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Friday, December 5, 2014

8th Blog Anniversary & Belagavi Kunda / Belgaum Kunda

My entry into the blogging world happened this week, eight years ago. As my husband points out often, I am the kind who looses interest in things when the initial bubble of excitement fades away. Surprisingly, blogging did not make it into that list and my love for cooking has sustained my enthusiasm in food blogging over these years. Thanks to my friends and readers (even silent ones :)) who  have been a part of this wonderful journey. 
Now to blogging. I am going with "North Karnataka' cuisine today and decided to go with a dessert since I am in a celebration mood. Though I lived in southern Karnataka, I have tasted some authentic food from the northern region. Thanks to one of our Dharwad friends, I first got to taste their bhakris, jhunka, authentic pedas, their special chivda and much more when I was a tiny kid. And my best friend is married to a North Karnataka guy and during my visits to India, she keeps feeding me some of their signature dishes. My choice would have been Dharwad peda for today if I had known the secret of creating the magic.

North Karnataka obviously covers the northern parts of Karnataka and is mostly semi arid with a hot climate. It includes the districts of Belgaum, Bidar, Bijapur, Bagalkote, Bellary, Dharwad, Gadag, Gulbarga, Haveri, Koppala, Raichur, Uttara Kannada, and Yadagiri. North Karnataka's history and culture date back to prehistoric times. One of the prominent dynasties that ruled the area was Vijayanagara empire, (that is considered to be the greatest medieval Hindu empire) with it's capital city as Vijayanagara, the present day Bellary. Belagavi / Belgaum is the headquarters of the present day North Karnataka.
Now to kunda. Kunda is a yummy sweet prepared with milk and sugar and is a specialty of the Belagavi region. I read somewhere that kunda was born accidentally. A mithaiwala who was boiling milk forgot to turn off the stove when he left the store. By the time he came back, he noticed the solidified milk and decided to add some khoya as well. He cooked it further, liked it and named it kunda. I got this recipe from a regional television show and most of the recipes I found online are similar to it and do not include khoya. The recipe is quite simple and easy, especially if you plan to prepare it when  you are taking care of some thing else in the kitchen. It involves stirring now and then and you would not notice the time if you are involved in something task. :) 

There are three steps in making kunda.
1. Curdling the milk
2. Caramelizing the sugar
3. Cooking the milk-sugar mixture to a thick consistency like halwa (The last step takes about 20 minutes but there is no need to hover around the stove.) 

1 - 2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp. semolina / rava
2 cups milk
1 - 2 tbsp. yogurt
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (elaichi powder)
Slivered nuts to garnish

1. Melt ghee in a sauce pan, preferably a non-stick one. Add semolina and roast it until it starts to turn golden brown.
  2. Add milk to the same pan and bring it to a boil.

* Then add yogurt, stir and turn off the stove after a couple of minutes. The milk would have curdled by the time.
3. Take another non stick pan and add sugar to it. Do not add any water to sugar. 
* Heat the sugar on a medium flame in a non stick pan. Just shake the pan holding the handle. You start to notice sugar melting after a few minutes.
* Just keep tilting the pan instead of using a spoon to stir it. When the sugar melts and attains a good amber color, turn off the stove.
4. Now add the caramelized sugar to the milk pan in step 2. 
* Cook the mixture on slow flame keep stirring the mixture  intermittently until it thickens and comes to a halwa consistency.
5.  Add cardamom powder, stir and turn off the stove.
 6. Garnish with nuts before serving.

1. A tbsp. of edible gum powder was also added in the original recipe. If using it, add it to the ghee before semolina and toast it.
2. It thickens a little after cooling and so cook accordingly.
3. Using a non stick pan makes the preparation easier and mess-free. Otherwise there is a possibility of mixture getting stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Check what other marathoners are cooking during this marathon.



Suja Ram said...

This dish and your recipe is very new to me, especially the caramelising part. Really wish to try this soon.

Priya Suresh said...

Kunda looks fabulous and very new dish for me.Happy blog anniversary, keep rocking..

Varadas Kitchen said...

Congratulations! 8 years is a huge achievement. This recipe brought back memories. We always picked up some kunda from Belgaum whenever we passed through.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Congratulations, Suma! A very new recipe but for sweet lovers for me it is always welcome!

Kalyani said...

You have taken great pains to showcase very unique recipes from Karnataka , my home town and brought back s lot of memories Suma...

Thanks to u, I lived my childhood through these dishes.. My aunt was married in Belgaum and I remember eating this at her wedding many many decades ago.. It tastes like therattipaal but has a distinctive caramelised aroma and taste !! Super series Suma 😊😊

And yes 8 years is a wonderful achievement ! Great going !!👍👍

Rafeeda AR said...

that is such an interesting dessert... and 8 years is not a small period... congrats!

Jayanthi Sindhiya said...

Congrats ,lovely sweet

sneha datar said...

Love this halwa and even tasted it.

Farin Ahmed said...

Congrats dear!!! Very new sweet dish!!! Will try for sure

Pavani N said...

Very interesting sweet preparation from Karnataka. My husband would LOVE this :-)
Happy Blog anniversary and I hope you have many many more successful years ahead.

Srivalli said...

Happy Anniversary Suma..it's amazing to know you have been showcasing so many wonderful dishes...This halwa looks so sinful!..thanks for the sbs pictures, surely will be a great help.

Sreevalli E said...

Very delicious sweet from Karnataka.. Yum

Saras said...

Interesting and new dish to me.. Happy Blog Anniversary and wish you for many success.. Book marking this recipe..

veena krishnakumar said...

Congratulations!!!!!And another awesome dish from you!

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Congratulations on the milestone and this is such an awesome recipe. Kalakand kind of dessert with carmelized sugar :)