Archive for the ‘Karnataka’ Category

Brown rice rottis

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

One of the easiest and quick snack in the evenings (or even breakfast) is Akki rotti (rice flour rottis), very famous in Bangalore. Back home in Tamilnadu we call it as arisi rotti. My mom made it as a quick after school snack when I was a kid. This year when I had time to roam around Bangalore, I was surprised to see the demand for these rottis in AS Iyengar stores in Jaynagar. People were standing in a queue and ordering anywhere between 12-50 rottis. The ones sold in the shop are paper thin, and as crunchy as a masala dosa, served with a coconut chutney, these are favorites of almost everyone. This is the favorite breakfast of N’s grandmother too!

Couple of days ago, I cooked brown rice to make some fried rice and had a cup of cooked rice left over and staring at me. I know for sure it I stored it in the fridge, its going to stay there for 2-3 days and then go to the bin. Instead, I just thought of using the rice in rottis.

Usually, rice flour is cooked in boiling water and then made as rottis. Since the rice is already cooked, I just mashed it in the blender and made rottis like the regular ones.

Ingredients: (Makes 6 rottis)
Cooked Brown rice- 1 cup
Salt to taste
Chopped onions- 1/4 cup
Chopped green chilies- 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)- 2 tbsp
Chopped Ginger- 1/2 tsp
Regular rice flour- 1 tsp

For tempering:
Oil- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Hing- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- 1 or 2


Pulse the cooked rice in the blender so that it gets to the consistency of a paste, but not like baby food. Add chopped onions, ginger, green chilies, salt and cilantro.

Heat oil in a pan and add hing and mustard seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves and add this tempering to the mashed rice.

Mix all the ingredients well. If the mixture is too mushy, add a tea spoon of rice flour to bind them well.

Heat a frying pan and add a couple of drops of oil.

Keep a bowl of water handy.

Make a lemon size ball of the rice mixture. Place the ball on the pan. Dip your fingers in the water and quickly pat the ball into a round shape, almost like a crepe. Make sure that you do not make the rottis too thin, as it will be tough to flip them and your fingers will get in touch with the pan if the rotti is too thin!

(Alternatively you can make rottis in a ziplock bag/plantain leaf and transfer it to the pan, like how we make vadais)

Keep the flame on medium-low and let it cook slowly. If you need oil, you can add it on the sides like we do for dosa. Do not keep moving it or turning it, once it is ready to turn (after 2-3 minutes on the first side), gently flip it to the second side and cook it for another 2 minutes till both sides are golden brown.

Transfer to a plate and serve it with any chutney, or with pickles. It actually tastes good on its own!

Note: You can make the rottis thick like cutlets or thin like dosas. Tempering is optional.

This brown rice rotti is on its way to Priya’s Only Low oil/Low calorie event , started by Pari.

Nutritional information for Brown Basmati can be found here and here and from whole foods, here.

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Slow cooker BiseBela Bhath

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Bisebela bhath is a wholesome rice dish(bhath=rice dish) and it is a good one to hide the vegetables too as it will be a well mashed rice and it has lentils, rice and vegetables and makes a good one pot meal. I often make it in a slow cooker on a weekend and our brunch is ready without standing next to the stove for hours the next day.

I often wonder how to place Bisebela Bhath as a regional dish. It is famous in Karnataka as well as Kerala(Palakkad). Almost all the Palakkad men I have met know how to make BB-Bhath. N, makes excellent Bise Bela Bhath too, and often he takes over the task of making it. Point to note: His BB-Bhath will be served with dozens of dollop of ghee on top, mine will be without the ghee, hence the offer 😉

It is a very common dish served in weddings as well, and one of the combinations for a typical south Indian dinner for guests will be Bise Bela Bath and stir fried potatoes(aloo curry) with onion raitha.

Now this is real incident that happened with Bisebela bhath to me. Much before our wedding, when N was in the East Coast,one of N’s uncles visited him. And N made his ghee dripping version of authentic Bise Bela bhath (made with MTR powder, if I can say so). After enjoying all the glorious varieties of food made by N for Uncle K for a week, uncle K decided to email me to say how lucky I should be to marry someone who can cook!

He addressed the email to N, copying me on the same and after praising N for a couple of paragraphs, he ended it exactly with this line, forgetting in the enthusiasm that I was also on the mailing list 😀

” Dude, don’t cook like this when S asks you to, make something miserable and she will never ask you to cook again”.

