March 22, 2010

Paanaka, Majjige, Kosambari for Rama Navami Festival / ಪಾನಕ, ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ, ಕೋಸಂಬರಿ

Rama Navami Festival is celebrated in Chaitra Masa, which usually falls in March or April of the calendar. Paanaka from belada hannu(wood apple juice), Neeru majjige (Spiced Buttermilk) and Kosambari ( daal and cucumber salad) are made as offering(naivedya) and served on this day. The juice and buttermilk are perfect thirst quenchers on a hot summer day. Read more about Rama Navami Festival here

ಪಾನಕ, ಕೋಸಂಬರಿ , ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ - ರಾಮ ನವಮಿ ಹಬ್ಬದ ನೈವೇದ್ಯ

Lemon Juice / Lemonade / ನಿಂಬೆ ಹಣ್ಣು ಪಾನಕ

Baelada hannu / ಬೇಲದ ಹಣ್ಣು (Wood-apple) is traditionally used for making juice on Rama navami. I have used lime juice here.


For 1 cup of water, you will need:
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon / ನಿಂಬೆ ರಸ
5-6 tsp of sugar (ಸಕ್ಕರೆ) OR 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) of grated Jaggery (ಬೆಲ್ಲ)
A pinch of cardamom powder / ಏಲಕ್ಕಿ
small piece of rock candy/rock sugar /kallu sakkare/ ಕಲ್ಲು ಸಕ್ಕರೆ (optional)
Black pepper powder (ಕರಿ ಮೆಣಸು), ginger powder (ಶುಂಠಿ )- optional


Soak the jaggery and rock sugar in water and let it dissolve completely. Then strain this water to remove any dirt/stones. To this add the lemon juice and cardamom and mix well. Panaka is ready. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or add some ice cubes and serve it cold.
I have used jaggery here. I used Rock sugar to give a nice color to my panaka. Some people add pepper powder/ginger powder to give a spicy flavor. I haven't used it here.
Enjoy the cool refreshing panaka :)

Ingredients for Spiced Buttermilk/Masala majjige:

1 cup Buttermilk
(ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ) OR 1/2 cup yogurt (ಮೊಸರು)+1/2 cup water
1 green chilli / ಹಸಿರು ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ (chopped)
few sprigs Coriander leaves / ಕೊತ್ತಂಬರಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪು
few Curry leaves / ಕರಿಬೇವು ಸೊಪ್ಪು
small piece ginger / ಶುಂಠಿ
pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing / ಇಂಗು
salt / ಉಪ್ಪು to taste
lemon juice / ನಿಂಬೆ ರಸ (optional)

Put all the above ingredients in a blender or mixer and blend until everything is mixed well. Strain it to remove any stems of cilantro or curry leaves. This actually makes the buttermilk look kind of green in color, but the flavors of ginger, cilantro and curry leaves are well infused. It is preferable to have sour yogurt or buttermilk. If yours in not sour enough, add a few drops of lemon juice. You can add water to make it thinner. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and serve.

Kosambari / Daal, cucumber and carrot salad


1/2 cup dal (Moong dal /Hesaru bele / ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ OR Channa dal /kadale bele / ಕಡಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ)
(for 1/2 cup dry dal, use 1 cucumber)
1 Cucumber / ಸೌತೆಕಾಯಿ
1 Carrot / ಕ್ಯಾರಟ್
4-5 sprigs Cilantro, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp Grated Coconut /ಕಾಯಿತುರಿ
1-2 tsp Lemon juice / ನಿಂಬೆ ರಸ
1/2 tsp salt / ಉಪ್ಪು to taste

Seasoning / ಒಗ್ಗರಣೆ
1 tbsp Oil / ಎಣ್ಣೆ, 1 tsp Mustard seeds/ಸಾಸಿವೆ, pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing / ಇಂಗು,3-4 chopped green chillies / ಹಸಿರು ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ (chopped)

Soak the dal in water for 1-2 hours. moong dal soaks quickly, needs about 1 hour. chana dal needs about 3 hours to soak completely. Once soaked drain the water from dal. keep the dal aside.
Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and chop them into small pieces.
Peel the carrot and grate it.
In a bowl combine the soaked dal, chopped cucumber, chopped cilantro, carrot.
To make the seasoning, heat a small pan on medium flame, add a spoon of oil , then add hing,mustard seeds.When they splutter add green chillies. Stir it for a few seconds.Pour this over the dal and cucumber mixture. Add grated coconut and lemon juice to the mixture. Mix it well. Add salt just before serving or else it will extract water from the cucumber making the salad watery. It can be eaten as a salad, a side dish along with rice & rasam, can be eaten by itself as an evening snack.

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