Friday, November 07, 2008

Food for memories - Idli & Peanut chutney

Dear foodies,

While I was browsing through blog posts today, I landed on ISG's post where she linked to a video on Southern India and its food. The video is very well taken and the scenes immediately made me miss home deeply :( The kolams/muggu, the busy streets, family and neighbors dropping by and the food, aah, the food! And just like ISG sought to make a comfort meal to repair her mood, I did the same for myself. It was also 1' in the afternoon and I had just a cup of coffee in the morning! ~ the video zooms into the Shoba Narayan's father making filter coffee and I cannot tell how much I missed my mom's coffee watching that!

The video spends a good amount of time showing steaming idlis served with delicious coconut chutney and that was exactly what I wanted. I did not have any idli batter ( or insurance, as Shoba states in the video) and reached for the next best thing, Anita's instant gratification. I have made these idli's countless times since she posted the recipe. It has always been a hit and rescues me from my weekend comfort breakfast cravings. To go along with it I made some peanut chutney, the kind that has everything that I could throw into the blender, everything that I like, I know this rule does not apply to all dishes, but it worked here :) Oddly, peanut chutney, an Andhra specialty, was not something that I grew up with, it was only after I came here for my MS that I learnt it from my room mates. Now I make it all the time instead of the coconut chutney I have been used to, grated coconut is something that's not always stocked in my kitchen and this peanut chutney is just too good to pass up.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup - Peanuts
  • 2 tsp - Dalia/putnalu
  • 2 tsp - Sesame seeds/nuvvulu
  • 1 tsp - Coriander seeds/dhania
  • 2 nos - Green chillies ; 1 red chilli
  • 2 Tbsp - grated Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp - chopped, Cilantro/coriander leaves
  • 2-3 pieces of tamarind or 1 tsp - Tamarind extract
  • Salt to taste
  • ~ 1/4 cup - Water
Method:
  1. Place a saute pan on medium heat along with the peanuts and dry roast them until they turn a light golden color. Roast them slowly on medium heat so they cook evenly. Toss occasionally to avoid burning them.
  2. Empty them onto a plate and allow to cool. You can remove the outer skins if you want by slightly rubbing the peanuts between your palms and blowing the skins off them. I rarely do this, cos its messy, and to me it does not make any difference. Roast the dalia next and as they start to change color, add the sesame seeds as these take very little time to toast. Once these are toasted move them to the plate as well.
  3. Next add a few drops of oil to the pan and roast the coriander seeds, fresh tamarind and chillies. Allow all the ingredients to cool for a while.
  4. Blend them together adding water slowly to get the desired consistency. Also add the coconut and coriander leaves while blending. I usually stop when the chutney is still a little coarse. You can either top it with a tadka or serve it as is with idli/dosa/kuzhi paniyaram/pesarattu/upma/undrallu.
For the usual regular chutney, skip the coconut, dalia and coriander leaves. For a coconut chutney,take the peanuts/sesame seeds/dhania/red chillies/tamarind off the list and simply use more grated coconut and dalia instead. I just used this chutney as a base sauce for a pizza and topped it with sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions, sounds crazy I agree, but it was surely yummy :)
Meanwhile make the rava idli's. While roasting the rava keep stirring it as it burns very fast on the hot pan, been there done that! :D I added some cornmeal to the batter this time and also added some grated carrots to the idli molds before ladling the batter. Peas and corn are other additions I have tried.
While the idli's are getting cooked you might already be slightly hungry, so make a crispy polenta-peanut chutney sandwich and kill time taking photos :D

Other chutneys that I have blogged about are here, two more coming up.

Enjoy your weekend!

23 thoughts:

Divya Vikram said...

Lovely carrot idlies..I should try that sandwich too.

Aparna said...

Certain foods can take us all on a memory trip way back.And only comfort food can do then.
And yes, rawa idlis are great anytime, even as an evening snack.

Cilantro said...

Lovely idlis !!! Looks good with the chutney.

Sonu said...

Cutie pie carrot idlies Priya...! Today, I have also have South-Indian menu in dinner, famous Masala Dosa. :)
Nice recipe for Peanut chutney!
Thank you.

sra said...

That's a nice photo of the peanuts!

I never grew up with peanut chutney either, don't like it much even now, but for The Spouse and many other people, it was a routine item on the table for an idli breakfast.

Priya said...


Divya, yup, I discovered polenta only last week, the recipe is coming next.

