My favourite morning breakfast has always been idli- sambhar. I feel sambhar does not go well with either rice or roti. Its only soulmate is idli. However, chamanthy is equally good with idli. And if I get both with idli it is a match made in heaven.
The drawback of preparing sambhar is cutting lots of vegetables. Although there are miniature versions of sambhar with few or even one ingredient but my family never liked it that way. For that matter I like ladies finger in sambhar but my dad does not like. I like my soft veggies like ladies finger, drumstick to be cooked but retain it shape in sambhar and not just become a threaded mess. I guess to each his own.
Anyways this post is about Idli- chamanthy. You can find lots of recipes online for idli but I want to post this recipe that has been passed by my mother. Its special because we do not use Fenugreek. It is just rice and urad dal. And the Chamanthy is extra yummy if you get fresh coconut that has just crossed the stage of being tender coconut ( my house they call it pachcha tenga). This coconut provides a unique sweetness to the chamanthy.
So here we go,
For Idli Batter,
Idli Rice – 3 cups
Urad Dal – 1 cup
Cooked Boiled rice/ soaked puffed rice (aval) – Handful
Cold Water – 1 cup
- Soak Idli Rice and Urad Dal separately in water such that the rice and dal is immersed in water. Soak it overnight or at least 6-7 hours.
- Grind the urad dal finely adding little water. Remove it to a container.
- Take a handful of boiled rice or soaked aval in the grinder. To this add the soaked rice. Grind the rice finely adding little water at intervals. Ensure that it does not become watery. Add it to the container along with urad dal batter.
- Give a good mix. Leave it to ferment overnight or 6-7 hours.
Scraped fresh coconut- 1 cup
Ginger – 1 inch piece scraped and cut
Shallots – 3-4 pieces
Curry Leaves – 1 stem
Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon
Mustard – 1 teaspoon
Dry Red Chilly – 2
Oil – 2 tablespoon
Salt- As required
- In a mixie jar, add chopped ginger, 2 shallots, red chillies and coconut scrapings.
- Pulse it 2 times.
- Add little water. Pulse the mixie.
- Open the jar and with a spoon bring together the contents to the middle.
- Pulse it again so it forms a smooth velvety paste.
- Finely chop remaining shallots.
- Heat a kadai.
- Add oil.
- Once oil is hot, splutter some mustard seeds.
- Add the chopped shallots and fry till it is golden brown. Keep the flame on low heat.
- Add asafoetida powder.
- Add Curry leaves.
- Add the contents of the mixie jar and give a good mix.
- Add water to adjust the consistency. I like the chamanthy a little thick so I add little water.
- Add salt according to taste and stir continuously. Let it come to a boil. Remove from flame into another container.
- If you have high heat flame burner then after the onions are browned and curry leaves are added switch off the flame. Add the chamanthy content from mixie jar, add water and then start the stove again.
- If you forgot to soak rice/lentils in the night or did not find time, nothing to worry. Soak the rice and lentils half an hour before grinding in warm water and keep the lid closed. This will speed up the process. Then while grinding, ensure that you use Ice cold water to grind.
- If you do not get desired orangish colour with the dry red chillies then you can add chilli powder to enhance the colour.
- Grinding is the key to soft idlis and chamanthy. If not grinded to a smooth consistency then both will go off balance.