I know, coconut chutney is probably in the kinder garden syllabus of Indian cooking, but hey, a girl can get excited about her new mixie. Plus I don’t use a lot of coconut in my daily cooking, so this chutney is special. I always ALWYAS remember mom making chutney when I make chutney. It’s so ingrained in south indian cooking that she sometimes makes it twice a day.
She used to say – “I’ll just make chutney” or “It’s only chutney”, to me that’s doesn’t make it any less special.
We don’t get a lot of rain where we live, and it’s always special when it does rain. Even more so, when its in holiday season or during weekends when you’re not busy. This was one of those evenings last December. I had just got my new Indian Mixie, and was trying out different chutneys. So it’s hard to say whether the cilantro-mint chutney motivated me to make dhokla, or vice versa.
Given the relatively short duration I’ve been cooking regularly ( less than one and a half year now), and given the long time I’ve been away from home (since 2008 for my first job), I don’t come up with dishes that easily. I just stuck to the basics. For instance, idly occurred to me, but it took quite a while for me figure out that I need a mini-idly pan.
My kitchen cookware was pretty basic, and for the most part, it still is. The list of things I need keep growing – but I want to buy things only that I realllllllyyyyy will use on a regular basis. I add it to my list – when I miss it for a few times, then I buy it. This is mostly because I have a smaller kitchen at present, but i realize it’s a good habit that i hope to carry on. I bought a set of baking tools recently, and i love using them. Similarly for an indian-mixer grinder. I guess my motto is somewhat like – “Anything that deserves a counter space on my tiny kitchen has to really prove its worth” LOL
Anyway, I ran into mini-idlies while browsing through a list of recipes online, but then I only had regular idly pans. That didn’t deter me when it came to making mini sambar idlies for a couple of friends visiting that evening. I used the regular pans, and added very (very!) little batter, and cooked them. Well, that gave about 12 idlies for one run. Took me about 3 hours to make enough idlies for 4 people, and they turned out to be flat in shape. After a couple of times making mini-idlies this way, I finally made mom send me mini-idly pan through someone who was visiting.
These idlies do look like they were made with mini-idly pans. My favorite way of eating them is as sambar-idlies. Hmm, mouth watering.
I find myself using the oven more and more these days – at least for one meal of the day. Though this Tofu tikka is perfect for barbecuing, it came out pretty decent when I grilled in my conventional oven.
Who doesn’t crave potato fries.. It’s the best mid night snack (second in line is popcorn). Baking is a slightly healthier (and easier!) option than frying. Cut the oil and just get the carbs. It was nevertheless very tasty.. Guess the salt and paprika made up for not frying.
Made this a couple of months back, and hopefully again soon this holiday season