brinjal, chopped into 1/2" pieces)
Redchillies : 4 (chutny was spicy, so adjust accordingly)
Kottambari beeja/Coriander seeds : 1 and 1/2 tsp
Uddinabele/uraddal : 1 tsp
Tamarind : 2" piece (soaked in water)
Onion : 1 small, chopped into pieces
Oil : 1-2 tbsp

1. Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds and uddinbele and powder it. Keep it aside.
2. Take oil in a pan/kadhai and heat it. When oil is hot add chopped brinjal and fry till brinjal becomes soft. Drain out excess oil from brinjal and trasnfer it to blender/mixer jar which already has chilli, dhania powder in it.Add onions, tamarind and salt to the mixer jar. Blend everything to a smooth paste.
3. Remove chutny to a bowl and enjoy it with your main course. 

Reader's/Guest Post - Fried Rice and Gobi Manchurian

Mangala, a reader of this blog who then became a good friend of mine is a passionate cook. Apart from managing her house hold chores with two demanding teens, she does ribbon embroidery, creates different types of flowers and of course dishes out new recipes in her kitchen.  She has sent us finger licking Fried Rice and Gobi Manchurian recipe to share with rest of the readers of TOM and other blogger s. Here you go with the recipe and a picture...

Fried Rice

Ingredients :
Use same cup for measuring all ingredients

French Beans - 1 cup (snapped into 1" pieces)
Carrots - 1 cup (peel and cut into sticks or any shape you wish)
Bell Peppers - 1 cup (chopped into 1/2" pieces)
Cabbage - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Onion - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Spring Onion - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Garlic - 4 cloves (chopped finely)
Ginger - 1" finely (chopped finely)
Soy Sauce - 3 tsp
Rice- 2 cups
Green Chillies - 4 (slit) adjust according to your taste
Oil - As required
Salt- As required

Heat oil and sautee onions. When onions start changing it's color to brown add cabbage and sautee.
Next goes chilli into the pan followed by garlic and ginger and sautee till ginger gets crisp.
Add rest of the veggies and spring onions and fry them on high flame till vegetables are half cooked. Keep vegetables crunchy.
Add salt, soya sauce, and cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Switch off the stove and cover it till you serve.

Gobi Manchurian
My version of Gobi M which is already blogged can be seen here
Cauliflower - 1 (medium size)
Onion - 1 big finely chopped

Green Bell Pepper - 1/2 finely chopped
Ginger - 1" finely chopped
Garlic -  2 finely chopped
Salt, Vinegar and Tomato Sauce as per your taste
Oil for deep frying
Cornflour, orange food color and salt for batter

Clean cauliflower florets and microwave them for 1 min or less.
Make a thick paste of cornflour, orange food color and salt
Dip C.florets in above paste and deep fry till they are crisp and golden brown
In another pan heat oil and sautee onions, ginger, garlic, and bell peppers. Add salt and vinegar.
Add in salt, vinegar and mix. Add fried C.florets and mix well. Finally add tomato sauce and give a good stirr. Serve hot with fried rice.

Enjoyy your meal!


Kodubale/ Crispy Doughnuts

I have atleast tried 4 times in last 2 years to make crispy kodubales with the taste I had in mind. Alas! I had failed every time. Recently R's aunt visited us and she gave me this recipe which was a hit. Here you go with the recipe for Kodubale/Crispy Doughnuts .......

You need the following: (Use the same cup to measure all ingredients)
Akki Hittu/Rice Flour-2 cups
Putani Pudi/Hurgadle pudi/bhunahua chana dal powder/pottukadalai Podi-little less than 1/2 cup
Onakobbari Pudi/Dry grated coconut powder- 1/2 cup
Onamenasinakayi pudi/Red chilli powder-2 tsp
Bili ellu/White sesame seeds- 1tsp

Enne/Oil- 1/4 cup hot oil
Salt- as required.
Water for making dough

1. Mix all dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add hot oil.
2. Mix oil and rest of the flour starting from the center and finally incorporating the whole flour.
3. Take a cup full of flour and little water to make a firm dough. Take a clean plate and add a drop of oil and rub the surface of the plate. Pull out little dough and roll it to make cigar sticks. Join the ends of the stick to make a circle.
4. Heat oil on medium flame. Deep fry all these circles/kodubales in hot oil till they turn golden brown.Drain on a paper towel. Enjoy them when they are at room temperature with your favorite hot drink.