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Nothing says Summer like red juicy ripe tomatoes. Use the tomatoes to make this simple vegan curry from India. The Tomato Saar is vegan and gluten free.

In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe


Red juicy tomatoes = Summer, right?

Summer is the best and worst time to be in India. Yeah. Let's go with the bad thing first, it is worst because of the heat. If it weren't for the summer rains in Bangalore, I would probably be swimming in a pool of my own sweat. Ugly visual, scratch that. But the best past about Summer, the best fruits and vegetables. 

If you want to have the sweetest fruits, the juiciest fruits, you have to come to India in Summer and then probably hide yourself in an AC room the entire day. 

Come April, I had a good list of recipes I wanted to cook for Summer and share with you guys. As predicted, I never stuck to that list. I really never do, I don't know why I bother. Instead of making what I had so patiently planned (I even set a Google Calendar reminder, I know, that's deep), I went on cooking with what I found in the market. I think it worked out better this way. At least I have been cooking seasonal to a large extent.


This Tomato Saar is just that, seasonal and delicious. But then you get tomatoes all year round, so what's your excuse to not make this? I assume you have nothing, so read ahead.

The history, I first encountered this Tomato Saar when I was in College. We were working to change the hostel mess menu when someone suggested this, and the cooks (lazy as they were) actually agreed to make this. They made it for the trial menu one weekday lunch and for some reason, while I really enjoyed it, it never did make the cut to the final menu. I tend to blame the cook's stubbornness to change, that led to it being out, because it was so delicious. A term I rarely used on anything that came out of the hostel kitchen.

Ever since, I've made this many times when I want a quick curry that does not require me to boil dal or make some elaborate masala. This Tomato Saar is simple, quick, vegan, healthy, gluten free and foremost, it is tasty. It is tangy and spicy and pairs perfectly with rice or with bread. 

To make the Tomato Saar, boil tomatoes, blend them with coconut, garlic and chillies, boil this puree again and season it. That's literally it! I'm really not giving you any excuses to chicken out, am I?

So wishing you a Happy Summer! May you cook with the best of the season's produce.




If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are up to.


If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 


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Video Recipe
Tomato Saar Recipe | How to make Maharashtrian Tomato Saar - YouTube



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maharashtrian Tomato Saar Recipe
Maharashtrian Tomato Saar is a simple yet flavorful vegan curry made from tomatoes and coconut. The dish is made popularly in the Western state of Maharashtra in India. 

Recipe Type:  Curry
Cuisine:            Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Total time:     40 minutes
Yield:                Serves 2


Ingredients:
3 large Tomatoes, diced
0.75 cup grated Coconut
2 cloves Garlic
2 Green Chilli, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
Water as required

Method:
1. Boil the roughly diced tomatoes in water until soft.
2. Drain the tomatoes and allow to cool. Keep the water it was boiled in aside, do not throw away.
3. Blend together the tomatoes, coconut, garlic and green chillies along with a little water until smooth.
4. Heat oil in a kadhai and add cumin seeds.
5. Once they brown, add in the curry leaves. 
6. Add in the tomato-coconut paste. Add the water used to cook the tomatoes as required to reach the desired consistency.
7. Add salt and boil for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
8. Serve hot with rice or bread.



If you liked this, you may also like:

Misal Pav

Dalma
Black Eyed Peas Curry





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When Summer gives you Jackfruit, make Jackfruit Burgers. This vegan Jackfruit Burger has a shallow fried patty made with unripe jackfruit, potatoes and spices. The patty is topped with slices tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a vegan mayo.

In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe


I've had one of those weeks, where all I want to do is curl on my bed under my comfy blanket and call it a night and sleep off the whole weekend. A wish that I know I cannot fulfill, not this weekend. A busy weekend ahead :(

But I plan to have the next best thing going, a burger. A good burger to me is like that comfy blanket, it is comfort food when I am stressed out. What makes a good burger for you? For me, it is a delicious patty, preferably not too greasy, a bunch of veggies, a good bun (always!) and no ketchup. Yes, no ketchup. I am one of those ketchup haters of the world. I never understood ketchup, and I doubt I ever will. And this Jackfruit Burger is that and more!

I was super tempted to make a Jackfruit burger, because of 2 reasons - one, because it is Summer and Summer is definitely peak jackfruit season and you should always take full advantage of seasonal produce. And two, cause, ever since a cafe opened up near the house that sells Jackfruit Burger, I've wanted to have it! Those were reasons enough for me to attempt one last week, and may I say we were all very very impressed with this beauty. 


The internet says the Jackfruit burger is very popular. Most of the recipes out there are for bbq pulled jackfruit style sandwiches, something I wasn't game for. So I made what I am comfortable with and what I love eating - a jackfruit patty. Making the patty is super easy and it only requires a few ingredients. The patty is made with shredded boiled jackfruit, boiled potatoes and spices. I totally Indianized the burger with Garam Masala, because that is what we Indians do. We add our spicy touch to any cuisine and make it our own. Then I formed the patties and shallow fried it. Can I say (without bragging), that it was yum.

YUM.

The burger buns were homemade, and for the first time ever they ended up with that pretty brown color and they were soft, like burger buns are meant to be. I followed N'Oven's recipe to make the burger buns, I just eliminated the milk powder and it worked fine. I like Mayo in my burgers, so I used some vegan mayo. Use any sauce of your choice - mustard, sriracha, guac or even ketchup. Only after that, I may never speak to you again. Just kidding!

Have a burger filled weekend.




If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are up to.


If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 


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Video Recipe
Vegan Jackfruit Burger Recipe - YouTube



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jackfruit Burger Recipe
Jackfruit burger is sandwich made with a patty made of unripe jackfruit, potatoes and spices. Topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a sauce of your choice. This burger is Vegan.

Recipe Type:  Sandwich
Cuisine:            International
Prep Time:     45 minutes
Cook time:     15 minutes
Total time:     60 minutes
Yield:                Makes 5 burgers


Ingredients:
200 gms unripe Jackfruit, cut into cubes
1.5 cups Potato, boiled and mashed
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
0.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
0.5 tsp Garam Masala
0.5 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Handful of Coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Oil as required
5 Burger Buns
0.5 cup Vegan Mayonnaise 
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced Onions
Lettuce leaves
Water as required

Method:
1. Pressure cook the jackfruit with water and 0.5 tsp of salt until completely cooked. Drain and leave aside to cool.
2. After the jackfruit cools slightly, with the help of 2 forks, shred the jackfruit.
3. Add in the chopped onion, chopped garlic, mashed potatoes, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, garam masala, red chilli powder, salt and finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well until completely combined.
4. Divide the mixture into 5 and shape the patties. Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
5. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Place the patties and cook on medium heat.
6. Flip the burgers when one side is browned. Cook until both sides are browned and the patties are cooked.
7. To assemble the Jackfruit Burger, slice the burger buns horizontally. Spread vegan mayo or a sauce of your choice on the lower half of the bun. Place the patty, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions and lettuce and cover with the other half of the burger bun.
8. Serve hot with fries.


