Coimbatore Annapoorna Hotel Style Sambar Recipe

Somebody has successfully reverse-engineered the recipe for the world-reknowed sambar served at the Annapoorna Hotel in Coimbatore. Here’s the story, link to videos and recipe summary follows.

I get at least a couple of mails a month asking for Annapoorna sambar recipe as I am from Coimbatore. Everyone in Coimbatore loves the food from this iconic Annapoorna hotel. I am no different. Their Sambar is one of the best. I had tried different recipes but could not nail it. Then this happened. I was talking about my sambar quest to Prema akka (Vinodhs aunt) and she told she knows someone who can give us the recipe. She told me that one Mr. Palinisamy had worked as a cook in their house in the 80’s before moving to Annapoorna as a chef. She told me that she will definitely get hold of him for me. And she did. I met him at a function recently where he was in charge of the kitchen. Mr. Palanisamy is a dhoti clad chef with prominent brown eyes and a big mustache. His eyes are very unique. You will never forget him once you have met him. As soon as I met him, we started talking. He told that he started cooking at the age of 12. He worked at the hotel for 27 years. He now runs his own food and catering service at Coimbatore. His food rocks. If you are in Coimbatore and have a party at home, try Mr. Palanisamy’s food. You can contact Mr. Palanisamy, Sai Baba catering. His phone number 96984 88764. Another number 9344680106 . His food is as good as home cooked food. If you are having a party in Coimbatore, this is the number you need to be calling.

Pretty cool. Go here for the instructional videos, and here’s the summary.

COIMBATORE ANNAPOORNA HOTEL SAMBAR RECIPE

PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Recipe for Coimbatore Hotel Annapoorna Sambar. Recipe as told by a cook who worked in the hotel for 27 years.
Author: Kannamma – Suguna Vinodh
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamilnadu
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
Measurments Used – 1 Cup = 250 ml
For Dal
  • ½ cup Toor Dal
  • 2 Cups Water
For Veggies
  • 2 Drumsticks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10 shallots (small onions), diced
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup water
For Sambar Masala
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 black pepper corn
  • 5 fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 dry red chillies (gundu variety)
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoon coconut
  • 1½ teaspoon jaggery
  • gooseberry size tamarind
Other ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 stalks coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
For Tempering
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (gingely oil)
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
INSTRUCTIONS
For Dal

Wash and soak ½ a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 6 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.

For Veggies
In another cooker add in the drumsticks, diced onion, diced shallots (small onion) and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure in the cooker to release naturally. Set aside.

For Sambar Masala

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal. Fry for a minute. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.

For the Sambar

  1. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame.
  2. Once its boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt.
  3. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.

For Tempering

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot.
  2. Add in the curry leaves and switch off the flame.
  3. Add in ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar.
  4. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the kadai.
  5. Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.

Paper Dosa

This recipe will help you get some thin and crisp paper dosa. It’s quite amazing. The only variation on it I added was to follow the directions that came with my Futura tava about water. They recommend draining the rice/dal mix before grinding and then adding about 2 1/2 cups of water as the grind proceeds. After fermentation, I added another scant 3/4 cup.

Futura also says to raise the heat from medium to medium-high while the first dosa is cooking, but you should do this to every dosa. Be advised that the tava needs to be hot without being too hot. If the tava is too hot, the batter will tear as you try to spread it, and if it is too cold the dosa won’t get crisp.

Hotel and street cooks sprinkle the tava with water and turn the heat down between dosas, and also sprinkle and spread the dosa with oil/ghee after the batter has been spread before turning the heat way up. On an electric cooker, the reaction time is much slower than it is on a gas cooker, so it’s often necessary to flip the dosa to speed up the cooking time.

Mane Adige: Paper Plain Dosa, modified.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Urad Dal
  • 3- 3 & 1/4 cups Rice (a combination of two cups idli rice and one cup parboiled is good)
  • 1/4 cup Chana Dal (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp Methi Seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp Poha, thick
  • 1 tsp Ghee/Butter/Oil for each dosa
  • Salt as per taste (roughly a teaspoon)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the dal, rice, methi seeds and poha with enough water for at least 3-6 hours. Change water three times. Can be soaked in a common vessel.
  2. Grind the soaked ingredients with enough water to a very smooth paste; But keep in mind not to add too much water and make the batter runny.
  3. Cover and allow batter to ferment in a warm place for about 8-12 hours; Make sure the container has enough room for the batter to rise. An oven with a 25 watt trouble light works well.
  4. Add salt (and baking powder if you like) to the fermented batter and mix well.
  5. Place a non stick griddle on medium heat. Test heat with a quarter cup of water, which should bounce before you wipe it off. Once hot, pour a ladle full of batter at the center. With the back of the ladle, spread the batter thinly, starting from the center and working outwards, in a fast circular motion. About 12 -15 revolutions should do it, but the batter must be spread thin to be crisp.

