Thambittu Unde / Hurigadale Thambittu

So far in my 'A - Z' Karnataka Recipe Series,
Akki Halbai
Biscuit Roti
Congress Kadalekayi
Davanagere Benne Dose
Ellu Pajji
Field Beans / Avarekalu Payasa
Hitakida Avarekalu Huli
Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Toast
Jolada Vade
Kumbalakayi Idli
Limbe Hannina Gojju
Mysore Pak
Oodhalina Bisibele Bhath
Quinoa Oralu Chitranna
Rave Vangi Bhath
Sajjige Rotti

The first dishes I planned and drafted were for letters 'H' and 'T'. In fact those dishes were the ones that gave me the idea to start this series and I had them in my drafts' folders for the past two years. I promptly posted the H dish that happened to be hitakida avarekalu huli which is quintessentially Karnataka and this A - Z series would have been incomplete without it. And today's supposed 'T' recipe needed only pushing the publish button but I decided to discard it at the last moment and cook something else. 
I had the options of cooking one of the iconic breakfast recipes from the region, thatte idli. A idli which takes the name after the plate like container it is steamed in. There is thambli / thambuli which is a soothing, yogurt based dish from the Udupi- Mangalore regions and 'thellevu' a thin pancake as the title suggests, from the north Canara region. And thalia puttu, a steamed rice cake from Coorg and tachani unde, a semolina - chickpea flour  laadu / laddu from the north Karnataka region. And there is the humble thovve, a lightly seasoned lentil dish. I decided to go with thambittu, hurigadale thambittu in partcular which I had made today as part of Krishnasthami neivedyam. These are the dishes that are on top of my head when I think of "T' dishes but I am sure I might have missed some and there are others with Konkani names.

Some 'T' ingredients from kitchen:
Thaale hannu - palm fruit
Tharakari - vegetable
Thengina kaayi - coconut
Thengina thuri - grated coconut
Thogari bele - lentils / pigeon peas
Thogari kaalu - green pigeon peas
Thondekaayi - ivy gourd / tendli
Thuppa - ghee
Thindi - breakfast 
Thatte - eating plate

Thambittu pronounced thumb-it-tu is one of the traditional sweet dishes that is made in several versions using rice flour, wheat flour and so on though the method varies slightly from one version to another. The texture, looks and taste vary from one another as well. Thambittu or thambitttu unde is a part of celebrations and festival food ranging from being used as a naivedhya (offering to god) or as a base for deepa (diyas / lamps) to make aarati during worshiping to being apart of baby showers and weddings. I had made the rice based ones a couple of weeks ago but surprisingly, it didn't cross my mind to take pictures. The unde or laddu which I am posting today is made mainly with hurigadale or putani / fried gram and can be made for festivals like navratri or janmasthami. It is an easy and quick recipe and the humble laddus taste good. The jaggery that I used is so good that we felt these laddus were subtly caramel flavored. These are made with fried gram like a malaadu but taste different because of the addition of jaggery, coconut and poppy seeds.
Ingredients: (Yield 15 laddus)
1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds / gasagase
3/4 cup grated, dry coconut / ona kobbari
1 and 1/4 cups fried gram / hurigadale
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods / elakki
1/4 cup ghee / thuppa
3/4 cup jaggery / bella (I had sticky type of jaggery, firmly packed.)

* Dry toast the poppy seeds on low flame, stirring continuously until they start to change the color. (Attention needs to be paid as they burn easily.) Transfer them onto a plate and let them cool.
* To the same pan, add coconut and toast on medium flame. Stir constantly until it turns crisp. (It takes about 2 to 3 minutes.) Transfer the coconut also onto a plate and let cool. 

* Grind together the cardamom seeds and fried gram into a fine powder.

* Powder the toasted coconut as well.

* Combine the ground fried gram, coconut and poppy seeds.

* Heat together ghee, jaggery and a tbsp. of water in a wide pan. (Adding water is optional but I find it easier and quicker to melt the jaggery.) 
 * Turn off the stove when the jaggery melts and starts to bubble. There is no need to form any syrup.
* Add the powdered mixture and stir well. 

* This is after a short time.

* Keep it aside for a short time and make laddus when the mixture is still warm. It hardens when allowed to cool down. 

* Store the unde in an airtight container once they cool down.


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