Monday, November 12, 2012

You Win Some; You Lose Some

Even with dishes I've made a hundred times, being in a new kitchen is requiring a certain amount of standardization. I seem to cook on auto-pilot most of the time, so this is taking some effort on my part. After nearly incinerating a few meals on the electric stove (which heats up a lot faster than the gas stove I'm used to), I think I finally have learned the ways of this new (to me) stove.

This weekend I made a big batch of idli/dosa batter for the first time since moving here. The weather is a bit chilly so I turned on the oven light and stuck the covered batter in there Something I've done so many times before, no biggie. Several hours later, I pulled out the batter and the minute my hand touched the bowl, I knew I was in for an unpleasant surprise- the bowl felt HOT. Not warm and cozy and just right for the micro-beasts to go about their busy job of fermentation, but too warm and feverish. Sure enough, the batter had not risen. The bulb in this oven seems to be heating it up more than I anticipated.

We made dosas with the batter anyway. When the fermentation doesn't go well, dosas just aren't that tasty. I quickly decided to make a chutney to add some oomph to our dinner. This powdered chutney (podi) is one I've wanted to try for some months. It is a crunchy, sweetish Bangalore style chutney that I first tasted from the famous Subbamma Stores in Bangalore via a care package sent by Vani. Then Jayasri commented that she had posted a recipe for this chutney on her blog. Oh, joy!

I made the chutney in minutes, eyeballing all the ingredients and substituting what I had on hand.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan. On low heat, gently roast urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies, asafetida, dry coconut flakes.

Let the roasted mixture cool. Then grind to a coarse powder, adding salt, tamarind paste and jaggery.

Even with my rather quick and dirty method, I was thrilled with the taste and texture of the chutney. I'll be making it often as I try to regain my idli batter mojo. 

16 comments:

  1. uh oh, thats a bummer with the gadgets eh? :( How is it the electric stove heats up faster?! I have only been hearing the other way around.. (although my gas stove seems to be just the same as my electric from the past..)

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    1. This electric stove of mine is fancy schmancy. And it heats up quick and stays hot. Instead of simmering, I just turn off the heat and let the pot sit there!

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  2. ok, where's sunday's post? Hmmmm?

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    1. Double posts today :D you do the math!

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  3. Hi Nupur
    I really enjoy all your blogs. I am impressed by your neat, methodical style of doing everything. For a person like me who is not naturally orrganized - just wanted to request you to write about how you pack so much into a single day. Many other bloggers have also requested for this.Below is the link to my blog. Please feel free to comment when you get a chance to read. Also is it OK if I reference your blog - I am planning to post my first recipe and want to give credit where it is due.

    http://www.indianewengland.com/blogger-juinavare

    Jui

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    1. Jui- yes, feel free to reference/link to my blog whenever you like. Good luck with your blog. I'll write a post about time management some time this month (need to manage my time and write it- heh).

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  4. I love podi chutney. I consider it the southern version of Metkoot.

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    1. Yup- and every region seems to have its own variation.

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  5. You're so right about the adjustments that are required for cooking in a new kitchen, even though the setup may be similar to a previous one. My electric stove was antiquated and the bane of my existence (the oven temperatures could vary upto 25 deg.!) Thanks god for my new apartment and its new stove with actual glass in the door,so I can keep an eye on things.

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    1. Happy for you! Two years ago was when I first landed in a place with a glass-door oven- oh I was excited for days.

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  6. I hear you. The thing I dislike electric stoves, but that is all we get in Dallas ( unless you have you own home). I still remember the first time I made Fulkas on a stove. ugh! I was in tears! I looked in despair at the wooden fulkas and wondered if I flung them across the room, would they fly like frisbees. They were good for nothing else.
    I am used to it now, but Oh! how I long for a gas stove! sigh.
    I like this chutney podi, it is different from the Bijapur Chutnipodi my Mom makes.

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    1. So far the switch from gas to electric has been OK (saying that while knocking on wood) but I can see how they make fulka-making difficult.

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  7. Your photos look very yummy! I love Indian cuisine. Glad I finally found another food blog via NaBloPoMo! Saying hi to a fellow NaBloPoMo-er! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to say hi :) Now I'm off to check out your blog.

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  8. I can totally understand your situation. I am using my electric cooking range for the last few months but still didn't get the hang of it. I do not like it, I like traditional gas cooking range.

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    1. I do like certain things about mine- it cooks everything so fast!! But yeah I do miss the gas stove overall.

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