SOFT & FLUFFY IDLI WITH RICE RAVA (IDLI RAVA)

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I still remember how my friends from school & colleagues at work would eagerly wait for lunch break just to gorge on these super delicious Idlis with Aai’s special stew and coconut chutney, that she would pack for my lunch. After I got married, she had given me this recipe and I’m so grateful for that. So here I am, sharing her recipe to make the softest and the fluffiest Idlis at home from scratch. Though it takes a days preparation, the effort is worth every single bite! So much better than store bought batter!

Continue reading “SOFT & FLUFFY IDLI WITH RICE RAVA (IDLI RAVA)”

IDLI FRY | LEFTOVER IDLI SNACK

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INGREDIENTS:
6-7 Leftover Idlis
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 String Curry Leaves
1 Green Chilli
1/2 Tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 Onions
2 Tomatoes
2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Sugar
Salt as per taste
1-2 Tbsp Water
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves

METHOD:

  • Since I made this with leftover idlis stored in the refrigerator, I reheated them in a microwave after sprinkling a little water. You can even steam Idlis in a utensil placed in a pressure cooker with a little water without the whistle for 5-10 minutes, to help them regain their softness. Keep them aside.
  • In a deep pan, heat butter.
  • Splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add chopped curry leaves and green chilli.
  • Lower flame and add asafoetida.
  • Now add ginger garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute until they turn light brown.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes.
  • Add salt and saute until the tomatoes soften.
  • Now add turmeric powder and kashmiri red chilli powder.
  • Saute for a few seconds and add sugar.
  • Now chop the steamed soft idlis ( one idli into around 10 cubes) and add this to the masala.
  • Mix and make sure all the pieces are covered in masala.
  • Sprinkle some water. You can also add more butter. Cover and cook for a few minutes on low flame.
  • Add finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  • Serve hot for breakfast or as a 5 pm snack.
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CHANA DAL VADA | SPLIT CHICKPEA FRITTERS

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Split Chickpea or Chana Dal is a rich source of energy boosting lean protein. They have a high amount of both insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as resistant and slowly-digestible starches. Altogether it is very low on GI (Glycemic Index) making this a diabetic friendly pulse. Chana Dal has zero cholesterol, has no trans fats, virtually no saturated fat nor sodium! It’s also a great source of zinc and particularly rich in phosphorous and magnesium. Such a rich food!

INGREDIENTS:
1 Glass Split Chickpeas (Chana Dal)
2 Onions
2 Green Chillis
1 String Curry Leaves
1 Inch Ginger
2 Tbsp Coriander Leaves
Salt
Oil for Deep Frying

METHOD:

  • Wash and soak Split Chickpeas in enough water for at-least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water completely and grind this in the mixer into a coarse paste. Do not add water while grinding. You don’t have to grind into a smooth paste. You should be able to see a few dal pieces still unground.
  • Transfer this to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add Onion, Green ChillI, Coriander Leaves and Curry Leaves, all finely chopped.
  • Also add grated Ginger.
  • Mix and keep this in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. This will give the vadas a crispy exterior.
  • Take it out from the fridge and add salt. Mix well.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan and add vadas one at a time. I could handle 4 vadas at a time. Depending on the size of your pan, add vadas. Flip and cook until both sides turn brown.
  • Serve crispy hot Chana Dal vadas with Coconut Chutney or Green Sattu Chutney.
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Crisp exterior
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Dal Vada served with Sattu Chutney & Almonds
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Crispy Chana Dal Vada

SOFT & CRISPY AKKI ROTI / RICE FLOUR FLATBREAD

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INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups Rice Flour
1 Carrot
1 Onion
2 Green Chillis
1 Inch Ginger
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves
Salt
1 Cup Water (Approx.)
Ghee

METHOD:

  • In a deep mixing bowl, add finely chopped Carrot, Onions, Coriander Leaves, Green Chillis & Ginger.
  • Also add Cumin Seeds and Salt. Mix well.
  • Now add Rice flour and mix it with the vegetables.
  • Add little water at a time while kneading simultaneously.
  • The dough needs to be soft and pliable. If it feels sticky, add more flour. Apply ghee after you make the dough. This will help to make it less sticky.
  • Heat a griddle/tava and spread some oil/ghee.
  • Now grease your hands with ghee/oil.
  • Take a small portion of the batter and roll between hands. Then flatten it and with the help of your fingers press on all sides until you get a thin flat disc, like a paratha. Do this carefully so that it doesn’t break. You can watch the video at the end of this post.
  • Now place this on the hot greased tava and you can further flatten with your fingers. Please be careful. Don’t burn your fingers.
  • Let this cook well and then flip and cook the other side. Once you see them brown a little, transfer to a plate and do the same with the rest of the dough. Cover and keep the dough if not using immediately.
  • Don’t make rotis of the dough and keep. Make fresh & serve hot with Green Chutney.
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Finely Chopped Carrot & Ginger
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Finely chopped Veggies, Coriander Leaves, Cumin Seeds & Salt
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Rice Flour
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Veggies mixed with Rice Flour
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Non-sticky soft dough
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Flattened dough ball with the help of greased hands
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Or flattened further on the griddle.
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Served with Green Chutney
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Serve Hot
Watch this video to see how to flatten Akki Roti with your fingers

