I always wanted to learn it and the last vacation at my bellary home paid off...Our 85 year old Ajji is my Guru here! You would be surprised to see how dexterous she is even at this age!Squatting on the floor, with the gas hobs pulled to her side her hands moved quickly between the hot griddle and the Holige...While I was trying to rotate the holige on the griddle very cautiously....she did it all in a jiffy....there was magic in her hands the way she flipped it around! Her hand shivers otherwise but it is very firm when it comes to cooking!!...and what an amazing cook she is...you name it and she does it....her only complaint is that we all have become addicted to the instant food and the bakery items that we dont give her much chance to feed us...in fact we didnt wish to trouble her...it was never a love for all those insta products...we wanted her to take rest...which she never does!
Poli,Holige,Obbattu.....you call her whatever you want...but she is just an amazing sweetypie that you dont feel sinful to associate with....!!Hot Olige with a dollop of desi ghee is a real treat....Be it in Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil nadu and even in some parts of Kerala,a festival or celebration is not complete without this treat...
When I was in the hostel in B'lore my Iyer ponnu used to get me wonderful Obbattu during Ugadi or Navaratri... and whenever we felt a craving for it we queued up near the Arya Bhavan to eat it hot...
Making Obbattu/Holige demands some amount of patience...so do it only when you are in a mood to spend some good quality time with her....Otherwise be happy with the frozen ones that we get in the Indian shops.....but of course it is no comparison to the fresh treat! By the way you can add variety to this holige, like kai holigai/kobbari Holigai(kannada) for instance, which is coconut based....and I have noted that Holige made by Tamil Iyengars taste slightly different, may be because they add pachakarpooram(edible camphor)and nutmeg to the Poornam/Hoorana/filling.So try it as well if you like it that way...
So here goes our ajji's recipe:
Bengal gram/kadalaparippu-1 cup
cardamom powder-a pinch
Ingredients for the cover
1/2 cup maida
1/2 cup wheat flour(You could use maida alone as well)
Turmeric powder-a pinch
1 cup oil (can reduce,but it affects the fluffiness/softness)(ghee-optional)
Salt- a very small pinch
Milk/water-as rqd for mixing the dough
(Quite a lot of people mix rava, but unfortunately my experience with rava has been a disaster,may be I was not good at handling rava)
Mix the flour with water/milk(add carefully), adding(half the quantity) oil and make it into a soft pliant dough.One degree softer than a chappati dough.Now pour the remaining oil on top of the dough and leave it aside for some time till the Poornam/filling is ready.
Pressure cook dal till it is very soft.(If you are not happy with the consistency of dal, you may grind it a bit to make it soft.)Mix the powdered jaggery and cardamom powder to it. Mix it well.The Poornam,as it is called,should be in a mouldable consistency.
Take and aluminium file cut into a reasonably good size. Oil it well.Take a large lemon size dough,mould it into a smooth round ball. Using ghee/oil roll it out with your hand (light pats will do the job) to the size of a small puri.Now take about 2 tbsp filling(or rather about 1/2 the size of the dough),mould it into a smooth ball,place it in the middle of the rolled out dough.Bring all the edges together and close it. Now roll it again,preferably with your hand(no roller pins) using gentle taps. Spread it out as thin as possible, without letting the filling come out(it is little bit of a trick!).
Heat the Tava medium hot and gently slide the spread Holige on to it from the aluminium foil.Turn it around, flip flop the sides ,it will start bulging like a puri,and when it is golden, it is ready. Now serve it with a dollop of desi ghee...hmmm....it is yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Whenever Holige is made, the humble holige saaru accompanies coyishly! It is a sweet and sour curry made with the left over poornam/filling,ground roasted coconut,a very small quantity tamarind, a little ginger garlic paste and a tadka of cumin,fenugreek seeds,dry red chilly,mustard, curry leaves.
To make it simple,Holige filling mixed with coconut and a little fried poppy seeds is filled inside the maida/wheat covering (made like a small poori, and the sides pressed)and is deep fried in oil to make the wonderful kadubu!
Kosumbari is an interesting salad made of blackgram dal(soaked for an hour or two),a little coconut shavings,some onions chopped,a little corriander leaves,and salt(You can add some green chillies, if you want to spice it up).You can add even cucumber cut into very small pieces.
Enne Badinekai/Noona Vankai