Monday, June 8, 2009

Chow Chow Bhath...

No, this doesn't have anything to do with China or the currency of Thailand! It is next on my Bangalore Breakfast menu :) Don't ask me how it got this international sounding name, but it is something that every Bangalorean will be familiar with. Every Darshini or Sagar (common restaurants in Bangalore) will certainly have this on their breakfast menu. So what on earth is it!? Well, it is a comforting combination, a little spicy 'n' a little sweet, upma/uppittu and kesaribhath. (Separate portions of both are served together.)They are both made of semolina/rava/sooji.
We invited two of our very good friends over for a Sunday brunch and the Bangalorean in me coaxed me to make this endearing combo. Our friends, H & A, are from Bangalore too and we spent a relaxed Sunday reminiscing some good old memories of our hometown.

"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us." ~Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Here's the recipe -

Uppittu/Upma for 4

  • 1 large cup coarse rava/semolina/sooji (roasted)
  • 2 large cups water (1:2 ratio of rava and water)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped
  • 1-2 dry red chillies
  • some curry leaves
  • a small piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 cup mixed veggies - peas, beans, carrot and potato, diced
  • for tempering - mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and a pinch of hing
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • chopped coriander to garnish
  • 2 tbspns ghee (clarified butter)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbspns grated coconut (optional)
  • a little bit of lemon juice
  1. It is important to roast the rava well, otherwise the final product will be mushy and not very appealing. Roast it in a thick bottomed/non stick frying pan on medium heat until it turns slightly brown and smells nutty. Keep this aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a wok/pan and add all ingredients for tempering.
  3. Now add curry leaves, chillies and ginger.
  4. Add chopped onion and saute till done.
  5. Add the diced veggies and saute for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add 2 cups water and put in salt, turmeric and 1/4 tspn sugar.
  7. Bring to the boil.
  8. Turn the heat down and slowly add the roasted rava and keep stirring simultaneously to avoid lumps. (This step needs to be done carefully as the whole mixture will start bubbling furiously like hot lava and you don't want any hot splatters on your hand.)
  9. Quickly add the grated coconut and mix well until everything amalgamates well.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander, drizzle lemon juice and serve hot.

Kesari Bhath for 4

  • 1 small cup roasted rava (for this recipe, roast the rava in some (1tspn) ghee)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 small cups water
  • a handful of cashews, almonds, sultanas (lightly roasted in some ghee)
  • 1/4 tspn cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple (optional) I used the canned ones.
  • a few drops of yellow food colour (or you could use some fresh saffron soaked in a tspn of milk for a lovely natural colour. That's how it gets its name - Kesari = saffron)
  1. Heat ghee in a kadai/wok and add the rava. Roast on low flame until lightly brown. Meanwhile bring to the boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan.
  2. Once the rava is nicely roasted, turn down the heat and pour in the boiling water, very carefully, while stirring it simultaneously to avoid lumps.
  3. The boiling water will cook the rava in a couple of minutes. It is very important for the rava to be cooked. Otherwise it will not taste good and will be somewhat hard.
  4. Once everything is well amalgamated, add the sugar and stir well. At this stage the whole mixture will slightly liquefy because of the sugar (add the cardamom powder and dry fruits, pineapple and food colour now) but will very soon come back to the right consistency. You could also add a couple of tspns of ghee for added richness and taste.
  5. Turn off the heat and serve hot.
Of course, these recipes can well be prepared and served independent of each other. In fact, kesari bhath is a common dessert that is made in most Bangalore households when guests come over. It is simple and quick to make but tastes great. One of the many comfort foods :)

I also made Maddur Vadas and coconut chutney, M's favourite :)

Oh and H & A got some drool inducing chocolates for us, muah guys! Here's a peek for you...


Ana-Maria said...

Nic blog

Divya Rao said...

Thank you!

Vani said...

chow chow bhath looks yummy! And the maddur vadas too

Divya Rao said...

Thanks Vani :)

Pavithra said...

First time here .. loved this chow chow bath.. u have wonderful space here.. nice recipes..will keep visiting regularly.

Divya Rao said...

Thanks Pavithra! Please do keep visiting :)

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow that's an int resting look yum....

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