Nelli Chettu Saaru( Dried Gooseberry Rasam)

 

The four month chaturmasya vrata started last week.  All information about this can be found here- http://www.uttaradimath.org/web/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1172&Itemid=376

And here for those who can read Kannada

http://www.udayavani.com/news/158892L15-%E0%B2%B6-%E0%B2%B0-%E0%B2%95-%E0%B2%B7-%E0%B2%A3%E0%B2%AE%E0%B2%A0%E0%B2%A6%E0%B2%B2-%E0%B2%B2–%E0%B2%9A-%E0%B2%A4-%E0%B2%B0-%E0%B2%AE-%E0%B2%B8-%E0%B2%AF%E0%B2%B5-%E0%B2%B0%E0%B2%A4-%E0%B2%86%E0%B2%B9-%E0%B2%B0.html

The recipes for the Vrata are like comfort food and taste wonderful. Even though the choice of ingredients is limited, there is no compromise on the taste.  I will add a few recipes for Vrata in the coming days. For People who are doing the chaturmasya, each Madhwa mutt has their own list of ingredients that are allowed, so it is better to check before following my recipe. For others looking for a change of taste, these recipes are very simple, quick and different.
Nelli Chettu is the sun dried fruit of the Indian Gooseberry. The medicinal benefits of the Indian Gooseberry can be found by searching the internet. It is a very commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. This is the main ingredient of our ‘Nelli Chettu Saaru’ recipe.

Ingredients- 

1. Dried Gooseberry pieces- about 10
2. Black Pepper( Whole)- 1 Tsp
3. Raw Rice- 1 Tbsp( Rice is for thickening, but is optional)
4. Ghee- For tempering
5. Grated fresh coconut- 1/2 cup
6. Salt- To taste
7. Jeera/cumin- 1/2 Tsp
8. Water- 4 cups
9. Asafoetida- A pinch
10. Jaggery- a small piece
I also used a few Curry leaves in the tempering.

Method- 
Roast the Gooseberry pieces, pepper and Rice in a few drops of ghee, till the rice turns white and the Gooseberry pieces puff up. Grind the roasted ingredients with the coconut and very little water to a fine paste. Add about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and add the jaggery. Make a tempering of the Jeera and asafoetida in ghee and add it to the Saaru. Serve piping hot with rice. This make a wonderful soup for cold winters also.

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