Monday, March 10, 2008

Balanced Breakfast

I am not making any claim that this is the most balanced breakfast. I am just narrating my attempt at preparing one to the best of my knowledge on a lazy sunday morning! (yesterday actually!)

Here's the menu -

1. Brown Idli - I made the usual idli but used brown rice instead of the usual white rice.

2. Chowchow Thuvail - Inspired by the recipe from "Dakshin" by Mrs. Chandra Padmanabhan, I made my own version, adding (& subtracting!) some of the ingredients from the original recipe. We loved it. If you try and like it as much as we did, then remember, the entire credit goes to Mrs. Padmanabhan for her wonderful recipe. But if you absolutely hate it, then me culpa!!:-)

3. Mixed vegetable sambar - I made sambar using MTR sambar powder but also added mixed vegetables of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes.

4. Orange - Just served fresh orange because now the oranges are in season.


Brown Idli


1 cup Urad daal

2 cups brown rice

salt to taste

few drops of oil for greasing the idli stand


1. Soak daal and rice separately in the morning for the idlis next morning.

2. In the night, grind both daal and rice separately. Mix both the batters, add salt.

3. Cover the batter and keep it in a warm place for fermentation.

4. Next morning, once the batter is fermented, add enough water to adjust the consistency of the batter.

6. Grease idli stand with a drop of oil.

7. Add water to a pressure cooker, pedavan, dhokla stand or big container in which the idli stand can be kept.

8. Pour the batter in the cavities of the idli stand. Place idli stand carefully. Cover. Cook on a high flame for 5 minutes.

9. Lower the heat and cook for another 10-12 minutes.

10. Switch off the heat. Take the idli stand out. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

11. Using a blunt knife, take out the hot idlis.

Tips for fermenting the idli batter -

Coming from the tropical city of Mumbai, fermenting the idli batter naturally was never a problem. But here, especially in the winter, it's a challenge. So sharing some of the tips that I learned from friends or read in the books.

1. I was told, that some people have higher heat index in their hands and so their batter ferments better than the others. Now if this indeed is true or not, I am not sure. because I grind using Sumeet and scrape it using spatula, so I am not really using hands. I think, if indeed is true, then probably it is refering to the old way of grinding by hand using stone grinder? Not sure.

2. Cover or rather wrap the container of the idli batter with a warm shawl or tea-cozy. This cute tip is from none other than Ms. Madhur Jaffrey. I do not have the book in which I read, but I think it was from "The Invitation to Indian Cooking".

3. Add 1/4 tsp baking soda just before steaming the batter of urad daal and rice.

4. Mix 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast or breadmachine's yeast with 1 tbsp warm water and then add to the batter of urad daal and rice. Keep aside for 30 minutes before steaming. However, I feel this method results in fluffy idlis but they have a yeasty odor, which I do not care much with idlis.

5. Preheat the oven. Switch off. Keep the covered container of batter in the warm oven.

6. Keep the container in the microwave as it is warmer than the room temperature.

This was my attempt of making a balanced breakfast. It goes to Mansi Desai for her WBB:Balanced Breakfast event.
WBB was started by Nandita of Saffron Trail.


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