Archive for the ‘Steamed Food’ Category

Kadubu (Idli Tower)

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Tumbler idli, kadubu idli or idli tower is a fun way to make kids eat idli and it is also good once in a while for adults. Besides, if the idli plates are missing, you don’t have to wait. You can just scoop the batter into stainless steel moulds and make kadubu.

Tirumala-Tirupathi is a place everyone would have visited at least once. But I never(never means never) got a chance to go to Tirupathi. Every time I would plan a trip and some thing would turn up making me to postpone the trip. Every one our family has been there except me, from this new born kid to 80 year old gradmas. But after we got married, we had a week to pack up and land in the US. N had no problems with Tirupathi and he has been there many times even on a overnight trip from Bangalore.

Our return flight was on Saturday and on Tuesday, N suddenly wanted to go to Tirupathi before traveling back to the US as a couple. Though it was a hectic trip,I was happy that finally I got a chance to go there. N drove from Bangalore and mid way, the car tyre had a puncture and we had to stop, and it started raining as well. I almost thought I am never going to go see Venkateswara and I said to N that we should go back. But, there was this small repair shop nearby along with a small dhaba on the road. The folks there saw us and said they will fix the problem and till then we can wait in the dhaba. Seeing the food made there, N suddenly wanted to order kadubu(He talks non stop about woodies kadubu).

Eating that steaming hot kadubu with a spicy chutney and giggling in the rain, feeling so relaxed and content is one of my treasured memories. Soon, our car was fixed and we did manage to reach Tirupathi by around 10 pm in the night and finally, I had a chance to see Lord Balaji the next day(after a couple of hours in the queue). Nothing came to my mind as I stood there, just a moment of peace and as I was taking in the deity’s image inside, we were told to move. But I am so glad that we waited that day instead of turning back, it is going to be nearly 4 years and I haven’t made another visit to Thirumala.

The given recipe is the idli batter I made for kanjeepuram idli. But mid way, I changed my mind and made it as kadubu instead. Grinding for idli batter can be found from my previous post on Idli here

Ingredients (To make 3 tall kadubus)

Idli batter- 2 cups
Oil- 1 tsp (plus additional one tsp to grease the moulds)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Chana dal- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- few
Cilantro- few leaves
Finely chopped green chili- 1
Finely chopped ginger- 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped cashew nuts- 1 tsp
Grated carrot- 2 tbsp


Grease the cups or glasses to make kadubu and keep it aside. Make sure that you do not use glass bowls.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, chana dal,chopped green chili, ginger, turmeric powder and grated carrot and stir fry well for 2-3 minutes. Add cashews at the end and just stir fry once.

Transfer this fried contents to the idli batter and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and mix well again. Fill the moulds only to the half of their capacity with this idli batter (as the batter will increase in volume when it steams). Steam the kadubus in a steamer or pressure cooker(without whistle) for 14-16 minutes.

Switch off and let it cool for a minute. Remove the moulds from the cooker. Immerse a knife in water and just go around the mould once. Quickly invert it on to a place. Repeat the procedure for other kadubu idlis.

Serve the tower idlis as they are, or slice them up like tikkis and serve hot with chutneys. We had it for breakfast with plain tomato chutney(thakalli vathakal).

This Kadubu is my entry for Srivalli’s Kids-Delight event. I am also reposting :

Veggie noodle nests. Check out how you can make idiyappams delectable ­čśë

and egg-tomato thokku dosa for this event.

Print Friendly

14 Idli and more for a soccer mom

Friday, January 8th, 2010

14 idlis/ Mini Idlis:

I wanted to move away from my comfort zone of Idlis and post about other recipes but the flu I had last week(year????) and the weather made me to crawl back to idli. We call it kutti idlis (small idlis) and the 14 idli is a term made famous by saravana bhavan hotel chain in Madras. These idlis are similar to the usual idlis in batter, but the presentation is what matters. The idli plate is also different, instead of the usual 4 idli holders, the mini ones have almost 20 mini idli moulds in a plate.

