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Sunday, July 12, 2020

A - Z Karnataka Recipe Series ~ R for Rave Vangi Bhath

So far in my 'A - Z' Karnataka Recipe Series,
A - Akki Halbai
B - Biscuit Roti
C - Congress Kadalekayi
D - Davanagere Benne Dose
E - Ellu Pajji
F - Field Beans / Avarekalu Payasa
G - Girmit
H - Hitakida Avarekalu Huli
I - Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Toast
J - Jolada Vade
K - Kumbalakayi Idli
L - Limbe Hannina Gojju
M - Mysore Pak
N - Nuchinunde
O - Oodhalina Bisibele Bhath
P - Panchakajjaya
Q - Quinoa Oralu Chitranna

'R' dishes from Karnataka:

'R' stands for rotti in Kannada which happens to be a very popular,  unleavened flat bread from Karnataka. There are variations depending upon the kind of flour used to make these rottis. The rice flour based ones that are made in three different ways are called akki rottis. The finger millet flour and semolina versions would be ragi rotti and sajjige rotti respectively. Sorghum flour based ones are called jolada rotti which are a staple meal in North Karnataka homes. There is also a fiery red chili chutney from that region called Ranjaka.

'R' is for ragi too which happens to be finger millet which is an important cereal grain of the state. The ground millet is traditionally used to cook various dishes like rotti, dose, idli, halbai and so on. And  most importantly, it is used in the preparation of ragi mudde which is a staple lunch and dinner item for many households across the state, especially in the southern parts. No ragi muddhe equals to no meal in these homes. Hurihittu is the popped grain that has been ground and stored to make ragi malt and laddus. 

'R' also stands for rave in Kannada. Rave, pronounced ra-way is semolina that is used in various dishes like uppittu, rave dose, rave idli, rave rotti, rave ganji / payasa, rave laadu, halbai and so on. Rave idli and rotti originated in the state though the rest are cooked through out south India.

R for rave vangi bhath:
My 'R' dish today is an authentic and tasty breakfast dish from the state called rave vangi bhath that can even double up as a comforting lunch box item. Vangi bhath powder adds spice to this version of vegetable upma. It is somewhat a cross between a uppittu recipe and vangi bhath and try it in case if you are looking to elevate the ordinary upma recipe. The bhath usually contains vegetables and is wholesome though it can be prepared without them as well making it a quick fix dish. Usually eggplants and capsicum are a part of the dish and usage of onions is entirely optional and I don't use them. Semolina can be replaced by vermicelli or a combination of semolina and vermicelli can be used as well in the recipe. In that case, the water quantity needs to be adjusted since vermicelli gets cooked in less quantity of water than semolina. 

Ingredients:
1 cup semolina 
2 small eggplants 
1/2 small sized capsicum
1 tomato
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. split chickpeas (chana dal)
1 tsp. skinned black gram (urad dal)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp. cashews
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
A handful of fresh / frozen peas
About 1.5 to 2 tbsp. vangi bhath powder
Salt to taste

Prep work:
1. Roast semolina on medium flame, continuously stirring until it starts to give off the toasted aroma and some of the grains start to change the shade to slightly brown at the bottom, about 4 -5 minutes. Remove from the stove and let it cool. 
2. Either home made or store bought vangi bhath powder can be used in the recipe. The home made version can be found here and it can be prepared in advance and stored for weeks.. 
3. Chop the stalks of eggplants and slight them lenthwise into thin strips. Discard the stem and the seeds from capsicum and chop finely. Also chop the tomato finely and keep aside. (I used about 3/4 cup of each vegetable for 2 cups semolina. One can use about 1 to 1.5 cups vegetables for 1 cup semolina.)


Directions:
* Heat oil on medium flame in a big sized pan / pot and add split chick peas, skinned black gram, mustard seeds and cashews. 

* Stir and when the split chick peas and skinned black gram start to turn reddish / slightly brown, add curry leaves, chopped vegetables, and turmeric. 

* Saute on medium flame, stirring intermittently until vegetables are about to be done, exactly about 5 minutes. There is no need to cook them until done since they are going to get further cooked in water.

* Add 3 cups of water, peas, vangi bhath powder to taste and salt. Bring the water to a boil. (One can taste test the water and check whether the spice and salt levels are as per taste. The water should taste slightly saltier and spicy. If it is not spicy enough then a little chili powder can be used if preferred rather than adding vangi bhath powder. Adding too much of vangi bhath powder makes the flavor too strong instead of making it spicier.)

