My family always wants something sweet to round off a lunch or dinner on weekends. One of the all-time favourite desserts is payasam or kheer of any sort. While I make payasam in many ways, Semiya Payasam is a popular choice because it gets done easily, and can be eaten cold or warm.
I also make Semiya Payasam as naivedyam for festivals and will be doing so this weekend for Ugdai as well.
Ugadi, the Telugu New Year, is a time of celebration with family and friends. This year, Ugadi falls on March 18, 2018. As with any festival, celebrations involve a lot of food. Here are a few Ugadi Recipes that will help you celebrate the festival with fun and fervour.
All celebrations of Ugadi begin with the Ugadi Pachadi. Ugadi Pachadi is an amagamation of six tastes found in nature; sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, bitter, andsalty. The six tastes (shadruchulu) represent the various experiences we have in life, and having this pachadi first thing on new year reminds us that we should face life with equanimity.
Tangy rice that is a must for all festivities in Andhra. Here are a few different ways in which you can make it.
A couple of days ago I posted Anupama’s recipe for Sanna Polo and today I present her recipe for Dalithoy, which I made as an accompaniment for the Sanna Polo. This Konkani-style tempered Dal is meets the very definition of comfort food (as do most traditional dals), and makes for a nice addition to my range of dal recipes.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” said Leonardo da Vinci. This quote is so apt for the everyday home cooked meals. Each dish may seem simple but it celebrates the core ingredient (a term I picked up from watching MasterChef Australia :D); just consider the dals we make at home; the Maharashtrian Varan, Andhra Mudda Pappu, Rajasthan Panchmel Dal/Panchkuti Dal, Gujarati Dal, Punjabi Dal Makhani… the list is endless.
What I loved about Dalithoy was how simple it was to make yet so distinctive in flavour that set it apart from its cousin, the Maharashtrian Varan. The Dalithoy-Rice combination (liberally doused with ghee, of course) is just the perfect vehicle to enjoy a spicy side dish or just by itself.
When Anupama messaged me the other day to ask if I have tried Sanna Polo, I knew I was about to receive yet another wonderful recipe from her. And what a find this traditional Konkani dosa has been; it was crisp, it was spicy, and just the perfect accompaniment to rice and Dalithoy (Konkani Dal, recipe also supplied by Anupama).
Anupama’s recipe for Sanna Polo is just the easiest and the results are just fabulous. All you need is some rice, tuvar dal, red chilli powder, asafoetida, and onions. That is it. These few ingredients metamorphose into a delicious crispy spicy Sanna Polo that is sure to become a regular on my dinner table.
This is a wonderfully crispy, spicy dosa which is savoured with Dalithoy (Konkani-style Dal), Rice, or Upkari (Konkani-style Dry Coconut-flavoured Curry).
Goan, GSB, Indian, Konkan
Servings: 6Sanna Polo
1/ to 3/4tspAsafoetida, Hing
1.5tbspRed Chilli Powder
2/3CupFinely Sliced Onion
Salt to Taste
Oil to Make Sanna Polo
Making the Batter
Wash and soak the rice and tuvar dal for about 2 hours.
Drain the water.
Grind together with red chilli powder, asafoetida, and salt to a coarse paste. The batter should be as thick as possible.
Transfer the batter into a vessel.
Add the finely chopped onions and mix well..
Making the Sanna Polo
Grease an iron tava or a non-stick with a few drops of oil.
Heat the tava on a low flame.
While the pan is still just warm (not hot), place a handful (or a ladleful) of batter in the middle of the tava.
Moisten your fingers, and quickly spread the dough evenly into a dos about 1/8" thick and 4-to-5" in diameter.
Drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges.
Increase the flame a bit.
Cover and cook the Sanna Polo for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the cover and check if the surface is dry.
Loosen the edges with a spatula and lift the Sanna Polo a bit. Check that the side touching the tava is golden and crisp.
Flip the Sanna Polo over. Cook till the flip side is cooked and the onion starts to caramalise and become crisp.
Serve hot with rice and Dalithoy.
I enjoyed eating Sanna Polo in two ways:
I mixed pieces of Sanna Polo in hot steamed rice.
I mixed Dalithoy in Rice and used Sanna Polo as an accompaniment.
How to Make Sanna Polo: The Crispy, Spicy Rice and Tuvar Dal Dosa from GSB Cuisine
Making the Sanna Polo Batter
Mix the rice and tuvar dal.
Wash well under running water till the water runs clear.
Add about 2 cups water to the rice-dal mix and let the mix for about 2 hours. I hear 1 hour is enough as well.
Drain the water from the rice dal mix.
Transfer it to a large grinder, and add red chilli powder, asafoetida, and salt.
Grind to a thick coarse batter using as little water as possible. The batter should be as thick as possible and ideally you should be able to shape it into a ball. However, a slightly thinner batter is also OK, just that it will take more time to form a crisp Sanna Polo.
Transfer the batter into a vessel.
Add the finely chopped onions to the batter and mix well.
Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
Shaping and Cooking the Sanna Polo
Spread a few drops of oil on a tava to grease it lightly.
Place the tava on the burner and heat using a low flame.
When the pan warms up a bit (do not let it become hot), take a handful of batter and place it in the middle of the tava. You can use a ladle to scoop the batter onto the tava as well.
