Avalakki , the beaten rice, as an offering to Lord Krishna is well recorded in Indian mythology. Sudhama, Krishna's childhood buddy is known to have offered avalakki to Lord Krishna hesitantly but in return is supposed to have been showered with choicest wealth by the Lord for his devotion. So it has become a practice to offer poha/aval/avalakki/atukulu on Krishna Janmashtami which is right around the corner.
The timing of this post is destined to be now probably. Let me tell you why.
A couple of weeks ago, on a Saturday, I had finished running my first half marathon and my running buddy took a selfie with me to congratulate me and put forth a proposal. Proposal? yes... Request? yes... What was that? He addresses me Jyothi Madam. So he goes, Jyothi madam , tomorrow when you come for running you bring Huli avalakki. Yes. Gojju avalakki. I readily accepted. Was I not sore after running 21 kilometers to agree for this? Yes I was but the request also was pretty simple/easy.
All I had to do was to check if I had the necessary ingredients. Next day early in the morning I prepared a big box full of gojju avalakki, took it along to Cubbon park where we gather for Sunday workouts. After a punishing regimen, gojju avalakki was handed over to my running buddy, who screamed out to fellow runners to share the same and avalakki was polished clean in the box.
There were some dissatisfied customers who complained that they could not get a proper hold of the taste. So requested for the same during the next session. After this there were requests for the recipe.
Though I promised to post the recipe, I was not able to it due to many reasons. Today there was a trigger and lo, I am out to post the same. So I dedicate this post to my friends who are a reason for this post.
Gojju avalakki is a simple tangy and tasty dish usually prepared during fasts or as an offering to deities in the temples and distributed as prasadaam. This is one dish that is readily accepted by avalakki haters, yes there are subjects with aversion to avalakki can you believe?
So the humble avalakki that is now famous with my friends was prepared thus.
- Ease of preparation - very easy
- Preparation time - 20 min
- Cooking time - 15 min
- Yield - enough for 4 persons
- Poha/beaten rice/ avalakki thick variety - 250 gms
- Tamarind - of the size of a lemon
- jaggery crushed/powdered- 2 table spoons
- Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
- Rasam powder - 2-3 spoons
- Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
- Peanuts - 3 table spoons
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tea spoon
- Cumin - 1 tea spoon
- Sesame seeds (til) - 1 table spoon
- Asafoetida/hing - 1 generous pinch
- Turmeric powder - 1 generous pinch (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Oil and mustard seeds for seasoning
- Soak tamarind in half cup water
- Coarsely powder poha/ avalakki
- Extract tamarind, add salt, jaggery and rasam powder and mix throughly
- Place powdered poha in a bowl/basin add water enough to immerse poha completely and to stand on it.
- Pour out water that is standing above poha to leave poha with enough water to soak. ( this will felicitate water enough to soak poha and prevent it from becoming mushy)
- Add tamarind paste on soaked poha
- Mix lightly with finger tips or a fork
- Roast fenugreek, cumin and sesame till aromatic on low flame, cool and powder
- Add this powder and grated coconut to the poha mixture
- In a wok/kadai heat 3 - 4 spoons of oil, add mustards seeds, let it splutter, add pea nuts and fry till brown, add curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
Add poha mixture into the kadai and mix thoroughly taking care to see that there are no lumps
Tips and notes
- Substitute tamarind extract with tamarind powder
- Always use thicker variety of poha/beaten rice
- Do not soak powdered poha with too much water - poha will become mushy and mixing uniformly will be a problem and texture also will go for a toss
- If unsure about soaking use whole poha, soak till soft and follow the steps
- Serve with Happala and Sandige (Deep fried traditional side dish)