I have mentioned in my blog archives that I am a child of an inter-caste marriage. My mum belongs to North-India, to a state called U.P, and my dad was a Konkani from Mangalore, South-India. Therefore, growing up, my sister and I enjoyed cuisines of North-India and South-India in equal measures. Lucky, right?
Now, whenever someone says the words “Mom’s Cooking”, there will always be that one dish which will immediately pop up in your mind and will make you go..”Mmmmmm………..Mummyyyyyy”. For me, that dish is something that we call as- ‘Daditoy-chawal and Dangar’. Dalitoy is a typical South-indian style lentil dish or dal, which has a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried, whole red chillies.
Dangar is basically a spicy, crispy fritter that is prepared by making a coarse rice and lentil based batter, which is then mixed with cabbage, onions and some dry spices, then finally, deep-fried. You can serve it as a starter or a side dish for lunch/dinner. Interestingly, instead of deep-frying the fritters, you can make thick pancakes out of the same mixture and shallow-fry them. Dangar in this form is called as Sanapodo. Now, if you ask me background or origin of these names and dishes, I will have absolutely no clue. I don’t even know how to speak or understand konkani. I just know these food names because they were a regular feature in our mixed household, made perfectly by my very North-Indian mother.
We always have dangar with dalitoy-chawal (rice and lentils) and seldom as a snack on it’s own, but you can opt for either way. It’s my mommy’s signature dish and my kitchen smells like my mum’s kitchen whenever I make this particular, complete meal for dinner.
Give this special recipe a go and enjoy!
– 1/2 cup rice
– 1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas yellow lentils)
– 1 small onion, finely chopped
– 1 cup finely chopped cabbage
– 1 dried red chilly
– 1 tsp red chilly powder
– 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
– A pinch of asafoetida
– 1 tbsn rice flour
– Some finely chopped fresh coriander
– Salt to taste
– Oil for deep frying
– Wash rice and toor dal well. Soak them together in water for at least two hours.
– Drain and make sure there’s no water remaining in the soaked rice and dal.
– Into a blender, add in the soaked rice and dal, along with a dried red chilly. Grind into a coarse paste without adding any water. It’s okay if you are left with tiny pieces of rice and toor dal as they add a nice crunch after the deep-frying.
– Transfer the batter into a bowl and add finely chopped onions, cabbage and coriander, along with the dry spices and salt. Do not over crowd the batter with too many vegetables.
– Finally, mix in your rice flour. This is mainly to absorb the excess moisture in the mixture.
– Once the oil is hot enough for deep-frying, grease your palm with some oil and taking some mixture into your hand, make a round ball. Place carefully into the oil. Repeat until the oil has enough patties for one batch. Do not overcrowd! Fry on medium heat until they cook through uniformly, on the inside and out.
– Serve hot with the chutney of your choice or as an accompaniment to your dal & chawal. Enjoy!
– To make sanapodo, take a non-stick frying pan. Heat a tsp of oil on it and place a spoonful of batter on it. With your fingers, spread the mixture in the shape of a thick, flat pancake. Heat like a pancake and flip. Heat again on the other side till well done. Add more oil if needed. Cook till the pancake is completely cooked on both the sides. Serve hot!
– Once you add onions and salt to your batter, they will quickly moisten up the batter and you may not be able to form balls out of it easily. So, add your onion and salt just a few minutes before you fry your fritters.
-Make sure that your vegetables are finely chopped otherwise they may prevent the batter to hold a proper shape for frying and break.