    Note: Spread the batter as soon as you pour it on the griddle – the batter will start getting cooked otherwise and stick to the ladle, if you wait too long. If it tears, go in the reverse direction to fix the tear.

  6. Pour few drops of ghee/oil all over the dosa and also at the edges, spreading with a spatula. Let cook on medium high heat until the thin parts turns dark brown.
  7. If making masala dosa, put a glob of potato curry in the center and fold the dosa over it from two sides.
  8. Remove from griddle and serve immediately with coconut chutney, sambar, kurma, saagu or any other side dish of your choice.

Equipment:

Futura 33 cm non-stick tava; may substitute any large frypan or griddle, but the bigger the tava/griddle, the bigger the dosa.

UltraGrind+ idli grinder; may substitute high-power grinder/blender of Indian origin, an American blender won’t really cut it. The batter needs to be smooth.

Prep Time:

About 15-20 mins for grinding and 2-3 mins for cooking each dosa;

Yield: about 10-12 dosas

Ambode (Indian Chana Falafel)

Chana dal is a form of chickpea that can be used as a substitute for the European chickpea know as garbanzo bean in just about any recipe. Chana has a lower glycemic index than garbanzo, has a more pleasant flavor, and is faster to cook. This recipe is for a Karnataka dish that looks for all the world like a spiced-up falafel.

Ingredients
2 cups chana dal
4 small green chilis
2 dried red chilis
(Optional) 1 cup grated coconut (Fresh or frozen is best. If you use dessicated, hydrate it in a mixture of coconut milk and coconut water first.)
3 tablespoons chopped green cilantro leaf (some people like dill weed instead of or in addition to cilantro.)
1 bunch curry leaves
1 inch ginger piece, grated
1 -2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 tablespoons flour
1 – 2 cups canola/peanut oil for frying
Method
  1. Soak the chana dal overnight. Drain.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 360 F.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except for salt, shallots and flour, and blend in a food processor. The Indian style is to grind lightly, so that many of the chana beans remain intact.
  4. Mix in salt, shallots and flour.
  5. Form ping pong ball sized balls of the mixture, flattening them slightly if you’re frying in shallow oil so they can be flipped while frying. The Indian style to flatten them all the way to a sausage patty shape.
  6. Fry as many as you can at a time without crowding the fryer.
  7. When brown on the bottom (3 minutes,) flip them so they can brown on both sides. Five minutes total frying time should bring you to golden brown.
  8. After cooking, place on a pair of paper towels to soak up the oil. There won’t be much if you oil was hot enough.
  9. Serve them warm in warm pita bread stuffed with lettuce, tomato, tahini, and Mexican salsa. Indians like to eat ambodes with chutney or ketchup. I can’t comment on that.
Ambodes will keep in the fridge for a week or more.

BaaLekaayi Bajji (unripe banana bajji) Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a very tasty, crunchy yet soft, saltish snack widely made popular by Udipi
restaurants. Unripe banana (BaaLe’ Kaayi) is widely available the world over, and this
simple, quick, dish can be prepared in minutes.
Ingredients
4-5 BaaLe’ Kaayi (unripe, green bananas – firm and green)
kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour)
rice flour
hasi kharada pudi (red chili powder)
1/4 litre of cooking oil (groundnut oil or sunflower oil depends on individual preference)
a small marble sized tamarind
salt to taste.

