I love the rains and wait for the monsoons to arrive…for me it is a lovely time of the year…the temperatures drop, the earth looks green, and its all very romantic…sipping garam chai, watching the traffic go by, the hazy lights, eating a hot snack, snuggling in bed with a good book, or watching a movie all covered up with a razai…..i am also painfully aware that for many people of my country, it is a harrowing time….i am safely perched in my fourth floor apartment, with a car, warm dry clothes and so many pairs of footwear that one getting wet wont matter too much……people who are daily wage earners don’t get employed for the day because it is pouring, the timing of the monsoons can make or break the fortune of the farmer…..in Hyderabad in the last two days as many children have been sucked into open manholes….which were left open in the first place to drain the water logged roads quickly…….as I grew up…in age and experience, I realized that it was possibly the most difficult times for people less privileged than I was…..and I am truly grateful for all that I receive……….
Nevertheless…I love the rain…I am a water baby….a true blue crab….and so the whole year around I wait for the monsoon….to me everything seems better in the rains…even watching the reruns on TV or solitude…..
It’s the weekend after all and I am feeling a whole lot better than last week, added to which I was feeling so jealous of all the lovely recipes and pictures put up by fellow food bloggers, I decided to treat ourselves with one of the ultimate comfort foods….tasty, wholesome, nutritious, comforting and perfect for this weather…..Venn pongal or kara pongal and coconut chutney to go with it. we had this for brunch. The recipe is my mother in law’s, simple and back to basics kinds…this is also my entry to WBB#12, the popular Weekend Breakfast Blogging event started by Nandita of the Saffron Trail Fame now hosted by Trupti of The Spice who loved me
Post the publishing of my blog, I have felt excited and anxious most times I cook something that I think is blog worthy…..you see I spend a lot of time trawling food blogs and I am both anxious and happy to bring forth my humble offerings….i love the fantastic pictures that are taken and the way the food is presented….and those are two areas that I need to work on…and I hope the food I cook and the posts I write are interesting….i haven’t tried to make anything from blogs for a few weeks now and part two of the celebration of the monsoons and my better health was making icecream….as soon as I read Anita’s post on roasted banana ice cream I had to try it…..of course when I got down to actually making it today I panicked because I hadn’t half of the ingredients it called for except the bananas!! So with inspiration from my favorite a mad tea party, I made my own version of roasted banana ice cream after looking for recipes that called for the stuff I had on hand…its really quite simple and very very satisfying. Thanks anita for the lovely post and inspiration….
The verdict: BIG HIT…in fact I’m having the last of the icecream as I type out this post…….!!
Ingredients for Venn Pongal:
1.5 cups of rice (I used sona masuri)
2/3 cup of moong dal (dry roasted till golden)
A few sprigs curry leaves
8-10 whole black pepper corns
3 tbsp ghee
5 cups water
Salt to taste
To be coarsely ground:
2 green chillies
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp jeera
8-10 black pepper corns
In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee, add the coarsely ground green chillies, ginger, pepper and jeera and fry lightly for a few seconds. Add the curry leaves and stir for another few seconds. Add the washed rice and mong dal and fry in the spice mixture for a minute. Add the 5 cups of water, salt to taste and cook under pressure for 8 minutes or for 5 whistles. Venn pongal is a little soft in consistency but K likes it less soft hence 5 cups of water. If you like it softer, add another cup or water.When the cooker can be opened, stir in a tablespoon of ghee and serve hot with pickle, raita or coconut chutney.
½ a fresh coconut scraped
1 green chilli
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp water
Grind all of the above in a mixie till soft, transfer to a serving bowl. In hot oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal. Add to the chutney and serve
Roasted banana ice cream
3 ripe bananas peeled and sliced
2 tbsp sugar
2/3 can of sweetened condensed milk (I used milkmaid)
2 cups of milk
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp brandy (optional)
1 tbsp salted table butter
Put the sliced bananas in a baking dish, sprinkle with sugar and 1 tbsp salted butter. Mix lightly and bake in the oven at 200 C for 30 mins to caramelize the bananas. Take it out and turn them over a few times in between the baking. Make sure you wear oven gloves and use a wooden spoon.
When the bananas are baked, cool for a few minutes (for better handling…as it is HOT from the oven). Add the condensed milk, cinnamon brandy and milk and blend in a blend with a hand blender or in the mixie. Transfer to a plastic container (I used an old ice cream carton as used by anita…very handy and convenient) add the raisins and mix well and freeze for 2 hours. Blend once more after two hours and freeze till set. Scoop out into bowls and serve, plain or with chopped nuts. Honestly it has so much flavour that it is great served plain.