Amazing, breathtaking, colorful, delightful, enjoyable, energizing, festively, grateful, heartbreaking, inspirational, irresistible, juicy, kindly, lovely, magic, notably, open-heartedly, peppery, soupy, tasteful, unbelievable, variety, wonderful, yummy and zealously. A lot of words and still, it’s not enough to describe India. Just go there, again and again, and then , bit by bit , maybe, I will understand a little bit of this great country. I loved it! Again!
Only 3 weeks, but plunging into summer in such a new world where, everything and everybody lives on the street, eats on the street and works on the street. Life is very outward, people like to express themselves, greet you, talk to you, take the time for a moment to meet you. Also in this gigantic metropolis Mumbai, with it’s more than 16 million people (the whole population of Holland!), there is a time and space for everyone. It’s a very vibrating, living and inspiring surrounding. Coming back to Holland is a big step, here it is neat, calm, a little boring, organized, grayish, most people are very inward. They don’t greet me anymore, they are not curious who I am, they watch the pavement instead of meeting my eyes. It takes some time to adapt;-)
I bought some cook books with Kerala recipes and more Southern Indian cooking. It is a very different taste and approach to cooking than the North of India. It’s very fresh, using a lot of coconut milk and oil. It takes a lot of preparing, making spice pastes, fermenting, juicing, etc. but it's worth it!
I also bought some tools, because without them it’s really difficult to recreate them: idiappam press, appachatti and my Preethy wet and dry grinder.
Breakfast in the south of india consists of hearthy dishes like steamed idli with sambar and coconut chutney, vadas, pongal, dosas, appam or idiappam. These dishes are made of fermented rice batters (with dal and spices) and as such, very healthy, but in our climate not so easy to make. Fermenting takes time and warmth. Using stove and hearth and a lot of warm towels helps.
And as you can guess for us people with celiac disease it’s great, rice and pulses are the staple food in this part of India. They have so many types of rice:
Coming weeks I will be posting some recipes and links of great South-Indian food, starting with this lovely egg curry with idiappam, a great breakfast dish.
Making idiappam requires a press and an idli steamer but somewhere I read that you can use a potato ricer too, the holes are a bit wider. You can also decide to eat the curry with rice.
Sieve 2 cups of very fine brown rice flour.
Bring 3 cups of water to the boil with 1 tsp of oil and a pinch of salt. Stir in the rice flour till it comes together in a ball. Turn of the heat, let it cool slightly and spread it out on a big tray. Cover with cling film and let it cool completely. Make balls and put them in the idiappam press. Grease the idli moulds, press in heaps of the dough and steam for 5-8 minutes.
4 organic eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 dried red chili
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-3 fresh green chilies, incised lengthwise
1 heaped tsp of freshly chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped
1 ½ cup thin coconut milk
1 tbsp lime juice
1 potato, in small cubes
½ cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp black pepper
2 ½ cm cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chopped onion
12 curry leaves
1. boil the eggs 10 minutes, cool, peel and halve them, set aside.
2. grind the masala paste very fine and set aside.
3. chop all veggies, onion, ginger etc. and put everything ready.
4. heat the coconut oil on medium heat and bake the mustard seeds and red chili till the seeds start to splutter. Add the masala paste, stir and bake softly for 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic, green chilies and ginger and bake together for 5 minutes. Then add the tomato cubes, 2 more minutes, add the thin coconut milk and lime juice and bring to the boil, cook softly for about 5 minutes. Then it’s time for the potato cubes, cook till they are done. Stir in the thick coconut milk, taste and add salt to your tasting, put in the egg halves and heat everything together for another 4 minutes.
5. make the tempering: heat in a small pan 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add mustard seeds, onion and curry leaves, till the mustard seeds splutter and throw everything in the curry. Stir in carefully.
Ready to serve with the idiappam, hot rice or rice pancakes.