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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Hayagreeva Maddi - Chana Dal Halwa from Udupi Cuisine

Hayagreeva Maddi is a traditional Udupi dessert prepared with Bengal gram ( chana dal) cooked with jaggery and coconut. It is a popular sweet in the South Indian state of Karnataka and serves as an offering (Naivedhyam) to Lord Haygreeva. The basic ingredients and technique of preparation of this chana dal halwa may sound like that of "Puran", a sweet stuffing of Puran Poli ( a traditional Maharashtrian dish), but taste-wise, Hayagreeva maddi is different both in taste and texture. It has a prominent flavor and aroma coming from the tempering of ghee fried almonds and raisins and from the desiccated coconut which is lacking in Puran. Hayagreeva maadi is a sattvic, gluten-free dish that can be easily made at home and makes up for a delectable sweet to mark any special occasion or festival.

What is Udupi Cuisine?

Udupi Cuisine is the Cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of the Tuluva-Mangalorean Cuisine. It comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The variety and range of the dishes are wide and the hallmark of this cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients. It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian Cuisine, using no onions or garlic, as well as no meat, fish, or shellfish. However, the cuisine may also be adapted for those who consume these restricted items.

A more about Udupi Cuisine

Udupi Cuisine takes its name from Udupi, a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. Udupi is one of the fastest-growing cities and top tourist attractions in Karnataka. It is notable for Krishna Temple and also known as the temple city. The Udupi is synonymous with vegetarian food now found all over the world. But do you know that the origin of this Cuisine is linked to the Krishna Matha (Mutt)? The Cuisine was developed by Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins who cooked food for Lord Krishna. Here Lord Krishna is offered food of different varieties every day.

Udupi restaurants serving Udupi cuisine can be found all over India and many parts of the world. In the past, these restaurants were run by cooks and priests trained at Krishna matha in Udupi. With rising popularity, many others have entered this business claiming to serve authentic Udupi Cuisine.

As mentioned above authentic Udupi Cuisine is a purely vegetarian Cuisine and serves Saatvik food. It is believed that the innovation of different varieties of dishes of Udupi Cuisine accounts to the following of the tradition of Chaturmaasa vrata, which is a restriction of certain food ingredients in the period of 4 months (during monsoon). Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients of Sambar. Dosa has its origin s in Udupi, according to P.Thankappan Nair. Saaru, spicy water, is another essential part of the menu, and so are Jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chilies, and salt.

Here are some recipes from my fellow bloggers from Udupi Cuisine 

What is Hayagreeva Maddi? 

Hayagreeva Maddi is an authentic Udupi style dessert made using Bengal Gram (chana dal) and jaggery that is traditionally served as an offering (Naivedhyam) to Lord Hayagreeva. In Hinduism, Lord Hayagriva is considered as an avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped as a God of knowledge and Wisdom with a human body and a horse's head, brilliant white in color, with white garments and seated on a white lotus. There is a story as per Wikipedia that is more than 500 years ago. A devotee from the Daivajna Brahmin community was casting an idol of Lord Ganpati when it shaped itself in the image of Lord Hayagriva. Sarvabhauma Sri Vadiraja Guru Swami had a dream about this legend which inspired him to approach that devotee and take the idol from him in reverence. He then installed it in Shri Sode Vadiraja Mutt. Since then it has been worshipped there as the originating God of the Daivajnya Brahmin community. It is believed that since Bengal Gram is a favourite with horses, SriVadiraja, made an offering of chana dal cooked with jaggery and coconut. This mixture of lentils and jaggery is called maddi in Kannada, hence the name of this dish. 


What goes into my Hayagreeva Maddi?

As this is a chana dal halwa, the first and obvious ingredient of this Hayagreeva maddi is Bengal Gram(chana dal). Chana dal is rinsed in water and pressure cooked until soft. The cooked lentil is then transferred to a heavy bottom pan and crushed jaggery is added to it along with cloves. The mixture is allowed to cook on medium flame until all the jaggery melts and gets incorporated well with the Bengal gram. Next, cashews and raisins are fried in ghee and this tempering is poured over the halwa. Finally, cardamom powder is added and the haygreeva maddi is garnished with scrapped or desiccated coconut and served warm. I have referred the recipe from here. The color of the Hayagreeva maddi depends upon the color of the jaggery used. Also the consistency can be adjusted as per liking. The dish solidifies and thickens further on cooling so switch off the flame a little before the desired consistency is reached. 

