Monday, October 4, 2010

unusual greens : curry patta is not just for the tempering, it can be a leafy green vegetable... making a green rawa idli with curry patta

Can we use the curry patta as a regular green ??
Not just as a tempering and as an ingredient being used in larger quantity. Imagine the amount of antioxidants and minerals you are using per serving. Curry patta lends an incredible flavor to any dish when used as a tempering , the essential oils in the curry patta get infused in the daals , sambars and many dry stir fries. For tempering we use only a few springs of curry patta and I am talking about using it in larger quantities. Think about it, have you ever made a pakoda with curry patta instead of using palak (spinach) or a curry patta daal instead of daal palak. I know curry patta is used so beautifully in the south of India but I have seen my north Indian friends using this wonderfully flavored green just for the aromatic properties.

 Making a curry patta chutney is a great idea,  one tightly packed cup of curry patta, 3/4 cup of coconut flesh, 3-4 green chillies and 3-4 garlic cloves, salt to taste and a quick whiz in the mixie is all you have to do for a yummy chutney.... many of my north Indian friends think that curry patta cannot be eaten raw and temper such a chutney with curry patta and mustard seeds fried in oil, which is not necessary at all. This chutney is great with any dosa, idli or uttapam. I make many versions of green chutney (will post them sometime) with curry patta especially in the rainy season when i do not use store bought mint and coriander leaves. Curry patta is my savior even in rainy season.


There is loads of information about curry patta on the internet, it's health benefits and thousands of yummy recipes. I love south Indian food with all the coconut , curry patta and spices. I wonder how the vadas and masala dosas are enjoyed by all my north Indian friends so much and the drumstick sambar and curry patta podis are conveniently given a miss (what is that?).

Here is a green idli for my friends who tend to remove the curry patta from the sambar and upma :)

I have a handsome curry patta tree in my garden and make a very useful curry patta masala powder whenever the overgrowing branches are lopped off. Apart from that I prefer making a coarse paste of fresh curry patta in the chutney grinder of my mixie , without using any water. About 40 full grown springs of curry patta make 2 heaped tbsp of this crumbly paste.


This is very useful for making a green pohe where I just throw in (a heaped tbsp or two) while frying the onions and potatoes and nobody will pick and throw the leaves from the plate ( I prefer eating them even if whole leaves are used for tempering). Pohe becomes diabetic friendly when a tbsp of curry patta is there per serving, think about it. This is a late evening picture without using flash so the color is not very bright, but it looks beautifully green.


And now about the green idli, the same curry patta crumble paste is used to make this pillow soft idli , served with green plantain peel chutney (another unusual green) and the combination of this idli chutney has become a favorite at my place .


2 cups of mota rawa (coarse grain semolina) dry roasted on very low flame (I store rawa after roasting it this way) is soaked in a cup of fresh curds whisked with a cup of water, 2 tbsp of curry patta paste, 1/2 tsp soda bi carb and salt n pepper to taste. Wait for about 10 minutes till the mixture looks like the second picture. The curry patta can be added to the regular idli batter too, this is my instant idli recipe.


The idli being instant, I hate using the plastic microwave safe idli mold. One, it has to be retrieved from the forgotten corners of the kitchen shelf and secondly, plastic is not environment and health friendly. So I use my glass or ceramic bowls for suitably sized idlis. See the batter into the left bowl and the fluffed up cooked idli in the right side bowl of the first picture below. One minute is enough for one idli to be cooked covered on high power. Use a knife to ease the idly out of the bowl, or just dunk in some chutney in the same bowl and enjoy. The idli is great even at room temperature and can be a great tiffin box lunch too.


Two large idlis per serving, smeared with the luscious plantain peel chutney... heavenly taste ...


The chutney may not look very pleasing by the look of it but it's really really tasty. Peels of two green plantains are chopped roughly and microwaved for a minute. Grind with an largish piece of ginger , 4-5 cloves of garlic, 4-5 green chillies and 2-3 tbsp of chopped coconut flesh. Add salt to taste and lemon juice or tamarind pulp for sourness.


