This is simply a way to dress up regular Idli. If you’re anything like me, you will NOT like the plain Idli each time you serve it!
One thing that Bear LOVES is Idli Sambar. He can eat it by the ton. He can eat it faster than Superman can reverse the earth. He is the KING Idli Sambar eater, so making it properly is extremely important!
I keep it simple and use as much box mixes as I can.
Here is what you will need to start off.
- A rice cooker or large steaming pot.
- Idli trays
Here is a link for a whole cooker set, it’s for Idli’s small dosa’s and dhokla. Niiiiiice:
Anyway, the Idli cooking tray is the one with the little round sections in the plate. But if you have something you can steam with and it’s large enough to hold your new Idli tray’s (which can have multiple purposes) then no reason to get anything else new.
Also, find your local Indian Grocery. Almost every large city (and even small city’s like my home town) has them.
Once there, buy some spices you will need. The basic spices for ANY Indian dish are as follows…
Basic Indian Spices
Masala Powder (lots to choose from….here is a good spice site with examples)
Jagary (unrefined cane sugar)
FUN FACT: Subji Definition: This term literally means ‘vegetable dish’. It can be used in connection with any vegetable. Subjis can be dry, wet or in curry form.
Also Known In Marathi As: Bhaji
Alternate Spellings: Subzi, Subzee, Subjee, Sabji, Sabzi, Sabzee
So, let’s begin shall we?
First is the shopping list:
Potato’s (not baking kind)
*spices mentioned above
1 box of Gats Idli mix
1 box of Gats Sambar mix
Second, let’s make the Coconut Chutney
1 cup coconut, grated 2 small green chillies, chopped 1 teaspoon ginger, grated 1 tablespoon roasted split gram (daria dal), optional Salt to taste
For the tempering
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 red chili, broken into pieces
2 to 3 curry leaves 1 teaspoon oil
Put the coconut, green chilies, ginger, roasted split gram and salt in a blender with a little water and grind to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Prepare the tempering by heating the oil and adding the mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves and stirring till the mustard seeds crackle. Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
Refrigerate and use as required.
Second, let’s make the dry Aloo Subji (Potato Vegetable Dish)
1 Lg Potato finely chopped
1 Md Onion finely chopped
Crushed Peanuts (to your liking…but I use about half a cup)
1-2 Thai / Green chilies chopped (depends on how hot you like it)
1-2 tsp of Garlic (either chopped, minced or crushed – I prefer crushed)
2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Turmeric
1-2 tsp Chili Powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
½ tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Subji Masala Powder
½ tsp Jagary (unrefined cane sugar)
Salt (to taste)
½ to 1 cup of oil, depending on your needs.
In a small non-stick pan, heat the jagary (sugar) in some water and add the crushed peanuts.
Cook until either the water is gone or until you feel enough of the sweetness has been absorbed by the nuts. Depends on your tastes.
Drain the sugar water from the peanuts and set aside.
In a non-stick pan, heat the oil on medium.
Next add two teaspoons of mustard seeds and cook until they “pop”.
Next, add the fennel seeds and fry until they start to darken (usually about a minute or so).
Now add the chopped thai green chilies, finely chopped onion and spices.
Next add the garlic, potato and crushed peanuts.
Turn the heat down and cook until the potato is tender stirring occasionally.
Third, let’s make the Idli batter….
This one’s easy….get a large mixing bowl and then follow the directions on the box!
TIP: The batter should have a very heavy and almost gritty consistency; however it should be “smooth”. I used a rice cooker for my Idli steaming, so it took about 15 minutes to cook.
Once the batter is prepared, rub oil into the baking cups of your Idli tray.
Then put a small amount of Idli batter into each “cup”.
Now spoon some of your Aloo Subji on top of the Idli batter. You can add as much or as little as you want, but keep in mind not to pile it too high or not to leave room for the Idli batter to go on the sides or over the top of the subji.
Once you’ve added your desired amount of subji onto the first small amount of Idli batter, and then pour some more Idli batter on the top of the subji and around the sides. The subji has to be covered otherwise when you fry the stuffed Idli; your stuffing is going to pop right out.
Once you’ve filled all your Idli trays, pop them into your steamer of choice and steam them for the proper amount of time.
Example: I used a rice cooker so mine took about 15 minutes to steam and I used about 500 ml of water in the bottom of my rice cooker.
TIP: My rice cooker is large and rather deep so the amount of water you use might be different from mine. You want to make sure that the water does NOT touch or bubble into your Idli otherwise it will be a mushy mess.
Fourth, let’s make the Sambar….
This is easy as well, get a large cook pot and then follow the directions on the box!
I added small diced potato, long cut red onion and a few green peas to mine. However, you can add any favorite veggie as long as it’s cut into smaller pieces.
You’ll be dipping your Idli into the sambar so whatever veggies are in there have to be small enough to pick up on your spoon that already has a piece of Idli.
TIP: I added a little extra water to my mix as I found that the sauce got too thick once I started to heat it up. I prefer a thinner sambar so I added a little more water, some more salt and a tsp of the red chili powder to make up for the water I added.
Fifth, now let’s start frying!
Once your Idli is done steaming, you can now start frying!
Get a round bottomed pan if you can, but I know sometimes that a little hard to do in the US. So, whatever you use for frying chicken or dumplings or donuts, use that.
Use enough oil so that the Idli’s do not touch the bottom but not so much that you go into oil shock.
Now fry the Idli’s until they are golden brown.
Once done, you can sprinkle some Idli powder on top or a little of your subji masala powder.
Serve them hot with your hot sambar and a side of your chilled homemade coconut chutney! YUMMY!
Sambar, Stuffed Fried Idli and Coconut Chutney 🙂