Related Event:

It is month-end and the time to post for my Facebook gourmet group, Shhhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. This group was started by Priya's versatile recipes and taken further to date by Mayuri di. Mayur di's Udupi style Mangalore Cucumber Curry is on my to-do list. The theme for this month was suggested by Jayashree Trao, a talented food blogger. I have bookmarked her Instant Ragi Dosa , a healthy and nutritious breakfast recipe. In this group, each member takes turns to propose the theme for the month. All participating members are divided into pairs and both partners exchange a set of secret ingredients using which both have to prepare a dish as per the theme. The other members of the group then take turns to guess the two secret ingredients just by looking at the pic of the dish. Doesn't all this sound interesting? If you are a food blogger and wish to join this group, do let us know in the comment section below. My partner for this month was Priya Vijay Krishnan. She gave me ghee and jaggery and i made this delectable Hayagreeva Maddi using it. In return, i gave her mustard seeds and curry leaves and she made Majjige Huli a Udupi style yogurt-based ash gourd curry.

                                 फ़ोटो का कोई वर्णन उपलब्ध नहीं है.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves 5-6

  • 1 cup Bengal Gram
  • 1 cup jaggery, crushed or grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut scrapped ( use desiccated coconut if fresh not available)
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 8-10 cashew nuts, halved
  • 1-2 tablespoon raisins
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  1. Rinse 1 cup Bengal gram in water and allow it to soak for at least 30 minutes. This soaking time is optional but it saves the cooking time and fuel. Pressure cook the soaked dal for 2-3 whistles such that it cooks well but still holds shape.

2. Open the lid of the pressure cooker once all the pressure has been released. Drain the water from cooked dal and reserve it. This nutritious water can be used in making rasam or soup.

3. Transfer the drained dal to a heavy bottom container and add cloves and crushed or grated jaggery to it.

4. Allow the mixture to cook on medium flame. Keep stirring occasionally so that it does not catch the bottom of the pan. Cook until all the jaggery melts and incorporates well with the dal.

5. In another small wok or tadka pan heat ghee and add halved cashews and raisins to it. Fry on low to medium flame until golden brown in color. Take care not to burn the nuts and raisins. Pour this over the chana dal and jaggery mixture.

6. Next, add coconut and give a good mix. Lastly, add the cardamom powder, give a good mix, and put off the flame once the desired consistency is achieved.

7. Offer the delectable Hayagreeva Maddi as Naivedhyam to diety and later distribute as prasadam. If not making as an offering to God, serve the Hayagriva madii in individual bowls and enjoy with your loved ones while it is hot !

Recipe Notes:
  • The color of the Hayagreeva maddi depends upon the color of the jaggery used. 
  • The consistency of Haygreeva maddi can be adjusted as per liking. The dish solidifies and thickens further on cooling so switch off the flame a little before the desired consistency is reached. 
  • The dish tastes best while it is hot. 
  • You can store Hayagriva maddi for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a refriegerator.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
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Monday, 25 May 2020

Lemon Semolina Cake in Teacups / Egg-less and without-Oven

Suji Cake is a delectable Indian dessert made using semolina. An eggless butterless bake, this lemon semolina cake as the name suggests is flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice which imparts a lovely tangy taste to the otherwise sweet cake. This is a without-oven recipe as I have made the cake in teacups and baked it in a pressure cooker. One can easily slice the cake made in teacups or glass in roundels and serve them at kid's birthday parties or picnics. Adding tutti frutti to the cake is optional but it does make the cake more delicious and appealing. The recipe is very simple, easy to follow, and does not require any fancy ingredients. The cake stays good at room temperature for 2 days and up to a week on refrigeration.

Semolina Cake

I have been baking suji tutti frutti cake from the last 5 years at least once in two months. There are two reasons behind it. The first one is that it is my little one's favorite bake and the other one is that the recipe is super simple. You only require a mixing bowl to blend the ingredients at one go and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. You get your oven preheated by then. In the end add baking powder and soda, followed by Tutti Frutti, and pour the prepared batter in a greased container and bake for 30-35 minutes. The recipe is egg-less, butter-less, and very easy to follow.

