Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cucumber Uppittu or Southekai Uppittu



Today is Nagarapanchami, a festival of brother and sister, strengthening the bond and love of brother and sister! This festival is mainly done in South India. I miss my brother today, since I came to this country we both have missed this festival, being together on this day! Today also I spoke to him over the phone, but I am so happy and proud to be sister of a such a wonderful, loving, caring brother! Every festival has a story and has relation to relationships! Last week was Bhimanamavasya festival, which is done by women and girls! Girls before marriage do this pooja praying for a good husband and after marriage women do the pooja for welfare of husband and when a daughter is born, she starts doing the pooja praying for a good husband and the tradition passes on.......!

The Gowri-Ganesha festival is about mother and son! When mother(Gowri) gets angry with her husband(Lord Shiva), she comes to her mother's house and her son, Ganesha comes to get her back, so thats how we worship, first Gowri and then Ganesha!

Ours is a great culture with lots of traditions and customs, though elaborate and complicate to understand for others, but we enjoy all the festivals, rituals, customs, even coming far away from motherland, we have built temples here and trying our best to give the knowledge of Indian culture to our kids.

So this evening we all went to temple, and as expected today, since its festival, there was lot of crowd, nice to see women, girls all dressed up in chudidars and sarees and men,boys wearing kurtas and pajamas! After the pooja, prasada, we came back home and it was kids dinner time, I fed them.
I had soaked for Menthya dosa and Idli to grind, so I started to do it! My husband made "southekai uppittu" or Cucumber Uppittu for us, for dinner, since I said that I will not eat rice today for dinner!

When my first daughter was born, when she was 3 months, my in-laws had visited us. We went to Pittsburgh, to see the Venkateshwara temple, we drove to Pittsburgh. We stayed there for two days and came back. When we came back it was arround 9 in the night and we were all hungry and tired.

Since my daughter was little, she was 8 months old, she was cranky and I took her to change, feed and put her to bed. When I came downstairs, I was not worried what to cook since there was dosa batter, but I saw that my mother in law had made "Southekai uppittu"!!

Until then I never heard about cucumber uppittu and I was curious about it. She served us and the very first spoon I had in my mouth...........oh! it was so delicious!

From then on my husband often makes it and I really love it, today also it was so yummy, I just could not wait to share the recipe with you. So here goes Cucumber uppittu and a small banana (Which I found in Subzi mandi,smilar to what we get in Bangalore!) for dinner, which would be complete and staisfying! Here goes the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 small cucumber
1 cup sooji (Rave in our language)
4-5 Green Chillies(or adjust acc to taste)
small piece ginger
1 Tbsp Channa dal
1 Tbsp Urad dal
3/4 Tsp Mustard seeds
4-5 Tbsp Oil
1/4 cup coconut
1 pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves
Few coriander leaves

Method:

Put the pan on heat, and put Sooji or Rave and start frying it on a medium heat. When sooji gets little warm, add one tbsp of oil and fry further until the sooji turns very light brown colour. Transfer the sooji to a plate and keep aside.

Peel and cut the cucumbers into small cubes, put the cucumber cubes in a bowl and add some water and bring to boil and once cucumbers are soft and done, take it out from heat.

Cut green chillies, cut ginger finely, chop coriander leaves finely.

Keep 2 cups of water to boil and take the pan and add the remaining oil and put it on the heat. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds and when it starts to pop up, add channa dal, urad dal and fry it until golden brown on a low heat. Add green chillies,curry leaves and ginger and by this time the water would be boiled. Add the boiling water to the pan and increase the heat to medium.

And now add the cooked cucumbers and add salt,turmeric and stir for 2 seconds. And now slowly add the fried sooji and keep stirring continusly, making sure that there will be no lumps.

And add the coconut and mix it well, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with ghee! Enjoy!

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