Minapa Kudumulu

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I made this delightfully easy breakfast dish as part of my Andhra Breakfast Thali. Ever since I have made it a few more times and I am loving it a little more each time I have it. The good news is that it needs only 3 ingredients including salt and the not so good news is that it needs a few hours of soaking the lentils and so cannot satiate an instant craving. Once you have the batter ready it takes only 15 minutes to reach your plate and your tummy. What more does one need anyways!

WHAT WE NEED

Urad dal / Split black gram                           1 cup

Water

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the urad dal overnight in 3 cups of water
  • Drain the remaining water
  • Grind it in a blender with salt and requisite water (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup) to form a thick smooth batter.
  • The batter needs to be thick, smooth and fluffy i.e. similar to idli batter
  • This can be steamed for 10 minutes in an idli mould but I would reccomend the traditional method of steaming.
  • Take 1 cup of water in a open mouth vessel and tie a cloth over it tightly
  • Pour a large laddle full of batter on the cloth and close the lid of the vessel tightly to ensure the steam does not escape
  • Steam for 5 minutes on high and then simmer for 8 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Insert a toothpick in the centre to ensure the kudumulu is fully cooked
  • Lift the cloth along with the kudumulu from the vessel and overturn it on a plate
  • Gently peel the cloth from the kudumulu
  • Cut it into wedges or squares and serve warm with kara podi and oil /ghee
  • Enjoy!

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Ragi Idli

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The name of this dish is simply Ragi Idli but in my opinion it should be renamed to ‘Life saver’. The other day, I woke up later than usual and had to get the breakfast ready for the husband while simultaneously managing the daughter and our domestic help so that he could catch his office bus which is the only mode of transport to his office situated in the middle of nowhere. (That is a story for another day.) I had this recipe on hand since I had to make another dish for this month’s BM and it totally saved me. It does not take too long and is nutritious cum filling which are the exact criteria needed to get into my regular recipe roll. So here goes –

Makes 12-14 medium sized idlis

Recipe from here

WHAT WE NEED

Ragi flour                             1 cup

Rava / Sooji                          1 cup

Curds / Yogurt                    1 cup

Oil                                           5 tsp

Mustard seeds                    1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                        1 sprig

Ginger, grated                    1″

Eno fruit salt                       1 tsp

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the ragi flour, rava and curds in a bowl
  • Add salt and around 1/2 cup water to make a thick idli batter
  • Let it rest for 10-12 minutes
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a small pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • Add these to the idli batter and mix well
  • Add some more water if the batter is too thick. The batter should fall smoothly and not in blobs
  • Add the balance 3 tsp oil, ginger and eno fruit salt and mix well. The Eno fruit salt can be replaced with 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pour the batter in the idli moulds and steam for 12 minutes
  • Let it rest for around 5 minutes before opening.
  • Dip the tail end of a spoon in some water and use it to unmould the idli from the mould
  • Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or molaga podi (gunpowder / chilly powder)
  • Enjoy!

 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Ingredient by Mail.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Tamil Breakfast Thali

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I am a breakfast person. I love elaborate breakfast spreads. The variety of dishes with so many sides and drink to wash it all down with is food heaven for me and that is also my favourite part about Tamil cuisine. It lends itself beautifully to breakfast spreads and combo menus. The range of dishes and sambhars and chutneys  are mind blowing and not to forget the filter coffee which is the absolute icing on top.

My grandma was a huge filter coffee fan and my cousins and me inherited it from her. The family joke is that if our veins are cut there wont be blood but coffee decoction. Such is the family.

This week I am making three different thalis for the Blogging Marathon. The first of this is the Tamil Breakfast Thali inspired from the husband and my innumerable trips to Adayar Ananda Bhavan during weekends long ago. This is both a dedication and a nostalgic meal for me to make.

But the best part of making this thali is that I realised it wasn’t all that hard or time consuming as one would think. Items like idli, pongal and kesari can be made at one go. The sambhar and chutneys can be made the previous day and stored in the refrigerator. You can even make the kesari on the previous day or you can atleast dry roast the rava for the kesari on the previous day which reduces the time to make the kesari. Only the dosai and vadai have to be made individually but they can be done without too much difficulty because you would need only 1-2 per person because there are so many items on the menu. You need to have the idli and dosai batter ready.

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Today’s thali has –

Idli

Dosai

Medu Vadai

Pongal

Rava Kesari

Sambhar

Coconut chutney

Coriander stalk chutney

Filter coffee

Sounds heavenly doesn’t it?