Baking in the Pressure cooker:

I am dedicating this post to all my readers those who had been asking me to share the oven-less baking method for a long time. One can easily enjoy homemade bakes even if they do not have an oven at home. I can still recall how my mom used to bake the cake for us in kadhai when I was a kid. She used to keep fine sand at the bottom of a huge kadhai (wok) and cover it with a lid and preheat it on medium flame. The cake tin is then placed on a stand over the heated sand and then again cover cooked on low flame for 40-45 minutes. The same technique is used here. Instead of a kadhai, I have used an old pressure cooker and kept salt at the bottom before preheating it. Here though I am using a pressure cooker, the cooking technique is not steaming as no water is used. The cake is baked by a slow cooking method in a heated container in this method. To check the doneness, a toothpick or knife is inserted in the center of the cake. If it turns out clean the cake is done. If the toothpick is sticky and has batter stuck to it, you need to bake the cake for another few minutes. I have been baking cookies, nankhataii, and cake using this technique, and believe me it does turn out great. The gasket and whistle of the cooker lid has to be removed in this method. One can even use an empty heated kadhai, without any sand or salt at the bottom, with just a stand and a lid to bake cakes and cookies.

What goes into my Lemon Semolina Cake?

This lemon semolina cake recipe is adapted from my suji tutti frutti cake recipe. The first and most obvious ingredient is semolina aka suji. Fine semolina is used here. If you have a coarse variety of semolina, you can pulse it in a grinder jar before using in the recipe. As this is an eggless cake, fresh yogurt and milk are used which make the cake soft and moist. This is also a butterless recipe, so any non-flavored oil such as olive oil or sunflower oil can be used instead. Sugar is the sweetener used here. You can make this cake using jaggery powder but the color of the cake will be light brown then. I made this cake for kids so used tutti frutti in it which makes it appealing and adds a bite to the soft fluffy cake. You may use chopped nuts of your choice instead or skip it altogether. As this is a lemon semolina cake the mildly tangy flavor comes due to the addition of fresh lemon juice and also from lemon zest. Apart from this baking, powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt are used in this recipe. The best part about this cake is that all you require is a mixing bowl wherein you add semolina, sugar, milk, yogurt, and oil and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. Sugar gets dissolved in this time and the semolina absorbs all the moisture from milk, yogurt, and oil. Then you add the lemon zest, lemon juice, baking soda, baking powder, and blend the batter with cut and fold method. Lastly, tutti frutti is being added and the batter is poured either in a cake tin, muffin holders, greased glasses or teacups, and baked until done. Isn't it a very simple and easy recipe?

Related Event:

Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a gourmet Facebook group where a group of talented food bloggers from around the globe share their food recipes each week depending upon any one of the chosen themes. All bloggers take turns to suggest two themes each week and the theme that wins maximum vote is been finalised. I owe a lot to this food group and I am a part of this group from the last 3 years. So, far i have shared 148 recipes for this weekly event. Yesterday, we bloggers of Foodie Monday Blog hop had a zoom meet for the first time that we were planning for the last 3 years. When you have members from different parts of the world, most of them being working professionals, it becomes hard to fix a particular time for chat considering all the time zones and one's preferences. It was a wonderful session where we got to know each other and we just hope we could organize such meets often. Anyways, " Lemon Love" was the 148th-week theme in this group. It was Waagmi's turn to suggest themes this week. Waagmi is a professional food stylist and photographer and her out of the world photography speaks for her.  Check out her Kiwi lemonade if you are looking for some refreshing summer afternoon treat. I have also bookmarked her katori chaat to try out soon. I already had South Indian Lemon RiceLemon ChutneyInstant Lemon PickleLemon Crinkle Cookies and Lemon and Raisin muffins recipes on this blog so, I chose to bake this delectable lemon semolina cake in teacups for this theme. Do check out my fellow blogger's post for more lemon recipes.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 teacup cakes

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1 cup fine Semolina / Suji
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup tutti frutti
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Few drop so vanilla extract
  1. In a mixing bowl add fine semolina, milk, yogurt, sugar, and oil. Mix all the ingredients very well and keep aside for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile layer the bottom of an old pressure cooker with salt or sand and cover it with the lid. Remove the gasket and whistle from the lid. Heat the pressure cooker on medium to high heat for around 10-15 minutes.

