South Indian fare is very popular street food in Bombay. Today, I’ve got a little twist on the the traditional fare, but I promise you it is good, so very good. Typically, South Indian snacks like dosas and idlis take a while to make. The batter is made with a base combination of rice and urad dal (black gram). The ingredients have to be soaked, ground and fermented etc. (not necessarily in that order). In time, I’m itching to try out the traditional method. This take, however, is a quicker, simpler version. Its almost an instant recipe. The idlis turn out really delicious and I made a quick coconut chutney that my mum always made to go along with dosas and idlis. My mum has this amazing lady for a neighbor. She is from South India and ever so often whenever she has time away from school, where she’s a full time teacher, assistant head mistress and I don’t know what else, she’d treat us to a huge portion of breakfast snacks like this that she’d make for her family. I miss those days. And honestly, she was the first person I thought about while I was eating these. I should try and coax her to give me her recipe for the traditional rava idli.
But back to the instant rava idlis, they make a quick healthy snack with rava (semolina) and it is steamed. What could be healthier? For me, this is like soul food.
1 cup rava or semolina
1 cup curd or plain unflavored yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (I used a almost half)
A pinch of soda bi-carbonate
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and make sure there are no lumps.
Let it stand for 20-30 minutes. During this time you can make the chutney (Recipe below).
Pour the batter into idli moulds and steam for about 10 minutes.
Open the steamer and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then take the idlis out of the moulds. A small spatula or the blunt end of a knife should be just right incase you need to help the out of the moulds.
Enjoy them hot with some Coconut Chutney.
1/2-3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut
1-2 green chillies
Salt, to taste
A ball of tamarind, the size of a large marble, soaked in a little water
Blitz all the ingredients together in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.
And thats it. In half an hour you can treat yourself to something yummy and wholesome.
Today, I’m going to share with you a meal thats so quick to put together, it never ceases to amaze me. The added bonus, is that you need nothing special for this pasta dish. All the ingredients are usually found in any pantry most of the times. I don’t know about you, but so often I find myself so hard pressed for time that I haven’t been able to put together something for dinner. I’m trying to increase my repertoire of quick and easy meals that I can use on days like this rather than ordering for take out. I somehow just can’t do takeout anymore, unless of course there is no other option. This is one of those meals that I stumbled upon in those times of desperation and I’m so glad I did. This ones a keeper. How do I know that? I’m going to share with you a piece of information I don’t think I’ve mentioned before. My husband does not like pasta. And thats that. This is difficult for me to understand, because me, I love pasta. Imagine my joy when he told me he really enjoyed it. I tell you, this ones good enough to convert even a non pasta lover (if there is such a thing). Go ahead and give this a try.
Spicy Tuna Pasta
1-1 1/2 cup uncooked pasta (depending on how much you need)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 green pepper, diced (You can use red or yellow peppers too, I just used what I had at hand)
3-4 tbsp canned tuna flakes or chunks
Red chilli flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
While the pasta is cooking, heat some olive in a pan. Add the onion and stir fry for a couple of minutes, till it starts softening.
Add the chopped garlic and let it release its flavors.
Add the diced peppers and stir well. Let it cook off for a couple of minutes.
Add the tuna flakes.
Season this mix with salt, crushed black pepper and red chilly flakes. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Add the cooked pasta to this mix and gently fold everything till all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Add some grated cheese. I don’t use a measure for the cheese, I just grate as much as needed. I taste to check if theres enough to match our liking.
Again, mix gently, you don’t want to break up the pasta. The heat from the cooked pasta as well as the fish mix will melt the cheese, making it even better.
Scrambled Cottage Cheese – Paneer Bhurji
250g Cottage Cheese / Paneer
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 green chilly, chopped (Adjust the amount of spice to your liking)
1 small tomato, chopped
1/8-1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. oil
Heat the oil in a pan.
Saute the onions and green chilly till onions turn soft and are lightly colored.
Add the turmeric powder and stir well.
Add the tomato and let it cook off for a minute or so.
Now crumble the cottage cheese into the pan and stir well to mix with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook uncovered for a few minutes till the liquid has dried up.
Lastly, add the coriander leaves and stir well.
Serve with hot chapatis or bread.