Method
Take a bowl of water and soak the tamrind. Lightly squeeze the
tamarind to make a weak solution of tamarind water. Take the green bananas, lightly peel
the skin (optional, since many prefer to retain the skin which is very high in fibre content),
cut the end tips. Make thin slices (about the thickness of a coin) lengthwise. Put the
rectangular cut pieces in the tamarind solution (this solution prevents pieces from turning
black).
Take 150 gms of kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour) and 50 gms of rice flour (besan
gives the colour while rice flour gives the crispness). Add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili
powder. Add a few drops of oil (to give a crunchy outer crust), add salt to taste and mix it
with hand, adding water slowly. Stop adding water when it becomes a thick paste that
drops as you take hand out of the bowl, but does not run-off the hand. Some people prefer
to add paprika powder to get some “extra-hot” colour but this is purely optional.
Take oil in a BaNale’ (kadaayi, wok), heat it on medium-low fire. After the oil is hot but
not fuming (can also be tested by putting a drop of the mixed flour and seeing that it comes
up to surface bubbling, within 1-2 seconds). Take the cut banana pieces from the tamarind
solution, dip it in the pasty dough to cover it fully and then slide them into the BaNale’. At
this stage the dough’s consistency can be checked. If it is too thick, the pieces dont get
covered well and if too thin, dough runs off leaving the pieces exposed. At least 4 or 5 of
them can be put in one round. Allow them to fry, turn around, till they are deep brown in
colour. Take them out, serve them with coconut chutney. The unique taste of BaaLe` kaayi
(raw plantain/banana) has a sweetish hint. It is an excellent vegetarian equivalent to the
fish fingers, both in consistency and taste. It is very popular in the rainy season.
Useful hints: The same procedure can be used to make bajji from a variety of other
vegetables. Some of the popular vegetables for bajji are – onion (cut in circular pieces),
potato (again cut circularly), DoNNa MeNasina Kaayi (green pepper), Heere’ Kaayi
(ripple gourd available in Indian/Chinese stores), large green chilies (MeNasina kaayi
bajji) which are very popular in rural areas, several American gourds. Even greens can be
used to make bajji, the most popular being sappaseege’ soppu (Dil – available in most
supermarkets), and menthyada soppu (Methi leaves). The greens must be washed, dried,
cut and directly mixed with the dough. One teaspoon of greem mixed dough can be slid into
oil to make a bajji. Bajjis make an excellent snack with afternoon/evening tea or coffee.
ENJOY THIS NICE ONE FROM COASTAL KARNATAKA – OTHER BAJJIS ARE
POPULAR IN VARIOUS OTHER REGIONS, BUT THEY ALL TASTE GREAT.

Majjige Huli Courtesy: K.RAGHUNANDANA

This is one of the traditional dishes of Karnataka, which is also popular in parts of Tamil
Nadu (in a slightly varied version though, and is called Mor KoLambu). It is a simple,
tasty, low fat, semi liquid, commonly mixed and eaten with rice. In its simplest form it has
no vegetables at all, but there are a select variety of vegetables, each of which add a
distinct taste to this exquisite dish. Only a single vegetable is used in this unique dish.
Ingredients
HuLi Majjige with a little of HuLi Mosaru (sour curds or yogurt kept out of fridge for 1 day
or so, with butter milk)
green chilies 5/6 (hasi meNasina kayi)
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeerige’)
2 spoons of Dhaniya (Kothumbari beeja) or a few cut pieces of Dhaniya leaves
(kothumbari soppu)
half a spoon of mustard (Saasuve’)
two spoons of Kadale beLe” (Chana dal/ bengal gram) soaked in water for half-an-hour
a pinch of turmeric powder (AriSinada pudi)
a pinch of hing (asafetida)
one half of a coconut (grated fresh) or one handful of the dry variety can be soaked in water
for half-an-hour and used
small piece (strawberry sized) of ginger
two seeds of whole black pepper.