If you liked this, you may also like:

Beetroot Cauliflower Burger

Grilled Paneer Sandwich
Grilled Veg and Bean Sliders




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A five day car trip across North Karnataka exploring the ancient architectural wonders of Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole and Bijapur.



If you are an architecture and history buff, then this is the trip for you!!

We traveled across North Karnataka on a heritage trail end of last year in a 5 day trip including driving to and from Bangalore. Karnataka has been ruled by several powerful empires and each of these empires has left a mark on the architectural landscape of the state. From the intricate carving of 5th century temples to the giant domes of 17th century, North Karnataka has a lot to offer. So these holidays instead of visiting the tourist favorites of Bangalore-Mysore, take some time out to go see these ancient beauties.

 In our 5 day trip, we covered Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and Bijapur.

This trip is divided across 3 posts, so keep reading. Our itinerary was as follows:

Day 1 - Travel from Bangalore to Hosapete. Visit Anegundi.
Day 2 - Visit Hampi and TB Dam. Travel to Badami.
Day 3 - Visit Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole
Day 4 - Visit Bijapur
Day 5 - Travel back to Bangalore.

This post, details the Day 4&5

Read about Days 1 and 2 in Hampi here and Day 3 in Badami, Patadkal and Aihole, here.

Day 4

We set out for Bijapur or Vijayapura, as it is known today on Day 4 of our journey. After touring Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole, we halted at Bagalkot. We set out for Bijapur early next morning after having our breakfast at the hotel. The distance between the two cities is around 84 km and can be covered in 2 hours. 

While my first two post were all about Hindu and Jain temples, this one is different. Bijapur or Vijayapura has an Islamic past. It was ruled for over a century by the Adil Shahi dynasty and then passed on to the hands of other Islamic dynasties. So the architecture here is very different from the other places mentioned in my North Karnataka Heritage Trail.

Bijapur is an important town in Karnataka, and hence has several hotels, restaurants and markets. It even has a mall now. The place can get busy in peak seasons, so book your hotel in advance. Most of the monuments are open from 6am to 6pm. In peak seasons, we suggest you start early to cover the main ones.

Gol Gumbaz

No visit to Bijapur can be complete without visiting the Gol Gumbaz. Gol Gumbaz is the mausoleum of King Mohammad Adil Shah. This mighty monument is famous for its echoes and the whispering alley. To enjoy the monument, we suggest you beat the crowd and be there early, preferably before 8am. Unfortunately, we visited the monument when there were several school children on trip and the echoing of their screaming and shouting made us feel we were in a swarming bee hive. The security guard informed us that schools usually visit by 9am, hence we suggest being here as early as possible. You will need to purchase a ticket to visit the monument. There is parking available at the monument.



Upli Burz

This is a small, but famous watchtower with two canons on the top. You don't need to buy any ticket to visit it. The steps, though few in number are very steep, so climb carefully.




Ibrahim Roza

This is a 17th century monument that houses the tomb of Ibrahim Adil Shah II . It has 2 structures, one with the tomb and one mosque. The domes are beautiful and it rises from a lotus petal base. The complex is open from 6am to 6pm and requires you to buy a ticket to visit.



Bara Kaman

This is an unfinished mausoleum of one of the Adil Shahi Kings's. It was supposed to have 12 arches, but we counted less. The place requires no ticket to visit and has no parking available close by. Park near the road and walk inside.




Jod Gumbaz

This is a set of two mosques located close to the KSRTC bus stand. Both mosques are still being used for worship. No ticket required here. You can park on the road outside.


Other places to see in Bijapur, if you have time:

  • Gagan Mahal
  • Taj Bawdi
  • Shivgiri Temple
  • Torvi Narasimha Temple
  • Malik-i-Maidan
  • Jumma Masjid
  • Mithari Mahal
  • Asar Mahal
After we finished our history filled day, we started towards Bangalore the same night. We started from Bijapur around 6pm and halted at Hosapete for the night. We reached Hosapete around 9.30 pm. 

On Day 5 we continued our journey towards Bangalore from Hosapete.

Tips:
  • You can hire autos or horse driven tangas in the city that will take you to all the monuments at a nominal price.
  • You are not allowed to carry large bags inside Gol Gumbaz complex. You can either keep them in the car or in the cloak room near the ticket counter.
  • Buy local terracotta vessels for cooking on the road between the KSRTC bus stand and Jod Gumbaz. They are very reasonably priced.
  • Eat Joladda Rotti Oota near the KSRTC bus stand if you can tolerate spicy food.
  • S Hypermart on the outskirts of the city is a huge super market that is open till 11 pm.
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A five day car trip across North Karnataka exploring the ancient architectural wonders of Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole and Bijapur.



If you are an architecture and history buff, then this is the trip for you!!

We traveled across North Karnataka on a heritage trail end of last year in a 5 day trip including driving to and from Bangalore. Karnataka has been ruled by several powerful empires and each of these empires has left a mark on the architectural landscape of the state. From the intricate carving of 5th century temples to the giant domes of 17th century, North Karnataka has a lot to offer. So these holidays instead of visiting the tourist favorites of Bangalore-Mysore, take some time out to go see these ancient beauties.

 In our 5 day trip, we covered Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and Bijapur.

This trip is divided across 3 posts, so keep reading. Our itinerary was as follows:

Day 1 - Travel from Bangalore to Hosapete. Visit Anegundi.
Day 2 - Visit Hampi and TB Dam. Travel to Badami.
Day 3 - Visit Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole
Day 4 - Visit Bijapur
Day 5 - Travel back to Bangalore.

This post, details the Day 3.

Read about Days 1 and 2 in Hampi here.

Day 3:

After we covered the world famous ruins of Hampi, we moved on to visit the even older temples of the 4-8th century at Badami, Patadkal and Aihole. These temples are ancient and still so beautiful. I was as mesmerized as I was when we visited the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

After completing our site seeing in Hampi on Day 2, we proceeded towards Bagalkot in the evening. We had a late check-in at a hotel, but this ensured we could start day 3 early. We stayed in Bagalkot city as we couldn't find accommodation in Badami. We started out at around 8am from Bagalkot and had our breakfast in Badami. There are several Udupi restaurants in Badami that are open for breakfast.

