Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Huli Tovve

Tovve is nothing but dal in Kannada. There are different versions of tovve. There is the normal tovve, then there is the sihi tovve which is sweet and there is huli tovve which, as per the name is sour and spicy. This spicey stew is usually served in auspicious occasions like weddings and festivlas. It makes a delectable accompaniment to both, rice and rotis. Spices like cinnamon, and cloves bring a flavour and aroma of their own while jaggery and coconut add a dash of sweetness to balance out the tangy tangy tamarind.

Huli Tovve Recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 20min
Serves- 4

Toor dal or pigeon peas- 1 small cup
Ridge gourd- 1 large, peeled and cubed
Oil- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Tamarind pulp, 2tbsp
Jaggery- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
For the spice mix:
Oil- 1/2tsp
Channa dal or bengal gram- 1 tbsp
Urad dal- 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 3tbsp
Cinnamon- 1" piece
Clove- 1
Marathi moggu- 1 (optional. But recommended)
Fenugreek seeds or methio- 1/4 tsp
Red chillies- 4-6, torn
Freshly grated coconut- 4tbsp
For the seasoning:
Ghee or oil- 2tsp
Mustard- 1tsp
Asafotida or hing- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- 8-10


  • Pressure cook, pigeon peas and cubed ridge gourd with oil and turmeric for 5 whistles or till done and keep aside.
  • For the spice mix, Heat oil in a separate pan and add the fenugreek seeds and fry till they are brown. Add the cinnamon, cloves and marathi moggu if using and fry for min.
  • Add the dals and fry till they turn brown. Stir in the coriander seeds and red chillies and fry for two min till the chillies are crisp.
  • Take off the heat allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Grind the mixture to a fine powder in a blender. Later add the grated coconut along with some water and blend to a fine paste.
  • Take the cooked dal mixture in a thick bottomed vessel and add the tamarind paste, salt and Jaggery and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the ground mixture and allow the dal to simmer for five min and take off the heat.
  • Heat oil in a separate pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the curry leaves and hing and saute till the curry leaves turn crisp. Take off the heat and add the seasoning to the prepared tovve and Serve hot with rice

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy ugadi and a recipe for Holige

First of all let me wish every one a very Happy Ugadi and Gudi Padwa. Ugadi- A time where one starts the day by eating bevu bella (the concoction of neem and jaggery). A time where the Panchanga (hindu calender) is worshiped and read. A time for new clothes and new beginnings. Ugadi is also the time for bele Obattu or holige.

Obattu or holige or puran poli is a sweet bread that is made during the festival of ugadi. Holige is basically a sweet bread that is filled with a mixture of lentils, jaggery, coconut and spices. They say that the perfect preparation of obattu is a highly skilled task. It is more of an art actually. But believe me, all it takes is a little bit of patience to perfect this "art"

There are different versions of obattu or puran poli recipe. There is a version which uses the channa dal as the stuffing and there is also this version where Toor or pigeon peas in the stuffing. It's unique flavour and characteristic aroma can be attributed to the special spices used.

Holige or obattu recipe:

Preparation time: 1 hr+ soaking time
Cooking time: 1hr
Makes- 15-20 obattu

For the Kanaka or the outer covering:
All purpose flour- 1-1/4 cup + extra for dusting
Very fine Semolina or chiroti rava- 1-1/4 cup
Salt- a pinch
Turmeric- a pinch
Ghee- 1tbsp
Oil for soaking- 1/2 cup
For the hoorna or the filling
Toor dal or pigeon peas- 2 cups
Jaggery- 1-1/4 cups
Freshly grated Coconut- 1/2 cup
Cardamom- 6, finely powdered
Nutmeg powder- A pinch (optional, but recommended)
Ghee- 1 tsp
Turmeric- A pinch
Ghee or oil for roasting the obattu

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, semolina, turmeric, salt and ghee and mix well. Add water gradually and make a soft dough. Knead well and soak the dough in oil for at least 3 hrs. 
For the filling:
  • In a vessel, mix the toor dal along with the turmeric and ghee and  Pressure cook in 3 cups of water for 4-5 whistles.
  • After the dal is cooked, mash the dal to a fine paste using a potato mash. Add the jaggery and the coconut and mix well.
  • Transfer the contents to a heavy bottomed vessel and cook the mixture on  a low heat mixing well.
  • Keep mixing till the mixture thickens and a big lump is formed. Take off the heat and cool the stuffing mixture completely.
To proceed:
  • Take a small lime sized ball of the covering and spread it on your palm. Place a golf ball sized stuffing mixture in the center and cover the stuffing completely with the dough. Seal it well and press slightly. 
  • Dust the holige and the working surface with some flour and roll it into a circle of 6" in diameter.
  • Heat a girdle or tava and place the rolled holige on it. Cook on both sides till golden spots appear and  drizzle some ghee or oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough and filling and serve warm with ghee and milk.
Note: If the rolling the dough becomes difficult, then you can tie a cloth to the rolling board and dust with some flour to facilitate easy rolling
The quantity of jaggery can be increased to 1-1/2 cups if you prefer the holige a little sweeter than mine.