Instead of serving idli with chutneys, these 14 idlis are soaked(I mean literally soaked) in bowls and bowls of sambar. The idli absorbs the flavors of the sambar and becomes almost double in size but becoming soft and tender in the process. If you put one idli in to the mouth, it just slides down like butter, warming you up. This is almost a mini-meal or even a snack during tea time.

Ingredients: (Makes about 30 mini idlis)

For Idli:

Urad Dal- 1/2 cup
Idli rice- 1.25 cups
Usual cooking rice- 1 handful
Salt- 1 tsp

For garnishing:

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp
Ghee- one tsp

Other Ingredients:
Onion sambar- 3 cups


Grinding for idli and the procedure for making idlis can be found from my previous post here or even below this post. But for 14 idlis you have to use the small idli plate with lots of idli moulds. If not, you can also use small cups instead of idli plates and make idlis as usual.

Idlis goes well with onion sambar and a typical arachu vitta sambar recipe can be found here. Just make sure that you have made extra sambar if making 14 idlis.


Place the 14 idlis (or more) in a soup bowl or a wide bowl (bowls or cups are better than plates). Pour some sambar generously over the idlis. Wait for a minute or so, the idlis will quickly absorb the sambar, pour some more sambar till idlis are floating in sambar. Let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb even more flavors. Just before serving pour one ladle of hot sambar on top, garnish with coriander leaves and add a dollop of ghee on top. Enjoy!

But wait, there is more, my idli is not posted here just because of my flu, but also because of this repost special hosted by desi soccer mom.

As you can see , obviously idli was one of my first posts, and as you can guess correctly, I didn’t get many comments for it. Given the number of idlis I must have consumed over the few years,I am sure sambar runs in my veins than anything else :)

When I first posted about idli, I thought every one will know how to make idli as there are a lot of blogs on making idlis (To be honest, after seeing a few blogs, I thought of quitting even before starting). My idli post was as simple as it can get. Soak the ingredients, grind, ferment, make idlis- finished.

Well, if only it is as simple as it sounds in reality. Heaven knows how tough it is to get the batter to ferment in winter, resulting in tough stone like idlis, which will lead to a couple of jokes by N for the following days.

But then, a few days later posting, I started getting views based on searches for soft idlis, fluffy idlis, grinding idli ┬ábatter in mixie and so on..And I started amending the post more, giving tips and adding photos. Finally, after sharing all the expert knowledge I had about idlis and still no comments, one fine day, I saw a comment, ” I completely agree with you and appreciate for sharing this”. My joy knew no bounds, I hurriedly ran to my space to publish it, to let the world know that atleast I have one person who likes it. But, the joy was limited as it was not from a genuine reader :(.. It was an automatic message from some server.

(Point to note: It still has no comments, even today and I am waiting)

If I read  my updated post on my first ever idli, it is more confusing than sounding easy and simple :)
Here it is, and desi soccer mom, thanks so much for hosting this event, and just out of that gratitude, I assure you I will keep visiting your space and will keep filling up your comment corner :)

Here is the original post IDLI.

Print Friendly

Savory cake for a change

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010


One weekend morning I was looking into my pantry thinking of putting together a breakfast. I grabbed some chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour or gram flour) and made this dish for a hearty breakfast. This has been sitting in my draft for quite some time and I am posting it today. Read very carefully till the end and you’ll know why it got its name :)


Chick pea flour – 1.25 cups
Salt- to taste
Sugar- one pinch
Grated ginger- 1 tsp
Finely chopped green chilies- 1 whole chili
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp and another 1 tbsp
Water- 2 cups(approx).

For the topping:
Curry leaves- 1 handful
Cilantro – one handful
Green chilies-2
Salt- to taste
Lemon rounds- to garnish


Sift chickpea flour and baking soda together with salt and sugar. Add water to this and keep whisking to avoid any lumps. The batter has to be thick like a pancake better/idli batter.

Add grated ginger, chopped green chilies and 2 table spoons of  sesame oil to this flour mixture. Let is sit aside for 10 minutes.

Grease a broad,wide vessel (not tall vessel) with one table spoon of sesame oil. Pour the garbanzo flour mixture into it and steam it in a pressure cooker for 15-17 minutes. Check if it is done by inserting a fork into it, if the fork comes out clean, the cake has steamed well. Let it cool for a minute and slowly go around the edges with a knife. Invert it on to a plate.

