Just about 2 days ago I decided Sankranthi, the festival for harvest is here and I need to have a post signifying it for the 14th. I rustle up my calculations and cross upon Huggi, a traditional Havyaka household dish, and an apt one that can make it right for the day and the festival. Perfect, I think.
So to be able to post it a day in advance that will benefit my readers, I decide I will cook the recipe a day before, photograph them and publish here. I almost put things together, when I simply get a feeling that I am cheating. Would that justify me celebrating the festival? It made more sense to cook them the first thing in the morning of the festival while my family is around, finish the pooja, offer God and relish them fresh. So I push the entire thought of cooking Huggi for the day of Sankranthi, in a hope I will be able to quickly grab some clicks and post them here, hopefully the same morning. Hopelessly, that rarely happens!
The morning of Sankranthi dawns and the baths are over. I head over to the kitchen to make both versions of Huggi, the sweet and the spicy one, both equally delicious and my favourites too. My cooking is done on time, pooja is over, little one is to be fed and I am to decide if the oggarne/tadka needs to be added then or saved for the photographs. A tic-tac-toe and I add a part of the oggarne/tadka, saving some of it for the grace. I almost finish feeding my hungry toddler, put her to play in my kitchen and keep a keen check on her from the corner of my eye, often hanging around me for my attention. A huge effort goes into distracting her with piles of kitchen utensils and cutleries to amuse her. By now my kitchen is in a huge mess with utensils, dolls and toys lying on the floor and on counters too. Adding to this, hazaar utensils lay around to be cleared and washed. I clear a part of these to make some space for the props to be fitted into the existing clutter, as obvious to make my dish look a little appealing. By now my little toddler begins to get anxious, seeking my consideration to play with her, so she's up on the kitchen counter, least I can keep her busy with my constant talks and her plays. I begin to place up my props, lay the dishes, top the garnishes, neat my background, foot the tripod and almost begin to shoot when a tiny hand hovers over to dish, pulling the props, the background and at times the camera lens too! Again, in an attempt to distract, I hand over unforeseen kitchen items for her to play. Her hands go deep into the jar of my precious ghee, the onion and garlics are off their peels, things helter-skelter and a glass or two ends up cracking on the floor. Though by now she is bored and there comes the shrill cry, more mess and my woe! Then there are agony moments when my garnish ends up in a mess, spoons are thrown into the dish, splattering on to the table cloth and I throw up my hands in anguish! Did I say life of a blogger mom was stressful? Phew!
I come back to square one of laying things on the dining table instead, let her on her foot to play, hand over a spoon and bag of chickpeas for her to fiddle with, foot the tripod and almost begin to shoot a photograph or two when my little one spills over all the chickpeas, gives up on them instantly and hovers over to tripod, attempts a climb, almost tumbling over it. I tip toe over the scattered chickpeas, just managing to balance the falling camera on a single foot and my toddler on another! Again, I give up, shove aside the tripod and shoot by hand with a few shaky shots and some good angles. Did I say life of a blogger mom was adventurous? True!
Okay, so by now I somehow manage a few shots here and there and then sit down to processing the files, generally when my baby is off to her sleep. And today she decides not to sleep. I sit her till the noon, simply hoping I can make through this post today! She's off to sleep and I sit to blog about it, my thoughts are totally empty. Heck! Where do I start? Every blogger's foe, that blogger's block! I try to start, then just let it go. Instead I manage to do my processing and editing. Of the hazaar photos I click randomly I short-list to the chosen few. By then my little one is awake. Here I go off again, almost being sure this will have to wait another day, may be next year too...??? Yeah, I did say life of a blogger mom was uncertain.
With all that said and done, I finally have my post here, though not exactly on time as I would have preferred it earlier in the day. I sat at a stretch, almost 3 hours and managed to crack a good long write up too! And as it gets published, its fun and exciting. As the comments pour in, it gets entertaining too :) That's life being a food blogger and toddler's mom too!
1/2 cup moong daal
1 cup rice
3 cups milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp. clarified butter / ghee
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar or jaggery (adjust as per taste)
1-2 cardamom pods, crushed
A handful cashew nuts & raisins
A pinch of saffron
Wash and clean the moong daal and rice and keep it aside for about 10 minutes. In a pressure cooker, add the moong daal, the washed rice. Cook them in 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of water to 3 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker at hand, use a regular cooking pan and cook the daal and rice till they turn soft and mushy. Once cooled, lightly mash them using the back of the ladle once cooked. Add the sugar to taste and adjust the thickness of the huggi by adding remaining milk, if necessary. Add in the saffron and stir well. Heat it till it comes to a boil. I've used sugar here since I ran out of jaggery, but I suggest you try the jaggery version as it tastes great too!
Next, heat three tbsp. of ghee in a wide mouthed pan. Add cashews and fry till they turn golden brown. Switch of the flame and quickly toss in the raisins and cardamoms. Allow them to plump in the heat. Garnish the prepared sihi huggi with the fried cashews and raisins and serve hot.
1/2 cup moong daal
1 cup rice
2 tbsp. clarified butter / ghee
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. chopped ginger
2 chopped green chillies
1 tsp. whole & broken peppercorns
A sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
A handful cashew nuts
Wash and clean the moong daal and rice and keep it aside for about 10 minutes. In a pressure cooker, add the moong daal, the washed rice along with chopped ginger and green chillies. Cook them in sufficient water (about twice to three times the quantity of rice and dal) to 3 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker at hand, use a regular cooking pan and cook the daal and rice till they turn soft and mushy. Once cooled, lightly mash them using the back of the ladle once cooked. Add turmeric and salt to taste. Adjust water to your desired thickness as necessary.
Next, for the oggarne, heat three tbsp. of ghee in a kadai. Add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn fragrant, add torn curry leaves, the whole and broken pepper and cashew in the ghee till the cashews turn golden brown. Garnish the prepared huggi with this oggarne and top with more roasted cashews before serving.
Wishing you all a Happy Sankranthi this season!