* Lower the heat setting once the water starts to boil. Pour the semolina into the pan in a steady, quick stream using the non dominant hand while continuously stirring with your dominant hand, to avoid forming lumps. In case, any lumps are formed then immediately break them with the back of the spatula.
 
* Cover and cook on low flame until semolina is cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro if needed and serve immediately.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'A - Z' Series. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

A - Z Karnataka Recipe Series ~ Q for 'Quinoa' Oralu Chitranna / 'Quinoa' Kayi Sasive Anna

So far in my 'A - Z' Karnataka Recipe Series,
A - Akki Halbai
B - Biscuit Roti
C - Congress Kadalekayi
D - Davanagere Benne Dose
E - Ellu Pajji
F - Field Beans / Avarekalu Payasa
G - Girmit
H - Hitakida Avarekalu Huli
I - Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Toast
J - Jolada Vade
K - Kumbalakayi Idli
L - Limbe Hannina Gojju
M - Mysore Pak
A few alphabets always prove difficult when doing Indian based 'A - Z' themed culinary series as those particular sounds are not in use in local Indian languages. I had the same difficulty while planning this vegetarian recipe series from the south Indian state of Karnataka. I stumbled earlier at alphabet 'F' and had to use an English name and today, I had to again resort to some manipulation as there are no ingredients or recipes that start with 'Q' in the state's cuisine. I cooked a rice dish which is traditional and unique to the region, substituting quinoa instead, making it my 'Q' dish today. Quinoa though not local to the region is available now in India and I therefore figured out that I can go ahead with my choice. Feel free to use rice in the recipe for the age old version or even millet, in case quinoa is not available.

Today's rice dish, a onion and garlic free dish comes from the Udupi region and quintessentially a Karnataka dish as a bisibele bhath is. They are my all time favorite rice dishes, hands down.😋 The temple town of Udupi from the state is famous for it's own brand of vegetarian cuisine which has it's origins from the Astha mathas of Udupi, founded by Madhwacharya. Though it is common now to find an eatery with a prefix 'Udupi' in every nook and corner of the world, once the vegetarian Udupi restaurants were run by priests and cooks trained at the Krishna matha, following the temple tradition. 


Kayi sasive anna is a spicy and delicious rice dish made with an uncooked paste of coconut, mustard seeds, tamarind, jaggery and chilies. This main course is usually reserved for meals served during festivals and social gatherings, especially in Brahmin households. The dish is quite an easy one to prepare if one figures out how to balance the sweet, sour and the spicy flavors. Rice is cooked and mixed with the above said paste and salt, with an addition of the typical south Indian style of tempering of peanuts, curry leaves and other ingredients. 


A paste of 'kaayi' (coconut) and 'sasive' (mustard seeds) is mixed with anna (rice) and hence the name kayi sasive anna. It is also called oralu chitranna since a 'oralu', a stone grinder was used traditionally to grind the paste manually. Whereas chitranna refers to any tempered, spicy rice dish such as a lemon rice / mango rice. Usage of byadagi chillies gives the characteristic orange- red hue to the dish. I had run out of those and used the spicy variety dried chilies.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup quinoa 
Salt to taste

Ingredients for the spicy paste:
3/4 cup fresh / frozen grated coconut
1 tbsp. sized tamarind ball
1 tbsp. powdered jaggery 

5 - 6 dried, spicy variety red chillies *
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds 
2 pinches of powdered hing / asafoetida
(* Combination of spicy and byadagi chillies give the dish a beautiful color.) 

Ingredients for tadka / tempering:

2 tbsp. oil
A handful of peanuts
1 tbsp. split chickpeas / chana dal
1/2 tbsp. skinned black gram / urad dal
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
A sprig of curry leaves

1/8 tsp. turmeric powder


Directions:
* Rinse quinoa thoroughly a few times with water and drain. Add the drained quinoa and water and pressure cook for three whistles. (I added 1 + 1/4 + 1/8 cups of water.) Leave the quinoa aside for at least about 30 minutes so that the quinoa grains stand apart. 
* Soak tamarind in water for easy grinding. If not soaked ahead then nuke it in the microwave adding a little water for a couple of minutes. Drain the water and use the tamarind. 
* Thaw the coconut if using frozen one by placing it in a microwave for about a minute.
 