Aparna, so true, and they are also soo deeply attached to the people who made/shared them for/with us.

Cilantro, yup, I made enough of both to last me for breakfast all weekend :))

Sonu, now I want masala dosa! I was hungry so I grated half a carrot into the idli molds and ate the rest :D

Sra, I tend to like anything peanutty, especially in savory dishes, so peanut studded pulihora, bagara baingan, mirchi ka salan, thai curries with peanuts are all my favs. But in sweets its only chikki, I don't like snickers or other chocolates with them!
The only thing about this chutney though that I dislike is, its on the heavier side when compared to a coconut/tomato chutney and I use less of it.

Anita said...

So true about the peanut chutney. i too discovered it only a couple of years ago when I saw it on Mahanandi. Like you, I too run out of coconut sometimes, but peanuts are always at hand! Quicker to roast these than to grate a coconut.
The polenta sandwich is looking as good as the idli!

Bhawana said...

very tempting chautney n idli. I bookmarked this one.

Nags said...

only 2 tbsp coconut? hmmm.. gotta try!

kowthas said...

*sigh. Simple foods and yet so tasty na? :)

*ninnu kattukunevaadu evadokaani, adrushtavantudu* :p

Mandira said...

love the carrot idlis priya and the chutney looks fabulous!

Priya said...

Wow carrot idlies with peanut, am drooling now here...

Priya said...


Anita, yup, I somehow never run out of peanuts :) I buy frozen grated coconut, and I hate using up all of it in one dish, cos then when I need it again I will have to drive all the way to the Indian store to get another.

Bhawana, do try it out, its really good.

Nags, yes, this is mainly a peanut chutney to which I added some coconut, you can even skip it all together.

Rads, adhrushtam anukuntado, leda guinea pig ni chesi gym chuttu thirigipisthanu anukuntado choodali :P

Mandira, the chutney has all the flavors I like in it, the best part is its versatility, you can totally tailor it to your tastes.

Priya, then you better make some asap for the weekend :)

Kalai said...

I love the look of the grated carrot on top of the idlis, Priya! Peanut chutney sounds great and really versatile. Will try it as I'm not a huge fan of coconut chutney! :)

indosungod said...

Priya, now you have me longing for peanut chutney and idlis. We don't get idli rice anymore and I still have not found an alternate rice that makes idlis so my insurance is out for a while and rava idlis are in.

Mallugirl said...

a whole lot of chutneys!! homesickness..what's going on? though i don't mind.. i am always looking for new chutneys.

Ramya said...

Tried out your peanut chutney...Everybody loved it...thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Certainly looks delicious. I am going to try this out. Please do post
links to your new recipes at worldrecipeindex.com. people can get
immediately notified if some new recipe is added and then they can
visit your site immediately.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

My favorite breakfast. I am going to try this out. Please do post
links to your new recipes at worldrecipeindex.com. people can get
immediately notified if some new recipe is added and then they can
visit your site immediately.

Thanks.

Roochi said...

during my college days one of my dear friends used to get peanuts chuttney with idlis, i wd just lov it. now i got the recipe from you.. i shall try this out..

Vijay said...

Hi,
I was telling a friend that you can get receipe for anything on net although I never looked for one.I looked for Rasgulla(as my friend is in restaurant business) and found your site quite good.
While going through your breakfast dishes of Idli and peanut chutney I found something which you had shown in the picture of carrot idlies.In the picture you had one more thing placed in plate which looks like a dry powder.Basically From north India but I had eaten something similar alongwith idli at
my friend home in Nashik(Maharashtra) around 20 years back.
Is it the same which can be mixed with water or can be eaten dry.What it is called? I asked someone here but she is yet to give me the receipe or name.I liked it a lot.(it tasted like peanuts,sugar,hing and chilly) but it was the dry powder before my college friend poured water and made a paste.

will look for reply

Vijay

Anonymous said...

Looks Yummy! Can you please tell me what is Dalia/putnalu ? I googled it and cudn't come up with right answer. Is it channa dal ? thanks Aarthy

Priya V said...


Aarthy, your guess was close :) putnalu is also called roasted channa dal.

Vijay, I just saw your comment, sorry I could not get to it earlier. In case you do come back, the podi is called idli podi/idli karam podi & gun powder in some places :)) It's made by roasting urad dal, chana dal, til, peanuts, red chillies, tamarind & hing before blending into a coarse powder. It pairs really well with many South Indian breakfast items and is usually mixed with Til oil/ghee.

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