March 31, 2008

Balanced Breakfast-Ragi Idiappam and Ishtu...

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day for important that I have no patience in cooking elaborate breakfasts on an empty stomach. But weekends are special and breakfast is a lazy affair over lots of chatter and cups of tea. So I fortify myself on cereal and get cooking. But by the time I get the food ready, it inevitably becomes brunch.
This is my entry to the Weekend Breakfast Blogging hosted by Manasi this month. So how to have a balanced breakfast? Mansi wants whole grains, fruits/vegetables and protein in the breakfast. Whole wheat square cereal topped with nuts and dried fruits and milk would be an ideal entry but wouldn't fly by the rest of the household.:) So this is one of the preferred alternatives to the standard bread and egg combination.

Why "Ragi" or finger millet idiappam? They call it idiappam, we call it nool puttu( puttu in string form).Well, ragi is a great source of plant protein as well as calcium, fiber and minerals. In India, finger millet or ragi is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. According to wiki, ground Ragi flour is made into ragi munda, dosa and roti. Ragi grain is malted and flour from the malted grain is consumed after mixing with Milk/Boiled water/Yoghurt.

It used to be considered the poor man's food and was not common in my house while growing up, but in this new era of "healthy living", "high Fiber", "whole grain" food, it is making a come back in different forms. I had written about ragi puttu earlier and now here is idiappam which is also delicious if u like the whole grain taste.

I just follow Anita's excellent recipe as it is for making idiappam. This time though I replaced more than half of the rice flour with ragi flour to make the idiappam healthier. You could make it with full ragi flour but it might be too coarse then. Use ragi flour as available in Indian stores.
I don't like supporting any brands as the powders you get in the Indian stores here vary in freshness based on the traffic through the store. Some batches of entire rice/flour etc will be stale tasting and some will be good. Of the lot, I found Eastern ragi and rice four to be of relatively good quality. Still do check the date!! And don't blame me if you don't like the taste.
You will need:
Fine Rice Flour - 1 cup
Fine ragi flour- 1 cup
Water - approx 2 cups or less
Salt - 1/2 teas spoon
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Thick Coconut milk - 1 tsp (Optional)
Heat water with the salt in a pan till boiling point. Pour the hot boiling water to the ragi-rice flour and stir thoroughly to avoid lumps. Keep the flour closed for 3-5 minutes to cool it down and mix with a spoon to a smooth even consistency. Lightly grease the idiappam mold and fill it to three quarters full.
I used to make this in the Idli mold so that each of them comes out nice and pretty but when you are in a hurry, its just as tasty to make it into big plate sized idiappams which you can cut before serving. Another short cut I use is the pasta cooker's steamer basket. For ease of removing the idiappam, I line it with a fresh paper towel and place a layer of coconut on it. Then the idiappam is squeezed out on to it and steamed.
Either way, grease the slotted tray or idli mold, whichever you are using and squeeze out the noodles onto the tray in a circular motion. I use the sev/mixture plate in the murukku mold. If the noodles are breaking up as they come out, it means there is too much water in the dough. Garnish with lots of coconut and cover and steam for 5-7 minutes. After it cools, serve with ishtu. Or it tastes yummier with fresh coconut milk and sugar.

Ishtu/ Potato stew with coconut milk
By now, the blogging world must have made everyone aware that "Ishtu" is a corruption of the word "Stew", and takes many forms with or without meat/fish in it.
This is the simplest form of it, almost as a base for all the other versions.
You Will need:
2 potatoes diced
1 onion sliced
4-5 green chilies
1 piece of cinnamon stick
2 cloves and 2 cardamom
Some curry leaves
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper, coarse
salt to taste
1 cup of coconut milk.
Heat 1-2 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add the whole spices and onions and then the green chilies. Sauté only for 3 to 5 minutes till the onions gets transparent. Add the potatoes, 1 cup of water and salt. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat or till the potatoes get cooked. When they are cooked, mash some of the potatoes lightly. Add the coconut milk and pepper. Garnish with curry leaves and keep covered for a minute or so.


Nags said...

nice entries :)

Uma said...

delicious. balanced breakfast for sure!

Pravs said...

wow! so healthy and nutritious ! Must try ..looks so yummy !

Seena said...

Never tried idiyappams with ragi.. Can't make anything with ragi now, I wouldn't get nice powder here.. (mannu kadikkunnu chilappol..) :)

Mansi Desai said...

how do I make these??? its looks tasty, but where's the recipe??!:)

TBC said...

recipe evide?;-)

Hima said...

Where is the recipe?

TBC said...

