Friday, July 31, 2009

Heerekayi Dose (Ridge gourd dosa)

During my graduation days, I got a chance to enter into a dreamland of dosas. My PG auntie was from Kundapur & she used to prepare different varieties of dosas. Some of them being, cabbage dosa, drumstick flower dosa, tomato dosa & what not?? She used to mainly serve these dosas as a sidedish, rather than for breakfast. After marriage, it was another fantasy world of dosas.., jackfruit dosa, raw banana dosa, cucumbar dosa, matti gulla dosa(brinjal dosa), heerekayi dosa & many many more.

Over all these years, I tasted varieties of dosas & also learnt handful of them. I had tasted this heerekayi dosa only once during my visit to my in-law's native. It was awesome & during my in-law's stay recently, I requested her to prepare the dosa for me. Because, other dishes took higher priorities, this dosa was queued up & one the last day of her stay here, she gave me the recipe & asked me to prepare it myself .., THUD....(sob sob.., I knew the recipe, I wanted to relish what she prepared).

Anyways, you must be thinking, how much I blabber for a simple heerekayi dosa.., what to do, I dont have anybody to listen here.., hence.., puking out everything in my space.

Finally coming to the recipe, the key to this dosa is "serve it straight from the pan or atleast warm". The dosa becomes a little hard once it reaches room temperature. One can relish this as a tiffin(breakfast item) with ghee or as a side dish for rasam + rice. It tastes great with curd rice too...


Raw rice: 3 cups
Beaten rice: 1 tbsp
Red chillies: 2-3
Tamarind powder: 1 big pinch (optional)
Ridged Gourd/Heerekayi/Luffa: 1 no (peeled & sliced)
Curry leaves: 1 string
Asafoetida: a small pinch
Salt: According to taste
Sugar: A pinch (optional)

Other ingredients:
Oil: 1 tsp for each dosa


  • Wash the rice & beaten rice thoroughly & Soak it for 3-4 hours.

  • Prepare a smooth batter of rice, beaten rice, red chillies, tamarind powder, curry leaves. Batter should be like bonda/bajji or pakora batter (batter is little thicker than normal dosa batter). Add salt, asafoetida & sugar to the batter. Mix well.

  • Meantime, place the ridgegourd slices in water.

  • Heat the dosa griddle, drizzle few drops of oil to it. Dip ridgegourd in the batter & arrange them on the tava/griddle(refer to picture below).
  • The ridgegourd slices must touch each other. Add 1/2 tsp oil, cover the griddle with a lid & cook on low-medium heat for 1-1.5mins. Turn the dosa & cook on the other side too for a min.

  • Serve it hot with ghee as a breakfast or a sidedish to rice.


  1. Instead of raw rice, I used Thai rice. Hence, I increased the beaten rice to 1/3rd cup for 3 cups of thai rice. So, it is important to adjust the beaten rice accordingly to get soft dosas. Else, the dosa becomes very hard & rubbery.

  2. Addition of coconut (around 1 tbsp) will also enhance the flavor & softness of the dosa, however I try to avoid as we normally consume a lot of coconut otherwise.

  3. If some more batter is left over, add some water & make it pouring consistency. Prepare thin crepes/dosas with it. (We call it uppu-huli-khara dose. Uppu-Salt, Huli- Sour, Khara-Heat/Spice dosa). These thin crepes/dosa are also equally tasty.
Blog Events:
1. Goes to Sia & Lakshmi for "Udupi-Mangalorean Cuisine", as it an authentic South/North Canara dish.
2. Padma for her event "Dosa Corner".

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Uddina Vade(MedhuVada)

Uddina vade rocks the menu card, be it for breakfast, lunch, evening snacks or dinner. The darshini's (fast food joints of Karnataka) will have uddina vade 365 days a year. Even though people are calorie conscious, they dont mind eating one vade. Visitors to the South Indian States will always get a chance to relish the very famous "idli, vade & sambar". Idli, vade, sambar is both comfort & royal food for people belonging to South Indian States.

Back at home, my mom prepares this vada only on Vaideeka/Tithi/Shraddha & on Mahalaya Amavasye (New moon day of Pitrupaksha). She says, we are not supposed to prepare this on other days. Spinsters are not allowed to help their moms on that day or for that matter, they are not allowed to enter the kitchen too. Only married women shall observe fast & cook the food for all of us. Hence, I never got an opportunity to look & learn this recipe. But my mom used to always share her experiences while cooking this vada. She doesn't use either mixer or grinder to prepare the paste. She does it using the age old oralukallu. She briefed me about this recipe & TADA.., it was super soft & tasted great. I have never gone wrong while preparing this.