Method
Grind the ingredients in a pestle (or dry grinder). Add half a litre of Majjige (buttermilk +
sour yogurt) to it and allow it to warm up. Add salt to taste, and water to make the mixture
fairly thick but semi-liquid. Just as it starts to boil, switch off the heat, add a few curry
leaves (Kari-bevina soppu). For oggarane (phodni/tarka) first heat a spoon of oil, add
mustard seeds, after they split take off the heat, add one-half broken red chili. After it
cools, add it to the boiling hot Majjige HuLi.
Adding vegetables
Only one vegetable gets into the Majjige HuLi. This is necessary to maintain the unique
flavour combination of that vegetable and Majjge’ HuLi.
1. BENDE KAAYI (Bhindi/Okhra): Wipe each okhra with a semi-wet cloth. Allow it to
dry. Cut them into really small pieces of not over half an inch. In a separate BaNale’ (Wok
or fry pan) keep a few spoons of oil, heat it and then put the okhra (Bende’ kaayi) and
continue frying on low fire. In about 5/10 minutes they will fry fairly well changing colour,
to avoid the ends getting burnt, low fire and continuous stirring is needed. Add little
amounts of oil, if needed. After frying, transfer them into the Majjige’ Huli, and start the
heating process.
2. BADANE’ KAAYI (Baingon/egg plant): The thin, longer variety is preferable, but the
fat version can be used if cut properly. Cut them first into half (circumference-cut), then
each cylidrical piece into further half, another half will make each quarter of the
cylindrical piece (the ideal size), the length being no more than 1and1/2 to 2 inches
maximum. Keep a bowl of water and put the cut pieces into this water.This prevents
browning of the cut edges and keeps the edges clean and whitish. Then use a BaNale’ (Wok
or fry pan) to fry them with 2 spoons of oil. If eggplant is the longer variety, closing the lid
will allow easier cooking and needs less oil. But the fat variety of egg plant has more
moisture, so will become soggy and watery if lid is closed. It therefore needs an open pan
frying and more oil.
3. Soppu (Spinach): This is the simplest of all since it has be just cut into small pieces and
put into the Majjige HuLi.
4. BOODA KUMBALA KAAYI (Ash-gourd): One of the classic vegetables that blends
ideally with Majjige HuLi. The Ash gourd is usually cut into large pieces of 2 inch square.
These pieces come out naturally as one cuts the gourd, takes away the seeds and starts
cutting them into rectangular pieces after removing the thick, hard skin. The pieces are
direclty put into the Majjige HuLi and as heated the watery pieces absorb the soury/salty
juices making it a wonderful experience when you eat them. This is also the most common
vegetable used in ceremonial occassions (marriages etc.,).
5. Cucumber: Somewhat like the Ashgourd but not quite as good is the cucumber. All
water-based vegetles need to be cut into larger pieces, else they melt away as they are
boiled. Even here just remove the skin and cut the cucumber into large pieces of 2 inches,
cut cylindrically first and then just split into half once. Add the pieces directly to the
Majjige’ HuLi.
6. DoNNe MeNasina Kaayi (green pepper): One of the good vegetables that adds its
distinct flavour to the Majjige HuLi. Cut it into larger pieces and put it directly, before
starting the heating process. Alternately, the pieces can be boiled/cooked in plain water
and then added to the Majjige HuLi at the boiling point.
ENJOY, THE UNIQUE FLAVOUR OF KARNATAKA – ITS SIMPLE AND HEALTHY
FOOD.

Maavinakaayi Anna Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a traditional dish usually prepared during the beginning of the mango season (early
spring) when sour, unripe mango (kuchcha) becomes available. They are used when the
mango is big but pulp has not yet started turning yellow.
Ingredients
2-3 green unripe mangoes
Handful of peanuts (kadalekaayi beeja)
7-8 cashewnuts (godambi)
2-3 teaspoonful of bengal gram (Kadale’ beLe’ or Chana daal)
4-5 green chilies
a handful of chopped kothumbari soppu (dhaniya leaves, coriander leaves)
8-10 curry leaves (karibevina soppu, karivapalai)
a pinch of arishina (haldi, Manjal, turmeric)
a pinch of hing (asafetida)
a teaspoon of Saasuve’ (mustard)
A handful of grated coconut (preferably freshly grated, but the dry variety from stores may
be used if it is the unsweetened variety).
1 lb or 1/2 Kg of plain rice (long grain, not basmati or jasmine).

