Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rawa Idli (Savory Steamed Cakes)

Rawa Idlis with Coconut Chutney
Amazingly useful rawa is truly a favorite Indian staple used not only for Upma and Halwa, it also shows up here as delicious steamed cakes! Rawa Idlis cook up very fast for a quick and healthy meal as breakfast, brunch or dinner.

The secret to making soft, fluffy idlis is to not allow the batter to stand too long but steam right away. I prepare the molds and get the water boiling for steaming before mixing the batter. Then as soon as the batter is ready, I spoon it into the molds and pop it into the steamer. Served with Coconut, Dal or Sweet Potato Chutney, and or Mulagai podi, Sambar, etc. they are simply wonderful.

I have added a little soy grits to amp up the protein content; soy does not change the flavor of the idlis. The dals and the yogurt (dairy or soy) add protein as well.

About 20 Idlis


11/2 cups Rawa (cream of wheat)
1/4 cup Soy Grits
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 -2 Jalapeño or Serrano Chile, minced
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 Tbsp Chana Dal
2 Tbsp toasted Cashew Pieces
1 - 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
1 cup Yogurt


Roast the rawa until fragrant and lightly browned; let cool completely. This may be done a few days ahead and the roasted rawa should be stored in an airtight jar.

Cut the chiles in half, remove the core with the seeds if you wish, and mince.

Remove stem and mince the curry leaves.

Heat the oil in a small pan and toast the mustard seeds and the dals until the dals are pinkish.

Stir in the chile and cook for a minute to soften; add curry leaves and turn off the heat. Let cool for a couple of minutes.

Prepare the idli molds: coat with oil or use an oil spray. If you do not have a traditional idli mold, not a problem - just steam in oiled cake or muffin pans or egg poaching or custard cups over boiling water.

Add enough water in the steamer pot; the water should be well below the molds.

Combine the rawa, soy grits, salt, toasted mustard seed mixture, and the yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add enough water (about 1 cup or so) to make a spoonable thick batter.

Spoon the batter into oiled idli molds, top with a few cashew pieces, and steam for about ten minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the mold.

Serve hot with your favorite chutneys, sambar, raita, etc. Enjoy!!

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