Saturday, March 16, 2013

I will call this Mysore Sundigay!

I hope the title is agreed upon. Some spell this crisp dish as 'sandige' but I like to spell 'sundigay'.  This is to avoid people mispronouncing 'sandige' as 'sandaij' and such!  Sundigay is a nutritious traditional food typical of Karnataka, made from puffed rice, eaten deep-fat-fried.

My grandmother used to prepare this every summer almost till her death in 1978.   When a sack full of puffed rice [AraLu] was bought we knew about the occasion, which was a big one!  A bicycle-riding vendor sold and delivered at doorsteps this during summer months as many people of Mysore engaged themselves in preparation of Sundigay in their houses.  My grandmohter prepared it in large quantities because some sun-dried pieces were happily handed to many visitors as a gift when they left.

My grandmother's culinary skills were too well known among relatives and friends.  All her preparations were high class and her sundigays were no exception.  She was assisted by my late aunt and my mother and sometimes we assisted in 'sensory evaluation' relating to chilli-pungency or salt balance.   Any alteration was possible at the mixing statge.


She would get everything ready by 9 am before mixing the ingredients.  When puffed rice and ingredients were being mixed, we would gather for a palm full of this raw mix.  It had its own taste due to the presence of coriander leaves, salt and green chilli.  My aunt was also very fond of this.

When the sundigays were laid on the trays for drying we had to keep vigil on 'our ancestors' [monkeys] and crows which came 'from nowhere' in search of food.  We had to be very alert. These two days were hectic.  Since this was always done in summer [to enable drying] we had holidays, with exams finished.  From time to time we also had to adjust the trays to see that the shadows of the tree did not fall on them.  When the sun was hot the first day itself my grandmother would remove 2-3 and fry them before dinner time for taste-trial and distribute a small quantity for evaluation.  No alteration of taste was possible anyhow.

The grandmother's sundigays puffed many times larger.  Nobody knew what her secret was. It would get ten out of ten on all attributes. Such was that quality which I can clearly recall.  Some of this have been passed on to my mother also.  So we get to see sundigay being prepared on those lines even now. Now we have cameras to capture the images as well.  

Coriander-chilli-salt mix being added to puffed rice.  Some cooked sago is also added as a binder.

Ground paste of coriander-chilli-salt for the next batch. Asafoetida also is added. 

Zinc trays [with a handle on either side] are very handy to sundry things.  

Sundigays are shaped using a deep spoon. Fill the spoon, press the mix slightly and tap it on the tray. 

Sundrying Mysore Sundigays!

This link provides some information :Click - Sundigay


adina dosan said...

Cool meal, Dinu! Your Grandmother must have been a great cook.

Sandhya said...

Wow ! reminded of the days when i used to sit and guard the sandiges :)

Also, Gowra aunty used to like the bare hittu of chakli :)