Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A traditional preparation, a contest, some sankranti memories:)

 It is long since i participated in any creative  contest discounting  those games and some interactive contests at our team outings. So, When my Yoga studio came up with a cookery and Rangoli competition to celebrate 'Sankranti", I was on two minds to participate. We also had plans of going to shirdi so I did not enroll my name till the last day.

When our travel plans got shelved, my children insisted that i must try my hand at the cookery contest.  Finally at the last minute i enrolled and i was told 'til'(sesame) should be one of the ingredient of the contesting dish.

On my way back home, i was thinking about the recipe that i would dish out and i thought,  i would make Puliogre( tamarind rice). Though a delicacy of south india, this is prepared in different ways in the different southern states that i have lived/live. It is called 'Pulihora'(AP), Puliyansaadam(TN) and Puliogre( karnataka).And in each region the taste is different.

And I especially love the puliogre which my mom makes, the  mysorean way which my mom learnt from her neigbhour - a mysore iyengar. They are the authority in making tamarind rice. I love the tangy rice made with a tinge of sweetness - a taste typical of Udupi and mysore.  With that in mind, i reached home.

But after reaching home, i decided i should make something unique especially expose a new delicacy for the multicultural society i live in and thought of  'Gojjavalakki'( this is made of rice flakes but again with tamarind similar to poha upma). So, i almost finalized that and decided i will garnish it with til.

But wait.............my daughter said I must ask my mom and so I called up my mom and she suggested 'Ellu Bella'.

 Oh..yeah...... why did'nt i think about that before?  the traditional  'Ellu bella ' it would be i thought. It required no cooking but requires lot of  processing and so i decided to make it  the day before the contest itself.

And I presented 'Ellu Bella' - the traditional Sankranti offering which is a medley of roasted and broken peanuts, chopped dessicated coconut, chopped jaggery, fried grams and  sesame seeds(til)

                                                         my presentation and preparation -' Ellu Bella'

It is a tradition among kannadigas called 'Ellu Beerodu'( sharing sesame)  and present the above medley in ziplock packets  to friends and relatives. It comes in a hamper consisting of sugarcane piece, betel leaf, nuts and a sugar figurine called 'Sakkare hacchu'.

This 'Ellu beerodu' also triggers so many of my childhood memories, where i would accompany my friends to other neighbouring houses and it was a delight to  find out who got the best sugar figurines which came in various shapes like that of animals, fruits, vrindavan etc., At the end of the day, i would  sit and figure out what are the figurines i got as part of 'Ellu beerodu'. The next day after Sankranti we would carry it in our school bags to give it to teachers and other friends. These were some costless thrills for us during school days.

This mixture of edible grains and nuts was formulated by the elders to keep our body warm and give high energy. Since this festival falls in mid winter, the sesame( anti-oxidant) seeds, coconut ( anti-bacterial and anti -viral)  would help in keeping the viral  and bacterial attack at bay.

Now, Coming to the contest, no i did'nt win the contest. Though it was considered for the third position. I lost the 3rd place because mine was processed and easy to make while the 'Chocotilas" was a unique preparation - till balls coated with chocolate sauce, which looked like Ferroro Rocher.

The choco'til'as on the left was the 3rd prize winner which competed with the above 'Ellu bella'

But, i enjoyed contesting, losing and being  a part of the game.  I gained more through the expreience, shared the traditional recipe with so many of my friends, learnt to make chocotilas, Sesame cheese sauce(2nd prize), Oats -sesame bread spread( Ist prize), tiger rice and so many more like  dry fruit rolls , khova rolls etc.,

photocourtesy: My yoga studio


  1. Congratulations for participating in the contest!
    That was a nice dish you came up with.

  2. 3rd prize kedaikaati enna..naama ghilli vijay mathiri finalsla paathukalam :D:D ivlo peria spam message!! :D blog posta vida perusa iruku :D inta imsaikaaga thaan comment moderation poaten.

  3. Yes Asha, you should activate the comment moderation, but don't add the word verification. This way you can monitors the comments before they get published.

  4. Don't allow spammers to come and share in the Ellu bella. This is reserved only for your blog's fans !!

    Despite living in Karnataka, I know nothing of Ellu Bella. Grrrr.

  5. @ Rama,Gils and Ramesh - I was not in favor of moderation all these days. I thought these spams would be an ocassional feature but they seem to be getting worse. I have no choice now, AS suggested by you all to knock off the spams from my comments section i am enabling comment moderation. Thank you all for the comments and suggestion :)

  6. its the participation that matters the most ..

    and congrats on that :)

    and I want to taste that sometimesssssssssssssssssss


    1. Thank you, Bikram and yes, sure you can taste it anytimesssss ssssssssss :)

  7. Good you had a fun time while participating for the contest and emerged as a winner by learning so many new things!

  8. yes and met yoginis & yogis of different batches too, a great getogether, Thank you:)