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Sunday, 5 January 2020

I and Idli

Like those romantic novels, where the boy and girl hate each other in the first meeting, I too was introduced with idli on a wrong note. Idli was my mother's signature dish. So every time we had guests, which was at least once in a week, there was idli at home. Familiarity breeds contempt and I began to detest idli.

Then I fell in love with her again. This time idli came in a new form – guntur idli. The same idli, when dipped in tangy sambhar with two spoonfuls ghee, sprinkled with a generous amount of red chutney pudi, tasted heavenly.

India is a diverse country and resultantly idli too comes in diverse form. At my grandmother's house, there was no idli stand. Idli batter was poured into steel bowls and steamed into the steamer. Just two idlis served on the banana leaf and you would be full.

Idli chilly is one of my favourite dishes too. I love the taste of partly cooked capsicum with the chopped shallow fried idli. My father loved plainly fried idli without any accompaniments.

Recently, I cooked vegetable idli and continued my love affair with idli. This variation of idli is my favourite. It looks like a beautiful painting drawn on the canvas. Here is the quick recipe.

Mix the idli batter with diced capsicum, grated carrots and green peas. Add a big spoonful sambhar masala to it. Pour the batter into the idli stand and cook as usual. Eat steaming hot to enjoy the aroma and taste of vegetable idli to the maximum.

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