Method
Keep the rice in a rice cooker, with a little short on water, so that when cooked, the rice
will be non-sticky and separate.
Cut the mangoes, remove the seed. Grate the green mango pieces. It is essential that the
mangoes are not ripe and are sour to taste. If they are not sour, use half a piece of lime’s
juice to make up for the sour taste. After grating the mangoes, keep the pulp aside. Take the
grated coconut and a teaspoon of mustard, 3-4 green chilies, in a dry grinder, grind them
well. This should provide a fine, freshly ground mustard flavour. Add the mango pulp,
grind for a short period, take the paste out and keep it aside.
In a separate banale” (wok) or non-stick vessel, take 2-3 table spoons of oil, warm it up on
a low fire. Add the Kadale’ beLe’, groundnut seeds, fry them well, add godambi (optional),
after the whole thing starts to turn golden brown, add the chopped coriander leaves and
curry leaves. Add a pinch of turmeric (arishina) and a pinch of hing (asafetida). For hot
flavour half a piece of red chili can be added. Move all the things to the edge
(circumference) and keep the middle part clear. Add just one teaspoon of oil, add the
ground paste (coconut,green chili, mustard and mango pulp) to this centre part and slowly
turn around for a minute or two till the musky green colour of mango pulp changes to a
milder green. The key is to mellow the fresh sour taste but “not to overcook” which can
completely change the sour taste to a bitter taste. Switch off the fire mix all the things
(centre and circumference) and allow it to cool. Spread the cooked rice evenly on top of it,
allow all of it to cool. Add salt to taste, and turn around the whole thing by hand (softly) so
that the rice mixes well and evenly with the paste and the fried ingredients. Add 1 spoon of
ghee while turning around, to give a fine flavour. Allow it to sit for an hour or two before
serving. This rice can be reheated in a microwave before serving.
Useful hints: The same procedure can be followed to make nimbehannina chitranna (lemon
rice). Instead of the mango, the juice of one/two lime can be squeezed in to provide the
sour taste. He’raLe’ kaayi (jumbo lime) or cranburry or cooking apple can be used instead
of mango, to provide different flavours of sour taste, depending on the season. All of them
make equally fine rice dish.
Usually prepared on festivals, special holidays, or at times at a special request by the
pregnant women ..(Bayake) 🙂
Enjoy this fine saltish sour delicacy from Karnataka. It makes a great change from the bland
bread/cornflakes routine for many.

Bisi BeLe HuLiyanna Courtesy: K. raghunandana

i) To make powder
ii) To make Bhaath using the powder
Powder : The powder can be made and kept for use upto 8 weeks (after that the flavor goes
down). Take equal quantities of Dhaniya seeds and red chilies (one handful of each, for a
small bottle-full of powder). For one tumbler of dhaniya about 15 red chilies would do the
job. Fry them “together” with a “few drops” of oil-just enough to keep the
“Baanale”(WOK) oily. (You will find that using 2 spoons at diagonals makes it easy to
fry). Fry on low fire till you get that “nice-smell” with very little fumes, take out before
dhaniya starts changing colour (the other indicator is the red chilies become shiny with
oil). Put them on a plate to cool.
Put one handful of chana daal (kadale bele) and half of udad daal (uddina bele) and fry
slowly using 1 teaspoon of oil.Fry till both start to turn brown,remove. Then take 1 spoon
each of pepper (meNasu) lavanga (cloves) and gasagase’ (poopy seeds or khuskhus), 1/2
spoon each of jeera (cummin seeds) and menthya (methi seeds) , fry them till it smells good
(menthya should only turn deep brown but without blackening). In the end add two table
spoons of dry coconut (grated coconut normally available in all supermarkets will do well
– but not the sweetened variety). Also add a pinch or two of HING powder. Just “one-full-
piece” of daalchini chekke (pattai) must be added now. Some dried curry leaves and a
pinch of turmeric are also be added at this stage (if you have them). After adding these do
not continue frying for long, not more than a few seconds. Allow these to cool in the
Baanale (WOK), by switching off gas and keeping the Banale on another (cold) stove, for
example.
Powdering with dry grinder: Firstly, powder the dhaniya and chilies. After finely done,
take out and then grind the cooled ingredients of daals etc. Grind the jeera and others
separately till the poppy seeds also powder well. Grind them well, then add the powdered
chili, run the dry grinder once more to mix. Take out, mix with a spoon and store in a
cleaned bottle, close it tight. Some people add turmeric only at the stage of mixing, this is
to avoid the grinder for getting the “yellow” tinge of turmeric. But turmeric is essential for
the “keeping quality (storage)” of the powder.
Making Bhaath :
Soak a large lemon sized tamarind in water.Cook equal amounts of Toor Dal and rice
alongwith a pinch of turmeric and two spoons of oil,in the pressure cooker. After it is well
cooked (15 minutes in low flame after the steam hissing starts) allow it to cool. Take it out,
add the tamarind (squeeze tamarind well and put only the thick tamarind solution), one
small lemon sized bella (gur) or two large spoons of brown sugar. Add a few spoons of
oil, cook slowly turning it around. Then add the powder, cook for a short period, turning it
around well. Add fresh curry leaves (if you have) and finally put “Oggarane”
(Tarka/Bhagaar/Phodni in Hindi or Urdu) with mustard seeds , Godambi (cashew nuts) and
a pinch of Hing added to it.
Note: Traditionally Bisi Bele HuLiyanna contains only the daal, rice, and tamarind as
given above. The HOTEL version of this bhaath contains vegetables of sorts,which is not
the traditional style,but is only the version popularised by hoteliers. It is upto individuals
to put sweetish vegetables such as peas, carrots etc,but onion is generally never used since
it takes the flavour in an entirely different direction (inion dominates).
Useful Hints: The same powder can be used to make the vegetable Bhaath, Vaangi Bhaath
etc. Here, cook the rice with a little short of water (to keep it from becoming soggy).
Spread the cooked rice to cool. In a separate pan with 2 spoons of oil heated, put in
mustard, after they split/splash (putr … putr…..putr), add a pinch of turmuric and then put a
piece or two of broken red chili (depending on how hot you want,add more) put 1 handful
of groundnuts (cashews if you prefer)fry them for a few seconds,add curry leaves. Now put
the cut vegetables or Badane Kaayi (baingon or egg plant) if it is vaangi-bhaath. Turn
around, cover the lid and cook or low fire. After the vegetables are done, put salt to taste.
Allow cooling time. Put the cooled rice, put 2-3 table of the sambar powder, little salt
(only to make-up for the rice now added). Add freshly grated coconut (fresh coconut pieces
put in dry grinder and done), Mix with hand well using 1-2 table spoon of oil and also at
this time squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Keep it away for an hour or so. Reheat (in
oven/microwave) before serving.

