I have a nice book in Kannada called Paakadarshi which is filled with recipes of wonderful traditional dishes from Karnataka. My mom took it out of her collection and gave it to me soon after I got married and was about to move away from Bangalore for a long time. As a new cook it acted like the Gita to me in the kitchen. :)
I later bloomed into an experimental cook who rarely follows recipes to a tee. But even after all these years, when it comes to the very traditional recipes, the kind of wonderful stuff that my mom makes, I still fall back on my Paakadarshi. And it has always caused great results!
Here's a quick and easy recipe for this delicious dish called Bille (pronounced Bil-lay) Kadubu.
2 C Rice Semolina (sold as Idli Rava at Indian stores)
3/4 C fresh coconut (I use half grated and half cut into tiny pieces)
2 t Channa Dal (soaked)
1 t Jaggery
For the seasoning:
Black mustard seeds, Curry leaves, Oil (canola, coconut... anything)
Heat a few spoons of oil in a wok/pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Turn off the stove and add curry leaves. Add 5 cups of water, jaggery and salt and turn on the heat once again. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and gently pour in the rice semolina while continuously stirring. Once the water has been absorbed completely, take the pan off the stove and stir in the coconut. Mix well.
Let the mixture cool slightly (but not too much). Lightly oil your palms and make little balls out of the dough. Steam them for 8-10 minutes.
Serve hot with Coconut Cilantro Chutney. (Just posting this recipe here is making me want to eat some right now! :oP)