* Grind together the ingredients mentioned under the 'spicy paste' list, without adding any water or as little water as possible. (I did not add any.)
* Heat oil in a kadai / wide pan.  Add peanuts, split chick peas, black gram, and mustard seeds. Toast them until the dals and peanuts turn golden brown. Add curry leaves and turmeric powder at the end and turn off the stove.
* Immediately add the ground paste, cooked quinoa and salt. Break any lumps if present from the cooked quinoa using the back of a spatula and mix well. (Don't add all the paste at once if not sure whether the spice level can be handled. Add about half the quantity of the paste, mix, taste test and add the remaining paste if needed.) 
* Serve warm immediately and refrigerate any left overs. 

Notes:
1. There is no need to cook the paste.
2. The same paste can be used to make the traditional rice version. Cook a cup of rice instead of quinoa and follow the same steps. 
3. The spice level of the paste worked for our taste levels. If one is not used to spicy food, then don't add all the masala paste at once. Add little by little and do the taste testing.
4. Refrigerate any leftover rice as soon as it comes to room temperature. Raw coconut is used here and the rice easily gets spoiled if the weather is warm.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'A - Z' Series. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

A - Z Karnataka Recipe Series ~ P for Panchakajjaya

So far in my 'A - Z' Karnataka Recipe Series,
A - Akki Halbai
B - Biscuit Roti
C - Congress Kadalekayi
D - Davanagere Benne Dose
E - Ellu Pajji
F - Field Beans / Avarekalu Payasa
G - Girmit
H - Hitakida Avarekalu Huli
I - Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Toast
J - Jolada Vade
K - Kumbalakayi Idli
L - Limbe Hannina Gojju
M - Mysore Pak
N - Nuchinunde
O - Oodhalina Bisibele Bhath

Some of the dishes like patrode, paradi payasa and pundi gatti that come from the Mangalore - Udupi regions would have aptly suited for today's alphabet 'P'. (Of course, there are various regional versions of the same across the country.) And there are several other dishes from the state with Konkani names which I am not listing here.

* Patrode - A steamed snack of colocasia / taro leaves smeared with a spicy batter.
* Paradi Payasa - A traditional payasa from Udupi - Mangalore region. A thick batter of rice flour is passed through a perforated ladle and the droplets are cooked in water first and then in coconut milk and jaggery.
* Pundi gatti - A steamed rice based dumpling.
* Paddu - A breakfast / snack item which is typical to south India and known by other names as such as ponganalu / paniyaram.
* Anything cooked using padavalakayi (snake gourd), palak soppu (spinach) or parangi kayi (raw papaya) would have suited the purpose too. While parangi hannu is papaya fruit and perale hannu is another name for guava fruit which is usually called chepe hannu.

I opted to go with a very traditional recipe of the region called  panchakajjaya that is served as naivedya (offering to god) to Lord Ganesha. It has nothing to do with kajjaya, another traditional sweet dish made with rice flour and jaggery also called arise / athirasam / adhirasam in other regional languages. As the name indicates, panchakajjya is made with 'pancha' or five base ingredients that can be made in no time. The humble combination of coconut, jaggery, sesame seeds, cardamom and powdered split chick peas used in the recipe is delicious and somehow even my  daughter who usually stays away from sweet dishes loved it.

This rustic and delicious sweet dish can be made with split chick peas (chana dal) or moong dal or even using beaten rice flakes aka poha as the base ingredient. The sweetener can be either powdered jaggery or powdered sugar. Freshly grated coconut is obviously used since it is offered as naivedya but in case, thaw if using frozen coconut. Just nuke the frozen coconut in a microwave for a minute and you would be ready to go. White or black sesame seeds can be used in the recipe but many usually avoid black ones if using for auspicious occasions. Ghee can be skipped in case one is vegan. And chopped nuts can also be added if one wishes to do so.

Panchakajjaya cannot be stored longer since fresh coconut is being used in the recipe. However there are versions where dried coconut can be used and a syrup of jaggery is prepared to bind the mixture so that it can be stored for longer periods. I have also seen some calling a ground mixture of coconut, sugar and cardamom as panchakajjaya. The local Ganesha temple back home at my mom's place always make a yellow hued karjikayi (because of addition of turmeric to the outer dough) with that stuffing. They are called panchakajjaya there and given as Sankasthi prasada each month.