The topping:

Grind the curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt, green chilies together into a thick paste. Add about 3 table spoon of water to this paste so that it is spreadable.


Spread the cilantro paste on top of the cake. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon wedges.
Slice and serve with khatta-meeta chutney.

If you are wondering, yes, it is dhokla! I just wanted to try it this way to see if I can add some more flavor and moistness to the dhokla. And this version was a change from the usual dhokla we make that I thought of building another layer with some other chutneys the next time.

I added plain water, but you can also add yogurt instead of water or a mixture of water and yogurt.


And I am sending my savory cake for a change to Divya’s show me your cake event.

Print Friendly

Recipe Marathon: Day 5: Veggie Noodle Nests

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I was banned from making Rice noodles (Idiyappams) at home forever, once we came out of N’s wheat allergy phase. He said he does not want to look at upmas, pongals, idiyappams for centuries. Poor guy, I can’t blame him and he really had years worth of pongals in those 8 months of wheat free diet.


The thing is even if I make rice noodles, I never make plain noodles as the plain lemon noodles or coconut noodles are very common. I serve it with some korma or stir fried vegetables.

But when I came across this post, I could only admire the creative thinking of
Rak’s Kitchen when I saw this stuffed- Idiyappam (stuffed rice noodles).

My mom makes something similar, a stuffed uthappam. But then uthapam batter is something I have to grind and I can refrain from grinding. But how on earth am I going to get rid of all those rice noodles bags sitting in the pantry that we had stocked?

C’mon, don’t look at me like that- we are not responsible for the increase in rice prices last year :) I am not interested in wasting food and I had to think of a way to use them up and that was when I saw this recipe.

Rice noodles are very simple to make, gluten free, easily digested and if there is a korma to go with it, rice noodles can be a fulfilling meal.

Noodle Nests are my suggestion for a light dinner for the day five of this recipe marathon.

Veggie Noodle Nests:

For the rice noodles:
Any rice noodle bag which will be enough for two people.

For the korma:

Vegetables of your choice (I used brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, potatoes)- all together-1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Masala to grind:
Coconut- 4 tbsp
Red chilies- 4
Poppy seeds- 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1/2 tsp
Roasted chana dal (potu kadalai)- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

To temper:
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Coriander Leaves- to garnish


Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions given on the pack. Drain and keep aside.


Cube the vegetables, boil them with a bit of salt, drain and keep aside.


Grind all ingredients given under “to grind” section. Grind them to a powder first and add water in minimum quantity to make it as a paste.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves and boiled vegetables. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.


Add the masala paste and coat well. Cover and cook on a low flame till the masala is cooked through. Garnish with coriander leaves.This korma will be a dry gravy.


In a idli plate, spoon some cooked noodles, layer with the korma and cover with noodles. Make them look like a nest (and the veggies the stuffing)


Steam in a idli cooker for 5 minutes(The water in the idli cooker should be boiling, not starting to boil when you keep the rice noodles in). Serve hot.

This version of rice noodles was so yummy that we skipped the steaming part for the second set. Since I had already cooked the noodles unlike the original recipe, we just layered some on a plate, spread the korma on top and heated it in microwave for 2 minutes.



The original recipe calls for making idiyappams, I skipped that part and used ready made noodles. The original post’s masala is also different and this masala I used is the korma masala I make often.

Couple of my noodle nests came out perfectly round and in some of them, the stuffing came out of the nests.

Some of the noodles turned out to be bit soggy as they were not freshly made, but overall a yum way to finish up all the rice noodles bags I have stocked up. And a nice way to get kids eat the veggies too.

Did you notice? There is no onion in this recipe!

See what is cooking at this tasty marathon, hosted by Nupur

Day 1: December 25 : See the recipes here

Day 2: December 26: Check out what’s cooking here

Day 3: December 27: Still going strong, see the delicious recipes here
Day 4: It is all about Spice
This veggie noodle nests are going to Srivalli’s Kids delight

Print Friendly