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Steaming It! -2
Esgee's Kitchen

Steaming It! -2

Here are 3 Indian recipes that require steaming. This method of cooking is healthy as the oil factor involved in frying is reduced and makes for healthy eating. Besides, the vitamins in the food are not lost.

1. Banana Appam/ Kumbil Appam

Cuisine: Kerala

This is easy to make with bananas, jaggery and rice flour. A favourite for 4 o’clock tea time snacking.

Prep time: 10-12 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Steaming It! -2
  • 1 cup steamed and mashed bananas
  • 1 cup grated jaggery/gur
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ghee/ butter
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated coconut
  • 1 cup fine rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

A few fresh cinnamon leaves for wrapping [this leaf gives the appam a lovely fragrance and flavor; if unavailable, use cut banana leaf pieces]

Melt the jaggery in a little water, strain and return to flame till it becomes syrup. Add ghee to it to prevent hardening. Mix coconut and flour together. Add cardamom powder to the syrup. Next add the syrup to the flour and combine thoroughly. No lumps are to remain in the batter. Now put in the mashed bananas and mix well. If the batter is too thick, you may add a little more water.

Take the washed leaves and shape them into small cones. Pour the batter into them and seal the top. Continue doing this till all the batter is used up. It is suggested that you tie the cones using string in order to prevent them from opening out.

Place cones onto a steaming plate/ container and steam cook for 10-12 minutes. Cool and serve after removing the leaf cover.

2. Tiranga Rava Idli

Cuisine: South Indian

Rava Idlis are popular in Karnataka and TamilNadu. Here the Idli has been given a twist with colour and nutrition by adding carrots and peas. Try it, as it’s a no-grind, no-fermentation variety of Idli. Ideal for kids who fuss over veges!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Steaming It! -2
  • 1 cup sooji/rava/semolina
  • 1 carrot grated
  • ¼ cup peas [fresh or frozen]
  • ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • ½ cup curd
  • 6-8 cashew nuts broken in half
  • ½ teaspoon cooking soda/baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black gram/ urad dal
  • ½ teaspoon channa dal
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • A pinch of asafetida/hing
  • Salt to taste

In a pan, put in the ghee and fry the cashew nuts golden brown. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, add the semolina and roast till light brown [approximately 2-3 minutes]. Remove to a plate and allow it to cool. In a bowl add the roasted semolina and mix the curd with it. Also add ginger, chilli, cashew nuts, carrots and peas, salt and coriander. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water.

In a small pan splutter the mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal in a little oil. Add the tempering to the batter and mix well. Finally add the baking soda and allow it to rest for 5-6 minutes.

Prepare the idli trays by greasing them with a little ghee/oil. Pour in the batter and steam cook for 15 minutes. The idlis will swell up so be careful when you pour the batter and do not fill them to the brim.

The carrot and peas idlis are best served with coconut chutney or sambhar.

3. Dhokla

Cuisine: Gujarati

This is a savoury snack made with gram flour and flavoured with tempering. It is steamed and has a sweet and sour taste to it. Immensely popular all over India, it is light and delicious.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Steaming It! -2
  • 1 cup chickpea flour/besan
  • ½ slightly sour curd
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Eno fruit salt/ cooking soda
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon oil for tempering
  • ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
  • ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 2 -3 green chillies sliced lengthwise
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2tablespoons sugar and ¼ cup water to be mixed for sweet water

In a bowl add the besan, green chillies[chopped], ginger, curd, turmeric, salt and adding a little water whisk well. Add a little oil and combine to get a lump free, smooth batter. Add the Eno salt and mix again. Quickly pour into a container which has been greased and place inside the steamer. Steam it for 12-13 minutes. Open and check centre of Dhokla with a tooth pick to see if it is cooked thoroughly and comes off clean. Remove from flame and allow it to cool. Prepare sugar water.

Transfer Dhokla onto a plate by inverting it. Carefully pour the sugar water over it, depending on how sweet you would like it to be.

Garnish it with coriander leaves.

In a small pan crackle the mustard seeds and jeera in a little oil. Add green chillies. Curry leaves and asafoetida also. Pour this over the Dhokla to finish off.

Cut the Dhokla into squares or diamond shape and serve.

PS. It is often served with green chutney.