Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tamalapaku Pakodi (Beetle Leaf Pakoda)

Makara Sankranti, well known as Pongal, is an auspicioius festival in Andhra Pradesh. Its a festival of Harvest and is celebrated for four days.
  • Day 1 - Bhogi
  • Day 2 - Makara Sankranti (Pedda Panduga)
  • Day 3 - Kanuma
  • Day 4 - Mukkanuma
The first day of festival is Bhogi (భోగి). At dawn people light a bonfire with wooden logs, other solid-fuels and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful. In many families, infants and children (usually less than three years old) are showered with fruit called "Regi Pandlu", that is the Indian jujube fruit. The second day is Makara Sankranti (మకర సంక్రాంతి), also called "Pedda Panduga" (పెద్ద పండుగ), which literally means "the big festival", when everyone wears new clothes, pray to God, and make offerings of traditional food to elders in the family tree who died. Kanuma Panduga (కనుమ) is not as widely celebrated, but is an integral part of the Sankranti culture. Mukkanuma (ముక్కనుమ) is famous among the non-vegetarians of the society. People in Coastal Andhra do not eat any meat or fish during the first three days of the festival, and do so only on the day of Mukkanuma.

Here in US too, we celebrate Bhogi and Sankranti. And this time, we celebrated this Bhogi Showers to my younger son along with four other friends' kids in one of my friend's house. We distribute beetle leaves, soaked black chole and some fruits to all of them who came to the showers.  I was also invited by other friends to their kids' Bhogi showers. At the end of the day I ended  up with lot of beetle leaves in my fridge.  So I came up with this Tamalapaku Pakodi, and I don't have any idea if anybody else has experimented this earlier.


Senagapindi (Besan) :  50 gms
Onions : 2 big (cut into thin strips)
Beetle leaf : 6 or 7 (cut into very small pieces)
Green chillies : 3 or 4 (cut into small pieces)
Salt : as required
oil : required for frying

  • Mix salt with onions and set aside.
  • After 15 minutes mix beetle leaf pieces, chilly pieces and besan  with onion pieces.
  • If it is too thick to mix, you can add 1 or 2 tsps of oil while mixing.
  • Deep fry until golden brown and serve hot with tomato ketchup.


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