3. After soaking time the semolina will absorb all the moisture and the batter may appear a bit thick. Add little milk if required to get an idli batter-like consistency. Next add lemon zest, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Give a good stir.

4. Next, add baking powder and baking soda to the cake batter and mix by cut and fold method. Do not overbeat the batter after adding baking powder.

5. Lastly, add flour-coated tutti frutti to the batter. Blend again. Fill the batter up to 3/4 capacity of each greased teacups.

6. Tap the teacups and place them on a rack or plate in the heated pressure cooker and cover the cooker. Bake the cake on low flame for about 30-35 minutes. To check the doneness of the cake, insert a toothpick in the center of each cupcake. If t comes out clean, the cake is done. If the toothpick is sticky cook the cake for another 5 minutes.

7. Allow the lemon tea cupcakes to cool down completely before demolding them. Now cut them into roundels and serve the delicious sweet and tangy lemon suji cake to your loved ones and enjoy a flavorful treat!

Recipe Notes:
  • A fine variety of semolina gives the best result in this cake recipe. If you cannot source it you may pulse the regular coarse upma variety and use it. 
  • The addition of tutti frutti in this cake is optional. You may add chopped nuts of choice instead or skip it altogether.
  • Do not skip the lemon zest in this recipe as it imparts a lovely lemony aroma and flavor to the cake which would not come from lemon juice alone. To make the lemon zest you have to scrape the thin outer peel of the lemon taking care you do not add the inner white part which is bitter in taste.
  • Do not overbeat the cake batter after the addition of baking powder and baking soda.
  • Jaggery powder can be used as a sweetener but the cake color may change.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

For more Lemon recipes, do check out the following from this blog.


Monday, 18 May 2020

Mango Papdi Chaat

Mango Papdi Chaat is a refreshing and delightful Summer snack. It is a flavorful variation of the papdi chaat, a popular North Indian street-food. Here, ripe mango salsa seasoned with lime juice and chaat masala is topped over a crisp dough wafer (papri). I have used homemade Whole wheat baked methi matris instead of the regular refined flour deep-fried papri to make this snack a guilt-free affair. Mango papri chaat is a lip-smacking blend of sweet-sour and spicy flavors that can be served as a delightful Summer party appetizer and the best part is that even kids can make it in a jiffy provided papris are ready at hand. The recipe is very simple to follow, oil-free, and vegan.

What is Chaat?

Chaat refers to a wide range of savory snacks across the Indian subcontinent, essentially a street food that has bold flavors and texture coming from a variety of spice blends, chutneys, and other ingredients added to it. The word chaat is derived from a Hindi verb "chaatna" which means to lick and very true to its name, chaats are finger-licking good. With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, India, Chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of the Indian subcontinent.

The chaat variants are all based on fried dough with various other common ingredients like Dahi (yogurt), chopped onions, coriander, sev (thin dried yellow salty noodles made with chickpea flour) and chaat masala, typically consisting of amchoor ( dried mango powder), cumin, kala namak (Himalayan black rock salt), coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Most of the chaats will have two flavorful chutneys, Khajur Imli ki Chutney / Dates and Tamarind chutney ( a sweet, tangy spicy dip) and the spicy Coriander chutney. The chaat ingredients are combined and served on a small metal plate or dried leaf bowls.

