Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Patties) With Coconut Chutney

Breakfast foods for me used to consist of things like toast or porridge or the occasional Birchermüesli if I wasn't feeling lazy, either way, nothing very exciting. That was until I discovered the kinds of foods some Indians have for breakfast. It was a whole new world filled with tasty meals, more substantial than what I usually consumed.

My discovery really began when I stayed at my boyfriend's grandparents house in Mumbai. Every morning we'd have an array of foods, none of which I was familiar with, yet all of it being utterly delicious and hearty. I made several notes on the dishes and one day I will get around to attempting to recreate them, especially since I just recently found the notebook that I wrote them in. I should spring clean more often. Anyway, although I have yet to attempt her recipes I thought I'd start getting myself back into the habit of eating Indian-style breakfasts, so here is a quick and easy recipe for Rava Idli (which are a steamed semolina patty which you dunk into chutneys of different varieties). My boyfriend and I created a coconut chutney to go with it, similar to what his mum makes.

Idlis may look complicated but they are worth the small effort, we ended up making these for several days in row. Beats toast any day.

Btw you can find the idli moulds at Indian food supply stores, or online.

Rava Idli:

2 T oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup semolina
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup yoghurt

Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and very briefly fry so that they all pop and crackle.

Add the seeds to a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients, stir until combined.

Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.

Grease the idli moulds with oil and, if desired, place a cashew nut in each mould.

Place 1-2 Tbsp of batter into each mould.

Steam in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes. (Without the whistle).

Makes 20 regular sized idli.

Coconut Chutney:

3 heaped Tbsp grated coconut
1/4 onion, chopped
a marble-sized chunk of tamarind paste
1  tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
small handful of curry leaves
salt, to taste

Grind (or process) the coconut, onion, tamarind and ginger along with a few tablespoons of water to create a paste.

Heat the oil in a small pan, when hot add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, fry briefly.

Add the coconut paste to the pan and fry for a few minutes.

Add 1/3 cup of water and bring  mixture to a simmer, cook for a couple minutes more.

Salt to taste.

Serves enough to eat with the 20 idli.

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