Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Rawa Idli with Coconut Kokum Chutney

 It has been raining heavily every evening or night for the last few days.
The days are hot and stuffy, with humidity building up till it becomes almost difficult to breathe, by late afternoon. And then the clouds start to gather at one end of the sky.
Soon it becomes windy, hastening the yellow leaves to fall off the trees a little more early.
And then comes the downpour.
Reminds me of my homeland Odisha. The weather, I mean.
I do not know this humid Pune.
I miss the dry, cool Pune where we had to wait for a full year to see rain once the monsoons are over.

But I do not mind the rains though. In fact, I love them.
The mornings are differently beautiful these days. I take my cup of Darjeeling and sit on the swing in my little balcony.
My upper lip had got a big cut (from the accident) and swollen twice its normal size ... so the tea immediately scalds the skin.
I wince and try to ignore.
My eyes skim the surface of the cup and through the steam I watch the almost bare trees turn bright and golden as the rising sun falls on them.
The ground is still damp from last night's rain and the heavy smell of wet grass, dry leaves and fog hangs in the air.

The swing moves lightly. My aching body wants to get up. But I sit for a little more time.
Durga puja is over. The beautiful images of the goddess are long immersed in water.
In my mind I see the empty pandals and grounds.
Chairs devoid of people. Bare bamboos standing ... remains of stalls and decorations.
It will be a full year before the celebrations again.

Two little birds swoop down on the bird bath and seeing me, dart away just as quickly.
Two crows come and drink some water. I give them a few pieces of biscuit that they quickly pick up and dunk into the water bowl.
And eat them after they have soaked some water and turned soft.
The crows do not mind me. Neither do the swallows or the pigeons.
The parrots are shy. They sit on the overhead cable wires and screech till I get up and leave them alone.
Only then they come near the water.
I am planning to put up a mirror near the door so that I can see their antics from hiding.

I come in and look up my blog.
This year has not gone as planned; which is why I never plan.
Lesson learnt once more.
So few posts.
So decided to post this beautifully spongy Rawa idli that I had made for breakfast a few weeks back.
I have posted Rawa idli long back, which is the plain one.
This is one far different from that.
Here I have made a tempering and fried the rawa / semolina and added a little masala to make it spicy.
The spice complements the tang of the curd and balances well.

Also, these are very quick to make and perfect for those times when you do not have pre prepared Idli batter at hand and yet have to put up a meal or breakfast.

And here is the recipe.

Need :

Rawa / Suji / Semolina ( the bigger grains) - 2 cups
Onion - 1 medium, chopped 
Ginger - a small piece, chopped
Urad dal - 1 tbsp.
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Hing / Asaefoetida - a pinch
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Curd - 2 cups , make sure it is sour or add some lemon juice
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp.
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds - a pinch
Water - if needed
Salt - to taste

How to :

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed open pan.

Add the mustard seeds.
When they start to splutter add  the jeera + hing + urad dal + chana dal + onions + ginger.
Stir fry till onions are transparent and loose a little moisture.

Add haldi + red chilli powder + the sooji + salt.
Fry for around two minutes on low flame.
Remove and cool completely.

Remember to not fry for too long.
If the rawa turns dry, it will not bind and hold shape as it will not soak the curd well.

Add the curd with a little water.
Mix well and keep aside.
Mixture should not be very thin.

Steam in a idli mould till done. 

Here is a closer look.

Serve hot with chutney.
You can enjoy it with this Sambar too. 
Or take your pick from my Chutneys to pair with.
I had made this chutney with Coconut and Kokum. So served with it.
I will post the recipe in the next post.

This was our breakfast.



Friday, 19 October 2018

Subho Bijoya and happy Dussera 2018!

I was out of the country last year , vacationing in the US of A, so had huge plans for Durga puja this year. But as luck would have it, all my plans went up in the air as an accident rendered me immobile. Not only were the muscles of my hands, shoulder and upper back damaged, as well as the wrists, but also I ended up with a huge cut across my face, nose and chin.
Not to mention the swelling that came with it .... I couldn't recognise my own self in the mirror.

So the days passed by in a haze of pain killers and before I knew it, it was Navami already.
And since I don't like to be defeated, especially by life, I took this challenge too, just like I have the numerous times it has thrown me one and went to watch the Aarti in the evening. Yes bruised body and face notwithstanding.

The sound of the dhaaks, the conch blowing, the priest performing aarti and the ringing the bell, the smell of camphor and dhuno in the air, the crowd watching mesmerised ..... everything was like a balm on my pain and I came back home with a feeling of peace and the belief that all will be well soon.
Today dawned beautiful after last night's heavy rain and I craved the bhog or from the puja pandal that I missed this time.
And then decided to cook some as soon as the pain killer started to work.

So here is my plate of khichuri bhog. 
I made the dryish bhaja khichuri, cauliflower and potatoes cooked with white matar/chana/ legumes, tomato and khejur er chaatni , beguni / batter fried brinjal and batter fried green chillies.
B fried papad too but a little later,so not in the picture.

I plated everything together, trying to replicate the bhoger thala/plate, where everything is served in one plate.
I absolutely love the mix of flavours .... the dry khichuri, the gravy of the curry, the sweetness of the tomato chatni, along with the crunch of  the papad.

Savoured this meal and was glad I decided to do it.
Also, I am glad that I believe tomorrow never comes.

Live like you want to and you will have no regrets. Ever.
All you need is a little will and a lot of power.

Shubho Bijoya Dashami and happy Dusherra!! .
May your life be filled with light, love and everything good.