For all these however, a mandatory accompaniment is the coconut chutney. There are various other options such as different Chutney Pudis, Sambhar etc but for me Coconut chutney is a must. This weekend's menu was Idli with Chutney & Sambhar.
One of the major problems here is that the batter does not ferment properly, however hard I try. I have tried all the available tricks, even added yeast once in desperation, resulting in a fluffy risen batter but the taste was not the same. Due to this, the necessity of a 'proper' Coconut chutney increases even more. This balances out the flaws in the resulting Idlis (A bit flat & a little hard to be precise!)
The next problem was the coconut itself! First, to find a decent one and then to grate/grind it. Back at home in India we used what is called Ilige in kannada and Vili in Marathi. Without that however, it was a pain to grate it on a normal grater or to first chop the coconut into small pieces and then grind it. This problem was solved on my last trip to India when I got this from Pune.
I don't know what this is called but it has proved to be very handy for me in the kitchen as far as coconut is concerned.
Now another part of this problem was because of the mixer I have here. I was lucky enough to find a Mixer-Blender with a mill attachment, which can be used to grind things as opposed to only the blender, not at all suitable for heavy grinding. But the attachment has its own limitations. Basically it is not meant for wet grinding. But I am still managing with it and using water & liquids while grinding in spite of the instructions that tell me not to do so!
That's enough of my kitchen woes, let me come to the actual recipe now. The recipe for Idli is not a part of this post since I used ready mix for it, which I have found, is better than the unfermented home made batter although not the same as the original one!
- 2 cups fresh grated coconut
- 4-5 Green Chilies (depending on how hot you can take)
- 2-3 cloves Garlic
- 2" piece of Ginger
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 2 tblsp curd
- 2 tblsp ground Dalia (roasted split chickpea)
- 1 tsp Sugar
For the tempering
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
- 6-8 Curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Optional, I haven't used it in this one)
Grind together all the ingredients using a little water. The amount of water depends on how thin or thick you want the chutney to be.
The ground Dalia gives body to the chutney, avoiding the runny consistency, in addition to enhancing the taste of the Chutney.
Prepare the tempering, add it to the Chutney & mix well.
This chutney is ideal with Idli, Dosa, Wada, Paddu etc. It can also be used as a spread for Toasts and Sandwiches.