 Ingredients:
1/4 cup kadale bele / split chick peas (chana dal)
1/4 cup tengina thuri / fresh grated coconut
1/4 cup bella / jaggery powder 
2 tsp. ellu / white sesame seeds 
1/4 tsp. yelakki / ground cardamom
1 tsp. thuppa / ghee 

Directions:
* Add split chickpeas to a pan and toast on medium heat until they start to change color. Transfer them onto a plate and let them cool. When cool, grind them into a slightly coarse powder or finely.

* Toast sesame seeds on low heat until they slightly brown and let them cool. Pay attention while toasting sesame seeds since they easily burn.

* Add powdered split chickpeas, toasted sesame seeds. grated fresh coconut, jaggery powder, cardamom powder and ghee to a bowl and mix them to combine. 
* Use it as naivedya and eat it immediately. Or the mixture can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'A - Z' Series. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Bajre Ki Khichdi ~ Indian, Spicy Pearl Millet Porridge

Bajre ki khichdi - A spicy pearl millet porridge is a winter comfort food from the Indian states of Rajasthan and Haryana. It is an easy, filling and nutritious khichdi. It is prepared with pearl millet, moong dal and with or without adding rice and is quite delicious on it's own. In fact the ones who are not used to eating bajra wouldn't even guess the presence of bajra in it. It reminds the spicy pongal to a south Indian mind and I immensely enjoy this version of bajre ki khichdi. The creamy khichdi is tasty by itself that it doesn't eat any side dishes to go with it but one can always serve it along with some yogurt / kadhi. I served it along with ginger - tamarind chutney which proved to be an apt combo.

This khichdi is prepared with whole pearl millet grains that are soaked overnight, drained and ground coarsely. Or if possible, one can even coarsely grind the grains without soaking and use it in the recipe. I had store bought coarsely ground pearl millet and so used it avoiding the hassle. I cooked the khichdi in a pressure cooker for a quick meal but it can be cooked in a pot over stove top with frequent stirring, adding water as needed in between. Pearl millet and moong dal are cooked together with the addition of a flavorful and spicy tadka / seasoning of ghee toasted cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies. One can even replace the yellow moong with the green gram or throw in some vegetables to make it more wholesome. 
Ingredients: (Yield - 3 servings)
1/2 cup cracked pearl millet / bajra rava / sajja rava
1/4 cup yellow moong dal
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 spicy variety green chilli, chopped
A pinch of asafoetida powder

Directions:
* Rinse and soak cracked pearl millet bajra for an hour and drain.(This step is optional but I do it anyway). Rinse the millet again one or two times and drain.

* Rinse moong dal as well and drain.

* Cook drained millet and moong dal adding 2 cups of water directly in a small sized pressure cooker, for 3 or 4 whistles.

* When the valve pressure is gone, remove the cooker lid. Add salt to the cooked mixture and mix well. Next add about 1.5 cups of water, stir and bring the mixture to a boil and turn off the stove.
* Heat ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds. When it starts brown, add ginger and green chili. Saute until ginger starts to turn golden brown and add asafoetida. 

* Remove and add it to the khichdi and mix well.
 
* Serve warm with yogurt if preferred.


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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Millet Recipes'. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

'Millet' Pesarattu / Proso Millet - Green Gram Dosa / Varigula Pesarattu


Green gram / mung beans are called pesalu / pesarapappu and dosa is attu in Telugu language. Basically pesarattu are green gram dosas which need soaking and grinding but no fermentation. If ingredients are soaked overnight then the batter can be ground in a mixer / bender in about 5 minutes for the morning breakfast. Or the batter can be ground ahead and refrigerated for a convenient meal anytime of the day. These are quite healthier since they are legume based and are protein rich. These dosas from Andhra are made with mostly green gram alone with out adding split black gram (urad dal) or rice, the common ingredients of a dosa preparation. At most a spoonful of rice is added to the green gram in a standard traditional recipe.
 I haven't seen anyone in either side of our families getting enthusiastic over a stack of pesarattu though pesarattu seems to top when searching for Andhra cuisine online. However the combo of pesarattu, upma and allam pachadi / ginger chutney really tastes good and an ideal one if looking for a healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast or a meal.  My husband is not a great fan of pesarattu prepared with green gram alone and I tend to add some rice / millet as well to the batter and serve it along with some spicy - sweet ginger chutney which is a classic combo. 

