The Muslim Food Blogger’s Challenge is 6 months old! Alhamdulillah… it feels great to be going on. The group maybe small but we have a really enthusiastic bunch, that keeps the challenge alive. I am sure you will all agree that enthusiasm and interest is what drives everything ahead, and I thank Him for this little bunch of bloggers who make my life so easier to go on… 🙂
This month, we reverted back to trying from a blog and we chose to cook from “Shab’s Cuisine“. This blog is one of them that I started following when the cooking bug hit me around 7 years ago – yes, my cooking passion is pretty young, you see! 😉 I totally love her blog since she had some very simple recipes plus her blog was a treasure of Malabar recipes. I guess I don’t need to mention the amazing clicks that she has for each of her recipes. It makes you want to try out the recipes as soon as possible. I really love her vocabulary skills and love how she writes. This post was one that really echoed me as soon as I read it then, and it holds true while I searched for the post to link in now too…
It feels sad that she has completely sidelined her blogging for other interests in life. Even though I would have loved her to stay on, I understand how life evolves, and with it our priorities evolve too. He alone knows what is in store for me as well as far as the blog is concerned. So I thought it was fitting to give her a lift by choosing her blog to be the one for this month’s challenge.
I had bookmarked the Mussara Varakiyathu ages ago. The recipe echoes a lot with me. As soon as I read it, I knew there was my grandmother – may Allah bless her eternal life, Aameen… – etched somewhere there. D’s mother was a lovely cook. I wouldn’t say I have been able to eat much of her food, since by the time we were growing up, she had already given the reins of her kitchen to all her daughter-in-laws. Being “gulf kuttis”, we were only home once in two years for two months, so you can imagine how limited of her food I have heard. Her Semiya Nenthrapazham is my all-time favorite. Blogging made me discover the “Paal Vazhakka“, which reminded me of her cooking. And now, it is this one… I never knew the name of this dish till I saw it on Shab’s space…
This dish is actually made with rice instead of whole wheat. However, considering that the latter is considered healthier, of late it is being used. I hardly made any changes to the recipe, except for grinding the wheat-coconut mixture in water instead of milk. Somehow my heart wasn’t allowing me to waste the milk that way. 😉 So I ground the mixture in water and then added milk while cooking. Either way, it is delicious! I made this for breakfast on a weekend and the folks devoured it. My kids, who normally snort at the sight of anything like this, quickly finished off their bowls, and Rasha remarked, “Ummi, this is really nice.” 🙂
This is normally served like a payasam/ kheer, however the texture is so thick, that you do need a spoon to have it. The dish is amazing as breakfast or for chai time. I am really glad I tried this recipe from her blog. InShaAllah hoping to make this more frequently… 🙂
A little update on May 11: As I shared this dish on a lovely FB food group, I got some interesting insights on this recipe. This is called “Gothambu Verakiyathu” in Thalassery, Mahe and Kannur, which is understood, since “gothambu” or wheat is the main ingredient in this dish and it is “verakiyathu”, made in pudding format. Another member also told me that this is called “Sangada Payasam”, which means “sad pudding”. Ask me why… Please don’t laugh at what she said. It seems normally this is made in homes when a member is going back to the Gulf after vacation and since it is a sad occasion, so the name. 😀 Wow… I really loved reading this, so thought must record it for all of you as well…
Musaara Varakiyathu ~ Malabar Wheat and Bengal Gram Pudding
- 1/2 cup Bengal gram chana dal
- 2/3 cup whole wheat soaked overnight
- 2 cups grated coconut
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 1/3 cup milk
- Cook the Bengal gram in a pressure cooker till done. The dal should be cooked but able to hold its shape. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the wheat, coconut and half the water in a blender. Blend till smooth.
- Pass the mixture through the sieve and press down as much as fluid as possible.
- Return back the residue into the blender, add the remaining water and blend again.
- Sieve again till maximum. Discard the residue.
- In a saucepan, combine the drained mixture along with the remaining ingredients and cook on low flame, stirring constantly. Ensure to continuously stir since the mixture would otherwise settle to the bottom and become lumpy.
- As the mixture cooks, you will see it starts thickening and becoming a homogeneous mixture. Add in the cooked bengal gram and give a good mix. Switch off and serve warm.
Do hop on to see what my other mates prepared for this challenge!