IDLIS IN JACKFRUIT LEAF CUPS/KOTTE KADUBU/HITTU

IDLIS IN JACKFRUIT LEAF CUPS/KHOTTE KADUBU/HITTU

IDLIS IN JACKFRUIT LEAF CUPS/KHOTTE KADUBU/HITTU

Ingredients

Idlis are often associated with Tamil cuisine even though Udupi, the symbolic home of idli is in Karnataka.

Karnataka has many unusual idlis and dosas (called Poley). One of them is Hittu, a fluffy idli batter that's poured into molds made from jackfruit leaves.

Jackfruit is very popular in India and while its fruit has many culinary uses its leave are used to prepare a special idli in Konkani and Kannada homes. Jackfruit leaves are called Khotto or Hittu in Konkani and Khotte Kadubu in Kannada.

In a sense this idli is a food shared by many communities. While it is associated with Karnataka, Marathi speaking families also prepare this delicacy. Turmeric and banana leaves are also used to prepare idlis like Taushe and Kadamb made from cucumber, Patholi, a thin steamed dosa and Erayde a sweet dish made for Nagapanchami.

In Orissa Haldi Patra Enduri is a variety of Idli made using turmeric leaves to celebrate the first born. In Mangalore a similar idli made with jackfruit leaves is called Gunda.

Hittu idlis are made in cups fashioned out jackfruit leaves pinned together using pins made from coconut shells, toothpicks and broomstick pins.

These idlis are served for various courses, breakfast, lunch and as a snack. They can be served with chutney and sambhar, with melted butter and ghee, warm coconut oil, rasam and with a ground spice mix or podi. Turmeric leaves have a strong aroma that is infused into the idli as it steams. Jackfruit leaves are far milder so the idlis can be additionally flavored with various spices.

Day old Hittu idlis are diced and tossed with whole tempered spices, crispy pan fried and sprinkled with powdered spices, while fresh idlis are turned into dessert by soaking them in a sweetened coconut milk.

Makes 12-13 Idlis

3/4 cup split black lentil (urad dal)

1.5 cups of rice semolina (Bombay rava, sooji, idli rava, rice rava)

Salt to taste

36 jackfruit leaves and 15-16 broomstick pins or small toothpicks

Instructions

Soak urad dal for 40 minutes. Rinse and drain completely.

Grind them using as little water as possible into a smooth paste.

Transfer the ground batter into a larger mixing bowl- the batter will rise overnight so make sure you use a bowl that can accommodate 4-5 inches of fermentation. Stir in the semolina and mix well.

Add 1 cup of water and stir again.

Cover the bowl with a loose lid, set it in a dry but cool part of the kitchen and let it rise overnight on a cool day and 7-8 hours on a hot day.

Use 4 leaves for each jackfruit cup. Lay them together to form a square, layering one end over the other to form the base of the cup. Pin the base together using 2-3 pins. Then turn the other ends inwards and gather them together to forma . cup. Tie each leaf to the other using a small pin. Grease the cups lightly with ghee or unflavored vegetable oil.

Prepare your idli steamer.

Stir the batter again. Add a little more water if required. Your batter should be the consistency of a fluffy cake batter.

Place the jackfruit molds in the steamer and fill with batter leaving about 1/4 inch off the rim of the cups.

Cover the steamer, close and steam them for 20-30 minutes on a medium flame until the tops look set. Remove one and check for doneness.

Serve these idlis hot. You can peel the leaves off 2-3 minutes after they've been removed from the steamer and sprinkle with podi, ghee or serve them in their cups with a side of coconut chutney and rasam or sambhar.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/idlis-in-jackfruit-leaf-cupskotte-kadubuhittu/

KARUVEPILAI THUVAYAL (CURRY LEAF CHUTNEY)

CURRY LEAF CHUTNEY OR KARUVEPILLAI CHUTNEY

CURRY LEAF CHUTNEY OR KARUVEPILLAI CHUTNEY

Ingredients

This classic Tamil recipe came to me from Chef P Saravanan at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai

INGREDIENTS QUANTITY

1. Curry leaves 500g

2. Tamarind concentrate 30g

3. Channa dal or split chick pea 50g

4. Indian Green chilly 5 pieces about 1 inch long, stalks removed

5. Grated coconut 50g

6. salt to taste

TEMPERING

INGREDIENTS QUANTITY

1. Refined oil 30g

2. Mustard 30g

3. Split urad dal 20g

4. Madras round chillies 5nos

5. Curry leaves 20g

6. Hing powder 20g

Instructions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet or tempering spoon on high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking reduce flame to medium.

2. Temper the curry leaves, cook 30 seconds until they look crisp. Drain and reserve. Add more oil, when hot temper the Bengal gram about 30 seconds, drain and reserve.

3. Grind together the curry leaves, Bengal gram, green chillies, grated coconut, tamarind and salt to a fine paste.

4. Temper the chutney with oil, mustard, split urad dal, and curry leaves, Madras round chillies and hing powder.

5. Mix the tempering to the chutney, check seasoning and serve.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/karuvepilai-thuvayal-curry-leaf-chutney/

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL-PAN FRIED SPICED WHITE POMFRET

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL- PAN FRIED SICED POMFRET

POOMPUHAR MEEN VARUVAL- PAN FRIED SICED POMFRET

Ingredients

This recipe came to me from chef P Saravanan at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai. This delicious red masala pomfret melts in your mouth and is very easy to prepare.

Shown in the photo on the left of the paratha.

