Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Thinai Dosai/Foxtail Millet Pancake (Whole Grain Dosai Series)

Holiday Traveling and Holiday Baby-sitting have made this post a delayed one. I truly apologize for that.

Thinai or Foxtail Millet would be the last millet variety in this series for now. As soon as I get a few more left out varieties, I shall keep updating in the same category. Other names for foxtail millet include Italian millet, German millet, Chinese millet, and Hungarian millet.

 

 

One of the oldest cultivated crops. It was used in India, China and Egypt before there were written records. Millet is still used in eastern Europe for porridge and bread and for making alcoholic beverages. About 85 percent is used as foodgrain for humans and 6 percent for poultry. In the United States it is grown chiefly for hay. http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/data/pf000314.htm

 

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So, to sum up –

The most common millets available at Jowar (Sorghum), Bajra (Pearl Millet), Ragi (Finger Millet), Korra (Foxtail millet), Sama (Little millet) and Variga (Proso millet). “They have huge nutritive value. Bajra and Sama are high on fat while Ragi has lowest fat. They are rich in Iron and phosphorus. Ragi has the highest Calcium content among all the food grains. They are rich sources in B vitamins especially in Niacin, B6, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc,” explains Professor (Food and Nutrition) and Associate Dean, College of Home Science, ANGRAU, Dr. Anurag Chaturvedi.

There are myriad health benefits of millets. Regular consumption of millets is beneficial for postmenopausal women suffering from signs of heart ailments, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They help women to combat occurrence of gallstones because they are rich in fibre.

They reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because millets are rich in magnesium, which regulates secretion of glucose and insulin. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/include-millets-in-regular-diet-say-experts/article3248602.ece

 

thinai idlis were equally good!

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Foxtail Millet or Thinai in Tamil could be one of the oldest millet varieties in Tamilnadu. We also have references of Thenum Thinai Maavum – Honey and Foxtail millet flour having been offered to Murugan, the God of the Tamils since olden days. Even today,  Murugan is offered ‘thenum thinai maavum’  in Pazhani Murugan Temple.

 

In South India, it has been a staple diet among people for a long time from the sangam period. It is popularly quoted in the old Tamil texts and is commonly associated with Lord Muruga and his consort Valli. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtail_millet

 

thinai dosai/foxtail millet pancake

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About goodness of Thinai/Foxtail Millet-

 

Foxtail Millet May Help Control Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) is a common food in parts of India. Scientists at Sri Venkateswara University in that country studied its health benefits in diabetic rats, and concluded that the millet produced a “significant fall (70%) in blood glucose” while having no such effect in normal rats. Diabetic rats fed millet also showed significantly lower levels of triglycerides, and total/LDL/VLDLcholesterol, while exhibiting an increase in HDL cholesterol.
Pathophysiology. Sept 23, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/node/7722/print

 

Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein

Scientists in Seoul, South Korea, fed a high-fat diet to rats for 8 weeks to induce hyperlipidemia, then randomly divided into four diet groups: white rice, sorghum, foxtail millet and proso millet for the next 4 weeks. At the end of the study, triglycerides were significantly lower in the two groups consuming foxtail or proso millet, and levels of C-reactive protein were lowest in the foxtail millet group. The researchers concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Nutrition Research. April 2010; 30(4):290-6.

http://wholegrainscouncil.org/node/7722/print

 

Thinai Dosai/Foxtail Millet Pancake

 

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Ingredients (makes approximately 12-15 dosais)

  • thinai/foxtail millet – 3 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1 cup
  • vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – to make dosais

 

 the foamy batter

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Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and Soak foxtail millet
  2. Wash and soak black gram and fenugreek seeds separately
  3. Soak the ingredients separately in enough water for a minimum 6 hrs
  4. Grind the black gram-fenugreek combination to a smooth and fluffy consistency
  5. Remove from the grinder/blender and grind the soaked millet to a fine paste
  6. Mix both with enough salt and leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight
  7. In a warm country, 8 hrs is enough and one can mix the fermented batter and keep it refrigerated for further use
  8. Once fermented, always keep the batter refrigerated as it will go sour and get spoilt
  9. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  10. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt could be served for easy digestion.