Bendekaayi Gojju Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

This is a traditional preparation from Karnataka and is a very fine combination of sweet,
sour, saltish and Hot (chili) tastes. The dish is eaten both with rice and with Chapathi
(some even spread it on the bread !).
Ingredients
4-6 green chilies
marble sized tamarind
grated coconut (two handfuls)
two spoonfuls of Menthya (methi seeds)
two spoonfuls of Jeerige (Jeera, cumin seeds)
one spoonful of Sasuve’ (mustard seeds)
two spoonfuls of yellu (til or sesame seeds)
fresh Kothumbari soppu (dhaniya/coriander leaves)
a pinch of Arishina (turmeric powder)
a spoon of rice (akki)
A large piece of Jaggery (1-2 cubic inch) or two tablespoons of brown sugar.

Method
In a pan, dry fry the Menthya seeds, Jeerige and Yellu. After you get the nice smell in 5
minutes, take it out and allow it to cool (the menthya seeds turn dark brown but should not
turn black). Grind it in a grinder/mixer, and then wet grind it again using water with
coconut, green chilies, mustard seeds, and Kothumbari soppu Akki (rice) and Arishina. Use
water to make it a thick liquid.
Wipe 1/2 Kg of Bende Kaayi(Bhindi/Ladies finger/Okhra)with a wet towel. Cut them into
medium sized (1 inch long) pieces. Take a pan with a table spoon of oil, fry the cut pieces
in low fire. Continue to fry till they are fairly well cooked (add a little of oil if needed).
Soak the tamarind (HuNise’ HaNNu) in a cup of water. After 5 minutes of soaking, squeeze
the tamarind thoroughly to get all the juice and then take away the remains of tamarind.
Pour the tamarind water onto the cooked Bende Kaayi. Allow it to soak and boil for 5
minutes (this takes away the loLe’ or soapy layer, from the okhra). Now put in the grinded
mixture, add salt to taste and stir well. Also add the Jaggery (bella) and keep the mixture
on low flame. Add a few curry leaves (Kari Bevina soppu) and allow the mixture to cook
on low fire, till it becomes a semi thick liquid. For Oggarane’ (tarka, phodni, vagar) heat a
spoon of oil, and when hot add mustard. After they split add half a red chili (broken), take
it off flame and put it into the hot Gojju. Stir well.
NOTE: Instead of Bendekaayi, Badane kaayi (Baingon, egg plant) can be used. Also Seeme
Badane’ kaayi (a flat pear shaped greenish vegetable available in Indian and Chinese
stores), Sore’kaayi (kaddu) or Sihi KumbaLa (Pumpkin), several types of amercian gourds,
or even plain onions chopped into larger pieces and put into Gojju. In all these cases, it is
necessary to cut them into somewhat larger (1 inch cube) pieces, fry them in a little oil and
cook them before pouring in the grinded mixture. There is no need to cook them in tamarind
water, although tamarind water is added as usual, towards the end.
Invariably, only one vegetable is used in Gojju, to preserve the distinct taste of that
particular vegetable.

