Mom cant understand why i never remember proportions whilst cooking. I think I know why... disinterest in the chore task itself, and a compulsive need to escalate my phone bills. Now if i were to be truly honest i would lay the blame on music, more specifically at the feet of Maharajapura Santhanam (RIP), BalaMuraliKrishna, DKP, and K.B.Sundarambal(00) et al.... since my cooking begins only when one or the other is serenading me and only the burning smell of food can break that trance to bring me back to reality with a thud (err... i meant the noise of me scraping the contents(?) of the pan). When legends serenade you, who could remember mundane things like was it avarakkai or vaal that went to making undhiyo!

Many times i have been more pro-active, listened attentively and learnt to ask intutive questions(01), committed a lot of it to memory, diligently noted down recipes on scraps of paper, a diary (choosing which diary to write in, how to arrange the contents, should i keep sections as S.Indian/N.Indian, sweets or salty first or a seperate diary for each, .. hmm... that story can wait for another blog post). For now I shall catalog Undhiyo ....

UNDHIYO

Ingredients :

250 gms Surti papdi (String beans, and cut into one-inch long pieces),
250 gms. purple yam (kand);
250 gms small potatoes ;
250 gms sweet potatoes (shakkariya) ;
250 gms small brinjals ;
3 bananas ;
1 cup vaal,
1 cup shelled green peas,
1 tablespoon ajwain (carom seeds) ;
Asafoetida (a pinch);
1 tsp turmeric powder;
1 tsp mustard,
1 tsp jaggery;
5 tblsp oil;
Salt (to taste)

Masala (for stuffing and cooking):
4 green chillies,
2 tblsp coconut scraped;
1 cup coriander leaves;
2 inch ginger,
Salt to taste.

Methi Muthiya: 1/4 cup Bengal Gram Flour (besan), 1/2 cup Fenugreek Leaves (methi), 1/2 inch Ginger, 1-2 Green Chillies, 2cups oil (for deep frying), Salt to taste.

Method::

0]Wash and dice yam and potatoes. Wash raw bananas and slit vertically in halfway, brinjals and slit them into four without cutting the stem.

1]Make a paste of green chillies and ginger and mix cut coriander. Divide in half. Use one half to stuff the slit banana and brinjals. Marinate for 30 mins.

2]Mix all the muthiya ingredients except oil and prepare a firm dough. Divide into small portions and shape each into one-inch long half-inch thick rolls. Deep fry in hot oil, remove and keep aside.

3] Heat up oil in a thick-bottomed handi or cooker and add asafoetida, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, and ajwain (carom seeds). When mustard seeds crackle add yam, potatoes, bananas, peas, vaal, brinjal, ground masala and broad beans in layers one on top of the other. Sprinkle salt and stir fry for five minutes on medium flame. Pour 1 cup of water, cover and simmer (boil slowly at low temperature) on a very low heat up for 10-15 minutes. In a cooker keep till pressure on low flame gives 3 whistles.

4]Add fried muthiyas and again simmer slowly at low temperature for 5 minutes. Shake the vegetables occasionally but do not use a spoon to stir. Serve hot decorated with scraped coconut and ragi rotis.

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(00) Her husband S.G.Kittappa was the best in his time. Although i have searched at numerous music shops, i have never found his recordings, not even in Chennai which is pretty sad considering that he had a very powerful voice, good scale and pitch.
(01) "salt to taste does not make sense, so tell me exactly if it is 1/2 spoon salt or 3/4 or ... " [my agitated aunt cuts me short and tries explaining why i am wrong] to which /me asks : "Everything in your recipie has precise measurements, so why not salt?"