INSTANT RAVA UTTAPAM

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INGREDIENTS:
1 Glass Fine Semolina (Rava/Suji)
1/2 Glass Yogurt
1/2 Glass Water
Salt to taste
1/4 Cup Water
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1 Capsicum
1 Carrot
1 Green Chilli
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves

Oil/Ghee

METHOD:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add Semolina. Mix Salt.
  • To this add whisked Yogurt and mix well.
  • Now add water and mix everything well.
  • Let this batter rest for 20 – 30 minutes. The Rava will soak up the water.
  • In the meantime, chop all the vegetables mentioned in the list colour coded in Red, very finely. I used a chopper. You can also manually chop them all. If you are not immediately using this, I recommend to store covered in the refrigerator. This will avoid veggies from losing water. I’m not adding salt to the veggies. So add salt to the batter accordingly.
  • Check the batter and add little more water if required. The batter should be thick but at the same time, should drop off from the spatula.
  • Heat a griddle/tava. Spread some ghee/oil.
  • Pour batter on the tava and make small Uttapams by gently spreading the batter with the spatula.
  • Now top the batter with the chopped veggies and press them gently with the back of a spoon.
  • Pour little drops of oil/ghee around the Uttapam.
  • Once they start to brown, flip gently, press and cook the side with the vegetables.
  • Flip once again and plate this with some Spiced Stew or Sambar, Coconut Chutney or Sattu Chutney or Ketchup. Click on them for the recipe.
  • If you have leftover Idli Batter, you can use this instead of Rava Batter.
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Thick batter
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Finely chopped veggies
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Mini Uttapams loaded with veggies
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Stack of Mini Uttapams
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Served with Spiced Stew & Sattu Chutney
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Healthy & Quick

COCONUT CHUTNEY | RED, WHITE & GREEN

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INGREDIENTS | RED CHUTNEY
1/2 Fresh Coconut (Grated or Chopped)
5 Bedgi / Kashmiri Chillis
2 Inch Piece Tamarind (Seedless)
Salt to taste
Water

INGREDIENTS | WHITE CHUTNEY
1/2 Fresh Coconut (Grated or Chopped)
1 – 2 Green Chillis
3 – 4 Curry Leaves
2 Inch Piece Tamarind (Seedless)
Salt to taste
Water


INGREDIENTS | GREEN CHUTNEY
1/2 Fresh Coconut (Grated or Chopped)
1-2 Green Chillis
2 Tbsp Roasted Chana Dal/ Sattu
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves
2 Inch Piece Tamarind (Seedless)
Salt to taste
Water

TEMPERING:
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
5-6 Curry Leaves
1-2 Dry Red Chilli

METHOD:

  • Break a fresh coconut into 2 parts. Reserve one half intact with the shell in the freezer for later use. If you are using the coconut from the freezer, soak it in normal water for 10 minutes before use.
  • If you have a coconut scraper you can use that to grate the coconut. An easier and faster way to grate coconut is to use a sturdy knife and insert it between the flesh and the shell. I use a blunt old knife which is short and sturdy. Now lift the flesh part away from the shell by applying pressure and separate big chunks of coconut flesh in seconds.
  • Wipe or wash the bits of coconut shell & coir and then chop them into tiny pieces.
  • If you just need grated coconut, you can grind this coarsely in a small mixer jar.
  • For the chutney, depending on which of the above colour you are going for, add the ingredients in the mixer. I use the small jar to grind chutney.
  • Start by pouring little water in the beginning and build up on the water depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chutney.
  • I prefer a thick consistency and therefore I’ve used the whole half of the coconut. You can reduce the amount of coconut and increase the water if you like a thinner consistency.
  • Grind into a paste and transfer to a bowl.
  • Now for the tempering, heat oil in a small pan.
  • Sputter Mustard seeds.
  • Add in the chopped Curry Leaves.
  • Add in the Dry Red Chilli. For Green Chutney, you can also add chana dal during tempering.
  • Switch off the flame and add this hot tadka over the chutney.
  • Mix well and serve with Idlis, Dosas, Chillis, Medu Vadas, Rice…
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Chopped Coconut Pieces to Grind
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Red Chutney ingredients
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Thick Red Chutney
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You can add more Chillis to get a deeper red colour
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Tempering
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White Chutney ingredients. My Green Chilli turned red. Ignore that 🙂
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Freshly ground Coconut Chutney
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Tempering
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Thick Coconut Chutney
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Green Chutney
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Tempering

