Kanchipuram Idli

BM#102: Week 2, Day 2
Theme :
Restaurant recipes

Me and my husband are both from middle income families where eating out was a rarity. It wasn’t financially feasible for our parents plus there was this firm notion in their minds that outside food is substandard. After we got married and moved out of my in laws place, me and my husband used to eat out a lot. The kitchen was always closed on weekends.

My in laws and my dad still look at eating out as wasting money, but my mother, who was held back by the financial situation while we were growing up but more so by my dad, was quick to change. She always liked eating out, but lacked company to do it. I remember her trying kanchipuram idlis at a South Indian restaurant we had visited once. So when I made kanchipuram idlis recently, I was thinking of her :-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 cup parboiled rice
  • 3/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt as needed

For making the idli:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Method:

  1. Soak the rice, fenugreek seeds and dal together overnight. Grind next morning using a grinder or mixie. Set aside to ferment. Refrigerate once the batter is fermented and has doubled in quantity. This usually takes about 8-10 hours depending on the weather.
  2. When ready to prepare the idli, crush black pepper and cumin together using a mortar and pestle. Heat ghee and add the cumin pepper mix. Add cashews and sauté until it changes color. Remove from heat, let it cool completely and then add to the batter.
  3. Add the turmeric powder and the dry ginger powder also to the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the idli molds and steam for 10-12 minutes until the idlis are cooked through.
  5. Take off the heat, serve with sambar and idli podi.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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Blackberry Parfait

BM# 100: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : 3 
ingredient Dishes

Breakfast is not an elaborate meal at my place. It’s almost always a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. I like something with a bit of liquid in it than having to chew before you are completely awake (even if it’s 10 in the morning). The idea is I will close my eyes, drink it down and then wake up later when I have to deal with the day.

You can see why a yogurt based parfait would work well here. It ticks off all the boxes for me. There is smoothness from the yogurt, a bit of crunch from muesli or granola, bit of sweetness from the berries, there is color, there is contrast and most importantly, it is ridiculously easy to make. Any jam would work instead of real fruit too. A spoon of sugar or salt is allowed for this theme, so I decided to add it to the berries. It’s optional and if you are using a jam, you won’t need it anyway.

Scroll down for the recipe.

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup yogurt*
    3 tablespoons granola/muesli
    8-10 blackberries
    1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Method:

  1. Mix sugar with the berries and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Cool slightly and mash it down with the back of a spoon.
  2. Spoon some of this on the bottom of a glass. Top with a tablespoon of muesli or granola. Add some of the yogurt. Repeat the layers until it reaches the top. Mine was a small glass so it took only two layers of each.
  3. Top with muesli and serve cold.

Note:

*You can sweeten the yogurt as well with a spoon or two of sugar. I didn’t do it.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

Besan Doodh – Chickpea flour milk

BM# 98: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Cooking for Two

Spring is here and there is a definite improvement in the weather. We are not ready to shed our jackets anytime soon, but its so much better already. And there is so much to look forward to – greenery, cherry blossoms, lighter jackets, sandals, walks outside….that feeling itself is heart warming. My son is not a fan of summer.  He associates summer with bugs and the tiny flies that roam over your head and go right into your eyes if you are not wearing bug repellent. Its too hot for him but the biggest disappointment for him is that there is no snow in summer! Let’s wait and see how his view changes some years from now :-).

Anyway, coming to this recipe here. Its a traditional winter recipe from Punjab. Its supposed to be a good cure for cold and cough. I had bookmarked it when I saw it in Suma’s blog Veggie Platter two weeks back. Even though the winter is on its way out, its still cold here and a hot cup of delicious flavored milk is still very much enjoyable. A pinch of cardamom adds so much of flavor, so does the almonds. If you prefer, you can reduce the besan flour a bit and add more crushed almonds to increase the flavor of almonds. I liked the original recipe as such and I didn’t make any changes.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee, optional
  • 2 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon chopped or crushed almonds
  • a pinch of ground cardamom
  • a pinch of saffron

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a nonstick pan. Add the besan flour and saute for a minute or two until it starts releasing a nutty aroma and starts turning slightly darker in color.
  2. Add about half cup of milk and mix with a spatula. You are looking for a lump free smooth mixture. Add 1/4 cup more milk, if needed to get the smooth consistency.
  3.  Once you get a lump free and smooth roux like mix, add the rest of the milk, chopped nuts, cardamom, saffron and sugar. Let it come to a boil and reduce it to a simmer.
  4. Cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the milk has thickened a little bit and the besan flour is cooked through. Take off the heat and serve in a cup.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

 

Ragi Semiya

BM# 98: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Dish for each meal

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet it’s one of the most neglected time in my house. My son prefers cereal over everything else. My husband has a full cup of Indian style milk coffee and calls it breakfast. And I join either of them depending on my mood that day.

Growing up, it was almost always dosa for breakfast at home on working days. That was the only thing all of us ate without bickering too much. When we were young, Amma used to make special breakfast for weekends, like poori masala, sevai or chole bhatura.

I remember amma making sevai at home. It’s a rice noodle based breakfast that’s made from scratch. It is also a time and effort consuming process. You have to press out a rice ball into noodles using a tool specifically meant for that purpose. Ours was the old fashioned one that has three legs and sits on the floor. You use your body weight (we were kids, so we had to use our weight) to squeeze the rice ball and feeling of accomplishment is high when done right.

Thankfully there is readymade sevai available now on the market and the process of making is a lot more easier. The recipe here is semiya made from ragi instead of rice. Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : Megha’s Cooking channel

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet (180 gm) ragi vermicelli
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Follow the package instructions for making the ragi vermicelli. That involves soaking in water for three minutes and then after draining, steaming in a greased pan for 5-7 minutes. Greasing is important to avoid the semiya sticking onto the vessel. I used idli plates for steaming.
  2. Take off the heat, remove the sevai to a separate vessel, fluff with a fork to stop it from forming clumps. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add the onions and chilies Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the carrots and broccoli. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the cabbage in and sauté for a couple more minutes. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the semiya and mix carefully. Add shredded coconut, if desired. Take off the heat and serve hot with chutney or even sugar.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98