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Molaga Podi | Idli Gunpowder

   

I made quite a few new year resolutions with regard to my cooking. So each day of this first week of Blogging Marathon, my dish will be a small little step towards one of my resolutions. I was deeply impressed by the book, ‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan. Amongst the many arguments he made, one that struck a chord with me was about ‘cooking from scratch’. After reading that, I realized how many things I buy that can be made at home which would most likely be fresher, healthier and free from preservatives. 

I started making sambhar powder, rasam powder and ginger garlic paste at home and have continued to do so for almost six months now. Then, one day I was chatting with my mom and extolling the benefits of cooking from scratch to which she replied, “oh good, so you will start making molaga podi on your own now.” So I was caught and had no choice. I am highly allergic to frying red chillies. Despite tying a huge scarf around my face, I sneeze an entire day and a half if I have to fry even two red chillies. So I get molaga podi from mom in bulk. Now, I couldn’t. So I took up my scarf and set off on the mission.

This recipe is from my mother and modified to suit the ultra spicy requirements of the husband. 

WHAT WE NEED

 Dried red chillies                         30

Bengal gram dal                            1/2 cup

Split black dal/ urad dal              1/2 cup

White sesame seeds                     2 tbsp

Oil                                                       1 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the sesame seeds till they start popping and set them aside to cool
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil and add the red chillies and fry the, for 2-3 minutes.
  • To ensure that the chillies don’t turn black move them about regularly. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat the other 1/2 tsp oil and add both dals and fry till golden brown.
  • Set aside the dals to cool.
  • Once cooled, put all the ingredients into a blender, add salt and blend to a powder.
  • Enjoy with idlis, dosas and uttapams.

 

NOTES

  1. The ratio of chillies to lentils depends on your spice preference. If you aren’t sure then fry 3/4 cup each of Bengal gram dal and split black dal. Keep 1/2 cup of the mixed fried dal aside. Mix the one cup dal with the chillies. If you find it too spicy, grind the balance dal separately and mix with the red chillies mixture.
  2. To maintain the consistency of the recipe, it is essential to have the red chillies of same quality and spice level. It is ideal to buy them from the same shop which should usually work the same way every time. If not, add some paruppu podi to the red chilly mixture to reduce spicyness.

This is a part of the Blogging Marathon under ‘New Year Challenge’.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM. 

 

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Rava Idli

   

Usually when I think about blogging a recipe it’s usually for a preset theme or something I find new and exotic. I rarely blog about items I make on a weekly basis or dishes that I don’t need a recipe but go mostly by muscle memory. 

I didn’t have anything to blog for the CCChallenge today. I was racking my brains to come up with something suitable while roasting rava for the rava idli. Eureka! 

  

As I started writing this down I realized how much my recipe evolved. Most of my recipes for day to day dishes are sourced from my mother or mother in law. Then I modify and substitute here and there. In this case I also added some pointers from my favorite tv show chef – Venkatesh Bhat of Samayal Samayal. 

So here goes –

Makes 14 medium sized / 10 large sized idlis

WHAT WE NEED

Rava / Semolina                  1 Cup

Oil                                             1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds                       1/2 tsp

Bengal Gram/ Chana Dal     1/2 tsp

Green Chilly (medium)         1-2

Ginger (finely chopped)        1″ piece

Carrot (finely chopped)         1 small

Coriander leaves                  As needed

Grated Coconut                       2 tbsp

Baking soda                              1/4 tsp

Curds   (See note)                   1 Cup

Salt
WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the rava till it lets out its aroma and keep aside
  • Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds splutter add ginger, finely chopped chillies and Chana dal.
  • Once the DSL turns golden brown, switch off the heat and add them to the rava. Mix well
  • Add the finely chopped carrot, grated coconut, coriander leaves and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the curds and mix thoroughly. If the resultant batter is too thick you can add curds or water to make it into a idli batter consistency.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Grease the idli mould plates 
  • Check the batter. It should have hardened because the rava would have soaked in the entire curd. Add water or buttermilk(see note) to get it to idli batter consistency.
  • Pour into the idli moulds and steam for 12 minutes
  • Once you switch off the heat, let the idlis remain in for another five minutes before you open the vessel.
  • You can either have it as is (I do) or with some yummy coconut chutney (like the husband).
  • Enjoy!

  

NOTES

  1. The crux of this recipe is in the curds. Slightly sour curds give you softer idlis but you can use fresh curds and still get a tasty meal.
  2. Another critical aspect is the ratio of curds to the rava. It depends on the rava as to how much curds it is able to absorb. Estimates range from 1:1 (rava to curd ratio) to 1:2. You can try and see what works best for you.
  3. What works best for me is – 1 cup curds and little water in the beginning and I add around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very thin buttermilk after the 30 minutes of resting time.
  4. If your idlis seem dense then increase the oil to 2 tbsp or the baking soda to 1/2 tsp. 

This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by  Srivalli.