 

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Kezhvaragu Dosai/Finger Millet Pancake (Whole Grain Dosai Series)

 

kezhvaragu/finger millet – the centre of attraction

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First in the series of Dosais would be Kezhvaragu Dosai. Kezhvaragu in Tamil, is Finger Millet in English and locally Ragi in Karnataka, the southern Indian state which is the largest producer of Finger Millet in India. It is also called Keppai in Tamil.

I give primary importance to Kezhvaragu/Ragi as it was one of the first foods of my daughter after mother’s milk at six months of age.

When my daughter was ready for her first worldly meal – she was fed Keppai Kanji or Finger Millet Porridge. The millet is soaked and sprouted, dried and milled first. This powder is mixed with milk and sugar or jaggery and boiled to porridge consistency. The warm porridge is best next to Mother’s Milk for infants.

 

health drink for children: keppai kanji – finger millet porridge

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It is rich in Amino Acids which are vital in normal functioning of body and are essential for repairing body tissues. Finger Millet contains Tryptophan, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Methionoine amino acids. Isoleucine helps in muscle repair, blood formation, contributes to bone formation and improves skin health.

 

Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet

ingredients for dosai

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This is a beautiful orange colored grain. When powdered and mixed with milk or water in porridges or made into batter for pancakes, the color changes to somewhat ashy brown.

In packaged drinks called ‘ragi malt’ or powdered version available in the markets, it used to be in orange color, the synthetic colors added to give it the natural grain like color. But beware of those colorful health drinks. Kezhvaragu loses its color when grounded or mixed with milk or water.

Finger Millet, is cultivated in drier parts of the world – mainly in Asia and Africa. It has a distinct taste and is widely used in Southern Indian and Ethiopian dishes. It is easy to digest and does not contain gluten; people who are sensitive to gluten can easily consume Finger Millet.

 

Nutritional Facts
1. Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet contains an amino acid called Tryptophan whichlowers appetite and helps in keeping weight in control. Ragi gets digested at a slower rate thus keeps one away from intaking excessive calories.
2. Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet consumption helps in development of bones in growing children and in maintenance of bone health in adults. It keeps diseases such as osteoporosis at bay and could reduce risk of fracture.
3. It’s photo chemicals help in slowing digestion process and lowering absorption of starch.. This helps in controlling blood sugar level in condition of diabetes. In a study conducted in 2000, it was found that Finger Millet based diet helps diabetics as it contains higher fiber than rice and wheat.
4. Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet contains amino acids Lecithin and Methionine which help in bringing down cholesterol level eliminating excess fat from Liver. Finger Millet also contains Threonine amino acid which hinders fat formation in the liver, which brings cholesterol level of the body down.
5. It is a very good source of natural Iron. It also helps in relaxing body naturally. It is beneficial in conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is also useful for migraines.
6. It is rich in Amino Acids which are vital in normal functioning of body and are essential for repairing body tissues. Finger Millet contains Tryptophan, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine and Methionoine amino acids. Isoleucine helps in muscle repair, blood formation, contributes to bone formation and improves skin health.
7. If consumed regularly, Ragi could help in keeping malnutrition, degenerative diseases and premature aging at bay.

 

Caution:
It is an extremely nutritious cereal and is very beneficial for maintaining a good health. However, its high intake could increase quantity oxalic acid in the body. Therefore, it is not advised to patients having kidney stones (Urinary Calculi).