I added proso millet in today's recipe but any other kind like barnyard, foxtail, little millet or kodo millet works too. Or rice can be substituted in place of millet. One way to enjoy these pesarattu is to make them thinner and cook longer to make them crispier. 

Ingredients: (Yield 10 dosas)
1/2 cup proso millet
1/2 cup green gram
1 inch piece of ginger
2 green chillies
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder (optional)
Oil to make dosas

Directions:
* Soak millet and green gram in water overnight or for at least 3 hours.

* Drain the water and rinse them once with fresh water. Grind the drained millet, green gram, ginger, green chillies and cumin to a smooth batter, adding about a cup of water.

* Transfer the ground batter to a bowl and add salt and turmeric to it. Mix well to combine using a ladle.
* Heat a tawa / skillet. To check whether the skillet is hot, sprinkle some water over the hot pan. If it sizzles and evaporates, then the skillet is ready to make dosas. If not, heat the skillet a little more but don't bring it to a smoking point.
* Pour a ladleful of batter at the center and spread it into a thin circle. Add 1/2 tsp. of oil around the edges. Flip it when the surface appears dry. Let it cook the other side as well, about a minute or so and then remove.

* Repeat the steps with remaining batter.
* Serve the dosas piping hot with ginger chutney or any spicy chutney. They taste good when they are hot.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Millet Recipes'. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cracked Pearl Millet Kheer / Sajja Nooka Payasam


Kheer / payasam is one of those Indian desserts that can be prepared in no time and is always delicious. Though the basic kheer is made with rice, there are plenty of other varieties to entice. It can be prepared using any grain, some varieties of beans and fruits and so I bet even a sparse pantry can afford a kheer preparation. Milk and sugar are the other required ingredients to make a kheer. The traditional version kheer is cooked mostly using dairy milk though some south Indian version recipes use coconut milk. Sugar / jaggery are the usual sweeteners whereas cardamom and toasted nuts add flavor and a yummy garnish to a kheer. 

Today's kheer is made with cracked pearl millet. Pearl millet aka bajra has been cultivated in India for thousands of years now and like other millets, it is one of the healthiest grains on earth. It is specifically beneficial to diabetics and can be incorporated into various everyday Indian dishes even if one is not familiar with the grain. This gluten free grain can be used to make rotis, idlis, dosas and so on. 

I kept the kheer to a simple, basic version though it can be made richer by addition of nut paste or condensed milk. Coconut milk also works in the recipe in place of dairy milk. I made the kheer with jaggery since it is healthier compared to sugar. I directly add it to the kheer since the jaggery I buy is usually very neat. In case, the jaggery appears to have any impurities, boil it with some water, filter out the impurities and then use the jaggery solution in the recipe. However in lieu of jaggery, sugar can be substituted in the recipe. Sometimes I refrain from using both and add a little stevia to each bowl before serving.

Also there is a possibility that sometimes the combination of hot milk and jaggery would end up being curdled. I have never faced that problem but in that case either of the following can be done. The milk can be boiled separately, cooled and then added to the cooked millet and jaggery mixture when it is not too hot. Or the jaggery can be melted separately with little water and added to the cooked millet - milk mixture when it cools down. One can follow any one of the methods and basically, the point is to not to mix the milk and jaggery when they are hot.  

Ingredients: (Yield -  3 to 4 servings)
1/4 cup cracked pearl millet / sajja nooka
1/2 cup water
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp. ghee
1 tbsp. cashews
1/2 cup jaggery powder* 
1 and 1/4 cups full fat milk
* Adjust the quantity of jaggery to taste. I added less than 1/2 cup.

Directions:
1. Rinse the cracked pearl millet once with water and drain. Pressure cook it adding 1/2 cup water for 2 or 3 whistles.
2. Lightly mash the cardamom pods and separate out the seeds. Grind the cardamom seeds finely and keep aside.
3. Heat ghee in a pan and toast cashews until golden brown. Transfer the toasted cashews into a small bowl. 
4. Add the cooked millet, jaggery and ground cardamom along with pods to the same ghee pan and stir on low flame until the jaggery melts. 
5. Next add the milk and cook on low flame until the milk starts to boil and switch off the flame. (Sometimes addition of milk to the hot jaggery mixture may end up being curdled. I never had this issue and so follow the above method. However if one is worried about the problem, then the milk can be separately boiled, cooled and then added after step 4. ) 
6. Add the toasted cashew nuts and serve either warm or chilled.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Millet Recipes'. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Kele Ki Tharuva / Kele Ki Tharua


