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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Podi Kathirikkai

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

I was introduced to podi kathirikkai (eggplants prepared with a spice powder) by my mother in law. It took me a little time to warm up to this dish but soon it was a favorite. I make this when I want a change from my usual method, which is a simple eggplant sauté with salt and sambar powder. Earlier I used to add homemade idli podi to brinjal instead of preparing the spice powder from scratch. That works decent, especially if the idli podi is coarse and not finely ground, but it’s not the same as the original.

The recipe for the ingredients to grind varies from home to home. My mother in law uses Chana dal, coriander seeds and dried red chilies, but I have seen recipes that have coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, black pepper etc. I have added urad dal also to the mix. The base recipe is the same, sauté brinjal until it’s mostly done and then add the prepared podi (powder) to coat evenly. It’s important that you take care not to overlook the vegetable. If it turns mushy, it won’t be good. So keep a close watch when cooking this curry.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

To roast and grind

  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3-4 dried red chilies

For curry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 small Indian eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat a pan and add all the ingredients under toast and grind. Keep stirring and once the dals turn slightly brown, remove to a blender jar. Once it’s cool, grind into a powder, don’t add any water for grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the sliced eggplant. Let it cook in medium heat, stirring in between.
  3. Once it’s 3/4th cooked, add the prepared spice powder and salt. Mix gently until the vegetables are coated with the powder. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes and turn the heat off. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

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

Brinjal Theeyal

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

At my parents house, every single day, the lunch consists of a coconut based sambar and a vegetable side dish. A bean based (Chana, rajma, moong beans, even peanut) chundal is also made on most days. There are two reasons for the coconut sambars. One – my father doesn’t like dal based sambars, he claims it gives him gas. Two- we have a lot of coconut trees in our backyard and so coconuts are available to us throughout the year free of cost.

I have already shared my mother’s most used recipe here, it just involves grinding shredded coconut with sambar powder. Today’s post is a little more elaborate than that. This was not a frequent recipe at home, but my brother used to prepare it every now and then with great results. He prefers pearl onions or bitter gourd for theeyal. You can use any vegetable of your choice, I have used brinjal here today.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For roasting and grinding

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3-4 dried red chilies (or more per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

For the gravy

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of hing
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the coriander seeds and dried red chilies, sauté for a couple of minutes until the coriander seeds change color. Take off the heat and transfer to a blender jar.
  2. Now add shredded coconut to the same pan and sauté until it turns golden brown, this might take about 6-8 minutes or so. Keep stirring all the time and keep the heat medium-low to avoid burning. Transfer it to the blender jar and once it’s cooled, grind into a paste adding a little water as needed. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and hing.
  4. Add the sliced onions and brinjal pieces. Cook, stirring in between, until it’s almost cooked.
  5. Add the prepared coconut paste. Add one cup of water to the blender jar to dislodge the any remaining paste stuck to the jar and add this water also to the pot. Add another cup of water along with the tamarind paste. You can add more water if you want it a little thinner consistency.
  6. Bring it to a boil and cook covered in low heat for about 10-15 minutes until it turns thick and oil floats on top. Turn off heat and serve with rice and a side dish of your choice.

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

Brinjal curry

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

For the last week of Blogging Marathon, I will be posting three eggplant based recipes. Initially I was thinking of paneer or potatoes for this theme. Then when I was shopping with my friend she suggested eggplants. It got me thinking that we don’t give this simple vegetable it’s due. This is an everyday veggie, but it never gets the limelight.

We use brinjal in sambar or other gravies, it also gets prepared as a dry side dish. At my home, we sauté this with salt and sambar powder until the vegetable is done. My mother in law prepares a fresh spice powder and makes podi kathirikkai (Brinjal with spice powder). But today’s post is my friend’s version which has sautéed onions and tomatoes and all the spice powders in it. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cook and tastes delicious with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : My friend Devi

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 10-12 medium Indian eggplants
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Cut each eggplant into two halves and each half into 3 pieces each length wise. So you will get about 6 pieces for each eggplant. Else just dice it.
  1. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add onions and minced garlic, sauté until onions turn pink. Add tomatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spice powders and salt. Reduce heat, cover and cook until tomatoes are done.
  3. Add the eggplant and mix into the tomato masala carefully. Cook under medium-low heat, stirring in between, until eggplants are done. Take off heat and Serve with rice and sambar.

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