Urad dal: 1 cup
Rice flour: 1 tbsp
Black pepper: 1/2 tsp (coarsely ground)
Curry leaves: 2 strings (washed & chopped)
Ginger: 1/2 inch ( grated or finely chopped)
Green chilli: 2 nos (finely chopped)
Salt: According to taste
Coriander leaves: 1tbsp (chopped, optional)
Coconut: 1 tbsp(use finely chopped fresh coconut, optional)
Oil: For deep frying (I used sunflower oil)

  • Soak the urad dal in water for 2-3 hours.Wash the dal thoroughly & prepare a smooth paste out of it. Add 1-2 tbsp of water to prepare the paste (avoid as much water as you can).

  • Scoop out the paste, add all the above mentioned ingredients (except oil of course). Mix it gently.

  • Heat the oil in a broad pan.

  • Make a small lemon sized ball of the paste. Apply water to your left palm & gently pat the ball. Make a hole in the middle of the patted ball. Dip your right hand fingers in water & gently remove the vada from the left palm & drop it in oil. The oil might sizzle as your hands are wet.

  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

  • Deep fry on a medium flame until golden brown.

  • Drain on absorbent paper.

  • Serve it hot with sambar, chutney of your choice.

  • Some people keep the urad dal batter for fermentation. But, according to my mom.., it should be prepared as soon as it is scooped out from the grinder/mixer. This helps in preparing soft vada.

  • Chiroti rava or small rava could be substituted with rice flour. Addition of either rice flour or chiroti rawa helps to obtain a crisp outer layer.

  • Some people even prepare the vada on a plastic sheet & then transfer it to oil.

  • Feel free to add onions, if your family prefers it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A bliss till yesterday is a dream today

My son's schedule.

10a.m: Wake up.

10:30a.m: ajji (my mom) would make him drink milk & take him to playground
11a.m: Come back from playground. atthe(my mom-in-law) would bathe him. He used to perform prayers & recite some shlokas.

11:30a.m: Ajja (my father) would feed him breakfast.

12:15p.m: Thatha (my father-in-law) would somehow make him drink 1 glass of water.

12:30p.m: Play with all 4 of them.

2:00p.m: Delicious & steaming hot Udupi oota/Chikmagalur oota prepared by atthe/ajji. Ajja would feed him lunch, while thatha managed to play his favorite Kannada rhymes CD(undagi gunda.., ache mane subbamma etc).

3:00p.m: Ajji would make him drink a bottle of milk & put him for an afternoon nap. Ajji’s devaranama is a must for him to go to bed :D

5:30p.m: Wake up. Get bathed from atthe, and drink milk from ajji. Go to playground with either ajja or thatha.

6:30p.m: All 6 elders & he parading in the city streets.

10p.m: Back home, dinner fed by ajja, rhymes played by thatha.

11p.m: Play with all.

12midnight: Go back to sleep with amma(me).

What a bliss!!!

Yesterday, when they departed, he was weeping & was not letting anybody go. Same was the case with the two grandma’s. After coming back from airport, he searched his grandparents in kitchen & all the bedrooms. He became cranky & started missing them. Our state is also the same, just the difference being.., he is expressing his feelings.., WE ARE NOT!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Punarpuli Saaru | Kokum Saru | Kokum Rasam : South Indian Special Rasam Recipe

Here is what my mom-in-law has to say about punarpuli/bhadpuli/kokum. "When my mom was alive, she used to dry the kokum & prepare rasam with both dry & fresh kokum(also known as bhadpuli in Tulu). Kokum fruit would be available during late spring/summer & kokum has cooling effects on the body. It is given to people having pitta dosha, as it is said to balance the pitta. We used to drink this as a soup. These days we get kokum syrup in Hebri & other places, that is used to prepare cool drink or a summer drink".

This saaru is prepared, relished from many decades(could that be centuries too!!, not sure) & I'm sure, this will also be prepared for many more generations/decades to come. The rasam is very very simple & can be prepared within minutes. Not many ingredients & this one tastes heaven. This one is a perfect example for "Less is More".


