On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris in Southern India…their origin, language, culture and customs !!
Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added
Avaray Gaasu Udakka [ Beans with Potato Curry]
One of all time favourite dishes of Badagas. No marriage lunch would be complete without Avaray Udakka
Devarajan Mathan – [firstname.lastname@example.org”]
If it is ” baralu avarai ” [ Dry Beans + 3 Cups”] soak it overnight. Add Gasu [Potato]. say 2 or 3 pieces. Add Masu hudi – 3 spoons , Uppu [ salt] – 2 spoons.Cook in cooker for 30-40 mins [ based on type of Avarai]. Fri onion & kadugu and pour cooked content into fry and boil for few minutes. If it is Green beans [ Hacchai Avarai], Cook for 15 minutes in pressure cooker. Enjoy with Rice / Erigi Ittu.
Some Authentic Badaga Recipes
I am grateful to Ms. Anitha Gokul for accepting my request to write / give the recipe for the traditional BADAGA CHICKEN CURRY as well as the preparation of CURRY POWDR – the ’secret weapon’ of good Badaga Cooking)
Badaguru Koi Udaka [Badaga Chicken Curry]
by Anith Gokul
Chicken – 1kg
small onions – 500 gms
Koi uduka maasu hudi (masala powder) – 1/2 cup (or depending on how spicy you want it)
cumin seeds (jeera) – 2-3 tsps
saunf – 2-3 tsps
kas-kas – 2 tsps
cloves – 3-4
cinnamon – 1/2 inch
cardamom – 2-3
ginger – 1 inch piece
garlic – 8-9 medium size flakes
salt to taste
turmeric – a pinch
mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
small or big onions for seasoning
oil – 3-5 tbsp
Clean and wash the chicken pieces well. Marinate the chicken in maasu hudi – curry powder [see below to learn how to make Koi Udakka maasu hudi], salt and turmeric.
Warm the spices (cumin, saunf, kas-kas, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom). Grind them in a mixer along with ginger and garlic and keep aside.
Peel the small onions, wash and cut the larger ones into 2-3 pieces and fry in a little oil on low fire. Keep stirring the onions so that they are uniformly and thoroughly fried. Remove from fire, cool and then make it into a paste in a mixer.
Mix the onion paste with the marinated chicken.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and the onions. Fry till onions turn golden in colour. Add the masala-ginger-garlic paste and saute. Then add the marinated chicken and water (according to how thick you want the curry to be). Cook for 20 – 25 minutes or till chicken is done.
It is better to use a pan to cook the curry than a cooker as the flavour of masala and spices usually does get absorbed into the chicken when a cooker is used.
KOI UDAKA MAASU HUDI (Masala powder for chicken gravy)
by Anitha Gokul
chillies – 1kg
corriander seeds -2 kg
cumin seeds (jeera) – 250gms
pepper – 50 -100 gms
There is no need to add other spices like saunf, cloves, etc. They can be added while preparing the curry.Roast the chillies, corriander, cumin and pepper seperately in a hard bottom pan on low fire. The colour of the spices should turn dark as our gravies are usually dark (nearly black) in colour. Be careful not to over-roast. Mix the ingredients together and get them ground in a grinding or pounding machine. Pounding is a better option inorder to maintain the flavour of the spices. Cool the masala powder as soon as after it is ground. Seive and store properly. This masala can be used for more than a year if stored well.
