Tamarind Balls. We, in Conversation!

When I made Tamarind Balls last time I mentioned about using dates to bind them together. Took the powder with that idea, but entered into a conversation with my ingredients.

Tamarind Powder (TP): Make sure to roast me well. And Grind the roasted rice (Rice) too.

Rice: Hmmm I have been the staple food. Now the newcomer TP is telling what to do with me. Anyway use Nutribullet to powder well.

Cranberries (Cranbe) from the fridge: Hey I have sitting here in the cold for long. Try me instead of dates. Use Nutribullet to prepare me.

TP and Rice: Good idea. Will give a tangy feel.

Grated Coconut (Coco): I am ready to go in.

Me: I am mixing all of you. But a bit dry still.

Chakka Varatty (CV): I am here. The best of best.

Me: Come on in. But why are you not mixing.

CV: Mixing, I am like the queen bee. The super food and your favourite. Let them all join around me. Woooohaahaa.

Cranbe: No way, I am the imported one. You paid in dollars. I am the superior.

CV: Remember your daughter said in London. Cranbe is for old people.

Rice: He is not old. Look at him. And the mind is of a teenager.

Me: But CV, when you’re there, I will have to eat all. You’re Sautan (other wife) according to her. She may refuse to eat.

CV chuckles. And by then the 69 balls ( laddus) are ready.

Tamarind Balls. We, in Conversation!

Enth, a Cycad and a Challenge for the Traditionalist!

When I made Chakka Ada, some friends got it confused with ‘Poocha’, a traditional kumbilappam (bottom right) made in Edana, the Indian bay leaf (bottom left).

Traditional poocha of my childhood was made with enthanga (top in picture) powder, processed from the seeds of enth trees in our land.

Enthapana, the Malayalam name for the tree suggests that it is a palm. But google tells me that it’s a cycad, trees of the Jurassic age, unevolved over the ages. Apparently no relation to date palms, which is termed a palm, though the look etc are the same.

Like in date palms, enth also have male and female trees. Male ones grow a big cone shaped flower while a certain type of bees transport the abundant polen in the cones to the flowers of female enth to produce bunches of enthaga.

The ripened seeds are washed, dried, skinned and powdered for exquisite use for poocha, porridge, sweets etc. By the way it’s also called sago.

Enth is declared as endangered. And the solitary tree in my land will not bear fruit or produce pollen, even if I am willing to do a manual polination.

The tree has rings, denoting each year of it’s life. So even if I plant some, it will be years before we can see fruits/ seeds. But at least it’s a pay back to future generations.

In the meantime let me make poocha with chakka varatty and rice powder, as I have edna leaves in my land.

Watch this space.

Enth, a Cycad and a Challenge for the Traditionalist!

Chakka Ada. An All Natural Delicacy.

Those of you who follow my posts must have seen my recent one where I made Chakka Varatty (the reduced overripe jackfruit). I mentioned making Chakka Ada using it and here it is.

I took a cup (slightly bigger coffee mug) of roasted rice powder. Boiled some water in a vessel and added the powder mixed with a tablespoon of pure cow ghee and a pinch of salt. Mixed well into a soft consistency and kept for cooling down.

Took a good helping of chakka varatty from the fridge and mixed well with grated coconut of half a coconut. Please note that I didn’t add any preservative or jaggery or sugar in the varatty. It’s sweet with the sweetness of jackfruit.

Took some banana leaves and washed them. It was then moved along open fire of the stove. This serves two purposes. 1. The leaves become mailable and won’t break easily. 2. Any unwanted things not cleaned in rinsing in water get destroyed.

Cut the leaves into almost squares. I took five such cut parts. Greased the leaves with some pure cow ghee. Took the cooled down rice mix and spread it on the leaf after making into a ball and spreading with hand on the leaf. Put the chakka varatty- coconut mix on the middle of the ada and folded the leaf covering the chakka with rice mix on both sides.

Steamed them well in an Idli steamer. The all natural yummy chakka ada is ready to enjoy.

Chakka Ada. An All Natural Delicacy.

Something Special For Vishu. Chakka Varatty.

The jackfruit I got was a bit overripe to eat fresh. And then it’s Vishu and what is a better day to make something good and traditional.

Chakka varatty, the top picture and in process is reduced jackfruit flesh with pure ghee and a spoon of dry ginger powder. When done a little more, it’s an apt filling for Chakka ada or can taken with Puttu and the like. In fact when layered with rice powder for making Puttu, the steamed output will taste better.

The balls below are chakka undas made in the summer of 2018. They are still intact even after these 3 years and I enjoy them occasionally with fresh coconut slices. For unda consistency the Chakka varatty is to be cooked and reduced for another 6 hours.

The varatty I am making is without jaggery. Jaggery is recommended for making undas as it acts as a preservative too.

Happy Vishu

Something Special For Vishu. Chakka Varatty.