Sunday, November 28, 2010
Idli & Sambhar
I'd be posting a recipe if there was one, but this food was (I'll admit) made from boxes. I happen to live close to several nice Indian groceries, and I got two different box mixes for idli (a south Indian savory cake made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice) and sambhar (a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and toor dal). The sambhar is really easy to make by following the directions on the box (you just add a few ingredients, like water and tomatoes), but the idli takes a bit more effort. An Indian friend of mine bought me some idli steaming trays a while back, and I finally got around to using them for this batch of idlis. You take a large pot, fill just the bottom with water, fill each well in the trays with idli batter, stack the trays together, put them in the pot, cover, and steam the idlis until they're finished. The result (if done right) is a slightly spongy cake that tastes great either dipped in the sambhar or crumbled up into it.