I have always had an interest in cooking and baking. My mom is an excellent cook, whatever dishes I have learnt, it is from her. But, trying out anything in my Mom's kitchen was such a big challenge. It was because she would magically transform into the....Fuhrer (sorry Amma, but its true!!) as soon as I set foot in the kitchen armed with a recipe book . There were a thousand different instructions and orders one had to follow. I had to use bowls that were proportional to the dish. Her favorite dialogue- "Yakke ashtu dodda pathre? Chikkadhu use madu". The kitchen had to be sparkly clean once the cooking was done- when I say kitchen I mean the entire kitchen- the stove, the floor, the counter top and the utensils. By the time I finished the cooking and following all of the Fuhrer's orders I would have lost my appetite!
I started my "real" experiments in the kitchen only when I came to the US. "Real" because, I had a guinea pig- J, it was my own lab (kitchen) and best of all no Fuhrer!! I have learnt a lot of new dishes and tricks- thanks to the gazzilion food blogs. But, I definitely have to thank my dearest Fuhrer for all that she has taught me.
My sister Su's story is double-tragedy because she discovered, more often than not, that her dishes were barely edible. Poor thing she had made up her mind never to learn cooking and leave it to God to match her with a husband who could cook. Now she is in a situation where she has to cook or eat out everyday (and suffer from gastritis/ food poisoning/obesity). So this 'Cooking for Su' is my attempt at getting her interested in the kitchen.
Today's menu: Rave idli and Onion Chutney
Rave Idli (makes 12 idlis) (Recipe source: Amma)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal
1 tbls chopped cashews
7-8 curry leaves (chopped)
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbls oil
2-2.5 C sour curds (even buttermilk works fine)
1 tsp Eno fruit salt (this makes the idli very spongy- I do not like hard rubber idlis)
Add 2 tbls oil in a pan. Once the oil gets hot add the mustard seeds, channa dal, hing and cashews. Add the curry leaves and sooji. Fry till it turns golden brown (approximately 5-7 mins) Add salt and let it cool. Add 1 cup of curds/buttermilk to the dry mixture and mix well. Let it rest covered for 10 mins. Add the rest of the curds and mix well ( it should be little thicker than idli batter). Add the Eno fruit salt and mix well. Ladle the batter into well oiled (or not, I never grease it) idli thattai. Steam in a pressure cooker for 10 mins (without weight). Allow it to cool and unmould.
Onion chutney-(Recipe source: Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan)
1.5 onion (rough chopped)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp hing
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
2 red chillies
1 green chillies (this is on the spicier side- adjust to suit your spice level)
small bunch of coriander leaf
2 tbls oil
salt to taste
Heat 1tbls oil in a pan . Add the onions once the oil is hot. Saute till the onions turn golden brown. Set aside. Heat the remaining oil, saute mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies, green chillies and hing for 2-3 mins. Place both the onions and the seasoning in a blender. Add coriander leaves, tamarind paste and salt to taste. Blend to fine paste.
Rave idli- chutney with bisi bisi bourammanavita is how we like it!
I usually add the grated carrots to the batter. This was done to only these 4 idlis because they were going to photographed!!
I am so grateful to Harini of http://tumyumtreatssharestips.blogspot.com/ for her tips on how to enlarge the pictures. And to J for helping me with all that computer stuff.