Now by the time uncle K realized that he wrote that, it was already on our email group and poor N was caught and so he makes BBB the same way he made it for everyone else 😉

Ingredients for Bise Bela Bhath:

The list for the spice powder is quite a long one, you can either use MTR Bise Bela Bhath powder or you can use some arachu vitta sambar powder to sprinkle on top, after flavoring the rice with usual sambar powder.

Ingredients: (serves-2)

List 1:

Vegetables and Rice:

Pearl onions- about a dozen
Mixed vegetables( Carrot, Beans, peas, Potato, Drumstick, Suran, Taro root, Cauliflower, White Pumpkin, Gourds, Long beans)- any combination- 1 cup
Rice- 1 cup
Cooked toor dal- 1/2 cup

List 2:
Sesame oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few springs
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp
Tamarind – one Lemon size ball or paste 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder- 1 tsp

List 3:
Special Spice Powder for BBB:

Chana Dal- 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Cinnamon stick- 1″ piece
Cloves-2 each
Fenugreek seeds- less then 1/4 tsp
Dried red Chilies-6
Dried coconut- 3 tbsp


Toast the ingredients given under List 3 to a golden brown color (toast them one by one). Let them cool and grind it to a fine powder.

Finely chop the pearl onions. Chop other vegetables into any desired shape. Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and extract the juice, discarding the pulp. Add another one cup of plain water to the tamarind juice. Keep aside.

Wash the rice under running water once.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Once that sizzles, add chopped onions and stir fry well. Add salt and turmeric powder and when onions turn transparent, add all other vegetables, sambar powder and stir fry well.

Using a slow cooker:

In the slowest setting, slow cooker takes 8 hours to cook and on the fast setting, rice will be cooked in 3 hours.

In the slow cooker pan, add the cooked vegetables, cooked toor dal, rice, tamarind water and the spice powder. Slow cooker also needs more water than regular pressure cookers, and so if you use 1:3 ratio for rice: water, add almost double the quantity of water (here, I added about 6 cups including the water used for tamarind extract).

Cover the slow cooker with some kitchen paper towels,make sure that the paper towels will not fall in, but it extends to the rim of the cooker. Place the glass lid on top of this kitchen towel (so that the extra water- the steam from the cooking will not make the rice soggy). Switch on the slow cooker according to your desired time level.

If needed, you can mix them once while cooking. Do remember that every time you open the lid of the slow cooker, it adds 20 minutes more to the set cooking time.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the setting to keep warm. Lightly mash and mix the rice with vegetables. At this stage, just before serving, you can also saute some whole pearl onions in ghee and add it to the rice.

If you are planning to add onions at the end, skip the step where vegetables are stir fried in a pan, add all veggies, tamarind water, powders,rice and dal to the slow cooker directly and cook. Then, do the tempering with mustard seeds, onions(list 2) and pour it over the bhath before serving.

Serve the rice with a dollop of ghee on top, with potato chips, onion or cucumber raitha.

If you are using a pressure cooker, you can simply stir fry the vegetables in the cooker pan, add rice to it and cook like normal rice for 3 whistles.

Adding roasted peanuts and cashew nuts as a garnish is also another way to serve BBB.

This wholesome rice with lentils is my entry for My Legume Love Affair edition 22, guest hosted here this month, brain child of Susan.

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Carrot Kharabath (Carrots with cream of wheat)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Formula 100. That’s what mom calls Rava Upma/Rava Khichdi/Khaarabath. It literally takes 15-20 minutes to make this breakfast/ dinner recipe and you can add as many vegetables as you want in this dish. If you have left over stir fried vegetables or korma, just throw them in and make this savory pudding. If you do not have any vegetables handy, just make it with some green chilies and cilantro. It will still be flavorful. You do not need anything fancy to make this dish. It will taste good whether it has vegetables, spices or even as simple upma with ghee.

This Kharabath is a anytime dish in our place. N likes both kharabath and kesari bath (authentic Karnataka Breakfasts) and he can eat them for Breakfast,Lunch or Dinner. If I am cooking for myself when N is on a tour, I just make them in a pot to last me for a couple of days along with maggi noodles, and then get a book to get myself occupied 😉

With spicy mango or garlic pickles, upma is real comfort food.

