Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Idli - 2

I am on a Idli trip now. During my childhood, breakfast consisted of Idlis fo 6 days a week. On the 7th day we had Dosai(as we pronounce it, not Dosa). Despite my lean build (then) I could eat n number of Idlis. A good Idli breakfast needs an equally good side dish. In this we had variety - Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Paruppu Thogayal, Milaga Thogayal, Thakkali Thokku, Kathirikkai Kosumalli, Sambar, Vengaya Sambhar, Milagai Podi, Thirakkal (this is a chettinadu special item - made with Potatoes) and some times the previous day's Kulambu.

Idlis must be had piping hot. In our area when people say enough, the host will reply , "Wait, there is a new batch of piping hot idlis. Have one more". And invariably the guest will end up eating more than he had planned. A touch of Nallennai is absolutely necessary for that divine experience.

Having had such wonderful Idlis at home, I wasn't prepared for what the college mess served as Idli. As any good cook would say Idli needs Urad dhal and Rice in the ratio of 1:2. Since Rice is cheaper than Dhal, they add more rice and that make the Idlis rock solid. But my love for Idlis overcame such trivial matters and Idli was the only dish I ate wholeheartedly at college.

Sometime back I came across Santosh's blog on Idlis and wrote an impromptu verse as comment there. Here I reproduce my tribute to Idlis.



Idli on wikipedia

20 comments:

WA said...

Mummy :(( :((

Krithiga said...

This is the second best food-post that makes my mouth water (inspite of eating Idly + Sambhar very frequently). The best food related post that made my mouth water was this. (inspite of me being somewhere between a vegetarian and a vegan)

Chenthil said...

WA, I did think of you when I wrote this post :-)

Krithika, that was a great post by Samanth.

Thangavel said...

Chenthil, My e mail: thangavelg@gmail.com

Nilu said...

Sometimes, in their ignorance, a lot of people over emphasize the 'softness aspect' of Idli. While its easy to make it soft, its actually quite an art to make is taste "complete". Most 'soft idlis' are euphemisms for undercooked or under aerated idlis.

People, let me tell you something - more than the standard Urad Dal/Rice ratio, which is straight forward, its the amount of salt you use that interferes with the fermentation and therefore results in fluffiness or otherwise.

Chenthil said...

Nilu, agree with you on that. Salt and fermentation are important factors. The Idli should not be soft and messy. It should be soft enough to bite into, but at the same time should not be messy to stick in your fingers.

Nilu said...

And forgot to add - your grandma might have been a fabulous cook once. But you would have noticed her 'idlis' suck. That is because old people are used to cooking with non iodized 'kal uppu'. But these days, all you get is iodized salt. I think there is even a law to that effect.

There is a world of difference in the fermentation between the two varieties of salt.

Ram said...

Nilu,

Ellathayum therinja madiri comments everywhere.

If people find faults with your analysis/logic/theories you block their comments and delete all previous comments, and claim that it was not entertaining. (That includes the stupid math theories you came up with a couple of weeks back)

Korangu madiri hop to every blog and sh*t everywhere. And if people refute, you can call then stupid and delete their comments.

Chenthil, sorry for the digression. Read your Idli 1 and Idli 2 posts and was totally irritated by Nilu's comments here.

Anu said...

Well said Ram.

What irritates me about Nilu is that he calls anybody a moron if they have a different opinion. Here for example, why am i ignorant if i say i like Idlis when they are soft. Whats the over emphasizing here. He says idli tasting complete is more important than idli being soft. Why? Can i call Nilu stupid now coz in my opinion neither is the taste nor is the softness important. Only that idli is great that fills me up. I neither care for the softness nor for the taste.

Nilu, if all you wanted to do was brag about your knowledge in fermentation, you could have said, yeah ferment it properly remembering the role of salt in it and shut your mouth up. We would have enjoyed the tip. Why did you have to show that you are god because you know how to ferment and that all other beings that dont know to ferment are stupid. I dont think you need to know how to cook to appreciate how tasty the food is.

Nilu said...

:))

Chen, I seem to spin entertainment in more areas than one :P

Anonymous said...

Adhu seri Naina, avanga solra madhiri kelvi'ku badhil enga? ROmba naal idhey reason koduthu dabaikka mudiyaadhu.

Anonymous said...

ooooooooooo..........

that's a lot of anger over what I wonder? Hey chen what's happening here?

Chenthil said...

Anu, Ram and others - please flame Nilu in his blog. Thanks.

Nilu, I checked with my mom and was in for a surprise. Though the cook books say 1:4 for Dhal/Rice ratio, in my house they make it in the ration of 1:6. Also we still use Kal Uppu and not table salt. So your theory fails there.

tilotamma said...

Chen, thanks for chasing the irate mob away :-).

name of store in alwarpet etc, or do u not want too much publicity?

Chenthil said...

She hasn't started supplying to Niligiris and all yet. It is just the neighbourhood nadar kadai. Many people come home and buy it. The batter is sealed in 600-700g packs.

Chakra Sampath said...

I did enjoy this post despite me being an all time Idli hater.

tilotamma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chenthil said...

What to do, I am like that only :-)

ammani said...

Bet the idlis are lovely. But my house is an idli-free zone. :D

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