Khara Bhaath Courtesy: K. Raghunanadan

The word “Khara Bhath” is to a large extent credited to the hotel industry. They were the
ones who popularised it, but it is also made in some form at home. Incidentally, the instant
version (made by MTR, Bangalore) is available for those “quickies”. Really, khara-bhath
is a variation to Uppittu (Uppumav) in that instead of the chili etc, the Saambar powder is
used to provide both khaara (eravu, theekha) and flavour. Bhaath (means rice in Marathi) is
used in Karnataka in a very liberal sense, it often applies to rice as well as things made out
of Rava (sooji). I have reproduced my Saambar recipe to include the Khara-bhath which
can be done using the saambar powder.
i) To make powder
The sambar powder can be made and kept for use upto 8 weeks (after that the flavor goes
down). Take equal quantities of Dhaniya seeds and red chilies (one handful of each, for a
small bottle-full of powder). Fry them “together” with a “few drops” of oil-just enough to
keep the “Baanale”(WOK) oily. (You will find that using 2 spoons at diagonals makes it
easy to fry). Fry on low fire till you get that “nice-smell” with very little fumes, take out
before dhaniya starts changing colour (the other indicator is the red chilies become shiny
with oil). Put them on a plate to cool.
Put half handful of chana daal (kadale bele) and half of udad daal (uddina bele) and fry
slowly using 1 teaspoon of oil. Fry till both start to turn brown then add two table spoons
of dry coconut (grated coconut normally available in all supermarkets will do well – but
not the sweetened variety). Also add a pinch or two of HING powder. Just “one-piece” of
daalchini chekke (pattai) must be added now. Some dried curry leaves and a pinch of
turmeric are also be added at this stage (if you have them). After adding these do not
continue frying for long, not more than a few seconds. Allow these to cool in the Baanale
(WOK), by switching off gas and keeping the Banale on another (cold) stove, for example.
Powdering with dry grinder: Firstly, powder the dhaniya and chilies. After finely done,
take out and then put the cooled ingredients of daals etc. Grind them well, then add the
powdered chili, run the dry grinder once more to mix. Take out, mix with a spoon and store
in a cleaned bottle, close it tight. Some people add turmeric only at the stage of mixing, this
is to retain the grinder for getting the “yellow” tinge of turmeric. But turmeric is essential
for the “keeping quality (storage)” of the powder.
ii) To make Khaara Bhaath
The sambar powder can be used to make the vegetable Bhaath, Khara Bhaath, Vaangi
Bhaath etc. Here, cook the rice with a little short of water (to keep it from becoming
soggy). Spread the cooked rice to cool. In a separate pan with 2 spoons of oil heated, put in
mustard, after they split/splash (putr … putr…..putr), add a pinch of turmuric and then put a
piece or two of broken red chili (depending on how hot you want,add more) put 1 handful
of groundnuts (cashews if you prefer)fry them for a few seconds,add curry leaves. Now put
the cut vegetables or Badane Kaayi (baingon or egg plant) if it is vaangi-bhaath. Turn
around, cover the lid and cook or low fire. After the vegetables are done, put salt to taste.
Allow cooling time. Put the cooled rice, put 2-3 table of the sambar powder, little salt
(only to make-up for the rice now added). Add freshly grated coconut (fresh coconut pieces
put in dry grinder and done), Mix with hand well using 1-2 table spoon of oil and also at
this time squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Keep it away for an hour or so. Reheat (in
oven/microwave) before serving.
Instead of rice, medium size rave’ (sooji, rava, samolina) can be used to make Khaara-
Bhaath. In this case, the rave’ is first dry fried on a low fire (use just one tea-spoon of ghee
or a small piece of butter if you prefer) till it is rid of moisture. Then fry finely cut
vegetables in 2 teaspoons of oil, then add water and salt to taste. Continue to heat till the
water starts to boil and then bring down the heat and add the dry fried rava slowly. Add 3-
4 tea spoons of oil, sprinkle 2-3 spoons of sambar powder, cover the lid and keep on very
low fire for 2-3 minutes. Open the lid, add the juice of half a lime, turn around, add grated
coconut. Turn off the fire. Add one or two teaspoons of ghee and close the lid. Before
serving, turn around slightly and serve hot.

