METYIM RATE NADEDUDALLADE
DESHAD AATAVE KEDADU SARVAGÑA” –
Says Sarvagña a famous kannada Poet, Pragmatist and a Philosopher. He explains the importance and Agriculture and that agriculture is the backbone of a country.
The saying translates as “The most valuable learning amongst all other forms of education, is farming. The moment agriculture stops, the economy of a country stops.”
Celebrating agriculture and the fruits of it, is the festival Sankranti. Celebration of Harvesting, sharing, friendship. A celebration of Agriculture. In early days, this festival was a reason to visit friends and family to share the harvest and joy and distribute ‘Yellu Bella’ a mixture of Sesame seeds, Jaggery, Dry coconut, Peanuts, Fried grams along with fruits flowers and sugarcane. The ingredients of this mixture are all high in natural oil content and hot in nature. Helps keep our body moist and warm during winters.
1 cup – Peanuts
1 cup – Dry coconut
1 cup – Fried gram
1 1/2 cup – Jaggery
1 cup – White Sesame seeds
Dry roast the sesame seeds till light golden. Dry roast the peanuts, rub them against each other and remove the peel. Remove the peel of the dry coconut, the dark brown layer using a grater or a sharp knife. Cut them into 5cm square. Cut the jaggery too into similar sized cubes. Dry the coconut and Jaggery in sun for atleast couple of days. Mix all the ingredients and store in airtight container. This mixture stays good for a couple of weeks.
Every ingredient is very thoroughly cleant, dried in Sun for almost a week. My mom was very particular how we cut the jaggery and dry coconut, how we dry fry the peanuts, sesame seeds and clean them. I had to cut the jaggery into minute cubes, all same size. She would inspect and approve my work 😀.
As a kid, i loved this festival. I would get dressed up, wearing my new clothes. Pack the packets of Yellu bella in one bag, sugarcane and fruits in another. I would then plan my trip. Hang my bags on my cycle and visit everyone on my list.
The other dish that is a must during this festival is UPPin Huggi (similar to savoury pongal) and Sihi Huggi (similar to sweet pongal)
To make Uppina Huggi, wash moongdal and rice and put it in a pressure cooker. Add turmeric, 1/2 tsp jeera, 3 cups of water and pressure cook it till it cooks well. Till the cooker releases 3 to 5 whistles. Once the cooker is cooled. Remove the lid.
In a pan heat the ghee. Add jeera, crushed pepper, curry leaves and let it crisp up. Add the cooked rice to this. Add 1 cup water, salt to taste and cook it for 5 mins. Add grated dry coconut and the Huggi is done.
To make Sihi Huggi, dry roast the moong dal for just couple of minutes. Do not burn it. Add rice to the moong dal and add 1/2 cup of milk and 2 cups of rice and pressure cook it till the rice is cooked well.
In a kadhai, take 1 cup water and jaggery and boil it till the jaggery melts and and starts to boil. Add the cooked rice to this, remaining milk, elaichi powder and grated dry coconut. And cook till the rice soaks up the jaggery liquid.
In the meantime, heat ghee in a pan. Add cashews and raisins and let them turn gold. Add it to the huggi. Serve hot along with Uppina Huggi.