June has been a much awaited month for more reasons than one! Very obvious one, school re-opened after a particularly difficult ( for me, not the kids) summer break. If you wondered what that blast of warm air was that hit you on 4th of June, it was just me heaving a sigh of relief! My sister-in-law arrived soon after from the US, lugging along my much-awaited bread machine and lots of other baking goodies, yaaay! According to her, when I saw all my goodies, I looked like someone who got her Christmas and Diwali gifts all at once! Well, it certainly felt like it! Thank God she keeps picking up stuff for me or I can't imagine how tough my baking life would be!
Summer was a busy time at work, daughter refusing to go to a summer camp adding to my woes :(. With my son's swimming and cricket camps, going in and out, getting on with routine, effectively put a dampener on my baking / blogging plans. Life will continue to be on the fast track for some more time with some amount of shopping and outings with the visiting family (did I mention, my sister is visiting too!) Maybe this will explain the lull in the posts here, hopefully I shall bounce back soon, while I make use of my new baking toys!
Now to Hayagreeva ,one of my sister-in-law's favorite sweet dishes we made as part of the welcome-home meal along with another of her favorites Menthya Bele Huli. (Not that jet lag is the best state for folk to relish food). Its basically cooked Chana Dal simmered with jaggery, some poppy seeds thrown in along with grated dry coconut. Lord Hayagreeva or Hayavadana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was fed this dish everyday by the great saint and composer, Sree Vadhiraja.
If you like the taste of jaggery and dal, this is a very simple, easy and tasty dish to make, the taste akin to the filling of some kinds of obbattus.. Here goes the simple recipe
Chana dal (uncooked) - 1 cup
Jaggery, crushed - 1cup or more (depending on the sweetness of jaggery and taste, less may make the sweet taste bland)
Poppy seeds - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Grated Dry coconut - 2 -3 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cashew nuts - a few
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Procedure : Wash the dal thoroughly. Cook in a pressure cooker with enough water and a pinch of turmeric, add a tiny pinch of cooking soda if you wish. Cook for about 3 whistles. When the pressure drops, drain the liquid, reserve it for another use. The dal must be soft and cooked, but not mushy. The dish must have some texture when you are done cooking it. Place the jaggery in a heavy bottomed vessel, cover it with about 1/4 cup of water and place it on the stove on low heat. Let the jaggery dissolve. Add the cooked dal and stir. Let cook on low heat till it turns a nice homogenous consistency. Mash some of the dal with a masher as it helps it come together. Cook till most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring frequently. (You could of course let more or less liquid remain, depending on the consistency you prefer.) The presence of water helps the dal and jaggery cook together for some time till the dal takes on a bit of the sweetness, without getting a burnt taste. In the meantime, lightly toast the poppy seeds. ( My mother doesn't toast, adds them as is in the beginning). Add the poppy seeds and the coconut. Cook for about 10 minutes, add the cardamom. Heat the ghee and fry the cashews. Tip it in, mix. (Imagine some in the pictures, will you, they are conspicuous by their absence I know!) Take off the heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.