Kaima idli

I had this for the first time in Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. It was served with a sweet raita, and it was incredible!I have tried various recipes and have tweaked the recipes to suit what we have at home, and the idlies always turns out great. The idea really is to use a mix of spices, ready-made sauces, seasoning that suits You. Taste as you go, you want something spicy, fiery, sweet and sour. Well-balanced, but with a punch.

The recipe below isn’t even a recipe, it’s just the stuff I used this time, I may use entirely different ingredients the next time, but it’s a good start.

You will need:
Left over idli (cubed) – or use my instant idli recipe, but steam the batter in large trays and cube them.
1 onion sliced
Sugar – pinch
Salt – pinch
1/3 capsicum chopped finely
4 green chillies chopped
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
Tandoori paste
1 teaspoon South Indian Lime pickle (just the masala stuff, no fruit)
Red chili powder
Garam masala
Coriander powder
Pav bhaji masala (optional)
Coriander leaves
Lemon Juice

Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Curry leaves
Dried chillies

Heat oil, cut the idli into small pieces and shallow fry until crisp and golden. Don’t worry if you don’t get all the sides crips, just make sure most of the sides are crunchy. If it’s easier, you can fry the idlis off as larger pieces and then cut them up once they’re fried. This way they are firm and easier to slice without mashing them up. Set idli pieces aside.

Heat oil, add tempering ingredients, and then add onions and pinch of sugar and salt. Once golden, add capsicum (or any other veg of your choosing) also add green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Fry well. Add all the other seasonings, and fry on low heat. Taste. It should hit you and make you pucker. Remember once you add the idlies, they’ll mellow the sauce down. So make sure you get a good strong flavour. Keep tweaking until you’re pleased. Maggie Hot and Sweet and Maggie Rich Tomato sauce are good additions as well.

Once you’re happy with the sauce, add the idli pieces again and stir well, sprinkle a little water on top, and cover, this will help the idlies steam through again and warm from inside and soak up the sauce.

Garnish with chopped coriander and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

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