Dried Kokum/bhadpuli: 12-14
Water : 1 liter
Powdered Jaggery: 1.5-2 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Onion: 1 medium sized
Green Chilli: 2-3 (small ones, they are very very hot) or 4-6(normal ones)
Coconut Oil : 1 tsp
Curry Leaves: 1 strand
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp


  • Boil the water. When water is hot, add the dried kokum pieces to it. Let it boil for about 1 minute
  • Let the mixture soak for about 20-30mins.
  • Finely chop the green chillies & add the chillies to the same water & squeeze the juice of the kokum + green chillies.
  • Discard the squeezed kokum. Add salt, jaggery & mix well. No need to heat it again.
  • Finely chop the onion & add the raw onions to the rasam prepared.
  • Prepare the tempering. Add oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves & saute till the leaves color change. Pour this tempering to the rasam prepared.
  • Rasam is ready to be served.
  • Unlike conventional rasams, this rasam is not boiled & consumed warm or cold. It can be preserved for 3-4 days in fridge(Add onions & tempering only for the required quantity). This rasam tastes better the next day.

  • Curry leaves has tremendous health benefits. Finely chop the curry leaves & then add it to rasam or any vegetable. This way, we do not discard the curry leaves & consume them.

  • Adjust the sweetness in the rasam according to one's family needs.

  • Store bought kokum/punarpuli would be soaked in salt & then dried. Hence adjust the salt level accordingly.

  • If hands start burning after squeezing the green chillies, apply coconut oil on your palms.
I'm posting this on behalf of my mom-in-law. She is the owner of this recipe. Another version of punarpuli saaru could be found here
This rasam is also making its way to "RCI: Udupi & Mangalorean Cuisine" event hosted by Sia & started by Lakshmi

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sevu Bajji(Kesuvina Gojju)

My friends can notice the difference in me. They say, i have changed. It is just 15 days & they can see the change in me. Oops, I have to control myself, else I will have to repent for this. I'm shocked that I have got a noticable change already. Guys, wondering what that change could be!! I am sure most of you have guessed it already. The change is....., I have put on weight (aiyyo rama!!!) & the credit goes to parents & in-laws. Both are cooking lot of traditional dishes & we are enjoying every bit of it. They are also refreshing my memories with these dishes. I am happy that, I am learning lot of new recipes from my mom, mom-in-law & also fine-tuning my recipes to get the authentic touch.

Sevu bajji is one such dish prepared by my mom-in-law last week. This is a very tasty gojju prepared using colocasia leaves & is liked by most people. My mom-in-law was little skeptical to prepare this bajji(gojju) using store bought leaves as few leaves could cause irritation of tongue & become impossible to eat or even chop. She says, "Back at home, during monsoon, workers cut enough leaves to prepare bajji. We never add coconut or urad dal to make the bajji thick. We also replace tamarind with either amtekayi (ambade in Tulu) or vaatehuli (Both amtekayi & vaatehuli are fruits available in abundance in the western ghats & they are sour/tangy like tamarind. I donot have more information about them). Bajji is prepared using taro leaves, green chilli, ambade & garlic". Her advice for people using these leaves for the first time:
Apply little coconut oil while chopping the leaves. If hands start itching, please discard the leaves.Tear a very small portion of the leaf & taste it, if toungue starts itching.., add more tamarind or try them at your own risk :)

Some language translations
Bajji is a Tulu word for Gojju (Kannada) or curry in general.
Sevu is a Tulu word for Taro or Colocasia leaves(Kesuvina yele in Kannada).


Taro leaves
: 12-14 medium sized
Tamarind: 1 big lemon sized
Salt: According to taste
Green chilli: 4-5
Urad dal: 2 tsp
Jaggery: a pinch (optional)
Oil: 1 tsp
Grated Coconut: 1-2tbsp(optional)

For tempering:

Garlic: 3-4 pods (finely chopped)
Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 chopped


*Wash the leaves thoroughly. Remove the hard stem. Apply little coconut oil to the palms & chop the leaves. Chop the green chillies.

*Mix the green chillies & leaves. Add 1 cup water & cook the leaves on a medium flame for 10mins. Now add, the tamarind, salt & boil again for 5mins. Allow it to cool.

*Meantime, heat oil in a small pan. When oil is hot, add urad dal & fry till dal turns golden. Turn off the heat, add coconut & let it cool completely.

*Make a smooth paste of coconut & urad dal, add the leaves to the coarse paste & pulse it in the blender for 10secs.

*Prepare the tempering. Heat oil in a small pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter, add uradadd garlic & sauté till garlic turns golden brown. Add curry leaves & pour this tempering over the gojju/bajji prepared.

This dish goes to "RCI: Udupi & Mangalorean Cuisine" hosted by Sia & also to Lakshmi.

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