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Rava(Cream of wheat)- 2 cups

Finely chopped onion-1/4 cup

Finely chopped tomato-one(small tomato)

Carrots and potatoes (grated)- 1/2 cup

Peas- 1/4 cup

Oil- 2 tsp

Salt- 1 tsp

Mustard seeds-1 tsp

Chana dal- 1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 3/4 tsp

Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp

Chopped ginger- 1 tbsp

Slit green chilies- 3 numbers

Curry leaves- 4

Cilantro to garnish

Lemon juice(optional)

Water- 4 cups


Add a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the rava till it turns golden color and smells like its well done. Remove from fire.

In another pan(uruli), heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add chana dal, curry leaves, chopped ginger and slit green chilies. Stir for a minute.

Add the chopped onions and fry well till it turns transparent. Add grated veggies, tomato,salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and cover. I grated these veggies as they will cook faster and will look colorful too.

When the water is boiling and the veggies have turned tender, reduce the heat to a low or switch off for a minute(This is important else rava will splatter all over the place).

Now slowly add the fried rava and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed. Increase the flame to high for a minute, stir well and switch off. Do not keep cooking after adding the rava. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee on top.

Partially cover the pan after switching off, else the upma will get soggy and sticky instead of single grains.

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Kadubu (Idli Tower)

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Tumbler idli, kadubu idli or idli tower is a fun way to make kids eat idli and it is also good once in a while for adults. Besides, if the idli plates are missing, you don’t have to wait. You can just scoop the batter into stainless steel moulds and make kadubu.

Tirumala-Tirupathi is a place everyone would have visited at least once. But I never(never means never) got a chance to go to Tirupathi. Every time I would plan a trip and some thing would turn up making me to postpone the trip. Every one our family has been there except me, from this new born kid to 80 year old gradmas. But after we got married, we had a week to pack up and land in the US. N had no problems with Tirupathi and he has been there many times even on a overnight trip from Bangalore.

Our return flight was on Saturday and on Tuesday, N suddenly wanted to go to Tirupathi before traveling back to the US as a couple. Though it was a hectic trip,I was happy that finally I got a chance to go there. N drove from Bangalore and mid way, the car tyre had a puncture and we had to stop, and it started raining as well. I almost thought I am never going to go see Venkateswara and I said to N that we should go back. But, there was this small repair shop nearby along with a small dhaba on the road. The folks there saw us and said they will fix the problem and till then we can wait in the dhaba. Seeing the food made there, N suddenly wanted to order kadubu(He talks non stop about woodies kadubu).

Eating that steaming hot kadubu with a spicy chutney and giggling in the rain, feeling so relaxed and content is one of my treasured memories. Soon, our car was fixed and we did manage to reach Tirupathi by around 10 pm in the night and finally, I had a chance to see Lord Balaji the next day(after a couple of hours in the queue). Nothing came to my mind as I stood there, just a moment of peace and as I was taking in the deity’s image inside, we were told to move. But I am so glad that we waited that day instead of turning back, it is going to be nearly 4 years and I haven’t made another visit to Thirumala.

The given recipe is the idli batter I made for kanjeepuram idli. But mid way, I changed my mind and made it as kadubu instead. Grinding for idli batter can be found from my previous post on Idli here

Ingredients (To make 3 tall kadubus)

Idli batter- 2 cups
Oil- 1 tsp (plus additional one tsp to grease the moulds)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Chana dal- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- few
Cilantro- few leaves
Finely chopped green chili- 1
Finely chopped ginger- 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped cashew nuts- 1 tsp
Grated carrot- 2 tbsp


Grease the cups or glasses to make kadubu and keep it aside. Make sure that you do not use glass bowls.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, chana dal,chopped green chili, ginger, turmeric powder and grated carrot and stir fry well for 2-3 minutes. Add cashews at the end and just stir fry once.

Transfer this fried contents to the idli batter and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and mix well again. Fill the moulds only to the half of their capacity with this idli batter (as the batter will increase in volume when it steams). Steam the kadubus in a steamer or pressure cooker(without whistle) for 14-16 minutes.

Switch off and let it cool for a minute. Remove the moulds from the cooker. Immerse a knife in water and just go around the mould once. Quickly invert it on to a place. Repeat the procedure for other kadubu idlis.

Serve the tower idlis as they are, or slice them up like tikkis and serve hot with chutneys. We had it for breakfast with plain tomato chutney(thakalli vathakal).

This Kadubu is my entry for Srivalli’s Kids-Delight event. I am also reposting :

Veggie noodle nests. Check out how you can make idiyappams delectable 😉

and egg-tomato thokku dosa for this event.

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