I love Kripal Singh’s Food Lovers TV where he spotlights older, unique, out of the way establishments mostly in Bengaluru. One of these episodes featured The New Modern Hotel (not sure of the name) in Bengaluru, and their homestyle cooking and thaali. Now, if I must choose someone to eat on my behalf, if that ever happens, I would choose Kripal. The way he experiences the food and relates the experience, the way he enjoys it – he is the BEST! The food featured was South Canara cuisine, I think it’s coastal karnataka, satvik food, plenty of coconut, and jaggery, and just everything good! I fell in love with this episode, and the side dish of okra gojju that he used the pooris to dip in. Googled the recipe, and I came up with what I think is the dish featured. From my research, it’s very similar to the pagarkai gojju made with a unique masala paste made of sesame seeds and coconut, in addition to the dals and red chilies. I had to make it immediately. Like the same evening. But I waited to serve it with with the pooris, along with a hodge podge thaali I made up with various leftovers, as I was craving a Woodlands style thaali. Here is the recipe!
Akkara adisil is the quintessential Iyengar dessert, and there are no two opinions about how it should be made – it’s basically rice and moong dal cooked in lots of milk and ghee, and a healthy dose of jaggery or unrefined sugar.
The key to this dish is to cook the rice and dal in a mix of water and milk, preferably whole milk.
Story behind the dish:
Legend goes that Andal (Gotha Devi, the lone female among the 12 Aazhvars) longed to become one with Krishna. She obsereved a nonbu (penance, fast) during the month of Margazhi and offered him neivedhyam every day. On the 27th day, she made this dish, cooked rice and dal in milk, sweetened with jaggery, and dripping with ghee, and offered as neivedhyam. She was granted her wish on this day, which is known as Koodaravalli. Yestreday, our local temple performed Andal Kalyanam, and I had taken this as prasadam.
I am not sure what language thokku is in, most likely Telugu, but it refers to any fresh herb/vegetable pounded/ground to a paste with salt, tamarind and jaggery, and reduced in sesame oil. The key ingredients are tamarind, jaggery, and sesame oil. This recipe makes a thokku out of fresh green chilies and is dynamite!