Did I just spell "recipe" incorrectly?:-(

nandita said...

Thanks for these lovely entries, the Ragi idiappam really interests me, is there a special mould for this, or can I use the ones that make the murukku etc. with a change of plate inside?

Jayashree said...

I like the idea of mixing ragi with rice flour....must try this next time.

Mallugirl said...

Mansi, Hima, TBC,recipe is there now..:)

Nags, phew! i managed an entry!!

Uma,Pravs, delicious and nutritious it is, balanced.. well a bit more vegetable would be good, don't u think?

Seena, i have also got the sandy taste sometimesbut usually i get good ragi powder now, also bring it from home when i visit.:)

Nandita, Just use the mixture plate in the murku mold.I use the one that is there in ANita's link.

Mansi Desai said...

great! this looks even better with the recipes now:) thanks for a fab entry gal:)

rashmi said...

yummy...i luv both dishes so much that i can have them for breakfast,lunch and dinner....

Kalai said...

Awesome breakfast!! Great entry for WBB! :)

Namratha said...

Ragi idiappam, wow, never seen or heard of this one before..very nice!

Anonymous said...

Hey Shaheen - the new design looks great!

renuramanath said...

shaheen, what is this ? a new look ? hmmmmm.... you get used to certain things.... well, this one looks, er, more convenient. yet, the old,blue format had a certain intimacy !!! anyway, cheerio.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaheen,

Am a regular visitor of ur blogs and have taken pride in a fellow Malayalee's culinary and aesthetic sense.

Today, I came to your blog after browsing through other cookery blogs that were so cluttered and unkempt and lo!behold...ur site that was a visual feast has also turned into smthing I dreaded!!!

Please please for millions of eyeballs' sake go back to your old template.


Anonymous said...

hi, the new looks kollam!!('ll' to be pronouced as in vellam-water)

hav been thinking of making idiyappam .nvr made, thinkin too much work.but has to,well the story is last trip home my son asked my M-I-L, on being served the same as y is this noodles like this.. :)

Macadamia The Nut said...

Finally! Another person who calls it Nool Puttu! Everyone calls it idiappam and I thought my granny had conned me :D

I've never tried ragi idiappam! That'll be next on my agenda. But I make a mean stew though ;)

farah said...

Hi Shaheen,
Nice new look on your site.And such a healthy breakfast looks so yummy.A must try.

Sig said...

Hey, nice new look... Love that header and of course the nool puttu as well... That is what we used to call Idiyappam too long time ago...

Seena said...

New look is very nice,love both headers.. Saw one with pomegranates and one with ponds.. said...

Idiyappam (nool puttu in calicut) and ishtu is My favourite Dish. Idiyappam and Goat meat istu (stew) is also Very famous in Malabar area. I have found Idiyappam in almost all srelankan shops giving an indication that iddiyappam is very famous there

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Ramya harish said...

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Linda said...

Shaheen, I have never really understood 'puttu' -- its consistency, I mean, till I read this post. Ishtu looks so good and the idiappam with ragi flour, so new. I am wanting to make this soon :)

Anonymous said...


There u do it again,changing your template-).
Your previous one is just beyond comparison,so if u really want a change,try to create a template as grand as your previous.-)

Jyothsna said...

Oh, I thought I landed on someone else's blog! Did your family enjoy ragi nool puttu? I makes ragi dosas, can;t say I like the tatse a lot.

Mallugirl said...

Linda, Puttu is the powdery one and this is more like rice noodles. For puttu, the consistency has to be of the "Crisp"or crumble..wheras for this it has to be that of murukku/ pasty.

Jyo, ragi idiappam was nice..i mixed half rice flour. full ragi tends to be coarse. But we do like ragi puttu too. never tried roti though.

Mallugirl said...

renuramanath, still tinkering with the template, hang in there.

Asha, glad that u liked i am confused which one u liked though!!hi! hi!

Ki, well we should start a parallel blog abt our great nri kid's will be funny and we can show them when they grow up..

macademia, will let u know when i get hold of the curry leaves. U are right, the prices have doubled here now. Did u manage to get any? I have indian stores all around so i can get them easily. so when are we meeting for idiappam and stew?

Sig, u also used to call them noolputtu? thats news.

farah, it is healthy but u have get used to the ragi taste!:) and u have to get good quality very fine ground ragi powder. do try though.

Macadamia The Nut said...

Nooo! :(( we've stopped getting them in the Indian store :(( HALLLP!!

And as for the stew :D anytime! Give me a call girlfriend and I'll rush from wherever I am :d I'll kill for great food ;)