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Idli

Idli  Sponge Buns

        INGREDIENTS for Idli :

  • 2 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup black gram lentil [Urad dhal in Indian dialect]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • butter or oil, for greasing cupcake pan

       INGREDIENTS for Coconut Chutney :

  • 2 cups grated coconut
  • 6 shallots
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 4 fresh green Serrano chilies [Substitute: Jalapeno chilies]
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste mixed with ˝ cup water
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves [optional]
  • 1 tbsp ghee [clarified butter] or vegetable oil
  • salt

        INGREDIENTS for Sambar :

  • 1˝ cups yellow lentil [Toor dhal in Indian dialect]
  • 2 cups or more water
  • 4 cups vegetables - 1 cup each potato, carrot, tomato, ladies finger [okra], brinjal [Japanese eggplant] or any of your favorite vegetables, cubed or cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 5 fresh green Serrano chilies [Substitute: Jalapeno chilies]
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste mixed with ˝ cup water
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 dried red chilies, broken
  • 1 tsp fenugreek [Halba in Indian dialect] [Substitute: celery powder]
  • 1 tsp asafoetida [Hing in Indian dialect] [Substitute: garlic or onion powder]
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves [optional]
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee [clarified butter] or vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 1˝ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek [Halba in Indian dialect] [Substitute: celery powder]
  • 1 tsp asafoetida [Hing in Indian dialect] [Substitute: garlic or onion powder]
  • 1 tbsp white split gram lentil [Urad dhal in Indian dialect]
  • 10-12 dried red chilies, soaked in boiling hot water to soften, or 2-3 tbsp chili paste

[Items to be ground/blended in red]

Cook's Note : Idli with coconut chutney and sambar [also spelt sambhar] is usually served as a hearty Indian breakfast. It also makes an ideal 'anytime' vegetarian meal.

 

 
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        To Prepare Idli :

  • Soak the parboiled rice and black gram lentil separately in water for 4-5 hours
  • Grind the lentil to a very fine batter - it should be light and fluffy
  • Grind the rice into a grainy batter - like the consistency of a semolina batter
  • Mix the rice and lentil batters together
  • Add the salt and set aside to ferment for at least 12 hours - best overnight
  • Lightly grease the cupcake pan with ghee, butter or vegetable oil
  • Stir the batter well just before filling the moulds of the cupcake pan
  • Set the pan in a steamer, steam for about 15-20 mins till fluffy
  • Serve freshly steamed idli with coconut chutney and sambar or your favorite curry!

       To Prepare Coconut Chutney :

  • Grind or blend together grated coconut, shallots, ginger, green chilies, salt to taste and tamarind water
  • In a saucepan, heat ghee or vegetable oil
  • Add curry leaves [optional] and mustard seeds, fry till mustard seeds start to pop, taking caution as hot oil may splatter
  • Add to the blended coconut chutney
  • Coconut chutney is usually served at room temperature. Keep chilled if not serving immediately

        To Prepare Sambar :

  • In a pot cook lentils in water till al dente
  • Add onion, vegetables and salt to taste
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp ghee or veg oil, sauté coriander seeds, fenugreek, asafoetida, white gram lentil and dried red chilies or chili paste until quite toasted - do not burn!
  • Grind or blend the toasted ingredients into a fine paste
  • Add paste and turmeric powder to the pot and simmer the vegetables for 15 mins
  • Meanwhile heat 1-2 tbsp ghee or veg oil, sauté mustard seeds, broken dried red chilies, fenugreek, asafoetida and curry leaves briefly for a min or 2, taking caution as hot oil may splatter
  • Immediately add to the pot of vegetables
  • Add tamarind water a little at a time, tasting for desired sourness
  • Turn off heat when vegetables are cooked
  • Serve sambar hot with freshly steamed idli and coconut chutney, preferably in a thali -  [a round stainless steel tray, usually with several cupcake-like divisions, used in Indian cuisine for serving a meal]

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
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