Badami 
Badami is a small town in North Karnataka famous for the set of cave temples. Four caves are carved out of the sandstone hill that surrounds lake Agastya. Badami Caves open at 9am and close at 6pm. The parking is pretty much a nightmare, as it involves going through a single lane road that is being operated as a two lane (for entering and exiting). During peak seasons, the parking gets full pretty fast, so we suggest reaching the caves as early as possible. You need to purchase a ticket for entry and for parking. Guides speaking Kannada and Hindi are available around the entrance to the caves. There was no bargaining with the price (we thought it was slightly steep), but we still hired a guide. The guide showed us some unique carvings and puzzles on the pillars that we may have missed, had we chosen not to hire him. You can combine groups on your own and share the price too.




Cave 1:
The first cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the outside of the cave you will see a Nataraja Statue. On the inside, there is a carving of Ardhanarishvara and Harihara on the right and left sides on the cave respectively. There is a Shiva Linga in the temple, however, it is not worshiped as of today.




Cave 2 and 3:
The second and third caves are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There is no deity in the temple, but the carvings in the cave indicate there was once a statue of Lord Vishnu. The third cave is the largest in the complex with several carvings and paintings. These two caves depict various scenes from mythology and show the different avatars of Lord Vishnu. There are carvings on the ceiling too.




Cave 4:
Probably the simplest of the 4 caves, this cave is dedicated to Jainism. It has the statues of Bahubali Mahavira and Parshvanatha.

Apart from the caves, you can also visit the Archaelogical Museum (closes at 5pm) on the other side of the lake. There are also two Bhootnath Temples along the lake, while the Yellamma temple is closer to the parking.

Tips:
  • Be very careful of monkeys, they can snatch your food.
  • Parking is a nightmare, reach early to get a good parking. Caves open at 9am.
  • English and Hindi speaking guides are available near the entrance to the caves.
  • Plan to spend around 1-1.5 hours at the caves. 



    Pattadakal

    Pattadakal is temple town with 7th and 8th century architecture. It is 23 km from Badami and it houses a huge temple complex with 9 Hindu temples and 1 Jain Temple. The Hindu temples are close by and the Jain temple is 1 km away towards Badami. The temples depict scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and other epics. The Virupaksha Temple in the complex is still worshiped till date while the others are not. 

    The Pattadakal temples are open from 6am-6pm. You need to purchase a ticket to enter the temple complex. Parking is available outside the temple complex. 

    Tips:
    • Eat Joladda Rotti Oota or the local thali that has jowar rotis and curries just outside the temple complex. 
    • You can hire a guide at the entrance.
    • Plan to spend 1.5-2 hours here including time for lunch.






    Aihole
    Aihole is around 10 km from Pattadakal and is the oldest temple town of the three. Aihole has several temple complexes spread out over the village. The village has more than 100 monuments. The temples in Aihole show that the architects tried different styles. There are temples which you cannot circumambulate (pradakshina) and some where you can. There are temples with gopuras and temples with a second storey. Some temples also have North Indian influences. 

    There is parking outside the monument and you need to buy a ticket to visit the monuments. The temples are open from 6am to 6pm. 

    Tips:
    • There are lots of monuments beside the main Durga temple complex. If you have time, walk through them.
    • Aihole is a village and there are not many places to eat, so carry your own food.
    • You can hire a guide at the entrance.


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    A five day car trip across North Karnataka exploring the ancient architectural wonders of Hampi, Badami, Patadkal, Aihole and Bijapur.





    If you are an architecture and history buff, then this is the trip for you!!

    We traveled across North Karnataka on a heritage trail end of last year in a 5 day trip including driving to and from Bangalore. Karnataka has been ruled by several powerful empires and each of these empires has left a mark on the architectural landscape of the state. From the intricate carving of 5th century temples to the giant domes of 17th century, North Karnataka has a lot to offer. So these holidays instead of visiting the tourist favorites of Bangalore-Mysore, take some time out to go see these ancient beauties.

     In our 5 day trip, we covered Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and Bijapur.

    This trip is divided across 3 posts, so keep reading. Our itinerary was as follows:

    Day 1 - Travel from Bangalore to Hosapete. Visit Anegundi.
    Day 2 - Visit Hampi and TB Dam. Travel to Badami.
    Day 3 - Visit Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole
    Day 4 - Visit Bijapur
    Day 5 - Travel back to Bangalore.

    This post, details the first 2 days.

    Of all the heritage places in North Karnataka, the most famous one is Hampi. Mythologically, Hampi is also known as Kishkinda, the place in Ramayana where Lord Rama met Lord Hanuman and Sugriva and asked for their help to rescue Sita. Historically it is famous for the group of monuments built during the reign of the Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th Century. Hampi is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is so much to see in Hampi, there are a total of 85 places listed down at Hampi. There are several large and small temples spread across a large area. It will take you a good 2-3 days if you want to explore every little nook and corner of Hampi, but if you are only looking for the main attractions, then you can cover it in one day. But it will be one tiring day. This post is laid out as follows:

    What to See in Hampi:
    1) Virupaksha Temple: 


    One of the temples in the entire complex that is worshiped till date. There is the main god and several more smaller enclosures with other shrines. There is a ticket counter at the entrance that sells tickets if you want a closer view of the god. If the temple is not crowded, you can first enter the temple and then decide if you want to buy the ticket. We did not buy the ticket and we didn't feel we missed anything.

    2) Hemakuta Group of Monuments:
    On the left of the Virupaksha Temple is a hill that is full of temple ruins. There is no deity in any of these structures. You can sit on the giant granite rock and relax, if the day is cool. You can lose sense of time while exploring this area. If you are in Hampi for only one day, we suggest you time yourself at this place, else you may miss out other sites.

    3) Kadalekalu Ganesha:



    The Kadalekalu Ganesha is a 4.5m tall status of Lord Ganesha with a stomach shaped like a chickpea, hence the name Kadalekalu. The status is in a sanctum surrounded by carved pillars. This is right next to the Hemakuta monuments.