UDAKA MAASU HUDI
(for other gravies like aavarai udaka, maasu neeru, etc)
by Anitha Gokul
chillies – 1kg
corriander seeds – 1kg
cumin seeds (jeera) – 100g
saunf – 100g
pepper – 100g
roasted bengal gram dhal (potto kadalai) – 1cup
bengal gram dhal (kadalai parupu) – 1 cup
red gram (thovarum parupu) – 1 cup
raw rice – 1 cup
turmeric – 50g
fenugreek (methi) – 50g
kas-kas – 50g
mustard seeds – 50g
clove – 20-25g
cardamom – 50g
asafoetida – 5g
curry leaves – 2-3 bunches
nutmeg, mace etc – 1-2 (optional, but when used enhances the taste)
Roast all the ingredients (uniformly) separately in a hard bottom pan on low fire. Wash and dry curry leaves in shade and lightly roast them. Mix all the ingredients together and grind or pound in a machine. Cool the masala as soon as it is possible after grinding, on newspapers spread on the floor. If not cooled the heat in the masala may burn it, thus affecting the flavour and colour of the maasu hudi. Sieve and store properly.
Some More Recipes (courtesy badaga.org)
THUPPADHITTU (Enne Hittu) ‘A SWEET DISH’
Makes 10-15 numbers
Water-3-4 cups(very hot)
Salt to taste
Powdered cardamoms or khas-khas
Oil for frying.
Sieve the flour, add sugar, salt, and cardamoms and mix well. Then add 2 cups hot water to the flour mixing well with a long spoon. when the flour is thoroughly wet start kneading with your hands adding more water to get the desired consistency(it should be thick and smooth).
The batter should extend when pulled. Now take about a ladle of the batter in your left palm and pat it with your right fingers and deep fry in oil. Use water to pat as the batter could be sticky.
Squashed bananas can also be added. If it is difficult to pat pour a ladle of the batter directly into the oil.
E.B. Hariharan’s tip : To shape the batter and bring it to a near circular shape, here is the traditional method.
Take a steel vessel ‘KINNI’ with a circular base, place it upside down.Take a piece of clean white muslin or poplin cloth, wet it in clean water and place it on top. Place the requisite batter on top of the cloth and using both hands, slowly elongate on all sides, until the batter forms a near circle. This process also gives uniformity to the surface. Place the left hand under the muslin cloth, and in one slow movement transfer the circular batter to the right hand and carefully slide/place it into hot oil.
BELLE BENGUVAE SANDEGE [GARLIC SIDE DISH]
by Anitha Gokul
Garlic(whole with big cloves) – 4 to 5
Chilli powder-2 tsps(the chilli powder should be prepared as Badagas do.The powder prepared for our chicken udaka is preferred i.e.,darker in colour)
Salt to taste
Ghee – 2tbsp
Use a skewer(thuppathahittu soongi). Poke the center of the garlic pods(whole) and roast them on the flame directly on a gas stove till they all turn black and an aroma comes. You need not peel the skin of the garlic before roasting because they peel by themselves after roasting. Remove the pods from the skewer and peel the rest of the skin. Do the same thing for the tomato till the skin starts peeling. Remember to keep a low flame while roasting otherwise the inside will not get cooked.
Now put the garlic, tomato, chilli powder, salt and pepper in a mixer jar and run mixer till you get a smooth paste. Add some water.In a pan put the ghee, then mustard. After it splutters add the paste with little water and bring to boil till the required thickness.
EERA BENGUVAE SANDEGE (ONION SIDE DISH)
by Anitha Gokul
Small onions – 250 gms
Garlic – 2 (optional)
Chilli powder-2 tsps(koi udaka maasu hudi)
Mustard,curry leaves,oil for seasoning.
Peel the onions. In a pan put 1-2 tsps of oil. Add the jeera. After it stops popping add the onions(cut only the very big ones). Add the tomato without cutting ,otherwise the water in it will not let the onions fry. Simmer the flame and let it fry stirring now and then. When completely cooked remove from flame and let it cool. Put in a mixer jar and run the mixer. Add chilli powder, salt and turmeric and little water. Add oil in a pan, mustard, curry leaves and then the paste with water. Bring to boil till the sandagai thickens.
Note : The amount of chilli powder added depends on how spicy you want it.
Paruppu (Bae) Udakka Lentil [Pulse] Curry
Dhal 1 cup
Onion (chopped) ½ cup(small) , 1big to saute.
