With India winning the World Cup (in Cricket after 28 years) and the entire nation being euphoric, I cannot think of a better way to begin the new year. Here is how the festival went in my home. In the plate below are Puran Poli, Ugadi Pachadi, Keerai Vadai and puliyodharai. The recipes are given below.
Ugadi, being the first festival in the Chaitra maasam (season), we make a few delicacies. I am going to write down recipes for a few things mom used to make. I cant believe time has gone by so fast and it is already my turn to make all these delicacies for my family in my home. Perhaps this is what is called cycle-of-life. A little rose bloom adorning our fire place mantle which i used for Puja.
Raw mango: 1 small (representing the excitement, tangyness)
Jaggery: 3 tbsp (representing the happiness)
Salt: 1/2 tsp (representing the life itself because its the basic thing)
Chili powder: 1/4 tsp (representing the anger in us)
Neem tree flowers: 1/2 tbsp (representing the tough times or sorrow; if neem flowers are not available, you can substitute this with methi seeds)
Coconut: Freshly chopped, 1 tbsp (optional)
Tamarind paste: 1/2 tbsp pulp (representing mischievous child in us)
Mix all the above ingredients with a little water. Just add about 3 tbsp. If you want you can add more later.
Yummy! The melody of flavors!
Keerai Vadai: Another common dish we make today is vadai. Now, as most of you know, we have 100's of ways to make tasty vadais. Today, I made keerai vadai (vada with leafy vegetables). I like to fool myself that the leafy veggies would make up for the deep-fried lentil patties. It came quite good actually.
You can practically use any leafy veggie to make this vadai. I used spinach. Below measurements gave me 20 mini vadai's.
Spinach: 1 cup, chopped.
Channa dal (gram dal): 1/2 cup
Green chili: 1 or 2 according to taste
Toor dal: 2 tbsp (optional)
Urad Dal: 2 tbsp
Ginger: 1 inch, chopped
Hing: 1 pinch
Oil: at least 1 cup to deep fry
Salt: according to taste
- Mix all the dal's together and pour in water until they are completely immersed and at least 2 inches of water is floating above.
- After 3 hours, strain the water away and keep the dal's dry for another hour.
- After this additional hour, take 3 tbsp of dal's in a separate bowl and keep aside.
- Now, grind the remaining dal with hing and salt WITH OUT ADDING WATER.
- When the mixture is grind and is 80% soft, add the 3 tbsp of dal's you kept aside with green chilies and ginger. You dont have to grind this now.
- Now add the chopped spinach to this dal mixture and mix well.
- Heat oil in a vessel. Make small rounds of the dal mixture and flatten them on your hand. It would help if you grease your hand with oil.
- Gently drop the vadai (lentil Pattie) into the hot oil.
- Roast until the vadai is golden brown and remove it from the oil. You can place these on a tissue paper to drain out excess oil.
Puliyodharai: The next one on menu today is Puliyodharai (Tamarind Rice). You can find the recipe HERE in my blog. Ever been to Tirumala, Perumaal Kovil (It is referred to as Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam) in Andhra Pradesh? The best tasting Puliyodharai comes from that temple. As the devotees chant, "Govindaa Gooovindaaa", the gurukkul gives us handful of yummy and unique tasting Puliyodharai. Though the one I made isn't as great as that is, its much closer than I had ever made.This will suffice for 3 cups of un-cooked rice :)
Here is my attempt. Start this 2 hours before you make the poli.
Ingredients for filling (Called Purnam in Telugu):
Channa Dal: 1 cup
Jaggery: 1 cup, powdered (you can increase this 1.5 cups also)
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Ingredients for the bread:
All Purpose Flour (maida): 1 cup
Water: 1/2 cup
Ghee (clarified butter): 6 tbsp
- Knead the dough with water and 2 tbsp of ghee until it is soft. Cover this with a moist cloth and set aside for 2 hours.
- Mean while, pressure cook the channa dal with 3 cups of water. You dont have to over cook it. 1 whistle or 20 mins in medium flame would give you just cooked dal.
- Spread this dal on a tissue paper/plate so that all the moisture is absorbed, maybe for 1 hour.
- WITH OUT ADDING WATER, grind the cooked and cooled channa dal with jaggery. Its a bit difficult to blend it fine, but its doable. Please do not add water because we want the consistency to be thick. To this mixture add the cardamom powder. If by any chance the mixture becomes watery, cook on low flame for 7-10 mins and the mixture would thicken.
- Now, take the dough and add the remaining ghee and beat the dough very well. yeah baby! beat it! When you stretch the dough, it should stretch with out breaking like chapati dough.
- Spread a foil or a banana leaf and grease it with ghee.
- Take some dough (small lime size) and roll out like you roll out the roti/chapati.
- Now, take another lime size of dal & jaggery mixture and place it in the middle of the rolled out bread.
- Now, cover the dal mixture with the bread from all sides and seal with your fingers.
- Gently pat down the ball with your fingers, trying not to let the dal mixture flow out. If it does, do not worry. Make this as thin as a chapati.
- Heat a tava/pan/griddle and add some ghee. Slowly lift the foil containing the poli and invert it on the griddle.
- Turn the poli around once in a while until it turns golden brown. Dont shy away from applying generous amount of ghee.
- When the poli is completely cooked (you will start smelling it) and is in golden color, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate.
I hope ALL of you have a fantastic new year ahead!