    4) Sasivekalu Ganesha:


    Sasivekalu is Kannada for mustard seed. But this Lord Ganesha statue is nowhere near as small as a mustard seed. It is very huge and the details are very clearly visible even today. There is a car parking right near this monument. Also, if you are hungry, the parking lot has small shops that sell very nice Dosa and Goli Soda. If you are sensitive about the water you drink, avoid these shops. We ate and drank here and no one fell sick. They mostly use RO purified water as the water purification plant is close by.

    5) Nandi or Monolithic Bull:


    This statue of Nandi Bull is carved out of a single boulder. It is massive! This is a short walk from the Virupaksha temple that goes through the Hampi Bazaar Street.

    6) Yanthrodharaka Anjeneya Temple:
    In between the Virupaksha temple and the Nandi Statue, is a road along the river that leads to this unique Hanuman temple. This is apparently one of the only temples of Hanuman where he is carved sitting down rather than standing upright. This deity is worshiped till date.

    7) Kodandarama Temple, Surya Narayana Temple, Ranganatha Temple, Vishnu Temple, Pushkarani, Achyutharaya Temple, Varaha Temple
    All these temples and sites are around the Yanthrodharaka Anjeneya Temple. While a few of them are worshipped, the others are ruins. You can visit them if you like. At this point, make a decision to either walk ahead until the Vijaya Vittala Temple or return to your mode of transport and reach the other monuments from the Gejjala Mantapa side of the main road through an electric buggy.



    8) Sugriva Cave, Purandaradasa Mantapa:
    A cave where Sugriva lived apparently. It is not really a cave but a small space between boulders, and can be skipped. It is accessible if you decide to walk to the Vijaya Vittala Temple. A short walk from here leads to an open space where you have a few stalls of sugarcane juice, ice cream, and some North Karnataka snacks. Purandaradasa Mantapa is located along the river right here.

    9) Kings Balance:

    If you are walking, you will reach this immediately after the short snacks stop. If you are coming from the Gejjala Mantapa side, you will find this after the Vijaya Vittala Temple. It is supposed to be a place where scales were hung to weigh the king against gold aka "Tulabhara". You can give it a miss.

    10) Vijaya Vittala Temple:



    This is the most famous complex in Hampi. You need to buy a ticket to visit this monument. The ticker is valid for a few more sites, so don't throw it away just yet. The Vijaya Vittala Temple can be reached either by walking from the Virupaksha temple along the river. It is around a 2 Km walk. Or you can take the bus to Gejjala Mantapa and take an electric buggy from there. Vehicles are not allowed around this monument as pollution was damaging it. The Vijaya Vittala temple complex houses the Stone Chariot that is the most photographed structure of Hampi and also found printed on the new Rs.50 currency note. Everyone wants a photo with the chariot, so you may need to wait a while to get the perfect click. The complex also houses the famous musical pillars, access to which is now blocked. You can see them, but are now allowed to play them anymore for the risk of damaging the structure. The complex has several other structures and also a Frangipani tree which some guides claim to be 100-150 years old. If you reached here walking, it is time to get back to your car/auto to see the other monuments.




    The route we took:
    We parked the car near Sasivekalu Ganesha and walked. Google only allows me to add 10 destinations, so Sasivekalu Ganesha is missed.



    11) Ugra Narasimha Temple


    This is a damaged status of Narasimha with Goddess Lakshmi sitting in his lap. The Lakshmi sculpture is no more there, only one hand is visible. The Narasimha is also partially damaged but definitely worth the visit. This temple is 350m from the Sasivekaalu Ganesha.

    We visited it on our way back while exiting Hampi.

    12) Underground Shiva Temple
    This temple is called underground because it is below the current ground level. During monsoons or immediately after, the main temple may be filled with water and be inaccessible. It was accessible when we went. There is a Shiva Linga in the temple but the sanctum is dark and houses bats, so be careful not to disturb them. On the way from Ugra Narasimha Temple to this temple there are some more temples and 2 boulders called Sister Stones that can be visited.

    13) Public Bath and Queen's Bath
    These are structures with sunken baths, one for the public and one for royalty. Aqueducts and canals apparently filled these baths with water. We did not visit these as we were tired, but they are on the way out/in of Hampi and you don't have to go out of the way to visit them.

    14) Lotus Mahal


    This is a beautiful palace situated inside the Zanana Enclosure. The architecture is very different from what you find around Hampi. While entry inside the Lotus Mahal was allowed up to 10 years ago, it is currently not allowed to protect the monument. You need to buy a ticket to enter this complex if visiting it first, else, the ticket purchased at Vijaya Vittala Temple works here. The complex also has several other structures like the Elephant stables, Watch towers and a few temples towards the back.


    15) Hazara Rama Temple
    This is right opposite to the Lotus Temple. It is small temple dedicated to Lord Rama. We were very tired by this time, so skipped visiting the temple.


    There are several other ruins and structures around these areas that you can visit. I have listed down all that we visited.

    Route we took:


    If you have another few hours, you can also visit the following:

    1) Anegundi 


    This is a small village across the river Tungabhadra. You can drive across the river to reach it. It is almost 20Km and takes around 45 minutes to reach. Anegundi houses the Anjanadri Hills, known as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. You have to climb 570 steps to reach the top. The sunset from this point is very beautiful. You get a birds eye view of Hampi from up here. Apart from this, Anegundi also houses the Nava Brindavana, a shrine to 9  Hindu Madhva saints.
    We visited this on the day we arrived in Hosapete and had only a few hours before sunset.


    2) TB Dam 


    Tungabhadra Dam is the largest Dam in Karnataka. The Dam is located on the outskirts of Hosapete. While you are not allowed on the dam bridge, you can go up to the reservoir and to the gardens. There are shuttles available for Rs.20 at the parking lot that will take you to the reservoir and up the hill and back. We visited this on the day of our exit from Hosapete.


    How to Reach Hampi:
    Hosapete is the closest city to Hampi and is well connected by road and by train. There are regular trains and buses from Bangalore to Hosapete. You can also drive down to Hosapete from Bangalore, the roads are mostly good and the drive may take you around 5.5-7 hours. If you are driving on a long weekend or during peak season, be prepared for long queues at toll booths, the highway has several tolls. Very soon the Bangalore-Sholapur highway will be complete and make driving even better.

    There are local buses from Hosapete to Hampi. The distance is 13Km and the fares are very cheap.

    We drove from Bangalore to Hosapete.

    Travelling in Hampi:

    There is ample parking at Hampi, in case you are driving. You can park your vehicle right at Virupaksha temple or at any of the parking spaces just before the temple.