Akki-Roti Courtesy: K. Raghunandana

Roti (flat bread) made out of rice flour, is perhaps the unique specialty of Karnataka. It is
in many ways similar to the Thali-peet of Maharashtra, but the ingredients are rice flour
based. Consequently, it happens to be the popular breakfast item in many homes of
Karnataka. Replace rice flour with Ragi flour and it becomes Ragi Roti, another great
favourite in Karnataka.
Ingredients
Akki hittu or Rice flour (ground rice – the coarse variety can also be used, but will have to
be kept a little longer after the dough is made using water)
freshly grated coconut (the dry variety available in stores may be powdered in a dry
grinder and used)
green chilies
fresh kothumbari soppu (dhaniya leaves)
jeerige (jeera, cumin seeds)
Hing (asafetida)
salt to taste.
Optional Ingredients
finely chopped onions
finely grated carrots
finely grated cabbage
BataaNi kaaLu (green peas, even the frozen variety is OK)
red chili powder instead of fresh green chilies.

Method
Take 500 gms of rice flour and add 3-4 finely chopped green chilies, chopped kothambari
soppu, 1 teaspoon of jeerige, a pinch of hing.
Add a handful of freshly grated coconut or powdered coconut.
Add water little by little as you mix them. Stop adding water when it can be rolled into one
lump (similar to wheat dough). The difference though is that this rice dough does not have
the elastic nature of wheat and therefore cannot be rolled out like a chapatti. So, this dough
has to be beaten into the pan. In order to do this, take a large flat pan or a Banale’ (Wok or
kayadyi), pour 2-3 teaspoons of oil at the centre. Keep a separate bowl of water.
Take out a small handful of rice dough (large lemon sized) and put it on top of the oil in the
middle of the pan.
Wet your hand in water, start gently pressing the dough from the centre outwards in circular
fashion. Keep repeating this by wetting the hand each time the dough starts sticking to your
hand. Continue beating outwards, till the dough spreads uniformly making a large circle.
Make sure the edges are not thick, by pressing them farther towards the outer
circumference. The oil should be just about enough to seep a little at the edges, finally. The
roti will be no thicker than a thin biscuit.
Now, make one hole in the centre using the forefinger, make four more holes about 2 inches
away from the centre in the four quarters of the circle. Pour in a few drops of oil into each
of these holes, a few drops of oil over the surface in general. These holes allow the steam
to escape and thereby keep the roti close to the pan. Close the pan with a lid, keep it on
medium flame. When the steam builds up and makes a sizzling noise (about 3-5 minutes),
take out the lid, use a flat shaped skillet to ease the roti out. Make sure that itis well baked
but not blackened. If you want it crisper, add a few drops of oil, continue to bake on low
flame for another 2-4 minutes. Take out and serve hot with a spoon of butter to go with.
After taking the roti out, it is necessary to cool the pan. This can be done either by simply
allowing it to cool down (takes longer) or turn the pan around, put the back of the pan
under cold running tap (quenching). The pan will be ready for the next round within
seconds. Generally, it is better to have two pans and alternate between them. Usually the
first roti needs more oil, subsequent ones need a spoon less.
The use of onion and grated vegetables gives an added taste to the roti. All these are mixed
before adding water and turned around well by hand. It is very common to do it with just
onions, not so common to do with vegetables or just plain roti. But adding chili powder
instead of chopped green chilies has adifference. It makes the roti reddish instead of white,
it also makes the khara (eravu, teekha) uniform. Particularly children may prefer green
chilies since it can be taken off after cooking, thereby keeping the roti mild.
BACK HOME DURING THE AVARE’ KAAYI (fresh Lilva) SEASON of Jan-March it is
common to add AVARE’ KaaLu to this roti (ooh, it tastes so good). Flat beans can be used
elsewhere, though the taste will not be in any way comparable toAvare’ KaaLu (fresh
Lilva) over which the people of Karnataka go gah gah ENJOY THIS NICE ONE ON A
WEEK-END. IT WILL MAKE YOU YEARN FOR MORE.