Vakkaya Pappu

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Vakkaya Pappu

Recently, my father-in-law brought home some berries to be cooked. My mother-in-law remembered it from their days at SriHariKota (abt 28 years back). So she prepared it, and we definitely enjoyed the taste that very day! I do keep to keep a look out though, for its availability in Bangalore..

To quote Wikipedia: Common names include “crane berry” (English), karonda (Devanagari: करोंदा), karamardaka (Sanskrit), kauLi hannu/ಕೌಳಿ ಹಣ್ಣು (Kannada), kali maina/कालि मैना (Marathi),karauna (Maithili), vakkay (Telugu), kilaakkaai/கிளாக்காய் (Tamil)The fruit is a rich source of iron, so it sometimes used in treatment of anaemia. It contains a fair amount of Vitamin C and therefore is an antiscorbutic.

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Vakkaya

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Ripe one, with seed

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After de-seeding

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Cook the dal, chopped green chillies and vakkaya chopped into long pieces of 6 or 9.
  • Once the dal has cooked, mash the dal and chillies well. Some of the vakkaya pieces may get smashed.
  • Add the salt, chilli powder . and hing and mix well
  • cook for 10 mins or till excess water dries up
  • In a small wok, heat 1 tsp oil and add the tadka.
  • Once the aavalu start popping, add to the dal and mix
  • Cook the dal for a couple of minutes more and then take off flame.
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Can see the vakkaya pieces being cooked

Serve hot with rice and ghee.

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Vakkaya pappu all set!!

Review – Sunday Brunch @ Big Brewsky

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Recently Hubby went for dinner to this new (to us) place called Big Brewsky with his colleagues. We are still in the process of exploring eateries in our new vicinity, and this seemed like a good opportunity. Online reviews spoke highly of their Sunday Brunch, we planned to visit soon. Today is also my SIL’s birthday, so we decided to celebrate it for her!😉😉

On the outset, I must mention that it’s a great idea to make reservation for this place. We made it for 1pm, and walked a few minutes past 1. Within the next 30 minutes, the place was almost full! Reservation also meant that we got a seat at the poolside which was a great location…

The Sunday Brunch is essentially a buffet. But to say it as such doesn’t do it justice. Once we were seated, we were handed the food and drinks menus. We opted for the buffet and asked for a mocktail and a coke, and then headed to the buffet.

First off, we had the focaccia and assorted herb breads with butter, along with a nice salad. Here you have the option of getting the chef to make it for you with dressings, but we opted to just have it mixed up and plain. The spiced pears were definitely delicious…

On the sushi side, they had a couple of options for vegetarians which was great. One was a Californian maki and the other was avocado maki. I’d never tasted this cuisine before, so it was interesting, but I won’t comment more since I don’t have a frame of reference. There was also a chat counter where they served huge kulhads of chaas/spiced buttermilk. For an instant we regretted ordering the coke and mocktail..

In the next round, we took some Thai vegetables that were a disappointment flavour-wise. But i was able to dip them in the XO sauce that i got with the veg dim-sums. Which, by the way, were yumm!  We also stopped over at the pani-puri counter. The puris were huge compared to the commercial variety, and it was just perfect. However, I couldn’t have more than a few since it was so filling. We also had the makki-di-roti and paratha with the curry at the buffet (I forget the name), and later with the Dal Amritsari. We also had a bit more of the focaccia…

Hubby also managed to snag us a piece each of the woodfire veg pizza. They were getting over almost as soon as they were pulled out of the oven, so I was really happy to get a taste!

When it came to rice, there was only steamed rice available. We wanted something different, so we checked with the manager around. His question was simple: what is it you want, pulao or biryani? We said either was ok. He called a chef and asked him to whip up some biryani. 5 minutes later, hot steaming dum biryani was ready! It felt great that we were served the biryani (which was not on the buffet menu) and it tasted amazing!

Finally we were ready for dessert. The dessert counter had imarti which was freshly being prepared, semiya payasam, waffles served with maple and chocolate syrup and nuts and chocolate fudge with a chocolate fountain, and fresh fruits. In another area you also had gulab jamuns and peda (neither of which we tried) Of the things we did try, the imarti and the waffles were a let down. Neither had flavour and was pretty flat tasting. I enjoyed the chocolate syrup-covered fudge pieces the most…

What we did not try were the pav bhaji, chole-bature and grill sections. But hey, there has to be a reason for next time right!😉

 

Senegala Vada (Brown Bengalgram Fritters)

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This is favourite snack, and is available, in various versions, across South Indian households and even restaurants.

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Senegala vada with chutney

This is different from “masala vada” as the masala vada is made with split bengal gram, not the whole one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown senegalu (chana, whole bengal gram) – soaked and drained.
  • 6-8 green chillies
  • 1″ piece of ginger
  • optional – finely chopped onion
  • optional – croasely ground pepper
  • Chopped curry leaves
  • pinch of asafetida/hing
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying
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The washed senegalu with chillies and ginger

Method:

  • Rough-grind the soaked senegalu. You may add a bit of water to help in the grinding.
  • Add the chillies and ginger and grind again so they are mixed well.
    • Ensure that the senegalu remain rough, and are not finely ground. That would take away from the texture and taste of the final vada.
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coarsely ground with the chillies and ginger mixed in.

  • remove from jar and add salt and mix well.
  • You may add the other ingredients at this time, and set aside till the oil heats.
  • Wet your fingers and take a bit of the batter and flatten.
    • Ensure that the edges are not broken as this may cause the vada to break while frying.
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Flatten on your fingers

  • Once the oil is heated enough, gently drop this into the oil for frying.
    • You may also use a plastic sheet for shaping the vadas. They can then be dropped from the sheet into the oil.
  • Turn the vada until it is uniformly brown and then take out.
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Frying into a lovely brown

  • Put it on a plate lined with kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.
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Senegala vada ready!!

Serve hot with coconut chutney!🙂