INGREDIENTS QUANTITY

WHITE POMFRET 500 GM

TURMERIC POWDER 15 GM

LIME JUICE 15 ML

DRY RED KASHMIRI CHILLY 80 GM

SHALLOTS 40 GM

PEELED GARLIC 25 GM

TAMARIND PULP 25 GM

BLACK PEPPERCORNS 10 GM

CURRY LEAVES 6 SALT TO TASTE

SUNFLOWER OIL 20 ML

Instructions

• Wash the fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Brush with turmeric and lime juice. Cover and reserve.

• Using a mortar and pestle macerate the dry chillies, shallots, peeled garlic, black pepper, curry leaves and tamarind pulp in a bowl.

• Sprinkle water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.

• Apply the spice paste to the pomfret fillets. Cover tightly and refrigerate 1 hour.

• Preheat a griddle and sprinkle oil on it. Gently place the marinated fish fillets on the griddle and cook till both sides get an even brown color and the fish is cooked though.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/poompuhar-meen-varuval-pan-fried-spiced-white-pomfret/

ICED CUCUMBER MINT WITH TONIC

ICED CUCUMBER MINT TONIC

ICED CUCUMBER MINT TONIC

Ingredients

I LOVE THIS DRINK BECAUSE IT'S CRISP WITH A COOLING GREEN COLOR AND IS MILDLY SWEET

THE MILDLY BITTER TONIC WORKS BEAUTIFUL WITH THE FRESH MINT.

FOR 2

2 LIGHT GREEN CUCUMBERS PEELED

6-8 FRESH MINT LEAVES WASHED, STALKS REMOVED

1 APPLE PEELED, DESEEDED AND QUARTERED

250 ML TONIC WATER

ICE

3 HIGHBALL GLASSES

ICE CUBES

SPRIGS OF MINT LEAVES FOR GARNISHING

Instructions

PUREE THE APPLE, MINT AND CUCUMBER IN A FOOD PROCESSOR. ADD ONE AND A HALF CUPS OF CHILLED WATER AND PUREE AGAIN. STRAIN THROUGH A FINE SIEVE. USE THE BACK OF A SPOON TO PRESS DOWN AGAINST THE PULP TO EXTRACT ALL THE JUICE. DISCARD THE PULP.

DIVIDE BETWEEN TWO GLASSES FILLED WITH ICE. TOP UP WITH TONIC WATER. GARNISH WITH MINT LEAVES IF DESIRED, STIR AND SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/iced-cucumber-mint-with-tonic/

Urad, Moong, Toor Dal Vadi: Mixed Lentil Fritters

Dal Vadi

Dal Vadi

Ingredients

1/4 cup - channa dal

1cup - moong dal

1/4 cup - urad Dal

1/4 cup - Toor dal

1/2 teaspoon - Coriander seeds

Half inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled

1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

1 dried Kashmiri chilli stalk removed

1/2 cup coriander leaves

2-3 1 inch long Indian Green chillies or to taste

8 fresh green curry leaves, chopped

FOR TEMPERING

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Pinch asafetida

Salt to taste

Vegetable Oil for deep frying

Instructions

Wash lentils and soak them separately in bowls of tap water overnight.

Drain lentils, wash again, drain completely. From the toor dal reserve two tablespoons of whole lentils. Grind all and the remaining to a coarse paste. Add water carefully. You want a thick batter almost like a soft dough that can be molded into balls. These are more dense than medu vadas and will take longer to fry.

Make a smooth paste of coriander seeds, coconut, ginger and red chilli to a smooth paste and stir into the lentil puree.

Stir in chopped coriander leaves and chopped curry leaves.

Heat oil in a small tempering spoon or skillet on high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 60 seconds. Ad asafetida and switch off the flame. Cool and pour over the lentil batter. Stir well.

Taste for salt.

Make small 2 inch size balls from the thick dough. Flatten them and lay them on a tray. Keep covered with a dry cloth.

Heat 2 inches of oil in small wok or kadai on high heat.

When oil is hot but not smoking lower flame to medium.

Drop one fritter in the oil and cook until golden. Taste for salt and doneness. Adjust.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coconut chutney.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/dal-vadi-mixed-lentil-fritters/

Nadru Monje- Kashmiri style lotus stem fritters

Nadru Monje- Kashmiri style lotus stem fritters

Nadru Monje- Kashmiri style lotus stem fritters

Ingredients

I learnt to make these pakoras in Kashmir. They are a popular street food.

Lotus stems blacken easily so buy freshly cut, white ones and use them quickly. The secret to these crunchy fritters is to use as little water as possible and to fry them in hot oil.

These fritters are not cooked in a batter rather they are dredged in rice flour to absorb the liquid within the stems.

1/4 kg / about 10 oz fresh white lotus stems

1 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/2 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder or cayenne pepper

1 cup rice flour

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

250g vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Wash the lotus stems and then peel them using a sharp vegetable peeler.

Wash them again under running water.

Slice the stems into three equal pieces.

Using a sharp knife hold each piece up and slice lengthwise into quarters.

Pat the stems dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Place in a large mixing bowl.

Add red chilli powder, cumin seeds, a teaspoon of salt and the rice flour. Mix well.

Allow the rice flour to absorb the liquid in the lotus stems.

Taste for salt and adjust.

The batter should be clumpy and sticky and not liquid. If it's too dry add water by the teaspoonful until the rice just about clings to the sliced lotus roots.

If you add too much water your fritters/pakoras will be soggy.

Heat 2.5 inches of oil in a small wok or kadai on a high flame.

When oil is hot but not smoking, reduce flame to medium and fry the pakoras in batches until golden and crisp.

I generally fry one piece to make sure the oil is hot enough. I cook it through and taste it for doneness and salt before I fry a larger batch. This way I know how long the batter takes to cook.

Drain in a colander over paper towels. Serve hot.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/nadru-monje-kashmiri-style-lotus-stem-fritters/