1.Ate hubby’s head to come up with something starting with I. He said, “Idli”..duhhh…
2.Asked a couple of friends. Again, no positive outcome.
3.Searched my recipe books (I have only 4)..but found nothing suitable.
4.A Google search for “Vegetables starting with the letter I” also turned disappointing.
5.Thought of cheating and renaming some dish, but again couldn't think of any:(
And then finally it stuck me. Back in our courtship days, I and P used to frequent many restaurants and try different dishes. We are both food lovers. We relish eating everything from mocktails, soups, starters, main courses, and ofcoz the dessert. For us, no meal is complete without a dessert. On one such expedition, we tried something new and instantly liked the dish. You can classify it as a starter, snack, or vegetable. This dish is a wonderful blend of the South-Indian and Chinese cuisine. Yes, it uses idlis too. I think you must have guessed it by now. Recipe adapted from here.
1.8 Refrigerated or hard idlis
2.½ cup Cornflour
3.½ cup all purpose flour (Maida)
4.1 ½ tsp Soya sauce
5.¼ tsp Ginger
6.¼ tsp Garlic paste
7.Oil to deep fry
1.1 big Onion
2.5 Green chillies
3.1/4 tsp Ginger paste
4.¼ tsp Garlic paste
6.½ cup spring onions
7.½ tsp Soya sauce
8.1 tbsp Oil
9.2 tbsp Cornflour
10.½ tsp red chilli sauce
11. Salt to taste
1.Cut idlis into small squares. You can use instant mix to make the idlis. I always prefer making the batter from scratch using 2:1 ratio of rice and udad daal.
2.Mix maida, cornflour, ginger garlic paste, soya sauce, and very little salt with water to a medium batter. The batter will be very sticky and stiff.
3.Dip idli pieces in this batter and deep fry till golden brown. Drain on paper napkins.
4.Finely chop onion, green chillies, capsicum, and spring onions.
5.Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add onions, green chillies, and ginger-garlic paste. Fry for some time. Add capsicum and fry till cooked.
6.Add the soya sauce, red chilli sauce, and fried idlis.
7.Add 2 cups of water to the cornflour and mix thoroughly. Pour this in the idlis. 8.Add salt and spring onions. Boil this mixture till the gravy thickens.
9.Serve hot with rice or enjoy as a snack.
Idli is a South Indian snack famous all over India. It is a popular breakfast item. Idlis are steamed and cooked in a special utensil called the “Idli Stand”. Served with sambhar and chutney, idlis should always be consumed hot. There are several varieties of chutney that can be served with Idli – garlic, coconut, mint, red-chilli to name a few. There’s a famous joint named “Mani’s” near Ruia college, Matunga. It serves tastiest Idlis I have eaten so far. The best thing about this joint is that it offers free refills of sambhar and chutney. Idlis are prepared and devoured in many forms such as masala idlis, fried masala idlis, vegetable idlis, and kanchipuram idlis.
Manchurian is famous vegetable gravy from China. The gravy is a bit sticky and has a distinct ginger-garlic flavor. I have eaten three kinds of vegetable Manchurian up till now; made from cabbage, cauliflower, and idli. In cabbage Manchurian you make vegetable balls of cabbage and add them to the gravy. In Gobi Manchurian, dip cauliflower florets in the batter and fry them before adding to the gravy. Vegetable Manchurian is usually served with rice and noodles and consumed hot. Manchurian reminds me of the famous political movie named “The Manchurian Candidate”. I was greatly impressed with the story, suspense, and the ending of this movie.
Idli Manchurian combines the softness of Idlis, the crispiness of fried idlis, the freshness of vegetables, the garlicky taste of the gravy, and the stickiness of cornflour to form a wonderful filling dish. Idli Manchurian is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z series. Mark your calendars for next weekend for the letter “J”. Yippy, I still remember A,B, C, D:)