Today, I went to a lunch potluck – the second one I attended with the mahila mandal out here. I recently joined this group of terrific homemakers, and I am sure I will have loads of fun with them in the future too.
My first potluck with the group was on last Tuesday. It was a lunch potluck to celebrate Makar Sankranti. I was supposed to make starters and I opted to make pakoras. Wanting to try my hand at something new, I made Moong pakoras in addition to potato pakoras. I won’t write much about this potluck here, except that all the food was lovely, and we had a great time chatting and exchanging recipes.
Today’s potluck was arranged on the occasion of Vasant Panchami. We were supposed to dress in yellow and cook something that looked yellow. Vasant Panchami is celebrated to welcome spring. Goddess Saraswati - the goddess of knowledge is worshipped on this day. We should also worship our books. My friend informed me that children are not supposed to study on this day. Can they have a better excuse?:-) We made a small pooja of Saraswati. Yellow and white are favorite colors of Saraswati, hence the importance of wearing yellow and cooking a yellow colored dish.
When my friend told me about this potluck, I decided to cook fried idli. Later on, I was thinking that I could also have made potato poha or pithala. Anyways, my mom always used to make these idlis (which are almost like dhoklas), that I used to love and I wanted to make those. This is a minor variation from the normal idlis and taste divine. Here’s the recipe:
Fried Masala Idlis
For the batter:
2 cups rice
1 cup udad daal
1 cup besan
½ cup curd (yoghurt)
For the masala:
Paste of 4-5 green chillies (You can add more as per your choice.)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chilli powder (You can add more as per your choice.)
Pinch of soda
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Soak 2 cups of rice and 1 cup of udad daal in water for 4-5 hours.
- Churn the above ingredients in the mixture, without draining the water.
- Add 1 cup besan and half cup curd to the above batter. Ferment this for 10 hours.
- Add all the ingredients listed under “For the masala” in the above batter. Mix well.
- Pour this mixture in the greased plates of the idli stand.
- Steam cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the idlis from the stand and let them cool for some time. Cut the idlis into two pieces (you can leave them whole, if you want).
- Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Shallow fry the idli pieces on both sides.
- Enjoy the fried masala idlis.
Everyone liked these idlis. We had a grand feast with dishes including khichdi, tamarind rice, boondi raita, laddu, and pakoras. We enjoyed playing dumb charades after this feast. Overall, a super potluck with loads of food and fun.