SPICED STEW – SAMBAR ALTERNATIVE

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This is something my mother made and we all love this so much, we’ve never made Sambar for Idli/ Dosa/ Medu Vada after this. This is one of her creations and thankfully my brother knows all her recipes. Thank you Aai & Dada for experimenting with food and passing on the expertise.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 Cup Toor Dal
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Cloves (Lavang)
6 Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
1 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini)
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste
2 Medium sized Onions
2 Medium sized Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tbsp Garam Masala Powder
2-3 CupsWater
Coriander Leaves
Salt to taste

METHOD:

  • Wash & soak Toor Dal in enough water for 10 minutes.
  • Pressure cook with enough water and salt. 1 whistle on high flame. 2 whistles on low-medium flame. Set aside for the steam to escape.
  • In the meantime, heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Splutter Cumin seeds.
  • Add Cloves, Peppercorns & Cinnamon Stick and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add freshly ground Ginger – Garlic – Green Chilli paste and stir for around 30 seconds .
  • Add finely chopped Onion and sauté until light brown and translucent.
  • Add finely chopped Tomatoes.
  • Add salt, mix well and cook until the Tomatoes seem mushy.
  • Add the spice powders – Turmeric, Red Chilli & Garam Masala Powder. Increase or reduce the quantity as per taste. Mix everything well. Stir & cook for a minute. Reduce or switch off flame and keep the masala aside while we check on the dal.
  • Once the steam from the pressure cooker seems to have escaped, safely release the whistle and the lid.
  • The dal should be completely cooked. If not, you can give a couple more whistles after adding water if necessary.
  • With the help of a wooden hand blender or any other blender, smoothen the dal.
  • Pour this dal over the spiced masala, switch the flame back on and combine everything.
  • Add water depending on the consistency you prefer. Check salt. Add if necessary.
  • Also add finely chopped Coriander Leaves.
  • For Medu Vada and Idlis I prefer a medium consistency. I break down the Idlis and Vadas into small bite sized portions and dip them in a big bowl filled with this stew! One happy bowl with a side of thick coconut chutney is a breakfast you’ll enjoy with this spiced stew!
Onions sautéed to light brown & translucent
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Mushy Spiced Onion – Tomato masala
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Spiced Stew with Rava Idli
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Garnished with Coriander
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Hot Stew
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Stew served with Dosa & Paneer Chilly
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Stew served with Sautéed Veggies & Dosa
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Stew served with Cheesy Uttapam
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Idlis dunked in Spiced Stew
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Big bowls of Stew!

CRISPY MEDU VADA

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INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups Urad Dal (Skinned Black Gram)
1/4 Cup Water or less
2 Green Chillis
1 String Curry Leaves
Salt to Taste
Oil for Deep Frying


METHOD:

  • Wash the Urad Dal thoroughly and soak overnight or for at least 5 hours.
  • Drain the water completely and transfer this to a mixer. I did this in 2 batches.
  • Add salt and very little water just enough to get the mixer moving. The lesser the water, the better.
  • Transfer this thick batter into a bowl and aerate well by mixing clockwise for a minute.
  • To test the batter, drop a small amount of this batter into a bowl of water. If the ball floats on top, they are perfectly aerated and ready to fry.
  • Batter that doesn’t float can turn your vadas harder in texture. There are 2 reasons why the batter won’t float. You’ve either added too much water while grinding or you didn’t aerate the batter well. If it’s the latter, aerate until it starts floating. For the former add 1-2 tbsps of Rice Flour, mix and aerate well.
  • Now, add the chopped Green Chillis and Finely chopped Curry Leaves and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a deep heavy bottom pan/kadhai.
  • Drop a small amount in the oil. The oil is hot enough if the batter starts to fry and float on top.
  • Keep a bowl of water beside you. Dip your hands in water and moisten them without any water dripping. You can oil your hands instead.
  • Place a small portion in the middle of your moist palm. With your other hand, flatten the batter. Make a hole in the centre. Transfer batter to the other hand (edge of your fingers) and slowly slide this into the hot oil, immediately retracting your hands. Be very careful of the hot oil that may splatter. Vadas with or without the hole will taste the same. So if you are not comfortable with this process, simply drop small portions into the oil.
  • Depending on the width of your pan, you can add multiple vadas at a time. I could handle a batch of 4-5 vadas.
  • Keep flipping the vadas for even cooking. Adjust the temperature of the oil if it is too hot. Once they get a nice golden brown colour on either sides, transfer them onto a paper towel and fry the remaining the same way, each time making sure the oil is hot enough and that your hands are moistened.
  • Serve crispy hot Medu Vadas with Sambar/ Spiced Stew & White Coconut Chutney.
  • Do checkout my Spiced Stew & Coconut Chutney recipe.
Roughly torn Curry Leaves
My Green Chillis turned Red in the refrigerator
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Thick aerated batter
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Moistened hands to prepare the vada
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Crispy exterior
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Served with Coconut Chutney & Sambhar Stew
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Ready to eat!
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Perfect Breakfast