Somfu ½ teaspoon
Oil as needed
Dry chillies(red) 5
Curry leaves little
Salt to taste
In a pressure cooker, cook dhal, onions(small),tomato,pattai ,somfu. In a frying pan or kadai add 2-3 spoons of oil, fry red chillies,then the onions(big) add curry leaves.When golden brown,add the cooked dhal with it,add salt ,corriander leaves and bring to a boil.
TIP: vegetables can also be cooked along with dhal. Carrot will taste better
BELLE BENGUVE MAASU NEER
by Sangeetha Bheeman
GARLIC———1 FULL (medium size)
ONION———-1 (medium size)
CHILLY PDR—-1 ½ TSP
SALT———— to taste
COCONUT——½ cup (grated)
OIL————– to saute
Grind garlic,onion,tomato,coconut gratings & chilly powder all together (with water) to a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan,saute with mustard & curry leaves. Add salt & boil until everything’s cooked well & smells good(simmer the flame).Serve with hot cooked rice & ghee..!
BADAGA CHICKEN SPECIAL
(by Brent Thompson says the recipe originally comes from Poultry Advisor (a magazine) published in Bangalore, in 1970. The recipe was attributed to Mrs. Seetha Mahalingam from Ooty. Brent’s notes and the original measures for the recipe appear in brackets. Also, see badaga.org)
Ingredients* ½ Cup. ghee or oil (orig 1 Cup.)
* ¾ tsp black mustard seeds (orig ½ tsp.)
* 3 onions, medium, chopped or thinly sliced
* ½ tsp turmeric powder
* 3 tomatoes, sliced or chopped
* 1 chicken, skin removed (as always, in India), cut into small pieces
* 1 can coconut milk (or milk from one coconut — about 2-3 Cups.)
* salt to tasteI – Grind together:* 12 garlic cloves (fewer, if really large)
* 2″ ginger root
* 4-5 Tbs green coriander (originally 1-2 Tbs.)
* 10 cardamoms (originally 6)
* 6 cloves
* 2″ cinnamon stick
II – Grind together:
* 2 Tbs. coriander seeds, roasted
* 10 red chilis, dried
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel; add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the sliced onions and fry until the onions turn a golden brown.
2. Add garlic-ginger paste (mix I) and fry about 2-3 minutes.
3. Now add the chili-coriander powder (mix II) and continue frying another 5 minutes, stirring often enough to prevent sticking or burning.
4. Add the turmeric. Add tomatoes and chicken and mix well. Add the coconut milk. Add salt to taste.
5. Cook uncovered until the chicken is tender, adding water if it gets too dry – be careful not to add too much water, as it dilutes the flavor. The color of the broth will gradually deepen and turn brown as it cooks.
6. Optionally, at the end, add a few cashews and cook for another 3 minutes .
by R Ramachandran (Kekkatty)
[A healthy preparation as it is steam cooked and can be stored for weeks]
Salt to taste
Sugar or Jaggery (bella)
Add water to ganjae ravae mixed with spicy ingredients like MADDHU BITTU and POTTU KADALAE. Add salt and sugar / bella (jaggery). This mix is made into small balls. ‘MORANDHAE SOPPU’ stem is cut into small sticks and placed on top of the vessel filled with water (modern pressure cookers with IDLY making attachments may be an ideal alternative). A white thin cloth is spread on these sticks and the balls are stacked in such a way the steam reaches every ball. The morandae sticks also have medicinal values. The vessel is closed/covered and the water is boiled for about half an hour.
Serve with or without milk.
Prof. Paul Hockings notes : Kadimittu (refers to) hard sweet wheat balls, cooked by steaming wheat flour with salt and crude sugar. Taken on long journeys in former times because they would last for many days.
by R Ramachandran
This food item has a significance in Badaga community. A special occasion when only this is prepared as a special item is the BAETA BITHA or the HATCHIKAY HORAY which falls on the previous day of SAKKALATHI Habba.
