Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cold and blue day needs Warm and sunny Hal-Avalakki!

I'm not sure about the origin of this recipe. I haven't seen this version of avalakki (Poha) made in any of my friend's house or come to think of it even in any of my relative's houses. But I remember my mother making this ever since I was a little girl.

This used to be a quick evening snack right after my siblings and I come back from school. Growing up in Malnad area, the rainy season can be pretty cold and gray... walking back from school in the rain with our socks and shoes drenched - we would be shivering and crave for something warm. I loved having a plateful of this steaming snack. It just warms you inside out and puts a nice satisfied smile on your face. Even today when I feel cold and blue, I crave for this. The best thing is- it's so easy and quick to make.

Actually, if I think back about it... to combat an oncoming cold during rainy season - what better way than "milk and haldi"? But which kid in their right minds would drink milk and haldi? (I dread it even today!) I'm sure it would have been a nightmare for my mother to manage a household of 10+ (at anygiven time) and have 4 sick kids on hand. So, this might have been a neat trick my mother cooked up to get us kids to have some milk and haldi. The cold is taken care before it hits and the kids are satisfied. How cool!

So, here's the recipe - (serves 2)

Ingredients -

Onion - 1/2 cup diced
Green Chillies - 4-5 small; slit (or according to your taste)
Curry leaves - a sprig
Milk - 1.5 cups (I use skim milk, else it gets too thick. If using 2%, thin it ot with some water)
Tumeric (haldi) - 1 tsp
Avalakki (poha) - 1 cup (the medium or thick kind. the thin ones gets too mushy)
Salt to taste
Cilantro - 1 tbs chopped for garnish

If you want to improve on this and make it a little more healthy, you could add -
Frozen (or fresh) peas - 1/3 cup (this is optional) or
Fresh spinach - 1/2 cup roughly chopped

Ingredients for Oggarne (tadka) - 2 tbs oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp channa daal, 1 tsp urad daal.

Method -

- Heat a heavy bottom pan or kadai on medium heat. (Heavy bottom pans are best to cook milk)
- Add oil, once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard seeds sputter, then add the channa daal and urad daal. Roast these till golden brown.
- Add the curry leaves and split Green chillies. saute for 30 seconds. (I like it when the chillies blister in the hot oil.)
- Then add the onion and saute till they get soft and just start to brown on the edges.
- Add the peas or spinac if you are using them and cook them to soften a bit. They'll cook through further with the milk.
- At this time, add the salt and tumeric, add milk. Bring this to a boil and then add the avalakki, stir and reduce heat. The avalakki will cook and absorb the milk.
- Once the avalakki is cooked, turn off the heat just before all the milk is absorbed, and add cilantro as garnish.

Enjoy the delicious and satisfying hal-avalakki!


Ginka's Goodies said...

I plan on trying this one! YUM! Now I need you to post the other avalakki recipe you make when we come...the one with the peanuts?!

Creativecook said...

Hey Gowri,

Nice post, thanks for stopping by.


Anonymous said...

I love Avalakki, but have never heard of this recipe.
Avalakki seems quite dirty to me when I see the colour of the water that runs on washing. I am not sure I would be comfy using the avalakki without washing it.
Do you think I could wash it first and then add it to the milk? Will it still turn out well?

Heart of my Home - my Kitchen said...


You can certainly wash the avalakki just before you add it to the boiling milk. Don't let it soak for long, else it will get very mushy.
I usually clean it dry (using my 'Morra') so all the tit-bit starchy and powdery stuff goes away.