Thursday, July 24, 2008

Venpongal (pongal)

  • Wash 2 cups of raw rice (pacharisi) and ½ cup of husked green gram (pasipparuppu / moong wash).
  • Add 6 cups of water, some fresh grated ginger (inji / adharak), salt and asafetida / asafoetida (perungayam / hing).
  • Pressure cook for a duration of three whistles.
  • Meanwhile fry some cashew nuts, one teaspoon of black pepper (milagu / Kala mirch / kali mirchi), one teaspoon of cumin seeds (Jeera, Jeeragam) and some curry leaves (kariveppilai / karipatha) in four tablespoon of ghee in a deep vessel using low heat.
  • Mix well with cooked rice.
  • Serve hot either with sambar or chutney or with both.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Idli (Idly)

  • Wash 4 cups of parboiled rice (pulungal arisi).
  • Wash 1 cup of urad dal (husked black gram / ulundham paruppu) + a tsp of fenugreek (methi / vendhayam). (Wash only a little to retain available yeast, which is useful for fermentation).
  • Soak them separately in water for about 2 hours.
  • Grind rice and dal separately to a smooth fine paste. Add water little by little while grinding to achieve desired result. Cold grinding is preferable.
  • Mix together with 2 teaspoon of salt with your hand and make a thick batter and just cover the container.
  • Leave it for not less than 8 hours to ferment. The duration of fermentation is more during winter or in cold countries. The volume of batter increases and becomes almost double at the required fermentation stage. So select the container accordingly.
  • Boil water in idli cooker.
  • Apply oil over plates of idli stand.
  • Stir the batter a little (If you stir more air bubbles will come out resulting in less spongy idlies), pour in the idli plate with the help of a spoon and place it inside the cooker.
  • You can use normal cooker without the weight.
  • Steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Take out the stand, remove idlies from plates by using a sharp wet spoon.
  • Serve hot with sambar, chutney, mutton /chicken gravy, or milagai podi with gingelly oil.