Great Grand-ma’s famous Kadamba Bajji


My MIL’s mother, turning 81 this month, has never cooked anything that tastes ‘okay’, or ‘bad’ in the last few years that I’ve known her. And she does not hold a record to that effect in the past too! So, anything she cooks is exemplary. Anything she touches with a ladle and spoon turns into edible gold!

Vyas and his Kolla-Paatti (that is how he calls his great-grand ma!) derive a lot of pleasure in provoking each other, while also enjoying each other’s company. The little one never misses an opportunity to tell her that the food she cooks is very spicy and will do no good to her health, and that she must cook like amma, with less spice! A compliment from Vyas to kolla-paatti is hard to come by. But last Saturday, it was a *Vasishtar vaayal Brahma-Rishi moment’ when Vyas ‘certified’ Paatti’s famous bajji. He helped himself to a plate heaped with this speciality and queued for more after emptying the plate. Well, I take the credit for christening it as Kadamba-bajji, while paatti simply calls it ‘bajji’.

I can go on about the paatti’s looties, but that deserves a separate post. Here’s her recipe – minus her touch:

KADAMBA- BAJJI

Ingredients:

1. For batter:

    Gram-flour – 1 cup (besan or kadalai flour)
    Rice-flour – 2 tsps
    Cooking soda- a pinch (i don’t use)
    asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
    Chilli powder – 3/4 tsp (or as desired)
    Salt – 1/2 tsp (or as desired)
    Ghee- 2 tsps

2. Vegetables:

Potato, plantain, brinjal, chow-chow, cluster-beans(kothavaranga),broad-beans (avarekkai), capsicum, big green Chilli (the ones used for making mirchi-bajjis) peas, regular beans, carrot, green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves.

3. Oil for deep-frying

Method:

1. Wash and cut all the vegetables into very small pieces.
2. Finely chop a green chilli, coriander and curry leaves.
3. Mix gram-flour, rice flour, soda, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.
4. Add the chopped vegetables to this mix along with the ghee.
5. Add water to make it into a thick batter. The consistency can be a little thicker than idli or dosa batter.
6. Heat oil in a pan
7. Drop small balls of the batter into the oil and deep-fry.
7. Savor them hot on a rainy evening.

Paatti treated her grand-children, their spouses, and the great-grand children, about a dozen of us in all to this wonderful bajji last rainy-Saturday. The best part of her bajji-making is, she lights the stove only when we are ready to eat and serves us one-by-one. Paatti cooks every dish in a kumutti aduppu (charcoal-grill if you may call it). All the dozen of us would have emptied 2 plates each in less than 30 minutes! And she thoughtfully asks each of us if we had it to our heart’s content and is only happy to make more on request or demand!

Hail Paatti and her bajjis!

*Very rare for a sage to be acknowledged as ‘Brahma-rishi by sage Vasishta. Hard to get a compliment from someone.

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Cabbage Urpindi (Thogayal)


Come!  Break the monotony. Try this dish instead of the regular cabbage subji or dhal.  Am sure you’ll like it.  Do post any variations you try..

Ingredients:  Cabbage leaves, red chillies 2, green chilli 1, LG 1 piece, Urud dhal 1 tbps, gingely oid, salt, coriander leaves,tamarind pulp (from 1/2 lemon sized tamarind)

Method:

1. Wash and chop cabbage – 1 cup
2. Fry red chillies, urud dhal, LG,green chilli in 2 tsps gingely oil till the dhal turns reddish brown. keep aside
3. Saute the cabbage in t tsp oil for a minute.
4. Grind all of these together with tamarind pulp and washed coriander leaves and salt.

You can eat it with rice, or as side dish for idly/dosai/adai etc.

As a variation of the above recipe,  you can add one raw tomato (green) instead of tamarind, or one big whole gooseberry de-seeded.

Tomato and Paruppu rasam


Here comes my fav rasam.  Serves 6 (appx). Don’t forget to try and post the results- good, bad, funny..

Ingredients: Two ripe tomatoes, toor dhal,  asafoetida- a small piece,  rasam powder,  coriander, salt, tamarind

1. Soak tamarind- (size of half a lemon) in warm water for 10 mins.

2. Squeeze and extract pulp.

3.  Slighly mash tomatoes with hand and add to the extract with 3 glasses of water.

4. Add salt and asafoetida and boil

5. Add 2 full spoons of rasam powder and allow it to boil for 2 more mins.

6. Take 3 tsps of boiled toor-dhal and mash. Pour the remaining water and add it to rasam.

7. Its time to remove from flame when you see rich yellow froth on top.  Add 2 strings of curry leaves and coriander after you remove from flame.

8. Season with mustard and zeera in a tsp full ghee and keep it closed at least for 10 mins before you serve..

Drink hot or eat with hot cooked rice.

Did you like it?

Recipe time starts with Rasam Powder


I love to eat. I like to cook. I like to flaunt my cooking skills.  You’ve got to do yourself that favor (self-proclaiming) when there are’nt many appreciating your cooking effort.

For those of you fishing for a simple rasam powder recipe, here it goes! Let me know if it helped.  Recipes to make varieties of rasams will follow..  Have already shared this with a few of my friends and is working well:-) And if you want to know why I start with rasam powder, well, the beginning of all things must be small and simple you see!!

(betw, how do i copyright my recipes?)

Rasam Powder

Ing:  1 cup toor dhal, 1 cup long red chillies, 2 cups dhania, 50 gms pepper, 100 gms jeera, curry leaves, coriander leaves, turmeric powder,LG powder

  1. Fry all these items in 1tsp ghee on low flame for 7-8 mins except turmeric powder.
  2. Make sure  you wash the curry/dhania leaves before adding.
  3. Add 2 full scoops turmeric powder and 1 full tsp LG powder and remove from flame.
  4. Allow it to cool and finely powder using a mixer-grinder.

Tips: The round-ripe nattu (country) tomatoes and asofoetida bar adds flavor and fragrance to rasam and IS AUTHENTIC.  Big no to the hybrid, oblong, b’lore tomato varieties!