Thursday, March 23, 2006

Idiyappam with Vegetable Kurma

Idiyappam / Sevai / Sandavai / Stringhoppers - Call it by any name, I Love Idiyappams - both types - one that my mom makes at home and also the ones that restaurants serve. You might wonder what the difference is. Well, there are two types of Idiyappam - based on the method that it is prepared. First method is the long process - where the rice is soaked for 5 hrs and ground to a batter and idlis are made of this rice batter. The idlis are then pressed using a special equipment called 'Sandavai Nazhi / Sevai Nazhi' to get strings of rice noodles which are ready to eat. This is what my mother makes. I'll write more about this, in my next post.

Second method is the easy method - Here the rice is made into a flour and stored for later use. This flour is mixed with salted hot water to form a thick dough and the dough is pressed through small discs with tiny holes using a 'murukku maker / chakli maker'. These strings are pressed on a plate and steamed. This is the method that is predominantly followed in Kerala and Srilanka and all the restaurants. The beautiful white color comes from the rice - raw rice (Pacharisi) is used here (Not parboiled / boiled rice / ukkada chaval that we normally use for Idlis).

In the below picture, I used the frozen Idiyappam from Indian store and thawed it and microwaved it for 2 mins. This Idiyappam was prepared using the second method mentioned above. It is very easy to make this at home. My special recipe book ('Arusuvai Amudham' by Srimati P.V.Rajammal - will write about this in one of the next few posts) has a wonderful recipe for this kind of Idiyappam. Let me share it with you here.

Preparation of the flour: Soak 1 kg raw rice (Pacharisi) in water for 2 hrs and wash it very well. Dry it on a thick towel for a few hrs and then make a fine flour out of this. (Like puttu flour, but even finer than that) using an industrial grinder or a mixie for small quantities. Cover this flour in a cloth and steam it (in a idli maker or pressure cooker, without whistle) for 10 mins or so, until the flour doesn't stick to your hands, when touched. This can be done in batches because 1 kg flour will not contain in the steamer at one go. Break all the lumps in this and dry it in hot sun for an hour. Sieve it once and let it dry in hot sun for another 2 hours or so, until the flour is totoally dry. If you let it dry in hot sun, the flour will stay fresh for a long time. Store in an airtight container.

Making the Idiyappam: Take required amount of the above Idiyappam flour. Boil water in a small pan, with required amount of salt. Pour this hot salted water into the flour and mix it well using a steel ladle. Beware, it will be very hot. This should come to the consistency of the dough of murukku/chakli dough. Heat water in the Idli steamer or pressure cooker and line each idli plate with a wet cloth. These days, there are special idiyappam steamers available in the market (Sorry, don;'t have one, so, no picture!), but it's easy to make Idiyappam with idli plates. Apply ghee on the insides of the murukku maker so the dough doesn't stick to it. Use the sev maker disc (one with the tiny holes in it) for making Idiyappam. Put the dough in and press the murukku maker, go in circles on the Idli plates. Repeat the same process for all the idli plates. Steam for 8-10 mins and serve piping hot with the below Kurma. Some people also eat it with ghee, coconut and sugar. Some people eat it with sweetened coconut milk. I love it with Kurma.
Vegetable Kurma - S.Indian Restaurant style
Potato - 1
Carrot - 2
Green beans - handful
Green peas - 1 cup
Onions - 1, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Warm Milk - 1 cup
Yogurt - 3 tbsp
Coconut milk - 2-3 tbsp

Wet Masala:
Green chillies - 4
Salt - a pinch
Garlic - 2-3 cloves
Ginger - 1"
Cinnamon - 2 small sticks
Clove - 2
Poppy seeds/ Khus Khus - 1 tbsp (soaked in 4 tbsp water for 20 mins)
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dhalia or roasted channa dal - 1 tsp (or cashews - 4)

Grind the ingredients for wet masala, to a fine paste.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan (not cast iron) and saute the onions, till they turn translucent. Add the other veggies (all cut to the same size, see picture) and saute for 2 mins. Sprinkle some water (1-2 tbsp) and let it cook covered. (Alternatively, you can cook the vegetables, in the microwave, with 2 tbsp water for 4-5 mins- The container should be tightly wrapped with a paper towel. Without paper towel, the vegetables will dry out.)
When the vegetables are half cooked, add the ground masala+turmeric powder+salt and some water and stir once. Let the vegetables cook. Once the vegetables are done, reduce the flame and add the yogurt and stir once. after 2-3 mins, when the yogurt has fully mixed with the masala and it comes to a boil, switch the stove off and add the milk and coconut milk. Leave it on the stove for 10 mins, for the flavors to fuse together. Serve hot with Idiyappam or S.Indian style Parotta or Idli / Dosas. This Kurma tastes very similar to one served with Idiyappam or Parotta at S.Indian restaurants.


Kitchenmate said...

You are stunning Kay, look at those Kurmas... drooling while waiting:), you are returning to your form buddy, ask me what is this so called morning sickness? never heard of it????

