Ambode

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Ingredients-
1. Channa Daal- 2 cups, soaked in water for about an hour or two
2. Fresh coconut grated- 1/4 cup
3. Ginger- 1 inch piece, chopped
4. Fresh coriander- a small bunch
5. Curry leaves- a small sprig, finely chopped
6. Green Chilies- 5 to 6
7. Salt- to taste
8. Rice flour- 2 Tsp( to make the ambodes crispy)
9. Oil for deep frying

Variations( Optional)-
Cashews broken into small pieces- 2 Tbsp
Or
Pudina- 2 Tbsp very finely chopped
Or
Hithak avare beLe- 1/4 cup, cooked in salt water
Or
Onion- 1/4 cup, very finely minced

Method-
Grind the Channa daal in small batches adding very little water, to a course paste. The grate option on the blender is very helpful, if you don’t own a tabletop grinder. With the last batch, grind the coconut, ginger, green chilies and the coriander to a thick paste. Mix together with the previous batch paste, add the chopped curry leaves, salt and rice flour. Mix in the other optional ingredients if using any. Take a small amount of the paste, flatten it slightly on the palm to give it a round, flat shape. Deep fry in hot oil on medium heat, till dark golden brown. The ambodes should be crispy on the outside, and soft inside.

Ambodes taste great on their own, or can be soaked in saaru(Rasam) and eaten.

BeLe HoLige/HurNad HoLige

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‘HoLige’ is a very popular sweet dish made for festivals and special occassions, around India. It is called by different names like Puran Poli, Obbatu, Bobbattulu, etc in different languages.

Some people seem to think it is a sweet chapathi (because it looks like chapathi), which it is NOT. The outer covering of a HoLige is called the ‘KaNaka’ and the filling is called the ‘HoorNa’. The kaNaka should be really thin and just hold the hoorNa together. That is the most difficult part, and cannot be compared to just making chapathis.

There are certain recipes like HoLige, ChiroTi, PheNi, etc, which I consider are made best by professional cooks who make them regularly. For the amateur cook like me, a little interest, a very helpful and supportive Hubby and a lots of patience have helped learning basic cooking . It has taken 2-3 failed attempts to come to the results below, and I am sure it will improve with experience đŸ™‚

Sometimes, after making the HoLiges, either some hoorNa or some KaNaka is left over, and each time this happens I remember what my Grandmother would say, ‘If the KaNaka is left over, a baby boy will be born in the house, and if HoorNa is left over, a baby girl will be born”. Anyone reading this willing to experiment?

Ingredients for the Hoorna-
1. Toor Daal- 2 Cups
2. Ghee- 1 Tsp
3. Turmeric Powder- a pinch
4. Fresh grated coconut- 1/2 cup
5. Jaggery- 2 1/2 cups
6. Cardamom – about 4, powdered
7. Nutmeg Powder- 1/2 Tsp

Ingredients for the KaNaka-
1. Maida- 2 cups( Traditionally Chiroti rave is used, but the dough has to be kneaded very well, then pounded well with a pestle to soften it. I have tried both, maida works fine and is less work)
2. Salt- a pinch
3. Oil- 2 Tsp

Other ingredients
1. Ghee- For spreading on the HoLige
2. Oil- 1/2 cup, for soaking the KaNaka
3. Badam Milk- For Serving
4. Powdered sugar- For serving

Picture-1 Picture-2

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Method-

For the KaNaka– First make the KaNaka, since it needs to soak in the oil for at least 4 to 5 hours to make it stretchable and elastic. It is best if it can be soaked in oil overnight, since the dough becomes really elastic. To make the KaNaka, mix all the ingredients, and make a soft dough with warm water, such that it bounces back when touched. Soak the dough in oil, knead once again in the oil, and keep ready ( Picture 1). Keep kneading the dough once in a while to make it more elastic.

For the Hoorna– Cook the Toor daal in water with the ghee and turmeric powder till it is completely cooked and very soft( Too much water can make the daal too watery, and ruin it.) The excess water drained from the cooked daal is called ‘Kattu’ used to make a delicious ‘hurNada Saaru’.

To the daal, add the jaggery powder, coconut cardamom and nutmeg powder. The jaggery makes the daal a bit watery, so it need to be continuously stirred on a low heat, till it forms one big lump. Cool the hurNa for a while.

Traditionally this HurNa is made very smooth by grinding it in a large stone mortar( rubbu- vorLu), but nowadays a small tabletop grinder comes in really handy. This can be skipped if the daal is pressure cooked completely.

To Make the HoLige-

Take a small amount of KaNka, spread it on your palm. Place a golf ball size of hurNa on it and cover it completely with the KaNka( Like for aloo Paratha). Gently pat to flatten it, and roll it with a rolling pin on a butter paper or plastic cling wrap into about 8″- 10″ circles, using plain maida for powdering if necessary. A banana leaf would be most ideal for this purpose, as it is easy to transfer on to the tava. The rest is easy. Make the HoLiges on a low flame, to avoid burning, drizzling both sides with a little ghee.

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Enjoy with some ghee, warm milk and sugar powder (if you have a sweet tooth).