This is a semi dry chutney with just 4 ingredients: cilantro, red chilies, tamarind, urad dal. And salt, and hing. Pairs perfectly with idli, dosai, rice, anything you’d have a chutney to go with. It’s really neither a chutney nor a powder (podi) – it’s not a runny, watery paste like a chutney, nor is it completely dry like a podi. There is a little moisture from the cilantro, but it’s on the dry side. Simple to make, lasts in the refrigerator for about a month easily.
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.
A satisfying starter, tea time snack. Somewhat healthy! Steamed potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots mashed with onions, ginger, chilies, dipped in a batter of chick pea and rice flour, and deep fried. While you can make this with just potatoes, the addition of vegetables adds some color and a lovely dimension to the dish.
Rasam is what I crave when we’ve been traveling or eating out too much. And on those days when I simply don’t want to mess with soaking tamarind, waiting for the toor dal to cook, and make rice in a different pot. A few years ago, I came across this method where you can make it all in one go and tried it in my pressure pan – this was before the OPOS days. Now, I have started using my instant pot for the same, and even the extra step of watching and turning it off is eliminated. It’s ready with minimal prep – no soaking tamarind, no making a pot of rasam, and rice separately, no waiting for dal to cook. All the ingredients go in the instant pot together, pressure cooked for 15 minutes, and a simple rasam rice is yours – hot, steaming, and will soothe your soul in under 30 minutes. And it tastes heavenly!
This is one of the simplest curries, with minimum ingredients and comes together in literally 10 minutes, after prep. Pairs excellent with rotis. I love to just eat it like a soup. The mild tasting, water-laden lauki/doodhi/sorakai is satisfying in its rustic simplicity. Requires no onion, garlic or complicated masalas.
It is known as bottle gourd in English. Cooks very quickly.