Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Idli


After I passed out of Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya in 96 and my visits to Bajirao Rd were limited to the telephone exchange. There are a number of things I miss about my old college neighbourhood. Places like Saras Baug, Hindustan Bakery and most of all Wadeshwar. On Bajirao Road right opposite the telephone exchange there is a small place called that sells the most delicious idlis you'll ever eat. You wouldn't come across it unless you knew of it as the actual place is on the first floor, almost 10 metres above the footpath. 90% of Wadeshwar's business comes from Idli-Sambar. Two hot idlis in a bowl with a generous helping of Sambar that came out of a tap. And back then it was all at a very reasonable price or 2 Rupees making it a highly sought after destination for cheap bastards like yours truly. It was also a great place to sketch as some really interesting, senior gentry from the ‘old city’ frequented the place. Really the sketching wasn't as interesting as watching feeble, slightly bent, old city folk who would struggle to get to the top of the stairs, settle down with a bowl of boiling hot idli-sambar and just inhale it. The sale of idli sambar at Wadeshwar is so high that the sambar was kept in a horizontal, high capacity tank and poured on the idli by means of taps placed at one-foot intervals. I always opted for the idli-chutney, as I was afraid of spilling any sambar on my clothes. Looking back, it was kind of pointless, as I didn't own any clothes that weren't already paint-stained.

Ingredients
1 cup Rice
1 cup Urad Dal

1/2 tsp Salt.
Oil

Method
Soak Rice and Urad Dal overnight in separate containers.
Coarsely grind Rice and Udad Dal separately using sufficient water till you have a the consistency of medium thick batter
Mix Rice and Urad in a container
Leave overnight and allow it to ferment
Add salt and stir to flatten the batter
Grease the idli pans and fill them to about 3/4th capacity
Steam the idlis for 10 min
Serve with sambar and chutney