Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sambar idli

For the second week of Blogging Marathon#6, I will be posting one theme a day. Today's theme is Regional Specials. Though there are still several Karnataka dishes that I would like to try out and post, this time, I am sticking to a popular dish from Tamilnadu.
Hotel Saravana Bhavan is famous for its 14 idli. This is nothing but 14 tiny idlis dunked in sambar. Ratna Cafe's sambar idli is something people can't stop talking about once they have tasted it. A saucepan shaped (and sized) container full of their signature sambar in which the idlis soak until you dig into them - is it any wonder people keep going back for more of it?
Today, I have for you, my version of this popular restaurant dish.
For the idli batter:
Par boiled rice - 4 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tbsp
Salt and water - as needed

Soak the rice and dal separately. Add the methi seeds to the dal while soaking. Refrigerate the dal after soaking for an hour until you are ready to grind the batter. The rice needs to be soaked for 10-12 hours. Grind the dal first along with the cold water in which it has been soaking, until it is creamy. Add the soaked rice to it little by little until you have a smooth, thick batter. Add salt and mix well. Leave this to ferment overnight.

For the sambar:
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Tomato - 1, chopped
Tuar dal - 1/2 cup, cooked with 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and mashed
Tamarind - extract from a lemon sized ball
coconut - 1/4 cup, grated
Oil - 1 tsp
Dhania/corriander seeds - 2 tsp
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 4 (adjust to taste)
Fry the last four ingredients in a tsp of oil until the dals turn reddish brown. Grind along with the grated coconut, adding sufficient water to make a smooth paste.
Heat a tsp of oil. Saute onions until pink. Add the tamarind extract, ground paste, cooked dal, salt and diced tomatoes. Let it boil until the raw smell goes away (10-15 minutes). Add water if you feel the sambar is too thick. Garnish with curry leaves and corriander leaves. Pour a tempering of mustard seeds(mustard seeds poppped in a tsp of oil) over this.

To make sambar idlis:
To make these the authentic way, you need a special, small sized idli mould. Each depression can hold about a tsp of batter. If you don't have it, the regular idli mould will work, but it looks much better if you make these small in size.
Grease the mould well and pour a tsp of batter into each depression.

Steam for 10-12 minutes until done.
Now take about 8 of these idlis in a small bowl. Pour a generous helping of hot sambar over it There should be enough sambar to cover all the idlis and then some more. Let it soak for about 5 minutes and then serve. If you find that the idlis have absorbed the sambar, pour some more sambar over it just before you serve.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#6 hosted by Srivalli
This goes to Champa who is hosting Kids' Delight -Mini bites, an event started by Srivalli.


Vardhini said...

Looks so good. My kids love it.

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Archana Vivek said...

wow nice one.Looks awesome.

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, tempting sambar idlies, i can finish that bowl rite now..

Raji said...

So tempting..I can polish off the entire bowl.

Aarthi said...

wat a lovely combo

jayasree said...

I love these mini idlis in sambhar.

lata raja said...

you said it! there is so much to these minis that people are attracted like iron files to magnet! Oft made theme at home too. The last picture is just too good!

Pavani said...

Those mini idlis look amazing.. I wish I could have some now..

Indian Khana said...

Yum ...I can like have this for b'fast, lunch n dinner :)

Harini said...

Wow! This reminds me of the humble idli-sambar from SAravana Bhavan! I must recreate the magic sambar from there!!

Reshmi Mahesh said...

A tempting breakfast...looks very yumm...

Padmajha said...

We love this. Am drooling right now..

KrithisKitchen said...

Wow.. all time favorite.. so tempting... super-good..
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Unknown said...

wow, I love this combo and I eat it like you presented, pour sambar over idli and then enjoy :)

Vimitha Durai said...

Every South Indians all time favorit breakfast... would love to have as many as possible...

Mélange ! said...

Oh no..I am drooling over the sambar idli..It's such a nice presentation dear.

Suma Gandlur said...

A tempting bowl of idli - sambhar.

Degchi said...

Ghee mini Idly is the first thing i order in Sarvana bhawan whenever I get a chance to go there.
Pass me the plate pls.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Love mini Idlis in sambhar. yours look so tempting!

Unknown said...

Love sambar idli. This looks delicious.

Shylaja said...

Irresistable idlis Jahyashree
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Srivalli said...

I love 14 idlis, with sambar it's always heavenly!