Akki rotti/ Ragi rotti


Akki rotti has been my favourite tindi or breakfast food of all time 🙂 As kids we would relish the uber thin akki rotti made in a kadai by amma and served with some chutney pudi and a big dollop of butter. Ofcourse i don’t eat it with  butter anymore..but it still tastes delicious.

There are so many things that you can do with akki rotti. Amma makes it with onions, cilantro and chillies. Or she makes it with methi leaves or dil and jeera. Oh and how can i forget avarekaayi rotti.

My MIL makes it more interesting and she adds just about any vegetable to it. Be it cucmber, radish or soaked chana dal.

I mostly eye-ball the measurements when i am cooking. I try my best to convert that into accurate measurements in my recipes. Here is my version of akki rotti

1 big onion or 2-3 small ones

2-3 green chillies chopped (depending on how much heat you want)

1 cup of chopped coriander

1 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup chana dal (pre-soaked)

1/4 cup coconut (optional, i don’t use it)

Water for the flour

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and add a little water just enough to mix all the ingredients. It is easier to pat the rotti if the dough is not watery. Make orange-sized balls out the dough.

If making raagi rotti, add the ragi flour instead of rice flour

There are 2 ways to make them.

1) Pat the rotti directly on a kadai or a non-stick tawa.

Take 1 tea spoon oil and grease the entire kadai or tawa. Pat the dough on this and place kadai on the stove and cook with the lid covered. Start with low heat and once the rotti is slightly cooked, turn up the heat. Keep turning the kadai/tawa so that the heat cooks the rotti evenly on all sides. Add more oil now if you want the rotti to be crisp. Once it is golden brown on all sides, turn off the stove and remove from the kadai while it is still hot.  With this method you can get thinner rottis.

2) Pat the rotti on a foil

Grease the foil with oil and take the dough and start patting and flattening the dough with your hands. Heat a tawa and spread a teaspoon of oil. Now gently put the foil face down on the tawa and slowly remove the foil so that the rotti is left on the tawa. After one side is cooked and the color becomes golden brown, flip the rotti over. Add more oil if you want the rotti to be extra crisp.

Variations : You can use greens like methi, dil (sopsige soppu) . You can also use 1 cup of jaoLada hittu or sorghum flour. Adds more nutritional value. You can also grate one cucumber. One thing to remember when you are adding a lot of greens or vegetables is to go easy on the water while mixing the dough. These veggies should leaves enough water for you to mix the dough.

Serving suggestions : Amma makes an onion-coconut chutney to go with akki rotti. My MIL makes onion thokku to go with it. I will try to put up the recipe for both sometime. Or you can simply eat it with chutney pudi with butter, oil or yogurt!

Garlic bread from leftover bread!


I had half a loaf of whole wheat and oats bread sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of days now. (Yes i keep it in the fridge!) I had a bag of store bought salad kit in the refrigerator and decided to make a meal out of the two.  Since i didnt have any soup on hand to eat the bread with i thought i would make my own version of garlic bread with the leftover slices!

Ingredients :

4 slices of bread

2-3 cloves of garlic or more if you want them extra

garlicky

Extra virgin olive oil

Shredded cheese like Parmesan. I used a mix of shredded cheese which had Parmesan, monterey jack and cheddar.

Dried Oregano

Pre heat the over to 350 F. Cut the bread slices diagonally in half and arrange them on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil on the slices. Finely chop the garlic and spread it on the bread slice. Sprinkle some salt, oregano and cheese on each of the slices. Put the tray in the oven and let the bread bake till the cheese melts. I put it in for 10 mins and got the slices to be extra crispy.

The salad kit had baby spinach, sliced almonds and balsamic vinegar. I put in some tomatoes, bell peppers and dried cranberries. One tasty meal it turned out to be 🙂

Avocadoh!


I had always known avocado as butterfruit. Even though i had never tasted it i knew i wouldn’t like it. I had seen avacado only in “juice shops” in India and thought it would just be a vegetably juice. All this changed one day when the family was on vacation to a homestay in Coorg. I had this amazing salad which was smooth textured and melted in my mouth. I asked the hostess of the homestay what it was and she graciously shared the recipe! Excited about a new find, i emailed my sis about this incredible salad that i had eaten. She replied saying what i had eaten was guacamole and butterfruit was the same as avocado and she made it at home all the time in the US!

