Pundi palle

You really have to be a hard-core north Karnatak-ian to know this palle :). Or you might have heard the following:

Ganapati Ganapati Moraya!

Pundi palle sorya!

We do get this in NJ sometimes. It is called Bimli Jute in English. The botanical name of this is Hibiscus Cannabinus. This plant is mostly found in India and is distributed throughout the country up to an elevation of 3000 feet in the lower Himalayas. Here is what it is called in various languages:

English: Bimli Jute, Deccan Hemp, Kenaf

Sanskrit: Nalita

Hindi: Ambari, patsan, pitwa

Bengali: Mestapat

Marathi: Ambadi, Ambada

Gujarati: Ambari, sheria

Telugu: Gogu, gonkura

Tamil: Pulichhai, pulimanji, kasini

Kannada: Pundi

Malayalam: Kanjaru

Oriya: Kanuriya

Bihari: Kudrum

Punjabi: Sankokla

It is amazing to know that the plant is used to make ropes, jute bags, fishing nets, strings for tying rafters, floor mats, rug and chair backing etc. If the plant has less fibre, then it is used to manufacture paper. The leaves on the other hand are used as a herb. Tender leaves are also used as cattle fodder and seeds as cattle feed. They have a fatty oil used to make soaps, linoleum, paints and varnishes and after refining..

Here goes the recipe that is again rich in Iron!

2 cups cleaned and separated Pundi (ambadi) leaves , about 1 cup coarsely broken Sorghum (jolad nuchchu) or coarsely broken rice (akke nuchchu) or thick wheat rawa, 2 bulbs pealed garlic separated into cloves, salt, 2 spoons veg oil.


  • Boil pundi leaves in 4-5 cups water till the leaves are cooked soft.
  • Decant the water.
  • Put the garlic cloves,  jolad nuchchu, salt, mix well and cook for about 20 minutes with intermittent stirring till the nuchchu is well cooked and there is homogeneous mass formed.
  • Put the oil and mix well. 

Typically Served With:
Serve with ground  (kudsid khara) made with green chilli or red chilli (ranjaka) and oil to be eaten with jolad roti


Kuchida kadabu

Kuchida kadabu is another tasty preparation that is a healthier alternative for fried kadabu. We make it at home during festivals. It is basically steamed kadabu.

Shongi Payasa (Dharwad kannada) or vermicelli payasa is a very quick and easy dessert that tastes really good too. This can be made when you have unexpected guests or as a last minute preparation for any meal.


2 cups gram dal (channa daal), 1 and a 1/2 cup jaggery or brown sugar, 2 cups maida or fine wheat flour, 1/2 spoon cardamom powder, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and a pinch of salt.


  • Prepare the dough with maida or wheat flour by adding a little bit of oil and salt and required quantity of water to  soft consistency and keep it aside closed.
  • Cook gram dal in pressure cooker for 7 – 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked dal along with water to a thick bottomed vessel and cook for 5 more minutes with stirring and remove the watery part (called as cutt, for making curry i e kattin saaru), into a separate vessel.
  • Add jaggery or brown sugar to the cooked dal, mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes till the raw smell of jaggery disappears.
  • Add cardmum powder and cool.
  • Grind the cooked mixture in blender and divide into about 20 small portions.
  • Prepare paste by mixing 1 table spoon maida powder with 1 spoon water. This is used to stick the edges of the kadabu together.
  • Divide the dough also into 20 balls.
  • Roll each dough ball into oval shaped sheet and place one part of dal lengthwise (done by pressing the dal mix on palm by closing with four fingures)  in the centre.
  • Apply the maida paste on the sides by using cotton bud fixed on a stick like Q tip and seal the ends by pressing between thumb and forefingure-this is kadaboo.
  • Keep water for boiling in pressure cooker or wide mouth vessel.
  • Transfer few kadbbos to a  steel vessel or pan with small holes and a handle and dip in boiling water and allow the kadboos to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Alternately, the kadboos can be subjected to steam cooking in idli stand by using pressure cooker and steaming for 5 minutes.

Typically Served With
The kadbood should be  be served hot with lot of semisold  ghee!

