Monday, March 12, 2018

Kalasida Avalakki

In general it would be easy for our friends to assume that I might have picked up traditional dishes from Managalore - Udupi cuisine having been married to a Mangalorean for 30+ years. Even more so because I have spent a good few years living with his parents. Sadly, that is not to be. On the contrary, they had adapted to living in Coimbatore and other than an occasional neer dosa and shavige, on special weekends, I had not known traditional fare in that household.
We were at our friends' place one evening when she had made this for tea and while serving mentioned that it may not be new to us and both my husband and myself would have had it many times. I did not even recognize the name of the dish, even when they gave other names by which people call it. Mangalore masala avalakki, avalakki oggarane, and so on....nope none of which I had heard of. My husband went on to discuss how it used to be a teatime snack in his office in Mangalore and I still drew a blank. However, it was one very tasty snack and I loved the crunch with so little oil added in the snack. My friend showed me how thin is paper avalakki and told me to find them in Bangalore where most stores stock them.
I bought some red paper poha online and brought it here. I messaged her to share the recipe. In a few minutes my phone notified me with her message and that very evening, as luck would have it, having all the ingredients I tried the recipe. We enjoyed it and I promised myself that I need to post the recipe here, for my repository.


I looked up for more information on this dish and found that in the Udupi region it is called Bajil and mostly paired with sajjige as a filling breakfast during weddings and ceremonies. When I read out bajil, my husband said that he vaguely remembered that his father would mention it but he had never tasted the combination.
It is a quick and easy recipe to make. The sweet and spice flavours mingle so well that one cannot resist picking just about a spoon more and more. Keeping the recipe basic, one can find ideas to serve this dish.

Kalasida Avalakki
Recipe by my friend Ms. Lalitha Burde

For 4 to 5 servings
2 cups Paper thin poha/ aval /beaten rice flakes
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
 4-5 dry red chillis that are low - medium in spice level (Byadagi or Kashmiri chillis)
Salt to taste
Jaggery powder to taste
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 &1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons urad dhal
Few curry leaves
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

Dry roast the coriander seeds, two of the dry red chillis, few of the curry leaves until aromatic. Crush coarsely and reserve.
heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, allow them to crackle.
Add the peanuts and toss around so they are roasted to a crunch.
Add to these the urad dhal and allow it to brown until they are golden.
Quickly add the rest of the red chillis (broken in small bits), curry leaves, turmeric, asafoetida and salt.
Add the crushed coriander mix.
Toss them for a couple of minutes more and switch off the heat.
Transfer this to a serving bowl and add the coconut and jaggery powder. Mix with your hand slightly crushing them so the flavours combine.
Put in the paper avalakki and sprinkle some water. Bring them all together so the spices coat the avalakki while not crushing hard. Adjust the water, salt and jaggery according to taste.
Serve this with hot tea.

This dish stays fresh for another day also at room temperature. If you find it too dry by then, Sprinkle some water and heat just a bit in a microwave.
A very delicious snack to go with tea is ready with just about ingredients from your pantry.
You may sprinkle mint chutney  and top with some sev or pretty much serve like bhel.

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