 

Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet could be enjoyed in different forms and preparations. Keppai Idli/Rice Cakes, Keppai Dosai/Pancakes, Keppai Kanji/Porridge, Keppai Kali/Halwa, Keppai Upma, Ragi Cakes, Ragi Biscuits and many more.
Kezhvaragu Dosai/Finger Millet Pancake

 

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Ingredients (makes appr. 12-15 dosais/pancakes)

  • Kezhvaragu/ragi/finger millet – 1 1/2 cups
  • Ulundhu not split/dehusked black gram – 1/2 cup
  • Vendhayam/fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • salt – as needed
  • oil – to make dosais

 

soaked

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and Soak all ingredients in enough water for a minimum 4 hrs
  2. Grind to a smooth batter
  3. Add salt to batter and leave to ferment for 6 hrs
  4. In a warm country, 6 hrs is enough and one can mix the fermented batter and keep it refrigerated for further use
  5. If in a cold country, leave it overnight
  6. Once fermented, always keep the batter refrigerated as it will go sour and get spoilt
  7. Make hot Dosais and serve with vengaya thuvayal /onion chutney or any chutney of choice
  8. After the dosais, more/buttermilk which is the diluted version of yoghurt with salt is served as coolant.

 

one side of the story

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and the other side

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To Make Dosais/Pancakes refer – https://dosaikal.com/2011/08/14/basic-dosaidosa/

and serve with chutney of choice – refer – https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/

 

if one prefers dehusked black gram – go for it

IMG_5019 - Copy

 

Note

  1. The black gram generally used is dehusked whole black gram. I prefer to use black gram with skin which adds to the nutrient value of the dosai.
  2. Be careful with the fermentation as the batter would become sour very quickly. Minimum 4 hrs is enough in a warm climate
  3. This is the plain dosai. If one prefers, grinding red chillies together or mixing coconut just before making Dosais can be a variation. Do not mix coconut before fermentation as coconut would be spoilt and make the batter spoilt too.
  4. Buttermilk is had after the Dosai as kezhvargi/ragi is supposed to be a heat producing grain and the onion in chutney and more/buttermilk act as coolants.
  5. Can make the Dosais thick or crispy thin as preferred.

Not to miss:

  1. Since Kezvaragu is supposed to be a heat producing agent for the body, it is always had with shallots/onion thuvayal/chutney.
  2. After a breakfast with onion chutney and dosai, buttermilk or diluted yoghurt is always served as a coolant.
  3. It is preferably or rather specifically adviced to have it only as breakfast and not for dinner as it needs more time to digest.

All nutritional facts adapted from http://naturopathycure.com/Health-Benefits-of-Finger-Millet-%28Ragi%29.php

ready!

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Paasi Paruppu Sundal/Stir fried Dehusked Green Gram Salad

 

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Here comes another Sundal/stir fried lentil to end the navaratri season. But sundals are not the sole speciality foods of Navaratri alone. They are very simple recipes yet highly potential protein foods providing essential nutrients to the body, both children and elders alike.

As I had mentioned in earlier posts, sundals can be a substitute to fried starters in parties; nutritious snack than junk food during relaxing times. Especially for kids returning from school, sundal can be an excellent source of nutritious energy – now stop them grab their white flour butter cookies out of tiredness and hunger!

Call Sundal, Stir Fried Lentil as well as Salad – is this right?- Omit the seasoning, add carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and don’t hesitate to choose from your favourite salad veggies to the boiled lentil to make it a healthy salad.
Paasi Paurppu Sundal/Stir Fried Dehusked Green Gram Salad

 

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Mung dal is high in fiber, low in saturated fat, low in sodium, and contains no cholesterol. Because of the wide range of nutrients contained in mung dal, these legumes offer a whole host of health benefits for the immune system, the metabolism, the heart and other organs, cell growth, protection against free radicals, and diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Here is a list of the nutrients that mung dal provides:

· Protein

· Vitamin C

· Folic acid or folate

· Iron

· Zinc

· Potassium

· Magnesium

· Copper

· Manganese

· Phosphorus

· Thiamine

https://www.doctorblossom.com/index.php/nutrition-a-recipes/155

 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • paasi paruppu/dehusked green gram – 1 cup
  • yennai/oil – 2 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1/2 tsp
  • vengayam/onions – 1 no. or chinna vengayam/shallots – 4 no.s
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – a few
  • pachai milagai/green chillies – 2 no.suppu/salt – to taste
  • perungayam/asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

 

Method of Preparation

  1. Chop onions finely and slit the green chillies; red chillies can also be added or substituted
  2. Wash and soak dehusked green gram in enough water for 2 hrs
  3. By 2 hrs, the lentil would have become softer and bigger in size – cook the lentil in a pan with the same soaked water
  4. Do not cook this lentil in a pressure cooker as it would mash very fast
  5. Keep checking for water and be alert not to overcook; If water is evaporated, the lentil might be burnt or if it is overcooked, it might be mashed while seasoning
  6. Once the lentil is cooked, switch off stove and keep aside
  7. If there is excess water after cooking, drain away
  8. Heat oil in a pan, let mustard seeds splutter and add dehusked black gram
  9. Add chopped onions, curry leaves and green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes
  10. Then add cooked lentil and salt and mix well
  11. Mix carefully that the lentil remains in perfect shape
  12. Sprinkle asafoetida powder and switch off stove
  13. Sundal is ready.

 

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Inippu/Vella-k-kozhukkattai/Jaggery Rice Dumplings – Steamed

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Pillayar Chathurthi/Ganesh Chathurthi/Vinayaka Chathurthi falls on September 9 this year. It is Poorana Kozhukkattai – Stuffed rice dumplings or Modhakam the favourite of most of the households. (For Modhakam – see modhakam-pillayar-chaturthi-special.) There can be variations in the stuffing too – coconut-jaggery filling or sesame-jaggery. I hear some make kadalai paruppu/Channa Dhal – jaggery filling in their Poorana Kozhukkattai! Uppu Kozhukkattai (pidi-kozhukkattai-karamsalted-rice-dumplings) and Vella-k-kozhukkattai are the dumplings which have no stuffing but a mixture of few ingredients to make the kozhukkattai sweet or spicy.

Vella-k-kozhukkattai is the sweet rice dumpling. Vellam means Jaggery in Tamil language and Kozhukkattai is Rice Dumpling. The taste of coconut and jaggery blended with cardamom powder tastes heavenly and is versatile in south indian cooking.  It can be made as Poorana Kozhukkattai/Modhakam, Poli – sweet stuffed chappathis (poli-a-different-story/) or non-stuffed plain-mixed rice dumpling, which is what I am writing about today – Vella-k-Kozhukkattai!

This steamed rice dumpling has the simple mix of grated coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder with the core ingredient – rice flour. This is yet another version of ‘Pidi Kozhukkattai’ – Given the shape by pressing with hands! This can be a healthy snack for children any time – and what more those little hands can make their own shapes and munch them too!!

For the initial procedures of grinding rice flour and roasting it to be ready to make dumplings – please see https://dosaikal.com/2013/07/29/pidi-kozhukkattai-karamsalted-rice-dumplings. We directly move on to make the dough ready for kozhukkattai.
Vella-k-Kozhukkattai/Steamed Sweet Rice Dumplings(with Jaggery)

Ingredients

  • arisi maavu/rice powder – 1 cup
  • vellam/jaggery – 1/2 cup (for the sweet toothed can make 3/4)
  • thengai thuruval/grated coconut – 1/2 cup or more as per taste
  • elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • thanneer/water – 3/4 cup
  • nallennai/gingelly oil – 1 tsp to grease hands and 1 tsp to grease vessel/idli plate

 