I then that tried butterfruit milkshake..oh i cannot begin to describe that rich buttery smooth texture of the shake and the amazing color of it! 🙂 It became my favorite evening snack at office.

Having come to the US and to the tex-mex land no less, i have eaten avocado and guacamole in a lot of forms. The guacamole has its own variations here ranging from just mashed avocado to the most flavorful ones you can ever find. I have my own favorite version of it here.

Ingredients :

2 avocadoes

1 tomato

1 onion

Juice of one lemon

1 Jalapeno, de-seeded and

finely chopped

salt to taste

I learned the art of cutting an avacado from a lot of cooking shows on TV. You slice right down till the middle of the fruit and holding it in your hand you twist the fruit side ways where the cut is. One half comes away clean. Using a knifescoop the seed out of the other half.

Mash the avocado in a bowl. Finely chop the onion and tomatoes. Add all the ingredients to the avocado and mix well.

Enjoy it with your favorite tortilla or corn chips or eat it with rotis/chapathis like i did!

 

Bell pepper / capsicum raita


This is one easy peasy recipe! I love to use all the different colored bell peppers. In Indian cooking there is not much scope for using these raw. Cooking them renders the dishes rather sweet so you can’t use them in large quantities. One way of using these is to make a nice, cool and soothing raita. I use bell peppers of all colors, green, red, yellow and orange.

Ingredients

1 of each bell pepper – orange, red, yellow and green.

1 tomato

2 green chillies split length wise

A handful of chopped coriander

2 cups thick yogurt.

Cut the bell peppers into small pieces. If you dont like the raw flavor especially of the green peppers, you can microwave them for a minute or two. Let it cool before mixing all the ingredients. Easy peasy!

Variations : If you want a slightly sweet tone, add pomegranate seeds, candied cherries or green grapes.

Tangy Mango rice/ Maavinakaayi Chitranna


You know the heat of the Indian summer is around the corner, when you see neem leaves, and green mangoes in the market. Mavinakaya chitranna is a  standard fix for the festival of Ugadi, the beginning of the Hindu calender. Ugadi to me always stands for Mavinakayi chitranna, Obattu, Obatt-saaru and ofcourse the quintessential bevu bella! An afternoon siesta after this fulfilling lunch and Ugadi is complete 🙂

There are two variations, one the way my mom makes it and the other one the way my MIL makes it. I prepared it the way mom makes it both having more or less the same ingredients.

Ingredients

For the paste:

Unripe green mango – half, cut into small pieces

3 table spoons of shredded coconut

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

A pinch of asafoetida

Using as little water as possible grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.

For the tempering,

2 table spoons of cooking oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon urad dal

1 teaspoon chana dal

Handful of peanuts

4-5 curry leaves

2 cups of cooked rice, cooled.

The proportion of rice to water should be 1:2. Use 1 and half if you are using Basmati rice. I find cooking the rice using an electric rice cooker the best way to get the grains to remain separated.

Heat the oil in  a pan, once hot enough add the mustard seeds till they splutter. Next add the peanuts. Once they start changing color slightly, add both the dals. Once they turn golden brown, add turmeric and curry leaves. Then add the ground paste. Saute this until the paste starts leaving oil on the sides of the pan.

Add the cooled rice and salt to the pan and mix gently.

Variations :

1) If it is not the season for mangoes, you can use a lemon-sized ball of tamarind.

2) Use one clove of garlic instead of asafoetida.

Hello!


I have been interested in food and what goes into making it since i was a kid. My first memories of trying my hand in the kitchen were when i would help amma in making chapathis. She would roll out the dough and i would bake them…flipping the chapathi took a while to master for a 10 year old. I have come a long way since then. My attempt here is to chronicle some long forgotten recipes from my mom and what she learnt from hers, some from my mother-in-law and preserve these. The two cuisines are a world apart but equally enticing! This blog also is an attempt to capture different food experiences and experiments!

My mantra in life is that live to eat 😉 so here’s to a lifetime of good and healthy food!