Saturday, January 24, 2015

Instant Rava Idli - the big Indian breakfast

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
As I entered the chatra ( marriage hall) I could smell jasmine, roses and sandle wood incense in the air. I fixed the pleats of my red and green kanjivaram sari, as my husband whispered to me, “ you are over dressed” . “ Absolutely not, this is a South Indian wedding, there is nothing called overdressed” was my quick response. I loved the scent of jasmine lingering in my hair, every traditional south Indian woman loves to adorn her hair with jasmine flowers, and I am no exception. We found a seat by a distant relative ( that’s the only face we recognized ) and sat there. Everyone seemed busy and occupied ….the bride’s father was busy talking to the guy serving kapi (coffee). A few cousins of the bride were shouting from the elevated stage like platform of the wedding, asking someone something in a tone of urgency. The old aunty next to me ( in India every elderly lady is an aunty and elderly man an uncle) was busy explaining her relation to the bride to another lady. The uncle next to my better half was telling my husband about his brother’s wife’s sister’s son who is also in Chicago and they are looking for a bride to fix an alliance.

In my twenties, I found it a waste of time and money…these lavish weddings….something changes when you hit the magic forties. I was soaking in all the colors, aroma chatter, and was loving every moment of the experience. From traditional kanjivarams to the most modern styles, it was all here, teens to elderly grandmas - all draped in rich colors of silk. My eyes were feasting, after living in the west for a long time ( especially midwest) you forget what color is….

The kapi man approached us and I was quick to take a glass of coffee. ( In South of India coffee is served in six ounce steel glass). It was pipping hot and absolutely delicious a perfect blend of coffee and chicory, I wanted a second, a third and a forth. It would look rather rude and greedy to take seconds and thirds I thought. Before I could plan for a strategy to pick up another glass, a man approached with a smile, “ breakfast banni” ( please come for breakfast) hubs and I exchanged smiling glances and got up, walking slowly to the dining hall….

There were rows of tables with fresh banana leaves and a glass of water ( talk of biodegradable disposable ) a few people were sitting and we found space near some young kids in there late teens. Hot rava idlis, chatni, kesari bhaat, hot upma and coffee… this is the stuff life is made of. As the server approached me he gave me a generous helping of 3 idlis and a lot of chutney…I did not refuse, I wanted it all. It is part of an Indian wedding to eat well to your hearts content, hospitality at its best, people asking for seconds thirds and forth with endless gallons of coffee.

Back on a cold winter snowy morning, when everything around me looked white, so pristine and beautiful. I thought of the colors, the idlis and the coffee. Frantically looked thru my recipes and found a handwritten recipe of rava idli. My sister had written it up for me ( Picture below) the year I got married, it seems like yesterday….

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography
Ilva, Sophia and myself are back with a similar themed post, this is our first one for 2015. Do visit their blogs to read about their favorite breakfast and gawk at the amazing images.

1 cup rava (sooji, semolina)
a little more than a pinch of baking soda Or 1/4 tsp Enos fruit salt
2-3 tbsp cashew nuts
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 urad daal (green gram split)
1/4 tsp chana daal (gram dal split)
1 green chili split
cilantro finely chopped
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
salt to taste

In a pan heat oil, add mustard, urad dal,  chana dal let it splatter, add the cashew, after it browns add the green chili and rava, roast the rava till for 4-5 minutes. Leave it to cool, add the yogurt and it will look like a thick (very thick paste) if more rava is unmixed ass more yogurt. Leave for 7-10 minutes, add 1/2 -3/4 cup water till it is pouring consistency ( thick liquid not too thin - like rice idli batter or a bit thicker than pan cake batter) add the carrots, peas, cilantro salt. Pour in in Idli moulds and steam for 15 minutes.

You can roast the dry ingredients, cool it and store in airtight container - for future use. Stays good for unto three weeks or four weeks refrigerated.

Serve hot with your choice of  Curry leaf coconut chutney, and ghee.

#RavaIdli #InstantIdli #IndianBreakfast #Indian #SimiJoisPhotography

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  1. Simi this post seems so magical! loved reading and so wanting to drape myself in a sari and attended our South Indian weddings ;-) Idili looks yum and you have captured the essence of our culture here! Love it

  2. Rekha the person commenting above me said exactly what I was thinking. Yes, I would want the second or third
    cup of coffee myself. I love weddings more as I am older myself. I am honored to be invited and look forward to them.

  3. Loved reading your post today Simi. The essence of South Indian wedding and our culture is captured beautifully! Love weddings and everything about it.
    Those rava idlis looks perfect, soft and yummy :)

  4. Just loved reading through the post! I am not a saree person and the last time I wore it was almost 6 years back for my cousin's wedding! The next time I think I will wear it would be for my brother's wedding (InShaAllah) but for that I have to loose all those dirty inches! Hehe... Just felt like I had attended a wedding... these idlis look amazing! I forgot to soak for idlis for tonight and now I am wondering, y don't I make this? The kids would love them... thanks for sharing... :)

  5. Aaaaa, Simi, you have some explaining to do - what took you so long to look at your sister's recipe?!... Have you been honeymooning all that time? ;)
    But seriously, this post sounds so much like an opening scene from a Hollywood blockbuster rom-com, maybe you should consider trying your pen in screen writing. S.xo

    1. Sophia sophia sophia, you are one naughty little thing. Ditu and I had a good laugh about your joke and we just can’t wait to get together one day :))

      This is my only chance to the big screen :)) You better get my autography before I become too big…hehehe !!!

  6. Many foreign ingredients for me...but these idli look really tempting!

  7. I came across your blog while looking for some Indian food recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye out for all your recipes :)


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