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Method of Preparation
  1. Dry roast the ground rice flour to take away the raw smell out of it
  2. Sieve the flour, remove granules away and take the required quantity of smooth flour in a wide bowl to mix all the ingredients in
  3. Mix grated coconut and cardamom powder to rice flour
  4. Dissolve jaggery in water and strain for impurities
  5. Boil jaggery-water in sim position for 3 minutes – this would not make a thick syrup but yet a thin syrup which will blend well with rice flour
  6. Pour the hot syrup on rice flour and mix well into a soft dough
  7. Add jaggery syrup carefully because more water might make the dough sticky.  Stop when you feel water is enough to make a soft dough
  8. Half teaspoon of nei/clarified butter can be melted and pour in the dough for some festive aroma, which is purely optional
  9. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry
  10. Slightly grease hands with gingelly oil/clarified butter, so that dough doesn’t stick to hands
  11. Take small portions in hand and press slightly with fingers, to get the beautiful impression of fingers in the rice dough
  12. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.
  13. Always grease the bowl/idli vessel before placing kozhukkattais to steam. This helps dumplings from not sticking to the vessel
  14. Inippu Vella-k-Kozhukkattai/Sweet Jaggery Dumpling is ready.

 

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Notes:
  1. Since the rice flour is dry roasted, cooking time is less.
  2. Always sieve the ground flour after roasting. Granules tend to form while roasting.
  3. Always make thin jaggery syrup first and filter as jaggery of any kind would have mud/sand particles in it.
  4. Too thick a syrup would make dumplings harder – Be careful not to make a thick syrup .
  5. I somehow feel comfortable with the syrup if boiled a little while. So, I let the jaggery water boil a bit but yet not loose its thin consistency. Then add to rice flour-coconut-cardamom powder mixture.
  6. Thin jaggery syrup should be boiling hot. By this, the rice flour becomes cooked a bit.
  7. If one is using rice flour from shops, use the flour meant for Idiyappam-string hoppers and do not forget to roast it a bit.
  8. Thick dough might make dumplings hard and sticky dough might not result in dumplings at all. A slightly soft yet tight dough is needed for soft kozhukkattais.
  9. Any problem with the shape, just make small balls and steam.
  10. Both Kaara-k-Kozhukkattai and Vella-k-kozhukkattai would become dry too quick. For immediate consumption, keep in a hot case. Or else, cover it well and lightly steam before serving. Never leave it open.

 

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Pidi Kozhukkattai -Karam/Salted Rice Dumplings-Spicy

 

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Kozhukkattai is a steamed rice dumpling made sweet or salt. We had already seen the stuffed version of Kozhukkattai before – (https://dosaikal.com/2011/09/14/modhakam-pillayar-chaturthi-special). Poorana Kozhukkattai or Modhakam has the filling of coconut and jaggery inside, and are steamed till done.

These Kozhukkattais are called PIDI KOZHUKKATTAIs,  as they are given their shape with hands. ‘Pidi’ in Tamil means ‘to hold’. They have no filling inside but several ingredients are mixed to the ground rice flour to be made into a dough. The sweet or salted dough is shaped into beautiful dumplings by pressing with fingers. These are also called Uppu Kozhukkattai which means salt dumplings.
About Kozhukkattai…

Kozhukkattais can be an evening snack on weekends after a lazy nap;

a healthy snack when kids come back from school, hungry to fall prey to some junk food;

why not…. can be a wonderful finger food/starter in a dinner served with any spicy chutney (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys).

Above all, not so simple it might look, but made frequently, Kozhukkattais can be a simple breakfast or dinner menu for light eaters! To add variety to a breakfast or dinner – make both salt and the sweet versions.

Ko-ZHU-kkattai – ‘Zhu’ is not pronounced ‘su’ or ‘zu’. The word is not pronounced kozukkattai. ‘ZHA’ is the twisted tongue version of ‘la’. The tongue is twisted towards the inner portion of the upper jaw to get the sound of ‘zha’. This letter ‘ZHA’ is the speciality letter of Tamil language. Malayalam also has the letter as it is the latest language to have parted from its elder sister – Tamil. Malayalam still possesses some authentic and long forgotten pure words of Tamil Language.