Fulfilling your green quotient of the day, a bright green idli and a green chutney to smear it with. One more interesting healthy chutney with one more version of rawa idli is posted earlier too cooked in a similar way, healthy food made possible with little bit of effort and a little bit of imagination, and healthy is not always boring. If you like your breakfast or snacks fried, this instant semolina-curry patta vada with similar ingredients can be your idea of yumminess. Ilike this idli better.


A spoonful of heaven. Roasted or fried dry fruits like cashews, almonds or peanuts can be included in the idli batter to make it even more interesting. We like it this way or that way....

20 comments:

  1. Sounds new and interesting!!

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  2. lovely, delicious and healthy idli since curry patta has all the vitamins in it and tasty too.

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  3. very innovative sangita, we love curry leaves a lot. We make thogayal( type of chutney mixed with rice and eaten) and this ever famous milagu kuzhambu(pepper kulambu). This kuzhambu is my m-i-l's m-i-l's special as soon as the rainy season s tarts(to be mixed with rice), tastes divine with roasted papad.
    Method
    take 1 tsp of black pepper, a handfull of curry leaves and powder in a mixie.
    heat till oil(or any oil),add mustard, 1 tsp of methi seeds and 1 whole red chilly, after the mustard splutters, add the powder and roast for a few seconds
    now add haldi and tamarind water
    add salt and allow it to boil for 15 mts or till the raw smell of tamarind goes
    add 2 tsp of jaggery and boil for 5 mts
    serve with hot rice

    U should try this and give me a feed back sangita

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  4. Thanks Nirupama...
    this is a fantastic idea to have curry patta with rice...will try n let you know.

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  5. Curry patta idlies sounds interesting and very innovative!

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  6. Yeah Sangeeta.. we have kappa along with fish curry instead of rice. Also we have kappa for breakfast with chilly chutney..

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  7. This is new to me. It looks very versatile!

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  8. intéressant comme recette bravo
    bonne soirée

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  9. curry patta is very good to prevent hair greying and I like to eat them. this is a nice idea of making paste to mix it in food. as for the rava idli do you steam it in the micro? i mean do you place the batter filled bowl in a water bath? I have one tupperware idli mould but in that normal idli takes 5 minutes and we need to place in a waterbath.

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  10. Yes Sayantani.. Curry patta is good for hair and skin as well. For diabetics and weight watchers too.

    I make this idli by placing the bowl directly into the microwave oven , covered but not immersed in water bath . 1 minute for a medium sized idli and upto 2 minutes if a large or extra large idli is steamed , you can make individual idlis this way and not in batches , as microwave tends to dehydrate the idli or anything for that matter. For the two of us i make 2 large idlis and that's it . As i said i have actually forgot using my tupperware plastic idli steamer , this way it is so much more convenient .

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  11. I am one who is very generous when it comes to kadi patta so I am going to try this.
    (Curry patta is good for the eyes they say)

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  12. What a beautiful idli. I get curry leaves from the Indian store and freeze them, to use later. When I have fresh curry leaves, I think I will try this.

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  13. my mom used to give me this curry leaves, for one or two of my premature greying hairs..they make a oil out of it, it smells horrible.

    in south, we add it to almost all dishes..

    For this rava idli, we slightly fry the semolina without oil in a kadai and then do it..

    different chutney with plantain.

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  14. Yes Devasena ...i use the same dry roasted rawa here for the idli...thanks for reminding me as mistakenly i did not mention that. Going to correct that..

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  15. No more going out for morning walk and eating few curry patta for health purpose. Today I made idlis with lots of curry patta in microwave and made chutney with fresh green plaintain from the garden. To grind chutney smoothly I added some curd. chutney tasted better than usual coconut chutney. thanks sangeeta

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