Southern spice &
THINK of South India and one is sure to think of mouth-watering dosas, idlis, vadas and the lip-smacking aroma of sambars and rasams. This week, I bring to you some of the wonderful delicacies from the southern parts of the country. Though the south Indians do use wheat and other grains in fair amounts, yet rice forms the staple diet here. Though some of the delicacies are fried, most of the items are good wholesome balanced dishes, consisting of dal, rice, vegetables, etc, all used in one recipe.
Wherever soaking of grain is required, or fermenting of the batter is called for, do not pinch on the hours required. Only when the soaking and fermenting processes are properly executed, will the end product have the required softness, lightness and taste.
dishes required a lot of soaking, grinding, steaming, etc., to
enjoy them and yet not be left stuck in the kitchen for hours,
plan your cooking ahead. Though lengthy, up to 75 per cent of
the cooking process, including preparation of the
accompaniments, can be completed ahead of time to leave you
with enough time to entertain guests.
Ordinary rice 1 cup
Parboiled rice 1 cup
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Method: Wash and soak rice together overnight. Grind together to a fine paste. Keep aside for 5-6 hours. Put into idli moulds and steam till cooked. Grease a sev press. Place warm idlis in it and press. Press out sev in a 4" circle. See that ends overlap. Allow to cool a bit. Use greased palms and lift. Place in a double-walled colander or steamer to keep warm.
Serve hot with ghee and chutney, garnished with coconut and coriander.
Variations: Top with powdered sugar and ghee while serving. Cool, break unevenly. Heat oil in a pan, add finely chopped chillies and onions, fry till tender, add sev, salt, lemon juice, coriander, grated coconut, and mix. Serve warm or cold. Sun dry the idiappams till dry and crisp. Store and fry or steam when desired. Will keep for a few weeks in dry form.
Green gram dosa
Peeled green gram 1 cup
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Green chillies 3
Red chillies 3
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
Ginger small piece
Coriander leaves a sprig
Salt to taste
Method: Soak green gram in water for 3-4 hours. Clean and strain. Grind with red chillies, cumin seeds and salt.
Chop onions, ginger, coriander leaves and a green chilli. Fry lightly. Use the dough to make a dosa. Fill with onion filling and fold.
Raw jackfruit 400 gm
Tamarind size of a
Red chillies 2
Green chilli 1
Oil 2 tbsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Mustard 2 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram 2 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Method: Peel the jackfruit and chop into small pieces. Grind in mixer to get tiny rough pieces. Remove any remnants of skin and strands. Add half a glass of water, salt, turmeric to the jackfruit and pressure-cook for 3 minutes. Let it cool well.
Soak tamarind in water. Extract 2 tbsp of thick juice. Chop green chilli. Take 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, add a few drops of water and grind. Break red chillies into small pieces and fry with 1 tsp mustard, asafoetida, chilli powder, curry leaves and dry bengal gram.
Squeeze jackfruit pieces to remove
water and add to the frying pan. Add tamarind pulp, green chillies and
ground mustard. Cook till it evaporates and the curry is crisp.