Priya said...

Hi Kay,
The pics 'look' delicious...thats all u have offered us..:-( Eagerly waiting for the recipes...the tomato kurma in the above pics looks great too...I am going to make it the day u post the recipe..:-) I have some idiyappam noodles packet I got from India was probably waiting for u to post on ur blog :-)

Priya said...

Hi Kay,
The pics 'look' delicious...thats all u have offered us..:-( Eagerly waiting for the recipes...the tomato kurma in the above pics looks great too...I am going to make it the day u post the recipe..:-) I have some idiyappam noodles packet I got from India was probably waiting for u to post on ur blog :-)

Tanuja said...

Kay ur Idiyappam and vegetable kurma vu cool. I feel if i get chance to stay next to ur house that would make me lucky u do great cooking:)

Gini said...

Is that some kind of a tease...just pics. Anyway, those idiyappams look perfect.

Lera said...

Kay, Amazing pic...did you make this neat looking idiyappam..? Great combo! can't resist, looking fwd to see the recipes...plan to make this weekend for BF :)

Menu Today said...

Hi Kay,
Your idiappam looks so yummy!!!!!
I usually have it with stew or sothi.

Kay said...

Thanks Karthi! Morning sickness? What's that? :P Just hang on, I'm about to post these recipes.

Thanks Priya, another 30 mins and it will be ready. ok?

Thanks Tanuja, If you ever visit Toronto, you know whom to visit :) Come by any time! And I'll cook for you.

Gini! No tease, not at all! I was trying to post the recipes yesterday and something important came up.. I had to leave this midway. Thanks buddy!

Thanks Lera! This Idiyappam is store bought, from Indian store/frozen section. But I'm about to write the recipe for that too. It's very easy actually.

Puspha said...

I love idiyapam with sambar & kesari. How do u like my combo?? :)

U know what, I´ve been craving for idiyapam for almost a mth. The problem is I do not know how to make it. Now I can make my own. thanx a lot for the recipe.

sailu said...

Drool worthy pictures,Kay.

Saffron said...

Lovely!! Hey, I left a comment on this the other day - before you posted the picture. It seems to have disappeared!!

That kurma of yours sure looks yummy!!

Have you tried making this with the readymade rice sticks? I do that all the time and it is effortless. I will post the recipe sometime.

Cheers and happy eating!

Shalini said...

idiyappam are my fav anyday, fortunate me i can have it anytime i want to... u r pics looks awesome, actually it resembles saravan bhavan's idiyappam - kurma...

pushpa, i like them too with sambar and kesari and actually sambar and kesari itself is gr8 combo...wat do u think???;-)

Kay said...

Thanks Menu today, Idiyappam with sodhi should taste yummy! :)

Pushpa!!!! Idiyappam with sambar and kesari?? REally? Wow! :) I just can't imagine. Sure, go ahead and try the recipe. I hope you like it.

Thanks Sailu!

Thanks Saffron hut, Sorry your comment went missing. I have used dried rice sticks (dried rice sevai) once at a friend's place and it was nice. I'll look forward for that in your blog! :)

Thanks Shalini, Now I'm jealous! Are you at chennai? Near Saravanabhavan? Don't tell me.
I was trying my best to imitate hotel Kurma that comes with Idiyappam and I think I might have come about 60% there.
Oh no! about idiyappam and kesari! Really? Maybe I'll have to give that combo a try too.. :)

Sumi said...

Hi Kay,

Good luck on your move to Toronto...Your Idiyappam looks refreshing.I think this is the favorite breakfast item of all people from the south..
I wanted to share one info to all of you.This time when I went to India, I got some packets of Idiyappam/puttu flour from food world in chennai.Those were excellent.Now I make easy Idiyappams in about 15 mins every week..ofcourse just for the two of us.So next time when any of you visit chennai, dont forget this flour.saves a lot of time in making the flour, that too with the weather in US(just one more item to squeeze into ur suitcase).

Anonymous said...

Thanks nice recipe... :)

Spicelover said...

Hi Kay
You have a great blog here.
Nice kurma. I usually have it with rotis or rice. should try with idiappam. Do checkout my version when get have a chance.

jeena said...

Mmmm your recipes look delicous!
you have Great blog from Jeena :)

visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

Geeta_Sathish said...


I tried your recipe for veg kurma today and it came out extremely tasty and identical to the ones that we get in SI restaurants.

Thanks a ton for sharing such an authentic recipe.


Anonymous said...

Hi ,
I tried the veg kurma today iT did turn out exactly as the one served in restaurants


Preethi said...

Thanks much for the kuruma receipe. I love it!!

Kay said...

Thanks guys, for letting me know. I'm glad you liked it.

Preethi Sriram said...

Wow mouth watering kurma... i'm trying your recipe today... will post you the taste feedback tomorrow for sure ....

Great Collections yar.... Good Learning spot for my creations dear...

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