Poha by Ankitha Gadag

Poha is a traditional South Indian breakfast made with minimal ingredients. The ayurvedic turmeric gives it a beautiful golden color while the warmed cumin adds a depth of flavor.

While Poha goes by a variety of names in South India (Pohay, Chuda Santula, Kande Pohey, Avalakki, etc), the ingredients and flavor profile tend to be the same across the board. In it’s essence, Poha is a spicy rice dish with peanuts that is best served with a piping hot cup of masala chai (mmmm…).

This dish takes me back to my Aunt’s home in Davengere, Karnataka. She is an incredible cook who loves to feed everyone around her. This was one of my favorite dishes to eat around an evening snack-time (although traditionally eaten during breakfast). Today, this dish is something I serve to my friends during a weekend brunch, just so they can experience some of my favorite foods growing up 🙂

Without further adieu, let’s get started!


You’ll need:

Please note: These items can all be found in your local Asian-Indian grocery store

  1. Poha ( Puffed Rice – this one is my favorite) : about 4 cups
  2. Thai green chillies or serranos ( depending on your spice level, I use 4-5 green TC, use less for serranos) : Roughly chopped
  3. Dry, Unsalted Peanuts: 1/4 cup
  4. Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  5. Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  6. Onion: 1/2 fine diced
  7. Hing (asofetida) : 1/2 tsp
  8. Turmeric: 1 tsp
  9. Curry Leaves: ~10 leaves torn
  10. Squirt of lemon juice (optional)
  11. Aloo bujia (optional)

To get started:

  1. Start by soaking the poha in a colander with cold water. This helps the texture of the dish go from crunchy to a chewy consistency.
  2. In a shallow pan, warm up roughly two tablespoons of ghee. (Any form of oil you have on hand can be used, but ghee makes a difference in flavor)
  3. In low heat, start by tempering the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they start popping, add in your chilies, curry leaves and saute for a couple of mins.
  4. Next, change the heat setting to medium-high, and add in the peanuts. The trick here is to roast the peanuts without burning them, so watch carefully.
  5. Now, add in your onions, turmeric and hing. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for 4 – 5 mins until golden brown.
  6. Salt your drained poha (to taste) and add in to the mixture. Turn off stove. Top of with lemon juice and combine.
  7. Enjoy! I love to serve this dish with aloo bujia. This crispy potato snack makes a huge difference so highly recommend!

Ankitha Gadag Original Recipe – Mirchi Bajji

A South Indian soul-food, complete with a step by step video tutorial!

Okay, so I lied.

This actually is NOT an Ankitha Gadag original recipe. It is actually passed down from generations within the Gadag family clan. So thank you Mama for sharing the recipe!

Admittedly, this is not the healthiest of recipes…  but trust me it’s worth the indulgence. There is a series of Indian “street foods” that are worth every calorie. Amongst them, a few of my favorites are: Panipuri, Bhelpuri, Samosas, and of course Mirchi Bajjis!

In the Gadag household, this is a regular treat on a rainy evening or when the whole family craves “junk” food. It’s a time for everyone to come together, throw on a 4 hour Bollywood movie, grab a glass of wine and share some mirchi bajji’s with bhel on the side.

From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this 🙂


What you’ll need:

  • jalapenos (1 serving : 5)
  • thyme seeds (1-2 tbsp)
  • cumin seeds (1-2 tbsp)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Flour (1 cup)
  • Chosen Foods Avocado Oil (1 cup)
  • warm water (1-2 tbsp)
  • s&p to taste

Method:

  1. Start by slitting a vertical line through each of the jalapenos. De-seed for less spice
  2. Stuff with Thyme seeds + Cumin Seeds
  3. To make your batter , combine the remainder of cumin seeds, thyme seeds with the garbanzo flour. Add salt to taste. Add a couple tablespoons of the heated oil and WHISK away!
  4. Add in a couple tablespoons of warm water. You want to have a fairly thick consistency so the batter will hold in the oil
  5. Dip your stuffed jalapenos into the batter and fry until golden brown
  6. Serve HOT!

 

Hyderabadi Achari Murgh Recipe – (Pickled Chicken Curry)

Spicy Hyderabadi Chicken Curry with tangy pickling spices

Okay guys, so this curry is truly a GEM and an Ankitha Gadag original recipe. I promise you, reactions will be nothing short of jaws-dropping if you decide to put in the work to give this a try!

For one, this recipe has taken a few weeks to perfect. I was first inspired to re-create this curry after tasting the most amazing Achari Chicken Curry at a local Hyderabadi restaurant. It was unlike anything I ever tried before – it was tangy, it was spicy, truly tantalizing your taste buds in every way. Of course I had to dig further and put my skills to the test.

Turns out Achari (Pickle) Murgh (Chicken) Curry actually originated in the Northern region of India (Punjab). Pickling of mangoes, limes and other vegetables would require a variety of spices all batched together for pickling. So, what do you do with the leftover spices? Make curry,  of course!

This curry has now been modified to fit South Indian taste buds (a.k.a – made spicier). Don’t fear, the heat is so well balanced with the unique flavors from the kalonji (onion seeds), fenugreek, and yogurt 🙂

ankitha-gadag-marinade-achari

On to the recipe!

You will need:

  • 1 cup curry leaves
  • 4 lbs chicken thighs
  • 10 thai chillies
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 onions chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste (4 tbsp)
  • Kalonji (onion seeds)- 1 tbsp
  • Methi (fenugreek) seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tbsp
  • Saunf (fennel) seeds- 1/2 tbsp
  • Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)
  • Yogurt- 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice- 2tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seed oil – 1/4th cup
  • Pickling spices  – (you can get a pre-packaged packet of this) – 4 tbsp
  • Mango Pickles – (1 tbsp)

Phew, that’s a handful, yea?

Method:

  1. Start by marinating the chicken, you can marinate as long as 12 hrs or as short as 2. Add lemon juice, chillies, half of curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, half of pickling spices, salt, yogurt, and mustard seed oil  to the chicken. Mix and set aside.achari-chicken-curry
  2. In some oil (about half cup), add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Add in curry leaves, dried red chilies, bay leaves, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, kalonji, and ginger garlic paste.ankitha-gadag-achari-chicken.jpg
  3. Add in the tomatoes and any remaining spices. Mix into the spices until soft.
  4. Add in the marinated chicken and cover on low-medium heat for about 30 mins
  5. The water from the chicken and yogurt should have formed a gravy. At this point add in the mango pickle.
  6. Stir and cover for an additional 30 mins
  7. Warm up some hot naan or some basmati rice and Serve!!ankitha-gadag-achari-chicken-curry-meal

Thanks for checking out my recipe. Let me know how you liked it!

-Ankitha Gadag