Shevagi Payasa

Shongi Payasa (Dharwad kannada) or vermicelli payasa is a very quick and easy dessert that tastes really good too. This can be made when you have unexpected guests or as a last minute preparation for any meal.


2 cups broken shevai, 1 cup sugar, dry fruits, 1/2 litre milk, 1 table spoon ghee,  1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder, few shreds or pinch of powdered saffron (keshar).


  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel.
  • Transfer dry fruits and shevai and roast till goden brown.
  • Add hot milk and saffron and cook for 5-10 minutes till shevai is soft.
  • Add sugar and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder and mix it well. (More milk can be used to get the desired consistency).

Typically Served With

Serve hot or cold as a  desert.

Ghodi (wheat) Huggi(payasam)

Godhi huggi is another delicacy and if people make this during weddings, all the guests are profusely happy.

2 cups cracked Wheat for huggi(readily available in grocery stores), 1 cup jaggery, 1 table spoon roasted and powdered khaskhas + dry coconut, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom + nutmeg powder, dry fruits like cashewnuts, kerbeeja, pista, raisins


  • Soak wheat for 3-4 hours in 6 cups of water or overnight in cool weather.
  • Then cook in pressure cooker for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • If the grains are not very soft to be mashed by stirring with wooden spoon, subject the cooked wheat to grinding in blender (see my mom’s chemistry roots here?!:)).
  • Transfer the soft cooked mass to a thick bottomed and narrow mouth vessel.
  • Add jaggery and cook the mixed contents with constant stirring by using a wooden spoon till the raw smell of jaggery completely disappears and the mixture attains a homogeneous consistency.
  • Add khaskhas, coconut powder and dry fruits and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Then add cardamom + nutmeg powder and boil for 2 minutes and keep the container covered.

Typically Served With:
Serve hot with ghee. Can be eaten with hot milk when cold.

Khaskhasi Payasa

Khaskhas or khaskhasi is poppy seeds. This is a dessert preparation.

1 cup khaskhasi, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup dry grated coconut, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, cardamom powder.

Soak khaskhasi, almonds and coconut in water for 1/2 hour.
Grind to a paste with minimum water.
Boil the paste in 1 litre milk or milk + water for 15 to 20 minutes till the raw smell of khaskhas disappears.
Add sugar and boil for 5 more minutes.
Add cardamom powder

Tips and Tricks:

Khaskhasi payasa is recommended for very new moms. It not only induces milk production but it also has some natural stuff that helps with making the baby feel sleepy. That way new moms get rest ;-).

Typically Served With:
Serve hot or cold.

Bastid shevgi (vermicelli)

Bastid shavangi is a dessert and it is typically done on festival days. This is a variation of shavgi payasa.

100 grams long strand(shiwdu)shevai or vermicelli, jaggery/jagri or sugar, water


  • Keep about 1/2 litre water for boiling in a vessel.
  • When water starts boiling, add shevai(shavgi) in it and boil for 2 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, transfer the cooked shevai into a vessel containing cold water.
  • Drain the water and serve this in a plate.
  • Eat with jagri or sugar and milk.

Typically Served With:
Eat with jaggery, brown sugar or simple sugar and milk.

Hirekai (Ridge Gourd) chutney

Hirekai is one of my favourite subjis. But more than the subji, I like the chutney that is made with its edges and peel. There are two versions that my mom makes. So here they go:

  • Wet Chutney

Ingredients: Ridge Gourd peel or scrapings from the gourds (hirekai cover) or tender hirekai cut into small pieces, onion – 1 small, 4-5 green chillies, 1 bulb of garlic cloves, cilantro (coriander) leaves, curry leaves, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 fistful peanuts, 1 teaspoon gural powder, tamarind paste to taste, salt, 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and asafoetida


  • Heat oil in a small kadai.
  • Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, til seeds and asafoetida.
  • Then add peanuts and stir till they turn brownish.
  • Now transfer onion and hirekai pieces and roast till brownish.
  • Add garlic, coriander leaves, gural powder, tamarind paste, brown sugar or jaggery and salt.
  • Transfer to a grinder/mixer and grind to a coarse consistency.

Tips and Tricks:

To peel the gourd, you can use a fruit peeler and keep the peel aside.

Typically Served With

Tastes very good with chapattis, rotti or thalipet.