BATTHA ( or samai) is fried to the extent it bursts open- splutter (BATTHA HURUPUDU). This is put in the ORALU and KUMMIfied (KUMMOODU) with ONAKKE [a solid wooden pole with iron rings at the ends] to separate the husk. Then this is gathered in a MORA (a bamboo basket – winnow), see photo, and cleaned so that the seperated husk is blown away-winnowing (KAERODHU).
The cleaned BATHA is soaked in water for a few hours for softening. Mixed with a dash of salt, jagerry or sugar and the famous [BADDHU BITTHU] HATCHIKAY is ready to be served with or without milk.
Note: This is first ‘offered’ to SOMI (God) and DEEVIGAY (Lamp) by the family head who then tastes it first in the HORAY GANGUVA ( a large traditional Badaga brass plate shown below)
by Anitha Gokul
To make Hacchikai, first we have to make ‘Baathi akki’ from the batha. Nowadays we rarely get batha, but some houses still store batha for use for new mothers (post-natal) to prepare ganji. Some vendors from Mysore, etc also sell new batha in hatties .
Take the cleaned Batta (4-5kgs) in a vessel with enough water (water should just cover the grains). Bring to boil for not more than 5 minutes; otherwise the batha will become soggy. Strain immediately and dry in the sun. When dry, pound in an ‘oralu’ or give it to grinding or pounding machines to split the grains. Baathi akki is ready. Can be stored to prepare Hacchikai anytime.
Baathi akki – 2 cups.
Cool boiled water – 2-3 cups.
Grated coconut – 1-2 cups.
Sugar and salt (a pinch) to taste.
Soak the Baathi akki in cool boiled water for 1 – 2 hours. (Hot water will make it soggy). Strain excess water. Add sugar, salt and coconut and mix. Hacchikai ready!
Baathi akki – 2 cups
Water – 6-7 cups
Jaggery-1cup (or as sweet you want it)
Salt – a pinch.
Ghee as required.
Take Baathi akki in a cooker along with water, add salt. Cook as you cook rice, till very soft. In another pan boil the jaggery along with little water and strain. Add the jaggery to the cooked baathi akki and cook over a low flame till it thickens. Add ghee and serve hot.
You can also add a little cardamom powder, and fried cashews and resins for garnishing.
<h5>by <span style="color: #339966;">K<span class="name"><strong>asthuri Bojan</strong></span></span></h5>
<h5>Ingredients1 kg fish
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying</h5>
<h5><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Prepare a paste of the following</span></h5>
1 small ginger
3 small garlic
4 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds(Jeera)
1 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
Salt to taste</h5>
<h5><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method:</span>
Clean and wash fish.
Cut into medium pieces.
Heat the oil for frying. Put the fish pieces in the paste.
Keep for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pieces and roll in bread crumbs.
Deep fry till it turns golden brown.</h5>
by Anitha Gokul
Wheat flour- 4 cups
Water – 6 cups or more
Salt to taste
Make a batter without lumps by adding water to the flour. Its constituency should be more watery than that of dosa batter. Keep aside for atleast one hour. In a non stick tava pour a ladle of the batter and spread as you make a dosa. The pothitu should be very thin. Make similar dosas with the rest of the batter.
Half a coconut
Milk –2 cups.
Sugar – 5-6 teaspoons (as sweet as you want)
Khas-khas –2 teaspoons
Salt – a pinchUsing a mixer extract the milk from the coconut by adding a little water. Add the coconut milk to the cow’s milk. Add sugar and salt. Roast the khas-khas seeds till they pop. Powder it and add to the milk. Strain the payasa before serving. It can be served hot or cold. To serve it hot heat the payasa.
To serve pour the payasa over the pothitu.
[coutesy > badaga.org POTHITU PAYASA]
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Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
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