    Once you reach Hampi, you can either take an auto rickshaw, that will take you to several places giving you time at each of the popular monuments. Auto rickshaws are available around the parking space and you don't need to worry about finding them, they will find you.

    You can rent also a bicycle and move around on your own. Bicycles can be rented near the Virupaksha Temple. However, keep in mind that some places can only be visited while walking as there is no motor-able track near them.

    An electric buggy/van will also take you from the main road to the Vijaya Vittala Temple.

    We drove from Hosapete to Hampi and walked the spots 1-9 marked above.

    Where to stay:

    Hosapete is the best place to stay. It has hotels for everyone - budget, luxury, family, couples etc. Make sure you book the stay well in advance as Hampi is a popular tourist destination and hotels get full fast. Especially in peak seasons like year end and school holidays. We stayed in Ananya Comforts and loved the place. The hotel has good service and a new restaurant with good South Indian food. There is a small tea/coffee shop outside that we felt was the best tea we found in our entire North Karnataka tour.

    Hampi, itself has quite a few resorts that have cropped up in recent times. You can choose to stay here. But keep in mind that Hampi may get pretty lonely after dark.

    When to visit:

    Hampi has a hot and dry climate most of the year. The weather is most pleasant in December-January. But try to avoid the last week of December as Hampi can get very crowded. Also, a lot of school children are brought on trips around this time and they can overwhelm you with numbers.

    Hampi celebrates "Hampi Utsav" usually in November. The festivities include music, dance, puppet shows and processions. It basically showcases the culture of the region. While the festivities are mesmerizing, be prepared to battle crowds.

    Unfortunately we visited in December and it was extremely crowded, but the weather was pleasant.

    Where to eat:

    Hosapete also has several restaurants and eateries catering to all sorts of crowd. Hampi has a lot of small eateries to the right of Virupaksha temple. The South Indian food there is cheap and delicious and there is relaxed seating.

    We ate in several restaurants around Hosapete - Naivedyam, Ananya Comforts, Shanbhag Hotel etc and most places will give you decent South Indian food. Also, we ate Dosa in Hampi and it was delicious.
    We filled up on goli soda, sugar cane juice, salted fried peas and sunflower seeds, mirchi bhajji, mandakki, buttermilk, ice creams, and bhoochakra gadde while we walked around in Hampi.

    Some pointers...
    • Hampi is open to public from 6am to 6pm. Plan to start the day early to beat the crowds and the sun. Breakfast is available in restaurants around the Virupaksha temple in Hampi from 7-7.30 am.
    • There are lot of monkeys around Hampi, be careful around them. Hang on tightly to your belongings.
    • You can hire guides at Hampi, but we did not feel the need. Just read up on the monuments before going or purchase a book near the Virupaksha temple.
    • The government tourism counter (KSTDC) is located around the Hampi Bazaar area. Approach them for any help.



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    Jain Pav Bhaji has a bhaji (curry) made with raw banana or plantain. Jain Pav Bhaji is made without potatoes, onions, ginger or garlic. The bhaji is served along with buttered pav.

    In a hurry? Jump to Recipe


    Yay! It's friday and I had an awesome evening. I logged off early for the day as I finished my work early. Which was a delight after several days of stress. I decided to take some time off for myself.

    And when I want to relax and enjoy some me time, I visit food markets. Yes, nothing can excite me more than seeing the options in food and props out there. A true blue food blogger at heart. So I went to FoodHall and window shopped a lot there. Finally picked up some great looking sourdough bread and some exotic flavored cream cheese for my breakfast tomorrow. So looking forward to the morning, I can't wait for the night to fly through.

    Going forward to my recipe of the day - Jain Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is a popular street food that most probably originated out of Mumbai or just got super popular in Mumbai. Hence, its mostly called Mumbai Pav Bhaji. The "Bhaji" refers to a spicy curry made with mashed vegetables that is usually served with lots of butter and chopped onions and a quarter of a lime to be eaten along with a fluffy light square bread called "Pav". The bhaji is usually made of potatoes and other mixed vegetables like capsicum, carrot, onions, tomatoes etc. But this recipe is unique because it does not use any root vegetables, which are the base of a regular Mumbai Pav Bhaji.


    The first "dharma" or principle of Jainism, an ancient religion in India, preaches non violence. While I was aware of Jainism, marrying a Jain guy brought me closer to this way of life. I started noticing life more where I would never have. I now make sure I look down when I walk in gardens and on garden paths, just so that I don't stamp an ant or a caterpillar. But life, in Jainism is not limited to animals or insects, it also extends to vegetables and fruits. Those who follow the religion strictly refuse to eat anything that grows below the ground. Vegetables like garlic, ginger, onions, potatoes, carrots etc. Since uprooting the plant to eat the root, actually kills the plant as well as the microorganisms that thrive underground. While my new family isn't extremely strict and follows this diet only on festivals and other good occasions, there are a few friends who live their daily lives avoiding the root vegetables.

    In the past when I thought of a Jain Pav Bhaji, I always thought it was Pav Bhaji that was made without onions and garlic, it never struck me that Potato is also a no-no. This time when Raj brought a lot of home grown raw Bananas from my in-law's place, I decided to do something different with them and attempt a Jain Pav Bhaji. I had never expected it to taste so similar to the regular Mumbai Pav Bhaji. I never missed the flavor of the garlic or the onions, it tasted the same as always.







    If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are upto.

    If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 


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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jain Pav Bhaji Recipe
    Jain Pav Bhaji has a bhaji (curry) made with raw banana or plantain. Jain Pav Bhaji is made without potatoes, onions, ginger or garlic. The bhaji is served along with buttered pav.