The word TAMIL itself is pronounced ‘TAMIZH’. For easier comprehension and pronounciation, it is written as TAMIL. The people – the Tamils – are proud of their speciality letter – but is that anymore – only Tamils/Tamizhs can answer!?

 

Kozhukkattai is the favourite food of Lord Ganesha.  Sweet jaggery filled Modhakams, Ellu Urundai (Sweet Sesame Balls), Uppu Kozhukkattai (Steamed Salted Rice Dumplings), Inippu/Vella Kozhukkattai (Steamed Sweet Rice Dumplings) and Appam (Wheat-Banana-jaggery Fritters) are some of the speciality foods made on the special day.  The special celebration dedicated to Lord Ganesha or Pillayar as he is called in Tamilnadu, Pillayar Chaturthi falls in September.

Why am I posting the Uppu Kozhukkattai so soon?  There is a special reason behind it.

June and July were summer holiday months in Cambodia. Now, with a six year old getting bored at home, I had to make some arrangements to keep her busy… yet interested! Myself and my daughter charted out a time-table for seven days of the week – Arts, Music, Chess, Maths, Tamil language, English Writing, Swimming and COOKING! We baked some cakes, made some potato snacks and not to mention those flop cookies which were burnt!

And when I had to think hard of something which is easy as well as healthy for kids to make and munch, these Kozhukkattais came in. It is such a pleasure to see her write her own recipe book with her cookery class recipes. We made both the salt and sweet version of rice dumplings.

That is why Kozhukkattais before Pillayar Chaturthi!! This time it is Uppu Kozhukkattai – Salt Kozhukkattai. Also called Kara Kozhukkattai or Spicy Kozhukkattai- with added red chillies.

 

Rice Powder

 

soaked raw rice being dried

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rice – powdered

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The basic ingredient for the dumplings is the rice powder, made from Raw Rice. Kozhukkattais taste best with freshly ground rice powder. This is how I made it –

  1. Soak Raw Rice for two hours in water.
  2. Strain water and spread the rice in a clean cloth
  3. Let the rice dry in shade inside home
  4. When the rice has dried 75%, dry grind in a mixer to make a powder
  5. The dried rice should be still wet a bit, able to be powdered but would not become a paste
  6. Soak the quantity of rice that can be ground in your dry grinder; Use as needed and store the rest
  7. After grinding, dry roast the rice powder, then sieve it to remove the granules of rice (see picture)
  8. Dry Roasting of rice powder helps in storage
  9. Use it within a week kept in freezer
  10. If kept in normal temperature, use within a couple of days in humid temperatures.

 

always sieve flour after roasting to remove granules

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Uppu Kozhukkattai/Kara Kozhukkattai – Salt and Spicy Rice Dumplings

 

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Ingredients (makes 20-25 dumplings)

  • pacharisi maavu/raw rice flour –  2 cups
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • thanneer/water – 1 1/2 cups or a little more or less
  • yennai/oil – 1 tbsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/dehusked black gram – 1 tsp
  • milagai vatral/red chillies – 2 no.s split (according to taste preference and spiciness of the chillies used)
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves – optional – a few

 

mixed dough

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Method of Preparation

  1. Dry roast the ground rice flour to take away the raw smell out of it
  2. Sieve the flour, remove granules away and take the required quantity of smooth flour in a wide bowl to mix all the ingredients in
  3. Heat oil in a pan; Add mustard seeds and let them splutter
  4. Add dehusked black gram and when it turns golden, add red chillies and curry leaves
  5. Pour over rice flour and mix well
  6. Boil water with salt in a pan
  7. Pour boiling water into the rice flour mixture carefully. Carefully because more water might make the dough sticky
  8. Make a dough which is neither sticky nor dry
  9. Take a small portion in hand and press slightly with fingers, to get the beautiful impression of fingers in the rice dough
  10. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Serve with coconut chutney or any spicy chuntey.

