Who doesn’t love a fresh from the oven, warm pretzel (or two!). One of the quintessential mall foods, my daughter and I decided we had to conquer this recipe during this quarantine period. And we’ve made it twice now, improving on technique, taste and texture each time. My daughter is definitely better at shaping them. I do the rest. If I close my eyes, I could almost believe I’m in some mall. So while it satisfies the pretzel craving, it also provides some retail therapy relief!
We had this sandwich this past weekend, after a trip to the local arboretum. We picked up the bread (a loaf of french baguette) and goat cheese, and had most of the other ingredients. It came together very quickly – the eggplant and the zucchini were cut into circlets and cooked very lightly with salt and pepper, the spread was made with goatcheese, sundried tomatoes, and herbs (I didn’t use most of the herbs, just the basil). It was amazing, satisfying. We had it with roasted corn with chaat masala – strange bedfellows, these two but it was a fantastic meal.
The sweetness and nuttiness of freshly grated coconut are enhanced by the mild heat from the chilies, and the fragrance of hing. A sublime experience, this coconut rice is. And gets ready in a jiffy.
Kanchipuram Idli – spiced with ginger in fresh and dried forms, pepper, cumin, kariveppelai (curry leaves), cashew nuts, and tempered in gingelly oil (nallennai/sesame oil) – just reading the description makes me almost drool. So named for its origins in (from who knows when) the temple kitchen (madapalli) of the Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal kovil, it’s been enjoyed by millions as a temple prasadam and in homes around the world. I was introduced to it quite late in my life when I got married and had it at my husband’s aunt’s place. I’ll admit – I wasn’t a huge fan initially. But my husband loves it to pieces. So, over the years, I’ve learned to make it (not frequently enough for him), and have grown to like, even love it. I simply love that it’s a temple prasadam. The temple kitchen uses only raw rice but at home we use an equal measure of raw and parboiled rices. Here’s the recipe.
While uthappam has its own traditional recipe, two day old idli or dosai batter makes wonderful uthappam, which is a slightly thick dosai. I dislike calling it pancakes – pancakes are more melt in your mouth, not much subtance/texture. Uthappam is a robust, spongy in the center and crispy in the edge, thick, smaller dosai. This version is spiced up with molagapodi (idli podi) and topped with onions and cilantro.