    Recipe Type:  Snacks
    Cuisine:            Indian
    Prep Time:     10 minutes
    Cook time:     40 minutes
    Total time:     50 minutes
    Yield:                Serves 3-4

    Ingredients:
    2 Raw Banana
    3 Tomatoes
    1 cup Cauliflower Florets
    0.5 cup Green Peas
    0.5 Capsicum
    2 Tbsp Oil
    2-3 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala
    0.5 tsp Turmeric Powder
    1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
    1 Lime
    Handful of Coriander leaves
    Salt to taste
    Water as required
    Butter to serve (Optional)

    Method:
    1. Cut the raw bananas into 3 large pieces. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook until completely cooked.
    2. Drain and allow the bananas to cool.
    3. Cut the cauliflower into florets and boil them along with the green peas until cooked. This can either be pressure cooked or in a open pot.
    4. Drain and keep aside.
    5. Once the bananas are cool, peel the bananas and roughly mash them.
    6. Puree the tomatoes in a mixer/blender.
    7. Heat oil in a large frying pan. You can also use a kadhai or a large tava.
    8. Once the oil is hot, add in the pureed tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the tomatoes from burning.
    9. Add in the turmeric powder and the pav bhaji masala. Pav bhaji masala is pretty spicy, so I recommend adding it by the spoonfuls and adjust according to taste.
    10. Mix well and add in the mashed bananas, boiled cauliflower, peas and finely chopped capsicum.
    11. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables. Mash as per the consistency you want. If you want a chunky bhaji, mash roughly.
    12. Add a little water and continue to mash until you get the desired consitency.
    13. Add salt to taste and mix well. Add in the red chilli powder if using. You can also add more pav bhaji masala at this point. Mix well.
    14. Cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir occassionally.
    15. If the bhaji gets too dry, add a little water. If it is too watery, cook it longer so that the water evaporates.
    16. Turn of the heat and add in the lime juice to taste.
    17. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
    18. Add a generous spoonful of butter to each plate while serving. Skip this step if making for a vegan crowd.
    19. Serve with butter toasted Pav.




    If you liked this, you may also like:

    Raw Banana Kofta Curry

    Doddapatre Tambuli



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    Aam Panna or Kairi Panna is a drink made from boiled raw mangoes and jaggery. Aam Panna is popularly made in summer across India.

    In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe


    Aam Panna, a beverage from my school days. My best friend's mom made the best Aam Panna ever and she never forgot to share a bottle of the concentrate with me. It was she who introduced me to this tangy sweet spicy beverage made of raw mangoes that is so popular during summers.

    As I write this I realize it isn't really the right time to post this. By right time, I mean right now, this instant. Because it has just rained heavily and it is so cool that all I feel the need for is a hot cup of tea. But then I had this post all ready to go with the recipe jotted down, photos edited and the video uploaded. So I decided to go ahead and post it. And anyway it may not have rained in your city and it may be the absolute perfect time for you to try this golden treat.

    Aam Panna is made in several ways, as I have learnt over the years. Earlier in my blogging days, I had posted one recipe that does not require boiling of the mangoes. That recipe involves grating the raw mango and soaking it in water, allowing the flavor of the mangoes to infuse into the water. That takes a little more time and the results are markedly different. I would not rate one above the other as each has its own taste. I've also seen recipes where the raw mango is roasted on coals or a gas stove until it is charred instead of boiling the mangoes. While I have not tried this recipe, it does sound very interesting. The one I am sharing today is the most common recipe out there.


    To make the Aam Panna, select firm raw mangoes. The mangoes are supposed to be unripe and sour. The mangoes are boiled, either with skin or without and then the pulp is mashed in a blender along with a sugar and spices like cumin and pepper. Some folks add cardamom too, but I feel it overpowers the fragrance of the mango, so I skip it. I also replaced the sugar with powdered organic jaggery and hence the bright orange color of my Aam Panna. If you use sugar, you tend to get a more golden color. You can also add mint while blending the panna. However, I don't recommend it if you plan to store the panna for long as the mint tends to get bitter after a few days. The blended puree is a concentrate and can be stored in the fridge for the whole of Summer. When you feel like having Panna, dilute it with water until the taste feels just right and serve. You can also add muddled mint leaves or mint puree while serving. The Aam Panna can also be diluted with Soda water or sparkling water for some added zing.

    A homemade panna never has a bright green color. If you want that color, you can add food coloring, but I don't recommend it.




    If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are up to.


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    Video Recipe
    Aam Panna Recipe | Kairi Panna Recipe - YouTube



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aam Panna RecipeKairi Panna Recipe
    Aam Panna or Kairi Panna is a drink made from boiled raw mangoes and jaggery. Aam Panna is popularly made in summer across India.

    Recipe Type:  Beverage
    Cuisine:            Indian
    Prep Time:     15 minutes
    Cook time:     15 minutes
    Total time:     30 minutes
    Yield:                Makes 18-20 glasses

    Ingredients:
    4 Raw Mangoes
    2 cups Jaggery Powder
    1 Tbsp Pepper, freshly crushed
    1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
    0.25 tsp Black Salt
    0.25 tsp Salt
    Water as required

    Method:
    1. Pressure cook the raw mangoes until they are cooked. You can also boil them in a pot until done.
    2. Allow the mangoes to cool, then peel them.
    3. Squeeze out the pulp of the raw mangoes and add to a blender.
    4. Add in the jaggery powder or sugar, roasted cumin powder, pepper powder, black salt and salt.
    5. Blend to a smooth paste with a little water. Adjust the quantities of jaggery, spices and salt as required.
    6. Store the aam panna concentrate in a glass bottle in the fridge.
    7. To serve the panna, add 3-4 Tbsp of the concentrate to a glass. Add in ice cubes (optional) and cold water. Stir and serve.
    8. If the panna feels less sweet after diluting with water, then add a little jaggery powder while serving.


    If you liked this, you may also like:

    Guava Panna

    Kharbuja Panaka
    Rose Lassi




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    Paan Kulfi is a frozen milk based dessert that is flavored with gulkand (rose jam) and paan (betel leaves). This kulfi is of Meetha Paan flavor. Kulfi is a traditional Indian ice-cream made from sweetened reduced milk. 

    In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe



    I could not be more excited to share this kulfi with you, it is everything I wanted it to be, and it was actually better. This Paan Kulfi is the perfect marriage of two of my favorite things, meetha paan and kulfi and I just couldn't have enough of it.

    Kulfi is India's contribution to the world of Ice Cream. Kulfi is denser and creamier than the commonly available ice cream. A Kulfi is made by slowly reducing the milk until it is thick, creamy and caramelized. The reduced milk, is also called Rabdi or Basundi. As the milk caramelizes, it also brings out the natural sweetness of the milk, hence, you don't need much sugar to flavor the milk.   The dessert is also amazingly delicious at this stage and I could have bowls of it if there was enough. Flavoring is then, added and then this creamy deliciousness is frozen until it is completely set.

    The flavoring for my kulfi was Meetha Paan (sweet betel leaf). This is the favorite flavor in the city right now. If your restaurant is a hip and happening place, you are definitely serving something Paan flavored. I've seen Paan Kulfi, instant Paan Ice Cream made using liquid nitrogen and Paan shots.

