Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steamed Pearl-Millet Cakes "Bajra/Kambu Idli" With Smashed Eggplant and Lentil Curry

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Day5 of BM9: I know what you are thinking-- Damn, not another Lentil based recipe. Is she nuts? Sorry, I will try not to put a Lentil recipe tomorrow. Okay?

This is MIL's special. I never have tried this before.I never had wanted to try this before. I wasn't aware of this before. I wouldn't have given 2 hoots about this before. But not anymore. I have gotten hooked to the taste of Pearl-Millet Idli and now there is no going back. This with the "Smashed Eggplant and Lentil Kuzhambhu/Gravy" was in fact "Smashing"! Take my word for it and try it at home. And yes, this is gluten free and "Pearl-Millet" is known for its health benefits. Just Google about it and find the facts about it okay??

Tip about the "Smashed Lentil and Eggplant Kuzhambhu" -- Don't have Idlis to relish it? Drink it as a soup.Who cares? It tastes good whether its chewed or slurped!
Cracked Pearl-Millet/Broken Bajra/Kambu Kurunai:
Split Pigeon-Peas:
Parboiled Rice:
  • 1-1/2 Cups Cracked Pearl-Millet "Kambu Kurunai/Broken Bajra"
  • 3/4 Cups Split Pigeon-Peas "Tuvar Dhal"
  • 3/4 Cup Parboiled Rice
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • Oil for greasing the Idli Molds.
Additions to the batter:
  • 2-3 Stalks Curry Leaves
  • 1 Small Red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Cup (Packed) Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Idli Molds/Idli Maker/Idli stand or MIni Idli Stand
  • Wet Grinder or Blender
  • Soak the Rice for 12 hours. Add the cracked Pearl-millet to a pan and pour water until its submerged. This will have to soak for 12 hrs as well. As for the Tuvar dhal, it needs to soak for 2-3 hours. Grind the Rice and the Tuvar dhal to a smooth paste. Mix it to the soaked cracked pearl-millet.The batter will be gritty in texture. To the gritty batter, add the Baking Soda and salt.This batter will have to sit overnight before it can be used to make Idlis.
  • In a pan, temper the mustard seeds in warm oil and once its starts sputtering add the finely chopped red onion and the curry leaves. Once the onion becomes translucent, switch off the stove and add the finely chopped cilantro.
  • Add it to the batter along with some salt.Keep in mind that the batter already has some salt added to it at the time it was freshly ground.
  • Stir and keep the batter ready. The batter should neither be runny or thick.
  • Grease the Idli Molds with generous amount of oil as this Idli has the tendency to stick to the molds.Insert the Idli Molds into the Idli cooker and steam for 10-12 minutes.Let the Idlis rest for about 5 minutes before trying to remove them from the molds.
  • Serve the steaming Idlis with a hot "Smashing Eggplant and Lentil Kuzhambhu/Gravy" as a side.
  • Mini-versions of Idlis can be made with Mini-Idli molds and dunked into the very same Kuzhambhu.

Smashed Eggplant and Lentil Curry "Kadainthu Vitta Kuzhambhu/Gravy":
  • 3/4 Cup Split and hulled Green Gram "Moong Bean"
  • 5-6 Small Eggplants, crown removed and roughly cut into chunks
  • 4-5 Hot Green Chilies or less/more, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 6-7 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • A handful of Cilantro Stalks, cleaned and chopped coarsely
For Tempering:
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, for Tempering
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Split Black gram "Urad Dhal"
  • 1 Stalk Curry leaves, finely chopped
  • Potato Masher
  • Clay Pot that has shards of stones embedded in the bottom (the uneven bottom helps in smashing the Gravy. The stones don't ever come out. So no worries of that getting into the Gravy. This pot is very common in South India)

  • Dry fry the Green Gram until it starts emitting aroma and the color turns slightly to brown.Wash it thoroughly in several changes of water.
  • In a deep pot, add the green gram, turmeric powder,garlic cloves and salt.
  • Quickly transfer these ingredients into the pot as well -- Eggplant chunks, chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilies, onions. Switch on the stove.
  • Top the mixture in the pot with chopped cilantro.
  • Do not close the pan. Moong dhal always bubbles and boils over. So let it cook without the lid for 15-20 minutes constantly stirring the stuff in the pot.
  • The contents turn mushy after 20-25 minutes.
  • Transfer the ingredients to a clay pot that has shards of sharps stones embedded at the bottom..This kind of pot is usually available in the Tamil Nadu, a state in India.
  • Transfer the contents of the sauce-pan into the clay pot. Using a masher gently smash the ingredients.
  • The gritty base of the clay pot helps in smashing the lentils and eggplants that are already mushy to begin with.This is a traditional way to make this gravy. Once can always use a blender to coarsely grind it as well. Temper the ingredients under " Tempering" and pour it over the gravy.
  • Give it a stir and serve it hot with steaming plate of Idlis.Don't have Idli to relish it? Drink it as a soup.Who cares? It tastes good whether its chewed or slurped!

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  1. very nice combo and clicks....nice to see u posting along with ur other responsibilities!! :))

  2. Wow.... healthy and yummy recipe... looks absolutely delicious.

  3. Both the recipes are so good. I have book marked it....

  4. Recently i tried out kambu idli and we loved it..Seriously ur versions sounds much more better than mine,will try out drooling over that sambar mini idli..

  5. You know what I won't mind another lentil dish again..:) Both the dishes are looking so good..lucky you are getting to learn all this first hand..

  6. CL, great combination, loved the pot and infact all the pictures

  7. Super delicious combo,both recipes are awesome..

  8. wow yummy n healthy recipes and looks so tempting with wonderful clicks ....

  9. I am absolutely loving this. Will soon give these idlies a try.

  10. can't ask for a more healthy combo.I am so delighted to read this post.Saluting you for such a sincere and meaningful post dear.


Thanks a bunch for your valuable comments and continued support.They are very much appreciated. Yes,like "Rain on Dry Land" and like "Oasis in Desert Sand".
XoXo, Cool Lassi(e)