Steamed, spiced custard made from the milk of newly calved cows.
Colostrum is always diluted with either regular milk or water. The first and thickest milk is usually diluted up to half its volume. The quantity of water added is reduced as the milk gets less rich on subsequent days.Turmeric is added to remove some of the rawness of the smell of the milk, and of course we know about its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities now. Fenugreek, again is added for its medicinal properties, and also that marvellous alchemy with jaggery.
Use a light variety of cane or palm jaggery. You can steam ginnu in a thali or in shallow trays, but my grandmother always made it in a deep pan, and that’s the way I like it. Makes for more substantial scoops! Reduce the cooking time if you’re using a shallower container.
1 ltr ginnu paal (colostrum)
1/2 ltr (or less) water
200 – 225gms jaggery or to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric, less if it’s very strong
1/8 tsp fenugreek seed, lightly roasted and finely ground
Seeds of 3 – 4 pods cardamom finely powdered
Dissolve the jaggery in the milk and water mixture. Strain if necessary to remove any impurities in the jaggery. Add the powdered spices and stir to mix. Pour the mixture into a deep pan, cover with a lid or foil to prevent moisture entering and steam gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The ginnu is ready when the centre looks set. Think of crème caramel as a point of reference.
Allow it to cool completely before cutting it in the pan. Unless you have used a higher concentration of colostrum, it will not take kindly to unmoulding, and will collapse and weep in the most pitiful fashion.
A delicious way to use up leftover nuuputtu. Separate the strands gently and sun or oven dry before using.
2 cups dried nuuputtu bits
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
Sugar to taste
Oil or ghee for deep frying
Heat the oil in a kadhai or wok and deep fry small batches of the nuuputtu bits at a time. They cook quickly, so work fast and do not allow the threads to colour more than a pale gold.
Drain onto absorbent paper, toss with fresh coconut, sugar and cardamom. Serve warm.
For the version with toasted coconut, you may toast it separately and add it to the fried nuuputtu. Alternately, roast the fried nuuputtu and fresh coconut together gently until the coconut begins to colour and smell toasty. It’s much tastier done this way. Any leftovers can be stored for a few more days in an airtight container.
1/2 kg red kaymbu stems, peeled and sliced into 2” lengths or 1/2 kg rhubarb stems
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
2 medium onions, finely sliced
3-4 dry red chillis, broken and deseeded
5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup grated coconut, ground to a fine paste (optional)
I tbsp thick tamarind extract**
3 tbsp jaggery
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
7-8 curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
Heat the oil in a shallow pan and add the mustard and curry leaves if using, followed by the red chillis and garlic. Sauté for two minutes, then add the sliced onions and cook on medium heat until the onions are softened and just beginning to brown. Add the chopped kembu, two cups of hot water and cook on medium-high for two minutes.
Reduce the heat, then add the ground coriander,chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Cook on low heat for five minutes or until the kaymbu is tender. Add the ground coconut and jaggery.Simmer for about two minutes, then put in the tamarind extract and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Do not reheat.
A note if you are using Rhubarb. It cooks and breaks down much faster than kaymbu stems, so adjust your cooking time accordingly. Also, reduce the quantity of water to 1 1/2 cups.
* Versions of this can found in other cuisines like alu wadi in Maharashtra or patra in Gujarat.
** In recipes that don’t use tamarind, the dish is finished with a squeeze of lime or chorangé (a kind of citron) juice. Do not reheat the dish.
Melt the ghee, and mix with the flour, salt and water. Knead to a smooth, elastic dough. Divide the dough into three even sized balls.
Roll out one ball of dough into a thin disc, about 10-12″ wide. Brush the surface with melted ghee, and sprinkle over an even layer of rice flour. Roll out a second disc, and place it over the first. Repeat this process, finishing with another brushing of ghee and rice flour.
Carefully roll the layered discs into a log, taking care to avoid air pockets.Trim the ends with a sharp knife, and cut into approximately 18 slices.
Roll each slice out lightly into 4 4 1/2″ wide circles, making sure you dont lose the layers.
Fry on moderate heat until golden brown.
Eat as a snack, or with your favourite curry.
To make a sweet version, leave out the spices and herbs and dredge the fried chirotis with powdered sugar while still warm.
And if you’d like to try your hand at the version with semolina, my mother’s recipe calls for a cup each of fine semolina (suji or rava) and plain flour, 3 tbsps of ghee and a pinch of salt, kneaded together into a firm dough with about 1/2 cup of water. This is left to rest for 3 – 4 hours, then kneaded firmly again, before proceeding as above, with melted ghee and rice flour between layers. It’s more effort, but if you prefer a chiroti that is more crisp paratha than flaky pastry, this is the one for you.
Delicately sweet Jackfruit seeds sautéed in coconut oil with a few spices.
Prepare the seeds by boiling them in unsalted water until tender, then remove the thick outer skin and scrape or peel off as much of the thin brown skin as possible. Work while they are warm. Slice each seed along the length into quarters.
2 cups prepared chekké kuru
1 cup sliced shallots
1/4 cup of thinly sliced fresh coconut bits
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 red chillis, broken into large bits
1 sprig curry leaves
2-3 tbsp coconut oil.
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional- I prefer it without)
Heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds.
When they sputter, add the broken chillis and curry leaves, followed by the coconut bits.
Sauté gently for a couple of minutes, then add the sliced shallots.
Cook on low heat until they soften and begin to colour.
Add the sliced jackfruit seeds, (turmeric if using), stir to mix and cook, covered for 3-4 minutes.
Latha’s chekké kuru pajji 1 (Jackfruit seed chutney)
1/4 kg boiled or roasted jackfruit seeds, peeled and lightly pounded
1 cup grated coconut
1 small onion
Green chillis to taste, preferably parangi malu (kanthari chilli or bird’s eye pepper)
Grind the above ingredients together. Add salt and a squeeze of chorangé (a local variety of citrus) or lemon juice to taste. Stir to mix and serve with akki otti.
Chekké kuru pajji 2
Proceed as above, but instead of the citrus juice, add a tsp of tamarind extract when grinding the mixture.
1 tsp mustard seed
2 dry red chillis, broken into large pieces
1 small onion, sliced
4 – 5 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
4 – 5 curry leaves
3 tbsp oil
A pinch of turmeric
Heat the oil, sputter the mustard, then add the chilli and curry leaves, followed by the garlic and onions. When the onions and garlic start to brown, pour the hot seasoning over the ground mixture, adding a pinch of turmeric.
Latha says this is best if on the tangy side, so check the tartness of your tamarind and adjust the quantities.
The same ingredients make a chekké kuru curry, adding hot water for the desired consistency. Add the separately ground coconut at the last stage and simmer for a couple of minutes before serving.
Remember to keep the jackfruit seed mixture coarsely ground for the best result.