    A traditional Paan is a betel leaf smeared with limestone and then stuffed with tobacco and betel nuts. This is consumed as a digestive after a heavy meal in several parts of India and South East Asia. As this is detrimental to one's health, the meetha Paan or Sweet Paan was born. The sweet paan is made by stuffing the betel leaf with pieces of dates, fennel seeds, dry coconut (sometimes) and a sweet rose jam called gulkand. This is super delicious. While I say this, I've realized this can be an acquired taste for few.



    To make this Paan Kulfi, I used fresh betel leaves that I pureed and added. The betel leaf has a strong pungent taste if consumed by itself but when mixed in the dessert the flavor becomes really mild. I started off with puree of 5 leaves and then went on to add the puree of 7 more leaves, 12 in total to get a prominent taste of paan. Also, instead of gulkand, I added a Kolkata Meetha Paan Mukhwas. This is easily available online as well as in fairs and Malls in bigger cities.  If you don't have access to either of these, but have access to a ready made meetha paan from the corner shop, just grind them fine and use them.

    Paan Kulfi available in restaurants has a distinct green color. This is achieved by adding a few drops of food coloring. I'm not in favour of food coloring, so I left the kulfi to its natural color.

    To make the Kulfi, always use milk with a high fat content. Some folks add cornflour, milk powder or khova to hasten the thickening of the milk. I have used the traditional method of slow cooking instead. While this takes a little more time, the kulfi ends up tasting very good. You can literally keep the milk on the lowest heat possible and continue to do your work, just peeking in every once in a while to ensure it is overflowing or burning and to scrape the sides. To cook the kulfi sooner, you can also divide the milk into 2 or more pots and reduce them individually before mixing them all together and adding sugar.

    I hope you love this Paan Kulfi as much as my family and I. Wishing you a very happy Summer!



    If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are upto.


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    Video Recipe
    Paan Kulfi Recipe - YouTube



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Paan Kulfi RecipeHow to make Meetha Paan Kulfi
    Paan Kulfi is a frozen milk based dessert that is flavored with gulkand (rose jam) and paan (betel leaves). This kulfi is of Meetha Paan flavor. Kulfi is a traditional Indian ice-cream made from sweetened reduced milk.

    Recipe Type:  Dessert
    Cuisine:            Indian
    Prep Time:     9 Hours
    Cook time:     2 Hours
    Total time:     11 Hours
    Yield:                Makes 8 Kulfis

    Ingredients:
    2 litres Full Fat Milk
    0.5 cup Sugar
    10-12 Betel Leaves
    2-3 Tbsp Meetha Paan Mukhwas or Gulkand
    1 Tbsp Almonds, chopped
    1 Tbsp Cashewnuts, chopped
    1 Tbsp Pistachios, chopped

    Method:
    1. Boil the 2 litres of milk until it comes to a rolling boil.
    2. Reduce the heat to low and continue to boil.
    3. Keep stirring to prevent the milk from burning.
    4. Keep scraping the solidified milk from the sides of the pot and add it to the boiling milk.
    5. Once the milk has reduced to half, add the sugar. Half a cup of sugar makes the kulfis pretty sweet. Add by the spoonfuls to get the right amount of sweetness.
    6. Once the milk has reduced to 1/3rd the quantity and has become thick and creamy, remove from heat and allow to cool down to room temperature.
    7. Puree the betel leaves (paan) with a little milk until smooth. Use 4-6 paans for a milder taste and 10-12 paans for a stronger taste.
    8. After the milk has cooled, add in the chopped nuts, meetha paan mukhwas or gulkand and the paan puree. Mix well.
    9. Fill into the kulfi moulds and freeze for around 2-3 hours.
    10. The kulfis should be 50% set in 2-3 hours. Remove from the freezer and gently place the ice-cream stick. This step can be skipped if you are not planning to add the ice-cream stick.
    11. Place the moulds back in the freezer and freeze for 8-10 hours or until completely set.
    12. To demould the kulfi while serving, dip the kulfi mould in warm water, the kulfi should loosen. If using an ice-cream stick, twist the kulfi and pull it out gently. If not then place the mould on a plate and tap the mould until the kulfi comes out.
    13. Serve immediately.

    If you liked this, you may also like:

    Tender Coconut Ice Cream

    Jamun Ice Candy
    Fresh Fruit Tart




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    Doddapatre Tambuli is a traditional summer curry made with coconut and curd from Karnataka. This curry is made with Mexican mint leaves or Ajwain Patta.

    In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe




    There has never been a better time to make Tambuli or Thambli as now. This summer heat calls for eating something that cools your insides.

    Every region in India has a yogurt (curd) based curry that is popularly made in summer. Tambuli is one of those curries in Karnataka. It is very similar to Majjige Huli, but is much simpler and cooler. The main difference is Majjige Huli is boiled, while the Tambuli is not cooked, hence, usually needs to be consumed fresh.

    Doddapatre
    Doddapatre is known as Big Thyme or Mexican Mint in English, Ajwain Patta in Hindi and Karpooravalli in Tamil. It is a leaf that has a pungent and distinct aroma that is closest to the aroma of bishop's weed or ajwain, although unrelated. Some people equate the aroma to that of oregano or mint. This distinct aroma and taste becomes mild when the leaves are combined with yogurt and coconut to make the Doddapatre Tambuli.

    My first interaction with this dish was at a Temple. On the coastal belt of Karnataka, there is a Lord Ganapati temple at Idagunji. When my grandfather frequented the place, one had to walk for miles together to reach it and it was hidden away tucked into a forest. I've seen the temple change from a small village temple to a quite popular one. When I used to visit the temple with my parents, it was still pretty small and the highway gave no indication to the tucked away temple. With no Google maps, one had to know the road before hand or had to ask the village folks for directions. It was here that they served a simple meal for lunch - Rice and Tambuli. It was and has been the only meal at a temple that I have relished.


    Tambuli can be made with a variety of greens, but the recipe differs slightly with each green. Some are cooked longer while some are used raw. Doddapatre is mildly sauteed until it turn slightly yellow and wilts, this makes them milder in taste. The browned leaves are ground to a fine paste along with green chilli and fresh coconut. Whisked curd or buttermilk is added along with some salt. Then a tempering of cumin seeds and curry leaves, and Tambuli is ready to be served. Tamuli is not heated again, unlike most other curries. Tambuli is served with steamed rice.

    P.S - This recipe has been reposted. The recipe was originally published in 2014. Images have been updated and a video has been added. The recipe remains the same.



