Uttha(Plain Rice flour)Rotti and Avarekaalu Benne Usli,Karnataka Special...'Family Food-Friday#1'

I am here to kick start my first event titled, 'Cooking with Family-Series' which I had highlighted in my last post. The theme that I have chosen for this event is, 'BREAKFAST'. I plan to post the recipes once a week on every Friday and hence named the theme as 'Family Food-Friday'. I have updated the details of this event in the side bar of my blog. Stay tuned to check out the next entry for this event.

Before going to the recipe, let me introduce you the author of this post. This entry is sent by my Sister-In-Law 'Ashwini ',who has a two year old, naughty daughter 'K' .My niece keeps her busy all the time with her non-stop enthusiasm.I think I would need another long post , if I were to tell you more about my little, enthusiastic and mischievous niece. As this post looks already looks lengthy so I am keeping it for another day. As me and my S-I-L both are of the same age group, we are more like friends and update each other on daily life and routine. She has kept her promise by sending her entry as soon as I told her about the event.The most surprising thing for me are the photos that they have clicked for this entry. Both my S-I-L and BRO have done a good job with the photos even though it is their first attempt at it.

Now coming to the recipe, Ashwini has sent me a breakfast item called 'Uttha Rotti' paired with the most famous karnataka dish, 'Avarekaalu Benne Usli'. Karnataka is a land of rottis and is famous for its various varieties like akki rotti, ragi rotti, jolada rotti etc .Uttha rotti means plain rotti and is made up of rice flour which is our community special.I have already posted a version of rice flour rotti called akki rotti which is roasted till its crisp and we also make another version where we cook the rice flour in steam and roll it to chapati and roast it soft.This version is a quite different from those two versions and it is a cross in between the two versions.The rice flour is cooked in steam and then it is patted with hands onto a tawa and roasted till soft and crisp.This rotti is even ideal to make on the fasting days as it does not have onion or garlic and can be paired with coconut chutney on those days.Ashwini also mentioned that though she was not a fan of this rotti she has learnt this rotti from her mom, only because my brother likes it very sweet of her naaa!!!

Avarekaalu is one of the seasonal beans which can be used in making various delicacies like halwa, payasam, dal, sambar,saaru, rice,usli, rotti, upma, chiwda etc etc and is loved very much by all our family members.We make a different version of Avarekaalu usli which I will post later and this is the version which is famous in North Karnataka and even in Tumkur.It is made with freshly made white butter which makes it taste extra special and that is why it is called Avarekaalu Benne Usli.This is not the season for fresh avarekaalu and as they stay in London she has used canned avarekaalu to make this and that is the reason a good green color is missing for usli.One should try this with fresh and tender avarekaalu to enjoy its flavor and taste to the fullest extent.And one more thing, many people assume that usli is similar to the sundal but it is not true.Though few of the ingredients are same in usli and sundal, usli is nowhere compared to sundal in its taste as the cooking process is completely different.Try this and you will agree with what I am saying. Now without wasting time let us take a look at the recipes.

Uttha(Plain) Rice flour Rotti:

1 cup Rice flour(fresh one,do not use old stock)
2 cups Water
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut(I used frozen)
1 tbsp Oil
salt to taste
Oil,for frying rottis

Add oil and salt to the water and bring it to a boil over medium flame.
Reduce the flame to low now,slowly add the rice flour to the boiling water,do not mix or stir it.Cook for 4-5 minutes.Stir vigorously now until you get a lump of mixture formed and all the ingredients are well mixed.You can use a long ladle or your roti belan for this process.
Divide the mixture into two parts and knead the mixture into a smooth dough on a silicon baking mat or on a clean plastic sheet.Be careful the dough would be very hot,so wet your hands while doing this process.You can even place the dough in a clean plastic bag and knead well,this is very easy and risk free process.This should take atleast 8-10 minutes.It is always better to do in small portions.
Smear the Rotti tawa(Non-stick/normal dosa pan) with little bit of oil all over the tawa and place a lemon sized rotti dough in the center and press it gently with hands and spread into a thin layer by rotating the pan by immersing the hand in a bowl in between which helps in patting the dough evenly and smoothly on the tawa.Make it as thin as not bother if small gaps are there,that makes the rotti even crispier.Pour a spoon of oil over it and cover it with a lid and place it on fire on medium flame.Keep an eye on it to check in between whether it is done or not.Once you see the slight red patches started forming increase the flame and roast until you get the desired crispiness.Try to rotate the tawa in order to get an evenly roasted rotti.No need to turn it on the other side.
Serve it hot with Avarekaalu Usli / Sweet Pumpkin Gojju /Coconut chutney.Uttha rotti tastes best with any of these combinations.

You can add either cumin seeds or chana dal into the boiling water while making the rotti dough,both gives its own flavor to the rotti.

Avarekaalu Benne Usli:(North Karnataka and Tumkur Style)

1 1/2 cups tender Avarekaalu pods(hyacinth/flat beans/surti papdi)
2 medium onions,finely chopped
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut(I used frozen)
7-8 green chillies, finely sliced into rounds
1 tsp ginger paste,freshly ground
1 tsp garlic paste,freshly ground
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

to grind into powder:
1 tsp cumin seeds(jeera)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds(methi)

Dry roast cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds separately in a tawa until you get the nice aroma of the seeds.Cool them and grind to a fine powder.Heat oil in a pressure cooker,add avarekaalu and fry until the color changes and the raw smells goes away.Add finely chopped onions to it and fry until they are translucent.Add chopped green chillies and fry for a minute.Add freshly ground ginger and garlic pastes and fry for a couple of minutes.Add grated fresh coconut,salt and ground cumin-methi powder and fry again for a couple of minutes.Add butter and 1/4 cup water and close the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle.This should be dry with little gravy from the coconut mixture.
Serve it hot with Chapati/Roti/Uttha Rotti and fresh white butter.

If fresh avarekaalu is not available,you can use fresh peas to make this.

Usli tastes best with fresh and tender avarekaalu.So do not miss trying this in avarekallu season.I have used canned ones,so you miss that beautiful green color here.Use fresh white butter in making this curry to get the authentic taste of Usli.Use 2 tbsp fresh butter if you are not calorie conscious,otherwise replace half the quantity with oil.
You can check the recipe for Green Peas Usli in my earlier post.

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