Idli

Idli

Idli is my most favorite food. I can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This popular and healthy breakfast from south India is a sour dough preparation made with urad dal and rice. Dal and rice are soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then steamed in special idli moulds to get soft and fluffy idlis. This recipe is my mom’s recipe using urad dal and idli rava. These are the idlis you get in Hyderabad and for me these are the best idlis in the world. You can get idli in Hyderabad 24×7. There are famous road side joints which have people queuing up at even 2 am for soft melt in the mouth idlis.

Idli recipe looks very simple but getting soft and fluffy idli takes lot of effort and experience. It depends on the quality of urad dal and idli rava. If the rava is not washed properly, the idlis will turn out yellow. Adding fenugreek seeds to the urad dal will help the batter ferment well. If the dal is less, idlis will be hard. Some people add poha to the urad dal. But adding excess poha will make the idlis flat.  Adding bottled or cold water while grinding the batter also helps to make the idlis softer.

The consistency of idli batter should be like whipped cream. It should fall of from spoon easily. Do not over fill the mould. Leave some space for idlis to expand. Idlis can be enjoyed with different chutneys and sambhar. The most common combination for idli is coconut chutney and sambhar. I like it with karam podi.

Idlis make one of the healthiest breakfasts. Top the idlis with ghee or butter if you like.

Idli

Ingredients

Makes 20-30 idlis depending on the size of Idli mould

  • 500 gms (2 cups) Idli rava
  • 200 gms (3/4 cup) urad dal
  • 10 grams (2 tbsp) fenugreek seeds

Chutney

  • ½ cup coconut
  • 3 green chillies
  • ½ cup yellow roasted chick peas
  • ¼ cup ground nuts roasted
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Salt to taste

For chutney

Grind all the ingredients for chutney to a smooth paste using little water.

For Idli

Wash the idli rava 3-4 times under running water. Soak in water and keep aside 6-7 hours.  Wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds 3-4 times under running water.  Soak in water and keep aside for 6-7 hours. Drain water from urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste adding little water. Drain the water from idli rava and add the urad dal paste to it. Add salt and cover and keep aside over night to ferment. Remember to leave enough space in the utensil for the batter to rise as it ferments. If the temperature outside is cold, keep the batter in a microwave or oven (do not switch them on) or any warm place.

Once the batter is fermented, mix it lightly. Pour the batter in greased idli mould and steam for 8-10 minutes. Check the idli and steam again for few minutes if required. Serve hot idlis with chutney and sambar.

 

Tomato Garlic Chutney

Tomato Garlic Chutney

Chutneys are an important part of south Indian cuisine. There are different varieties of chutneys in a typical south Indian meal. This tomato chutney is instant side dish made of tomatoes, garlic, onions with a dominating flavor of coriander seeds. I learnt this recipe in Bangalore and this is a true savior when you want to add that extra zing to your boring dal rice meals.

This chutney tastes well with the sour Indian tomatoes. If the tomatoes you are using are not too sour, you can add lime juice as per taste. Cook this chutney of slow flame throughout and keep mixing in between. Coriander powder tends to burn soon so it’s important to keep the flame low. This chutney tastes well with hot rice and a generous dollop of ghee. This goes well with hot puris too.

Tomato Garlic Chutney

 Ingredients

  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1tbsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10-12 curry leaves

Recipes

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and dry red chillies. Add garlic and let it brown. Add onions and fry for 1-2 mins till they are translucent. Add the coriander powder and sauté for 1-2 mins till there is aroma of coriander. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder.

Cook on slow flame stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes are pulpy. Use back of a flat cooking spoon to mash tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes become mushy and oil separates. Serve with hot rice and ghee.

 

 

Fresh Red Chillies Chutney

Fresh Red Chillies Chutney

A very simple yet very tangy chutney which surely adds zing to any meal. Fresh red chillies are deseeded and ground with garlic and spices. I tasted this chutney for the first time in Mangalore at my sister-in-law’s place. Her mom is an expert cook and she serves variety of such yummy side dishes and snacks with every meal. I made some very simple modifications to the original recipe. I roasted the chillies, tomato, and garlic to add the smokey flavor and it just works wonders.

You can make this without the tomato too. Tomato adds body to the chutney. You can adjust the lime and sugar as per taste but I would suggest not leaving out the sugar. Sugar balances the spice and sour elements and gives this chutney the tangy taste. This chutney can be served as a side dish with any meals or even as a dip with nachos, crisps, or simple vegetable crudités.

Fresh Red Chillies Chutney

Ingredients

Makes 2/3 cup

  • 10 fresh red chillies
  • 8 -9 garlic cloves
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Wash and pat dry the chillies and tomato. Grill/roast the chillies, tomato, and garlic on open flame turning every few minutes till the skin looks charred. Remove from fire and cover them immediately. Once the chillies, garlic, and tomato are cooled. Peel the skin and chop them roughly. Remember to de-seed the chillies.

Grind the chillies, garlic, tomato, lime juice, sugar, and salt to a very coarse paste. Add the chopped coriander and grind again to a coarse paste. Store covered in fridge. This chutney can be served as a dip with snacks or as a side dish with any meals.

Pudina Chutney (Mint Chutney)

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Pudina Chutney (Mint Chutney)

Mint chutney is multipurpose and can be used for various dishes. Spread it on sandwich, add to a bowl of curd to make mint dip, add to chaats, add it to curries to add a minty flavor, use it as a marinade, or serve it with appetizers.

Mint chutney has a shelf life of 7-10 days. It can also be freezed and used later. There are many variations for this chutney as well. You can add onions, garlic, or raw mango.

Make sure to use only the leaves of mint and discard the stalks. Adding lime juice to the chutney while grinding will keep it green.

Pudina Chutney (Mint Chutney)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mint leaves (pudina)
  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tbsp groundnuts
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Combine all ingredients and blend to a smooth paste. Store in an airtight container and use as required.

Garlic Chutney

Garlic Chutney

I was introduced to this wonderful delight at my in laws’ place. This is my favorite accompaniment with theplas. This sweet, sour, spicy, tangy bursts of flavors in your mouth cannot be described. It can only be experienced.

There are three ways of eating this. One is mix one spoon of chutney is one small bowl of fresh yoghurt, second is to add it in oil. It sounds weird but it just tastes perfect with hot steamed dhoklas. Add one spoon chutney to 4 spoons of groundnut oil. Lastly you can eat it as is with theplas. You can find the recipe of thepla here.

Garlic Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 whole garlic peeled
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp groundnut or any other cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Combine all the ingredients and pound to paste using a pestle and mortar ideally or just use the mixer and grind it.