Various types of Chaats:
  • Aloo Chana Chaat :Aloo chana chaat is one of the most mouthwatering street foods of North India. This lip-smacking chaat is made by tossing boiled chickpeas and potatoes with flavorful chutneys, vegetables, and spice powders.
  • Kutchi Dabeli: It is spicy snack made by mixing boiled potatoes with a dabeli masala and putting the mixture between pav (burger bun) and served with chutneys made from tamarind, date, garlic, red chilies, and garnished with pomegranate and roasted peanuts.
  • Bedmi Poori is a traditional breakfast dish from the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. Lentil stuffed dough balls are fried until crisp and typically served with aloo rasedar (a thin potato curry), the delicious and filling combo is known as bedmi aloo and is popular street food in Delhi, Agra, Mathura, and Banaras.
  • Dahi Vada : A popular street food dahi vada needs no introduction in India. It is a lip-smacking snack prepared by soaking the deep-fried lentil dumplings (vadas) in thick seasoned yogurt and topped with flavorful chutneys, pomegranate arils, and sev. 
  • Urad dal Kachori : Urad dal Kachori is a delicious savory fried snack and popular street food from North India. It has a crispy outer covering made with whole wheat flour and a flavorful crunchy and spicy stuffing made from split skinned black gram (urad dal).
  • Dahi Papdi Chaat: Papdi chaat is a popular traditional North Indian street food. A perfect blend of sweet, sour, tangy, and spicy flavors with a creamy crunchy texture! It is traditionally prepared using crisp fried dough wafers known as papri, along with boiled chickpeas, boiled potatoes, yogurt, and tamarind chutney and topped with chaat masala and sev.
  • Mumbai Pav Bhaji : Pav Bhaji consist of a spicy mix vegetable curry ( Bhaji in Marathi) served with butter toasted Pav Buns.
  • Corn Bhel: Sweet Corn bhel is a lip-smacking snack and popular Indian street food. The recipe is very simple and calls for tossing boiled sauteed sweet corn kernels, boiled potatoes, onion, tomato, and pomegranate with lemon juice, sweet and sour Khajur Imli /Dates and Tamarind Chutney and spicy and flavorful Coriander Chutney.
  • Jhal Muri : Jhal Muri, a lip-smacking snack is popular street food from the Indian state of West Bengal. Basically, it is a spicy puffed rice salad made with basic ingredients from your kitchen pantry like peanuts, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onions, spices, and herbs.

What goes into my Mango Papdi Chaat?

Papdi chaat is a popular North Indian street food where fried dough wafers are topped with tangy spicy chutneys, boiled potatoes, nylon sev, onions, tomatoes, and coriander. Here i have given the chaat a flavorful variation using Summer delight Mangoes. My old readers must be aware that i have almost stopped using refined flour/ maida in my cooking for almost 3-4 years now. Almost all my bakes are using whole wheat flour. Here, also instead of making matri or papdi using refined flour , i have opted whole wheat flour. Further to make it all the more healthy i have baked the papris instead of deep-frying them so that all my family members could enjoy it in a guilt-free manner. Click here for the recipe of whole wheat baked matri flavored with methi (fenugreek). Use ripe sweet juicy mangoes of any variety in this recipe which are firm and not mushy. Next, we need is finely chopped onions and tomatoes. I have deseeded the tomatoes. I have also used chopped green chilies for the spicy kick. You may skip it if serving to kids or replace it with red chili powder or black pepper if you wish. Fresh coriander imparts a lovely refreshing taste to the chaat. You may use mint instead. Chaat masala, salt and lemon juice are used to season the chaat. I have used nylon sev to garnish the chaat. You may skip it to make this chaat a completely oil-free snack.

Related Event:

'It's chaat time' is the theme for the 247th week on Foodie Monday Blog Hop. We Indians are die-hard fans of chaat and owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown for the last 2 months, it is not practically possible to enjoy the various street-foods. Hence, Swaty very thoughtfully suggested this theme so that we could come up with lip-smacking chaat recipes that can easily be made at home and enjoyed even during the lockdown period. Since, it is Summer time i wanted to make something using mangoes and hence made this delightful mango papdi chaat as my contribution towards the theme. Meanwhile, do check out Swaty's space for some delicious food recipes both from Indian and International Cuisine. I have already bookmarked her Aloo Chane Taco Chaat and the Cheesy Paneer Tikka Parcels to try out soon.


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Nil
Serves: 5

  • 25 Papri/ Baked methi matris
  • 1 cup ripe mango chunks
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nylon sev (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Salt to taste

  1. We will first make the mango salsa/salad, for that take mango chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add finely chopped onion, tomato, green chilies, and coriander to it. 

2. Season the salad with salt, chaat masala, and lemon juice. Do a taste test and add more seasonings if required.

3. Now, take serving plates for assembling the mango papdi chaat. Arrange the baked papris on them.

4. Next, top each papdi with the prepared mango salad and garnish it with nylon sev. Sprinkle little chaat masala and serve the utterly delicious mango papdi chaat and enjoy with your loved ones!

Recipe Notes:
  • You may skip adding chopped green chilies and use red chili powder instead in the mango salad. 
  • Assemble the papdi chaat just before serving as it may become soggy if kept for a long time.
  • Papris can be made ahead of time and stored for about 15 days at room temperature in an air-tight container.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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