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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rava Idli

I love south Indian food! I am new to the flavors and new to cooking it. The other day I woke up craving Idlis. I made the coconut chutney and Idli Podi. The idlis and rasam were from a pre-mix that I got from Mayuri. Maybe next time I'll make those from scratch.

hmmm... the title for this post is a bit misleading, Oh well :-)

I don't have idli molds so I steamed the batter in a large round steamer and used a cookie cutter to make the circular shapes.

Happy birthday bug, I love you so very much!

Coconut Chutney

This makes a lot of chutney, close to 3 cups, you can freeze the leftover easily. The ingredient list seems very daunting but all of the things on it are found very easily at any Indian grocery store.

Start with a fresh medium size mature coconut. Remove the water and keep aside. You will need only the white part of the coconut, peel off the brown skin at the back after removing the coconut from the hard shell. Cut the coconut into small chunks. You should have roughly 2 to 2 1/2 cups of coconut chunks.
Ginger 1" piece
Green chilies 2-3 medium size
Jaggery or Brown sugar 1 tsp
Tamarind pulp 2-3 Tbs
Cilantro leaves 1/4 cup
Channa Dal (split chickpeas without seed coat) 2 Tbs 
Urad/Maash Dal (washed black gram) 2 Tbs
Raw cashew nuts 1 Tbs
Raw Peanuts 1 Tbs
Mustard seeds 2 tsp
Cumin seeds 2 tsp
Curry Leaves 3-4 leaves
Water  (Use coconut water and add enough plain water to get 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid )
Salt 2 Tsp

For tempering: (these quantities are for 1 cup of chutney)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Bay leaf 1 large - broken up in large pieces
Dried red chili 1 large - broken up in large pieces
Asafoetida (Hing) 2/3 tsp
Oil 4 Tbs


Most of the ingredients will need to be roasted. Channa dal takes the longest so start with that first.
Pour about 1 Tbs of oil in a frying pan and heat it up.
Add the channa dal and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
Roast the dal for about 10 mins and stir it a few times.
Now add the urad dal and roast for another 5 mins. Stir occasionally.
Add the cashews, peanuts, red chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and roast for another 6-8 mins. Stir after every minute or two.
Allow the roasted ingredients to cool down.
For this step a hand held immersion blender worked better for me than a regular blender.
Combine all the roasted ingredients with the coconut chunks, tamarind pulp, jaggery, ginger, green chilies, cilantro, salt and water (basically everything).
Blend blend blend until you get a smooth and thick chutney (almost as thick as yogurt).
Cool the chutney in the fridge for about 20-30 mins.

The chutney it almost ready. The step should be done right before serving, so if you are going to freeze the chutney then don't do this now. 

Heat 4 tbs of oil in a frying pan.
Add all the spices listed under "For Tempering" except hing, that should be added in the last 5 seconds.
Fry these on high heat for 30 seconds and pour the hot oil over the chutney. You will hear a loud sizzle, that's good a thing.
Your chutney is ready  :-)

Idli podi
(makes about 2/3 cup of powder)

Channa Dal (split chickpeas without seed coat) 1/4 cup
Urad/Maash Dal (washed black gram) 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds 2 tsp
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Cumin seeds 2 tsp
Pepper corns 2 tsp
Sesame seeds 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 3-4 leaves
Dried Red chilies 2-3 Large
Asafoetida powder (Hing) 2/3 tsp (this is added in the last 5 seconds)
Garlic powder 1 tsp (optional) (this is added in the last 5 seconds)
Dried tamarind or anar dana (dried pomegranate seeds) 2 tsp (optional)
Oil 2 tbs (use about a tsp at a time)
Salt 1 tsp

All these spices are roasted separately and slowly over low heat and then ground into a fine powder.
Pour 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy base frying pan.
Roast channa dal for 10 mins - keep aside.
Add another teaspoon or oil and roast urad dal for 5-6 mins - keep aside.
Add the rest of the oil and roast all of the spices (minus the hing and garlic powder) for about 3-4 minutes add the hing and garlic powder in the last 5 seconds.
Allow everything to cool.
Grind everything together in a coffee grinder.

You can eat this with some ghee and idlis!


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