This festive bread is my contribution to My legume love affair-45 which is created by susan and being hosted by Heather of girlchef.com

and to only South Indian event host by Pari.
And also to March's YBR event hosted by Nancy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spiced lemon grass tea

My association with the exotic lemon grass tea stated only recently. I saw this packet of dried lemon grass tea on the counter and picked it up on impulse. It was only after coming home, that I read what was on the pack. It was written that "" lemon grass tea is a caffeine free antibacterial and anti fungal and it can be used instead of regular tea leaves". That was enough to arouse my curiosity. I googled for the benefits of lemon grass and I was amazed by the information. 
I was surprised to know that lemon grass, apart from being an anti bacterial and anti fungal, is also a digestive and helps in digestion. It helps to cope with cold and cough. Lemon grass also relieves stress and lowers cholesterol. It helps in detoxifying the body and helps to cope with blood pressure. It aides blood circulation and relieves menstrual cramps. These pointers listed above are only a few among the many benefits. After reading through the article, for once I was happy about my habit of impulsive buying.
Lemon grass tea served hot or cold makes a very refreshing drink. It takes only a few minutes to make and will have an instant calming effect sans caffeine. I have used honey as a sweetener here. But you can use sugar to sweeten this as well.

Spiced lemon grass tea recipe:
Preparation time: 5min
Makes- 2 cups

Dried lemon grass- 2tbsp
Water- 2 cups
Cinnamon- 1" piece
Cloves- 2
Cardamom- 2, deseeded
Ginger- 1/2" piece grated
Honey or sugar-to taste
Lemon juice- 1tsp

  • Take water in sauce pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and grated ginger and bring to a boil and simmer for a few min.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to stand for a minute.
  • Strain the liquid into cups. Add some lime juice and honey or sugar to taste and serve.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Menthya Matvadi palya- Fenugreek and bengal gram stir fry

What is it that makes the dal or lentil so comforting? So comforting, that we Indians make it a point to include the lentils in our diet on a daily basis. To us vegetarians, the lentils are the only source of proteins. So keeping this in mind, I try to cook these lentils in some form or the other. So a few days ago, I suddenly remembered this curry. This curry was often prepared by my paternal grandmother and it used to be one of my very few favourite curries. Despite being my favourite, I had somehow forgotten about this heart warming curry.

Menthya matvadi palya is a heartwarming, vegan, and high protein dish which is filled with nutritious greens- the fenugreek or menthya. This wonder herb and spice is rich in minerals like calcium, iron and potassium. Fenugreek leaves and seeds are also considered to be a Galactagogue that is often used to increase the milk supply in lactating women. Apart from this, it is often used as a medicine to reduce the discomfort of arthritis.  Fenugreek has also proven to be extremely beneficial in treating diabetes. With so many benefits in store, why not include the fenugreek in our diet and make the most of what it has to offer.

This is a simple and rustic curry with the subtle flavours of the fenugreek and the mild seasoning of cumin and curry leaves. I suggest you have this with some hot rice and a dollop of ghee. I am sure it will leave you all happy and satiated.

Menthya Matvadi palya recipe:
Preparation time: 20min+ soaking time
Cooking time: 10 min
Serves- 4

Channa dal or bengal gram- 1 cup, washed and soaked for 2-3 hrs
Methi or fenugreek leaves- 1 cup, chopped
Oil- 2tbsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Coconut- 2 tbsp, (optional)
Hing- A pinch
Green chilli- 1, chopped
Ginger- 1/2" piece, grated
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Jeera or cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Mustard- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to garnish- 1 tsp


  • Drain the soaked channa dal. Grind the channa dal coarsely along with the coconut, green chilli and ginger and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. Once they sputter and pop, add the cumin seeds and fry till they are brown.
  • Add the curry leaves and hing and fry till the curry leaves are crisp.
  • Stir in the chopped fenugreek leaves, turmeric and salt and fry for 2 min
  • Add the ground mixture, and fry till the mixture is dry.
  • Take off the heat, mix in the lemon juice and serve hot with rice.
This curry is my contribution to 

Taste of pearl city's Healthy morsels event

Tickling Palate's LEt's cook greens event

And to Pari's Only south Indian event

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