 

ready to be steamed

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Note:

  1. Since the rice flour is dry roasted, cooking time is less.
  2. Always sieve the ground flour after roasting. Granules tend to form while roasting.
  3. Over steamed dumplings might become harder. Be careful on that.
  4. Water should be boiling hot.
  5. If one is using rice flour from shops, use the flour meant for Idiyappam-string hoppers.
  6. Thick dough might make dumplings hard and sticky dough might not result in dumplings at all. A slightly soft yet tight dough is needed for soft kozhukkattais.
  7. Any problem with the shape, just make small balls and steam.

 

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Idli – Steamed Rice Cakes

Idli is a breakfast food of south india. Very light and fluffy, easy to digest and very healthy – no oil involved and no frying – hurrah – it is steamed! It is the same fermented batter we saw for dosai – the combination of parboiled rice and dehusked black gram. It goes generally like this – idlis for breakfast, rice and curries for lunch and dosais for dinner. Idlis and dosais can be interchanged between breakfasts and dinners. Idlis are had with different kinds of chutneys (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/) and sambars.

When one has a stomach upset, fever or the simplest ailment of all – laziness – if the batter is already made and stored in fridge – not to worry at all – quick and easy – soft and fluffy – idlis can take care of most of the simple health problems.

Idlis are usually never steamed beforehand and stored in hotcases. People get ready to go to the dining table – the women of the house start steaming idlis. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to be ready. They go piping hot from the steaming mould to the breakfast or dinner plates or banana leaves. Immediately greased with ghee or gingelly oil as per preference and without delay soaked in sambar with a roll of the day’s chutney – are transferred straight into the tummy after some teeth work!

How much impatient a person might be, he would always be patient to wait for the steaming hot idlis. When thatha/grandfather is called to the breakfast table, he takes his plate, serves himself chutney and starts tapping the table like a tabla player, patiently waiting for not less than 5 minutes till idlis are ready to arrive on his plate.

When there are four or five members on the breakfast table or traditionally on the floor, each gets two idlis initially. By the time these are done, there might be a waiting time for quick eaters – till the next set arrives from the steamer. There is no problem waiting – what is most important is the piping hot soft texture of Idlis!

Truly, the lifetime of Idlis is too short. If we calculate from the time they are steamed to the time they go to the plate and within seconds they enter one’s food system – poor idlis… they live for a very little time – but deliver so well in such a short life span!

modern idli cooker

 

traditional idli kopparai

 

Idli/Steamed Rice Cakes

Ingredients

Idli Batter – as needed (https://dosaikal.com/tag/idli/dosa-batter/)

Method of Preparation

  1. Idli is made from a mould. The modern idli cooker generally has a stand with 4 layers or more – each plate makes 4 idlis
  2. The traditional idli maker is called Idli Kopparai – the idlis are comparatively bigger in size – the idli kopparai I have makes 13 idlis at a time – quite big ones
  3. Boil water in the steamer vessel 
  4. Grease the idli moulds with very little oil – this helps idlis to come out easily
  5. Mix the batter well and pour into mould till 3/4th to give space to rise well
  6. Steam in medium heat for 10 minutes
  7. To check whether idlis are done, prick either with a toothpick or knife – it should come out clean

 idli in mould

 

bowl with water and ladle

 

 

 To remove Idlis from mould

  1. Take a small bowl with water
  2. Easiest article to take idlis out is the plastic ladle of mixer grinder
  3. After the idlis are done, take the moulds out of the steamer and wait for 2 minutes
  4. Taking the idlis immediately out of the moulds might disfigure the idlis
  5. Dip the ladle in water and remove idlis
  6. Serve idlis with the day’s chutney (https://dosaikal.com/category/chutneys/), sambar or gun powder chutney.

steamed idlis