Moisten or grease your fingers, and press the batter gently to spread it evenly and shape it into a dosa that is about 1/8″ thick and 4-to-5″ in diameter.
Now add a few drops of oil along the edges of the dosa.
Increase the intensity of the flame to medium.
Cover the Sanna Polo and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes.
To check if the Sanna Polo can be flipped over, lift the cover and check if the surface is dry but glossy. Use a spatula to loosen the edges of the Sanna Polo, lift it and ensure that the side touching the tava is golden and crisp.
Use the spatula to loosen the Sanna Polo and flip it over.
If required drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges of this spicy dosa.
Cook till the flip side is has brown spots, and the onion starts to caramalise and become crisp.
Transfer into a plate.
Lower the heat and let the Tava cool a bit before making the next Sanna Polo. You can splash a few drops of water to cool the Tava quickly.
This month I have been exploring vegetarian recipes from Goa and have lined up quite a few to try. So far, I have just tried one, Surnoli (Sweet Dosa with Rice Flour and Jaggery). Then yesterday, I made Tavsali (also pronounced as Tausali), a steamed eggless cucumber cake from Goa.
Tavsali is made with cucumber, semolina/rava, coconut, and jaggery. What I loved about this “cake” is its mild sweetness and the flavour of cucumber. While in Goa, Tavsali is made with a long yellow cucumber found locally, I used Madras Cucumber to make this delicacy.
Tavsali | Tausali: The Eggless Steamed Cucumber Cake from Goa
Tavsali is a delightful Indian steamed Cucumber+Semolina cake from Goa. It is mildly sweet and has the flavour of cucumber, which makes it quite a surprise when you serve it to someone.
Dessert, Snack, Sweets
1CupGrated Cucumber with the JuiceSee notes
1tspGreen Cardamom Powder
1tspGhee or OilI used Coconut Oil
In a large bowl, combine grated cucumber, coconut, jaggery, and cardamom powder.
Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes till the jaggery melts.
While the cucumber mix is resting, over medium heat, dry roast the Rava till it becomes aromatic.
Set the Rava aside to cool.
When the Rava is cool to touch, add it in parts to the cucumber mix and mix well. The batter will be thick but you may see some liquid on the side.
Add cashews and mix well.
Set aside the Tavsali batter for 15 minutes so that the Rava soaks in all the liquid. Mix at regular intervals.
Steaming the Cake
To a large pressure cooker or steamer, add enough water for a 30-minute steaming session and bring the water to a boil. If you are using a pressure cooker, remove the weight and plan another heavy vessel in it. We will place the cake tin in top of this vessel so that no water gets into the cake.
Use the ghee or oil to grease a tin or vessel about 8" in diameter and at least 2" in height. I used a springform cake pan.
Mix the Tavsali batter well and pour it into the greased pan.
Place the pan in the steamer/pressure cooker.
Steam for about 30 minutes on high heat.
Turn off the heat and let the Tavsali remain in the steamer/cooker for 10 minutes.
Check if the Tavsali is cooked by inserting a knife and checking that it comes out clean. If needed, steam again.
Cut into squares and serve with hot Masala Chai.
Recipe for Tavsali | Tausali: The Eggless Steamed Cucumber Cake from Goa with Step-by-Step Instructions
Making the Batter for Tavsali
When grating the cucumber, save all the juice as well as it is needed to make the batter.
In a large bowl, combine the grated cucumber with all its juice, grated coconut, grated jaggery, and cardamom powder.
Using your fingers mix well till the jaggery breaks down a bit.
Set aside this cucumber+jaggery+coconut mix for 15 to 30 minutes in a cool place. This will help the jaggery melt and blend into the mix.
In the meantime, over medium heat, dry roast the Rava till it starts to turn light brown and becomes aromatic.
Transfer the Rava into a plate and let it cool.
Check the cucumber mix to ensure that the jaggery has melted.
After the rava has cooled to room temperature, add it in small quantities to the cucumber+jaggery mix and mix well to ensure there are no lumps. At this point the Tavsali batter will be thick but you will see some “extra” liquid on the side.
Now add the split cashews into the batter and mix well.
Set aside the batter for at least 15 minutes so that the Rava soaks in the liquid and softens. Mix at regular intervals as the jaggery has a tendency to separate and settle at the bottom.
Steaming the Cake
To cook the Tavsali, use either a conventional steamer or a large pressure cooker without the weight. Add enough water for a 30-minute steaming session and bring the water to a boil. The steam must build up before you place the Tavsali in the steamer to cook.
I used a pressure cooker without the weight. I also placed a heavy vessel with some water in the cooker, covered it and placed the cake tin on top of this vessel. I did this to ensure that no water gets into the Cucumber Cake.
Grease a suitably large cake tin or vessel with ghee or oil. I used a round cake tin that is 8″ in diameter and at least 2.5″ in height.
Mix the Tavsali batter well and pour it into the greased pan.Place the pan in the steamer/pressure cooker.
Over high heat, steam the Tavsali for about 30 minutes.
Turn off the flame and let the Tavsali remain in the steamer/cooker for 10 minutes.
Open the steamer/cooker and check if the Tavsali is cooked. Insert a toothpick or a small sharp knife blade into the Tausali and remove. The knife blade/toothpick should be clean. If required, steam again.
Place a plate over the cake tin/vessel and invert.