Archive for the ‘The dishes’ Category

It was sometime 2,3 weeks back where my IDLI didn’t come as expected..  (Think about any oath taking scene from a tamil cinema  😀 and read the following line), At that moment I decided to find the science behind Idli.  I was searching the Internet and spent almost half a day (wasting) researching . The idea of this post gave birth then, but due to sheer laziness and wasting time in playing Poker in facebook,  this post is published now… 😀

Requirement: A Soft and spongy IDLI

Scope: The scope of this post covers preparing Idli in hot and humid places like India and cool places like Denver, Colorado

TestLocation: Denver, Colorado, US.

Expected Output: Soft idli

Actual Output: ?!#$@%!@#$!   (Writing the post before I could taste my idli 😀 😀 )  and the actual output will not be updated here.. 😀 😀

Ingredients: Rice and Urad dal…. (3:1 ratio) just 2….. yes just 2 but picking the right variety matters and there are a quite a few factors which we have to keep in mind while preparing the batter.

The Science: The fermentation of the batter is the thing that matters.. if it ferments well, then the Idli is expected to be good. The fermentation is caused by yeast. The functionality of the urad dal is to draw the yeast from air; so does the  Fenugreek seeds.  That is Y, a small amout of Fenu is added to the urad dal (or/and) rice. In addition, it improves the flavour and texture of the batter. Excess amount of Fenu will lead to a bitter taste.

Rice: The rice is classified into 3 types:  Long, Medium and Short Grain rice.

They all contain 2 types of starches: Amylose and Amylopectin. Amylopectin is said to be the reason behind the softness in Idli. The more the amylopectin is, more softer the idli would be. Out of the 3 types of rices, short grain rices has more Amylopectin. If you take a handful of the so called  idli rice and the normal rice which you use for the meal; the first one would be shorter and plumpy; the second one would be longer and thin.  Idli should go with any variety of short grain rice. For the people outside India, If you are not getting the Idli rice, the Arborio rice from the Italian origin is said (by someone) to be suitable for making Idli. The rice are measured by a method  called Swelling Number. As the amylopectin increases, the SN increased.It’s upto you to try different varieties of them.

Varieties of Rice:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rice_varietieshttp://www.foodsubs.com/Rice.html ; http://www.clovegarden.com/ingred/gr_rice.html ; http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/education/types-of-rice/bd469.aspx

When I was doing my research on Idli, I came across a beautiful video which is shared below:

Do we have any such thing in TN??  Feeling  proud of the Punjabi’s … Unfortunate to have quite a few Punjabi friends.

Back to the story………..

Water: Chlorine in water would destroy the yeast and the fermentation might not occur as expected. Chlorine filtered or spring water is suggested while preparing the batter.

Salt: Iodine also destroys yeast, so iodized salt is not suitable. Mix the salt after it has fermented or use kocher salt.

Temperature: It has to be 80-90 deg Fahrenheit to achieve a decent amount of fermentation.  Make sure to you increase your heater. I had also read that we can keep the batter inside the oven (if you are not using the oven).

If all the above conditions are maintained, it is guaranteed that your idli is soft, smooth and tasty.

The following site gives you the above details with more biological terms

http://www.super-science-fair-projects.com/biochem/idli-rice-cake-fermentation-science-fair-projects.html

Thanks to all of those how viewed this post:

aaappppppy idli making….

 

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That was the first time I actually had to help to prepare dinner my family

My mother is the chief cook and we are the great eaters of her food. She was asked to not to go near the kitchen for a couple of days. So I tried to put my hand in making the dish.

My passion is to learn, explore each and every thing in this world and cooking is one among them.

I had heard about bheema in Mahabharatha and Nalan in tamizh history. they were said to be great cooks at their time. The film, ratatouille is also another insipiraiton. when Mr. Gusteau’s helps a rat to cook why not me??. When Remy can satisfy anton ego why can’t I satisy my tongue…

With all this inspirational note here’s my experience.

1. Added oil, mustard, red chillies, dal and curry leaves.
2. I was asked to pour some water in a kadai. It boiled for a while, A measure quantiy of rava was asked to mix with the water in the kadai. I stirred it for a while and covered the kadai with a plate. After 10-15 minutes when I opened the uppuma was ready. I was really surprised to see how simple it is.

The next day I helped to make chappathi’s. Chappathi’s are called as indian flat breads. sounds funny. it was very very simple. The readymade flour is available at stores. Get it, cut it and pour some into a bowl. Add some water and oil. Mix it. On mixing, it will get thicker to form a moist dough. Thats it.. u have to take a TT ball size from it. roll it to thin texture and heat it up.. AS it becomes brownish, flip it and serve it.

The ultimate point is…. though my mother didn’t come to kitchen but she was the person who measured and gave me ingredients at right quantity. If you ask me about the right quantity to mix.. sorry i don’t have an answer right now.. If written,you could see it in my future blogs….

See u in next blog.. ur comments to improve my blogging would really be appreciated.

(final note: Neither the uppuma was worse nor the chappathi was bad :-))