Sunday, 2 March 2014

Cheeni Mittai, Karupatti Mittai

                                    Now don't get me all wrong and assume I am digging into traditional recipes on purpose. Believe me, it is pure coincidence! What started as a road trip to kancheepuram this past december ended in Alagar koil this january like a pilgrimage and the past few posts and the present one are just reflections of my food experience en route.

                                                                     Cheeni Mittai
                                                                    Karuppatti Mittai

A short break at keezha Eral to shop for cheeni mittai, kadalaimittai, kaarasev, motta sev, karupatti and karupatti mittai proved to be more exciting for the old guys than us, as it kind of ignited their school time memories of savouring cheeni mittai while walking back from school in Madurai. Well, nothing prevented them even now to chew on some cheeni mittai, forgetting they were all diabetic for a moment.

                                                                 Jangiri Cloth
                        As perfect as a name could fit, cheeni mittai is an extremely sweet  and a traditional sweet meat popular down south. I would call it the uncorrupted version of the jangiri as it is made without adding any synthetic food colour or artificial essence. While Jangiri is made entirely of urad dal and a little rice, cheeni mittai and karuppatti mittai are made with more of rice and less urad dal. Cheeni mittai will be crisp soaked in a lovely cardamom scented sugar syrup, while jangiri will be soft with a rose scented sugar syrup coating its orange swirls. Cheeni Mittai and karuppatti mittai are actually broken into weighable pieces before it is sold, as originally it is one large piece of mittai arranged in a wide plate in a circular pattern one over the other.
                                                          Soaking in sugar syrup

                     Using a jangiri cloth of smaller sized hole will give a good texture to the cheeni mittai.  I have shown using an icing nozzle to make cheeni  mittai as well as using a jangiri cloth. Jangiri cloth is nothing but a Gaada cloth with a small cut, which is stitched like a button hole.

Rice                             1 cup
Urad Dal                      1/4 cup
Sugar                          2 cup
Water                         1 cup
Cardamom                   8
Dried ginger powder        1 tsp
Use karuppatti (palm jaggery) to make karuppatti mittai

Rinse and soak rice and urad dal for about 5 - 6 hours.
Grind them to a thick batter.
Using a jangiri cloth, pipe the batter into a pan of hot oil and cook on low heat only till done. Do not let it change colour, it has to be pale in colour, yet cooked. Place the cooked mittai  in the suagr syrup.
Make a sugar syrup by combining sugar or Karupatti and water in a pan, bring to a boil, add the split cardamom and the dried ginger powder and turn off when it comes to a sticky syrup stage.
Immerse the cooked mittai in the hot sugar syrup and leave it soak.
Cheeni mittai has to be crisp yet juicy, when bitten.
Use karupatti to make karupatti mittai. Even though I like cheeni mittai, Karupatti mittai tops in terms of taste and flavour.

Holding a camera in one hand and working with hot oil is not an easy task, so initially I have shown a rough demo on how to make the pattern, which should be enough if you prefer to use less oil. Follow the same procedure to make karuppatti mittai, you will have to use palm jaggery syrup instead of sugar syrup, although it will not be shown in the video.

So many things can go wrong while making cheeni mittai, since it is made with more of rice if you fry it longer you will end up with a hard and crunchy cheeni mittai and if it is under cooked you will end up with a soggy mittai. This can happen even if your batter is not of the right consistency.
Can add pinch of salt to the batter before frying.

The original Cheeni mittai sold in Thangapandian mittai kadai, at Keezha Eral, main road.

Border Kadai 
                 When talking about southern delicacies, It won't be right if I didn't mention the popular food spot a few kilometres from Kutralam, also called as Border kadai, drawing swarms of people, not just tourists, but even people from far off places, who come exclusively for the food and unless you are an early bird, getting a spot to sit inside this busy eatery is not guarantied . For once, if you can stop thinking about hygiene and health issues, it's a perfect place to enjoy some delicious food. It's natural to be surprised at this heavily crowded shop, but there's nothing attractive about the place, except the food, that's delicious in every bit you savour.

                                                      At least six men working at a mind blowing speed and this is just one  side of the eatery, as there are more men working on the other side as well, catering to a different section of crowd.

 Fat, cholesterol, cleanliness, hygiene, are words not to be spoken here, other wise you might sound like a preacher among non-believers. While some people will be worried about the amount of oil that goes into the making of these food, most of them will be worried if they will ever get enough of their favourite food without running short of it!
Food is fantastic, business is busy, why talk about other things?

Crochet enthusiasts can check out crazy crochet page for latest updates.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

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