“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A glorious crown of silver hair, thick black framed spectacles popped on tip of his nose, angelic white muslin short kurta and dhoti on medium built frame, vibhuti dot on forehead, ruby studs in ears, rather mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and ever smiling lips were the trademark of one of the most loving, humble, caring, very special and exceptionally good looking man in my life, my Ajja (paternal grandfather)!
Ajja was more of a best friend to all his grandchildren than granddad! And it was not a simple task to be a doting grandpa for some 40+ grandsons and granddaughters. Yes, you read it right! Although I was lucky enough to bask in his undivided attention for just for 2 years, he has made a lasting impression on me. Being the youngest grandchild in the family with teenagers for cousins, I was rather pampered and shamelessly spoilt by all the elders in the family, cousin brothers and sisters, and especially by my grandfather. His chest was my comfortable bed for all my naps and his lap my playground! It was thing of amusement for everyone to watch how I kept him wrapped around my little finger and made him dance to my tunes, while my parents stood in front of him, shaking like a leaf, when he scolded them for punishing me for some naughty things I did! There were times when he held important village meetings on large open veranda in our ancestral home while I happily sat on his lap drawing moustache on his face with kohl. He had owned hectors and hectors of farm lands and large estates of plantations but it was always a small space in his loved ones hearts that mattered to him the most!!! It’s rather difficult to find such humble individual in life who believed in simplicity in life. A simple man with simple needs.
And his simplicity and modesty were all the more visible in his taste for food. A bowl of ganji (boiled rosematta rice) with a dollop of thuppa (ghee), simple stir fried vegetables and mavina midi uppinakai (tender mango pickle) were his favourite meal. One other thing he loved having was Khara Avalakki, a quick snack of spicy beaten rice with coconut and dash of aromatic tadka. He would gladly eat it for breakfast and evening snack with a large steaming glass of strong filter coffee. There is nothing complex or complicated about this dish. All you need to do is prepare tadka and add it to beaten rice, grated coconut and finely chopped onions and then finally, mix them all well. Just as simple as that! But there is nothing simple when it comes to taste. The fiery kicks from red chillies are mellowed by sweet coconut and the little crunchy bites from red onion add more flavour and different texture to it. All in all, this Khara Avalakki is simple, quick, and unbelievably delicious.
Tadka/Oggarane for Khara Avalakki
Khara Avalakki (A quick snack of spicy Beaten/Flat Rice with sweet Coconut and aromatic Tadka)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Serves: 2-4 people
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner
Spice Level: Medium to Hot
Shelf Life: N/A
Serving Suggestion: With coffee or tea for breakfast or evening tea or when hunger strikes
3 cups of thin Poha/Avalakki/Beaten Rice
1 tsp Sugar (optional)
Salt to taste
For Spicy Coconut Mixture:
1 cup fresh/frozen Coconut, grated
1 medium Red Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Gram
6-8 Byadagi Chilli or any mild flavoured chillies
Few Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil (preferably Coconut Oil)
Chop the onion and add it to a mixing bowl containing grated coconut.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to pop n splutter and urad dal turns golden, transfer the tempering to onion and coconut mixture.
Now, using your fingers start breaking the red chillies. Mix the ingredients in mixing bowl using user hands.
Mix in poha, sugar (if using) and salt to taste and give it a good mix so that every single poha is covered with coconut mixture.
Serve it immediately with coffee or tea for breakfast or evening tea. Khara Avalakki is one of the easiest and simple snack recipe that you can serve at any time of the day.