Tharua / tharuva are crisply fried, vegetable slices that are served as a side dish / snack from Bihar and Jharkhand regions. I came across them on a YouTube video featuring a Bihari meal, from Mithila region to be particular. The home-cook showed tharuva made with both plantains and bitter gourds. The vegetables are peeled, sliced lengthwise and then sprinkled with a mixture of rice flour and spices and then are shallow fried. Mustard oil which is the local cooking medium is used but tharua can be fried using any neutral tasting cooking oil. Making tharuva is quite simple and straight forward and they remain crisp for a longer time. They can be therefore made a couple of hours before serving unlike bhajiya which turn soggy if sitting longer. 

The cook had used small sized green plantains which are widely available in India and chopped them once lengthwise. If chopped in that fashion, one is basically ending up with two thick and long slices from each plantain. I have made this plantain tharua three times so far, each time cutting plantains in different sizes. The first time, I kept the size of the pieces similar to the one I saw on the video and it took longer to cook them. My mother had coincidentally called when I was frying them. She mentioned seeing a similar dish on a cook show and suggested to chop the plantains into small, thin strips, which I followed this time. I have also tried chopping them into thin dices which I enjoyed the most though they may not be the traditional style. Whatever method you chose, try to keep the pieces in similar size and thickness so that they get fried at the same time, uniformly. Peel and remove the seeds if using bitter gourds for tharua.

Ingredients:
2 big sized plantains
3 or 4 tbsp. rice flour
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. chili powder or to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
Oil to fry 

Directions:
* Chop the ends and peel the plantains. Cut each plantain lengthwise into two pieces. Chop each piece lengthwise into three portions. Depending upon the length of each piece, cut them into two or three crosswise.

* Combine rice flour, coriander powder, chili powder, salt and turmeric powder in  a wide plate. Roll the chopped plantain pieces in the mixture and sprinkle a tbsp. or two of water over the pieces to bind. (There may be some leftover rice flour mixture if the plantains are smaller in size.)

* Heat about 1/8 inch oil on medium flame in a wide skillet. There is no need to bring the oil to a smoking point. Drop gently plantain pieces into the hot oil. Add as many as the skillet can fit without overcrowding. Fry them for about a minute and lower the heat. Continue frying, turning them over occasionally until they turn golden brown. 
* Serve them as part of a Bihari thali or as a side dish or as a snack.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Pick 1 Ingredient and Cook 3 Dishes-. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Maduros

Maduros are fried sweet plantains that are prepared throughout Latin America and Caribbean regions. Basically ripe plantains are sliced and fried in oil until golden and cooked through and are served as a side dish. These are made with very ripened plantains but not the firm green colored plantains and are very delicious to snack on. The unripe, green ones are more suited to make yummy chips or one more yummy snack, the twice fried tostones / patacones

In case ripened plantains are not readily available at your local stores, buy green plantains and leave them outside refrigerator a few days to ripen. Plantains soften and develop more sugar as they turn yellow and then black eventually. Plantain that has a dull yellow color with black patches / spots or almost black are used to make maduros. Very ripe plantains yield really sweet maduros but I used that have not yet turned dark which yield a little starchy and not too sweet maduros.

Ingredients: 
Ripened plantains 
Neutral oil to fry (I used canola oil.)
Salt (optional) 

Directions: 
* Chop the ends of the plantain and cut a slit along the length of plantain, avoiding cutting into the flesh. Remove the peel by pulling it sideways than lengthwise. Or use a peeler instead if not comfortable using a knife to peel. Chop plantains into one inch thick diagonal slices.

* Heat about 1/8 inch oil in a wide pan / skillet over medium heat. There is no need to bring the oil to a smoking point. Gently drop a plantain piece and see whether it bubbles vigorously. If it does then the oil is ready to fry. Otherwise, heat the oil some more. Once the oil is ready, add the plantain slices, as many as the pan can fit without overcrowding.

* Fry the plantain pieces until they start to lightly brown. Lower the heat and continue to cook, turning them occasionally, until they turn deep golden brown. (Lowering the heat is important since the plantains can burn / brown quickly without getting properly cooked.)

* Transfer them to a paper towel lined plate / tray. Sprinkle with salt / sugar if desired and serve them warm.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Pick 1 Ingredient and Cook 3 Dishes. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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