This year on Vinakaya chavithi all of you got together and schemed against me by talking about the festivites and your delicious offerings to the elephant Lord. I had not planned on making anything special, a quick sugar candy/dry fruits neivedyam in the morning and I was out of the house. I changed my status message on the messenger, wished everyone I could find online, put a nice blog post wishing all of you, and then started going around ...that was the mistake. Each one of you had a solid plan chalked out on how you were making the day special, hmph!
And all the foodie photos got me hungry for some authentic festive food too :( I am not a sweet lover, I think I've mentioned that enough in this space, no mood for frying things up either. As I was composing that post I tried looking for a post of undrallu on my blog, I had made them the last two years for Ganesh chathurthi and was so sure I had blogged about them, atleast I thought so. Not finding the post though confirmed by dinner plans :) Undrallu it was, with the condiment made specially for it, a yet another awesome traditional combo, puli-inji/allam-chinthapandu pachadi. Here's my version...
- 3/4 cup - Rice* Use 1 1/2 cup idli rava if you want to save time
- 1/4 cup - Moong/chana/toor dal* I used a combo of the later two, while the first is the traditional choice
- 3/4 tsp - whole Peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp - Cumin seeds/jeera
- 1/2 Tbsp - Ghee/oil
- 5-6 - Curry leaves
- 1 - dried Red chilli
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp - grated/bite sized coconut for added flavor (thanks anon!)Method:
The upma stage
- Soak the rice in water for about 30-40 mins. Drain and spread them on kitchen towels to dry. Once most of the moisture is lost, blend them to a coarse powder along with the dal, pepper and 1/2 tsp jeera. I got approximately 2 cups of the coarse powder/rava from this.
- Microwave 1 1/2 cups of water. Heat ghee in a sauce pan, add the 1/4tsp of the jeera, next add the curry leaves and broken red chilli. Once they splutter, carefully add all the water to the pan with salt.
- Stirring continuously, add the rice-dal rava (and coconut) , try to avoid any lumps. Cover and place on medium-low heat for a 5-8mins. Since the rice was soaked and then ground, it does not take long to cook. Turn off heat when done, but keep covered for a few more minutes. Drizzle a little more ghee if you want now.The idli stage
- In the meantime, place a pressure cooker with a few inches of water to heat. lightly grease a pan that fits inside the cooker. When the rice-dal upma is cool enough to handle, form into into oval shape balls, moisten your hands if needed, so the mixture does not stick to them. Arrange them on the greased pan, close with the lid and steam them for 8-10mins, or until you get a steady stream of steam coming out of the cooker for about 5 mins. Serve hot with some puli-inji or kara podi/idli podi or sambar
I got about 8 of these, I steamed 4 in the cooker and 4 in the microwave. The batch in the microwave was slightly yellowish and not steamed through as well as the cooker batch. But I am sure you can use the microwave in a pinch.