Monday, August 6, 2012

Indian Vegan healthy Sannas(Idli) Steamed rice cakes and coconut chutney

My mom was grown in her native place Mangalore(Karnataka), south India. She came to mumbai(Maharashtra) as a teenager and  she built her career as a fashion designer(in today's world) or in other words as seamtress. she was very known for what she did. Her specialty was a good fashion designer, a good cook, a good mum and a very good friend for parenting and advising.
She made her native dish "Sannas" in other south regional language it was called "Idli". The only difference in sannas and idli was this. In sannas, they added Thodi(a pungent) drink extracted from the coconut family. Thodi is added to the sannas while fermenting the rice batter overnite. It gives sannas a moist, soft texture. Thodi is usually available in Karnataka(coastal areas). So it is hard to find anywhere else. So I am making this recipe hand me down from my mum without using thodi or thadi. My mom resides in Mumbai. Here you go mom.  Thumbs up!
 Remember, you will need a steamer to steam these rice cakes. In India, or any indian stores, the steam cake cooker is readilly available. If you have ramikins, you can steam in that too. The Indian steamer for rice cakes are pre made and round in shape. You have to grease the shapes with canola oil or spray. So that you can pour the batter in these mini circular. You need little water(2-3 cups) at the base, then you stack the rice cake racks one by one on top of each other and close the lid. Steam it for 20-25 minutes and let it cool down. Then try to take rice cakes one by one.
Batter kept overnite for fermentation
2 cups par boiled rice(normal long grain rice is fine) soak in water for 4-5 hours
1/4 cup split black gram(urad dal) 1 hour before you grind
Enough water for grinding(making a paste)
Grind the rice flour with the lentil in a grinder or mixer by adding enough water to grind. Make sure it is not too water or too thick. Grind rice and lentils in batches and pour in a pot. If you want to make steamed rice instantly, then you can add yeast as per directions and quantity needed. All you need is a 1/4 tsp yeast to add. If you are not in a hurry then you can prepare the mix a day prior and keep it overnite to ferment. Add salt to taste and leave it overnight. Make sure that the batter is near warm place for the batter to ferment and rise up, otherwise it will take longer time to ferment.
steamed rice/lentil cakes
When the batter is risen, add in batches thne rice lentil batter to the pre-sprayed rice steamer and steam for 20-15 minutes. let it sit and cool for 8 minutes and then try to take the rice cakes off. Rice cakes are tasty to eat with Coconut chutney or vegetable Sambhar(mix).
Coconut chutney is a typical condiment that is served with South Indian dishes, especially Idlis and Dosas. In fact, meals in South India are considered incomplete, without this chutney. It has great texture and a unique taste that compliments many dishes.
Recipe to make green coconut chutney

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut or frozen or dry coconut(soaked in 3/4 cup water)
  • 2 tablespoon chana dal
  •  1/2 cup cilantro washed
  •  1/4 cup mint leaves
  •  Salt to taste
  • 2  green chilies cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  •  2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Approximately 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (if needed)

  • For Seasoning
    • 1 tsp coconut/olive  oil
    • pinch of asafetida
    • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seed(for tempering)
    • 2 red chilies broken in pieces
    • 6 to 8 curry leaves (1 sprig)
    1. Roast chana dal on medium heat until it is light brown in color and has a roasted aroma.
    2. Coarsely grind chana dal in a blender.
    3. Add Coconut, mint leaves , cilantro, green chilies and salt and continue blending into the paste.
    4. Add water, as needed, to help with the grinding. Adding the coconut in small amounts also helps this process.
    5. Before removing from blender, taste chutney to adjust the salt and pepper. Use lemon juice to adjust the sour taste as per your liking. Blend well.
    Seasoning(Tadka) or tempering the chutney
    1. Heat oil in small pan, when hot, add black mustard seeds and wait till they crack.
    2. Add asafetida, red chilies and curry leaves.
    3. Pour the seasoning mixture over the chutney.
    Note: Coconut chutney can be refrigerated up to a week.

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