    If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are upto. If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 


    You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via 



    Video Recipe
    Doddapatre Tambuli Recipe | Thambli Recipe - YouTube



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Doddapatre Tambuli
    Doddapatre Tambuli is a traditional summer curry from Karnataka that is made with coconut, buttermilk or curd and doddapatre leaves, also known as Mexican mint or Ajwain Patta. This cooling curry is served with rice.

    Recipe Type:  Main Course
    Cuisine:          Karnataka
    Prep Time:     5 minutes
    Cook time:     30 minutes
    Yield:              2 Servings

    Ingredients:
    20-25 Doddapatre Leave, chopped
    0.5 cup Fresh Coconut, grated
    1.5 cups Curd
    1 Green Chilli
    1 tsp Cumin seeds
    A few Curry leaves
    3 tsp Oil
    Salt to taste
    Water as required

    Method:
    1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and add the chopped doddapatre leaves.
    2. Saute until the leaves wilt and turn slightly yellow.
    3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
    4. Fry until the doddapatre turns slightly yellow.
    5. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
    6. Grind it along with coconut, green chilli and a little water to a fine paste
    7. Heat oil in the pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they brown, add the curry leaves.
    8. Remove the pan from heat and add the blended paste. Mix well.
    9. Add in whisked curd or buttermilk. Add salt to taste.
    10. Add in more water if it is very thick.
    11. Serve it with hot rice


    If you liked this, you may also like:

    Majjige Huli

    Avial
    Boondi Raita

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    Uddina Vada or Medu Vada is a popular South Indian breakfast item. Medu vada is a savory donut made from urad dal or black lentils. Medu vadas are crispy and golden brown on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside. They taste best when served with fresh coconut chutney or dunked in a spicy hot sambar.


    In a hurry? Jump to Video or Jump to Recipe


    It's raining!!!! and I'm pretty sure it is a crime to not eat crispy fried food when it rains. It isn't? Well, it should be. 

    I recently mentioned in my Instagram post that Bangalore weather is as unpredictable. Summer unofficially started in early March this year and it's been blazing hot, hotter than ever, out here. Every year when it gets slightly hot, rains come and it cools off. Last year, when I tried to make a second batch of these sun dried potato chips, they caught mold due to the humidity. But this year there was no sight of rain or even a little cloud to shade us from the sun. Until now. The weather has been pretty unpredictable this week, just like Bangaloreans are used to. Heavy rains caught us off guard this week. And the evening rains are cooling down the city. And when it rains, eat all the fried food you can. 

    Frankly, Bangaloreans don't need a reason to eat this scrumptious crispy vada. Vada is eaten for breakfast, snacks, and may be lunch and dinner too. A plate of idli with one vada and a piping hot cup of traditional filter coffee, a simple soul satisfying breakfast for any South Indian. But the lazy me definitely needs a reason to make them at home.


    Uddina Vada or Medu Vada is a quintessential item on the breakfast scene of South India, not just Bangalore. The vadas are crispy golden brown on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside. When they are served piping hot with a bowl of fresh coconut chutney and a spicy bowl of sambar, one just stops talking and digs in. Contrary to popular belief, making these vadas at home is not difficult. But what can be challenging is to make that hole in the center. You cannot cut it as you would with a donut. But there are a few simple tricks to making the perfect uddina vada, hole and all.

    Firstly, the batter has to be thick. As thick as it can be. The urad dal or black lentils, have to be soaked for just the right amount of time. 3-4 hours at max. More than 4 hours, and you will get a soggy batter that cannot be shaped. After soaking, completely drain the lentils and grind with as little water as possible until you have a smooth creamy batter. 

    Secondly, for a crispy vada, you need to add in a little rice flour and a pinch of cooking or baking soda. Too much of the soda and you will have a very crispy vada that won't go well with the purists.

    Third, the flavor givers. Add in what you like to flavor the vada. Popular ingredients include cumin, pepper, curry leaves, coconut pieces, green chillies and coriander leaves. Add what you like in them. Also, add salt at the very end, just when about to make the vada, else the batter may turn soggy.

    Fourth, the hole. Making the hole isn't as complicated as it sounds. All you need is a thick batter and wet hands. Yup. Wet your hands properly and then take a dollop of the batter, use your wet fingers to make a hole and then gently drop it in the oil. If you are unable to make the hole for any reason, don't worry too much, just drop the batter in oil using a spoon. The hole is just for visual appeal and doesn't impact the taste or the texture.

    Five, the frying. To get a nice crispy exterior, fry for the first one minute of high flame. Then lower the heat and allow the vada to cook on the inside. Once the vada is the golden brown, it is ready to be served.

    Six, make extra. Well, this isn't a trick or tip, as much as an advise. Vadas are irresistible, always make extra.

    Wishing you a vada happy weekend!!

    P.S - This recipe has been reposted. The recipe was originally published in 2014. Images have been updated and a video has been added. The recipe remains the same.




    If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo @oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com I'd love to see what you are upto.


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    Video Recipe
    Uddina Vade Recipe | How to make Medu Vada - YouTube



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Medu Vada RecipeUddina Vada Recipe
    Medu Vada is an Indian deep fried savory donut made from lentils. A popular South Indian breakfast along with Idli.

    Recipe Type:  Snacks / Breakfast
    Cuisine:          South Indian
    Prep Time:     3-4 Hours (Including lentil soaking time)
    Cook time:     20 minutes
    Yield:              12 small Vada

    Ingredients:
    1 cup Urad Dal
    1 Tbsp Rice Flour
    6-8 Curry leaves, finely chopped
    1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
    0.5 tsp Pepper, freshly crushed
    A pinch of baking soda
    Salt to taste
    Oil to fry
    Water as required

    Method:
    1. Wash the urad dal and soak the dal in water for around 3-4 hours.
    2. Drain the dal and grind into a fine batter. Use as less water as possible. The batter should be thick.
    3. Heat oil in a kadhai to deep fry the vadas.
    4. While the oil heats, add in the rice flour, green chilli, pepper, baking soda and salt. Mix well until combined. IF the dough feels watery, add a little more rice flour.
    5. Once the oil is hot enough, wet your hands and take a spoonful of batter onto your fingers. Using the wet finger of the other hand, make a hole in the center. Watch the video for help on how to do this.
    6. Gently drop the vada in the oil.
    7. Fry on high heat for 1 minute, then lower the heat slightly and continue to cook until the vada becomes golden brown.
    8. Now gently slide this batter into the oil. Stir the vada occassionally and flip it, so that it cooks evenly. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
    9. Serve the vada hot with coconut chutney or sambar.


    See the notes mentioned above the Video for tips on making the perfect Medu Vada.


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