The three words that would pop out of my mind are Pristine, Purity & Flawless.
This is the season of white around you. White also means cold to me. The brilliant white shades of ice and snow in the mountains, lakes and trees projects the beauty of Mother Nature. Bay area in California has never received a snow fall but my vacation to Big Bear reminded me of my good old days in Sheffield, UK. Clad in thick winter clothes, boots, warm cap and gloves – I am always good to explore the beautiful places , ofcourse with a cup of hot chocolate in hand I love the SNOW and with my buddies B & V, its worth reliving those moments in snow again. It is a distress to commute during the winter season but for me snowfall and gloomy weather is the season of hope. A hope which conveys that there will be sunshine and brightness soon.
This is my first post for the New Year (2010). I wanted something pure and divine. What will be more divine than the color white? The post for today is something as pure as white and looks so white – Bagalabath. This dish has a very similar taste to yogurt rice. My amma told me that this dish was discovered to break the monotonous menu of rice and yogurt. The noodle shaped vermicilli is sure to tempt the kids to eat them.
Bagalabath is a famous dish made in South Indian household with vermicilli and yogurt. The tempering of asafoetida, urad dhal and mustard seeds blends amazing well with the cooked vermicilli. The ruby red pomegranate and light green cucumber chunks adds extra beauty to the dish perfectly. The red speckles around the white background reminds me of the small rose buds in the snow. This dish tastes as beautiful as it looks.
200 gms raw vermicilli (Available in Indian grocery stores)
4 cups yogurt (thick and beaten) – no fat or low fat
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup semi-skimmed milk/ whole milk
1/2 cup pomegranate – cleaned and aril removed
1/2 cup cucumber – chopped
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp asafoetida
2 dry red chillies – cut in half
Salt to taste
4 cups water
1/2 tbs oil
Cook the vermicilli as per manufacturer’s instructions. It should be cooked like the way once cooks the paste. Boil 4 cups of water in a large cooking vessel. When they are boiling hot with bubbles, add little oil and salt and raw vermicilli. Cook for 8-10 min. Always have an eye after 5 min and give them a stir once a while. Remove couple of sticks to check for the softness. Once cooked, remove and run through cold water and set them aside.
Once cooled, drain the water completely and transfer them to a fresh bowl. Add yogurt and milk and give it a complete mix. Try not to break the shape of vermicilli. Mix in the pomegranate and cucumbers and salt.
Heat oil in a small pan. Once they get heated up, add the mustard seeds and let it pop. Add the urad dhal, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Add the tempering to the vermicilli bowl and mix well.
Before serving, pour little milk to give it a creamy consistency. Serve cold with Indian pickles, curry or pappads/chips.