Thursday, March 29, 2007

Idli and Thenga Chamanthi

Idli and chamanthi reminds me of the lazy summer mornings in Kerala eating b'fast on small banana leaves. In those days I could devour ten of these and not worry about where it was going to show. Anyway today's b'fast was idli and thenga chamanthi(coconut chutney). I'm enjoying my spring break and cooking up a frenzy of long forgotten dishes. My idli recipe is simple, and I use just regular Sona masuri rice to make the idlis. I use the same batter to make dosas or uthappams the next day. It's usually idlis the first day, then dosas the next day, and if any batter is left uthappams. I soak the rice and dal on Friday morning and grind it in the evening in my Oster blender. Leave it in the oven to ferment overnight with the pilot light on, and the batter is ready on Saturday morning for idlis.


3 cups sona masuri rice

1 cup udad dal

1/2 cup cooked rice

2 tsp salt

Wash and soak separately for atleast six hours. Grind udad dal with water till very smooth.

Grind rice with water and cooked rice till smooth.

Mix both batters well add salt and leave to ferment in the oven with the light on.

When the batter rises usually takes about 8 hours or more depending on where you live, pour into idli mould and steam idlis for 10 minutes after the steam starts coming.

Serve with chamanthi.


1 cup fresh grated coconut

3 red chillies

1/4 tsp tamarind paste

salt to taste


1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 red chilli

3 curry leaves

1 shallot(cheri ulli/ sambar onion) finely minced

Roast the red chillies till crisp.

Grind the coconut, red chillies, tamarind paste, and salt till smooth adding a little water.

Heat oil for seasoning, add mustard seeds, add red chillies, once they splutter add curry leaves and shallots.

Fry till the shallots are brown add the coconut mixture, let it warm through on medium heat.

Serve with idlis.

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