It has been a cold and rainy day, dull and gloomy. Roads were slippery with the sleet, a cold bitter wind blew……
Times that make you want to stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet of cozy warmth……
There are foods that comfort you, memories wrapped in their aroma, recreate magic however far you live from your place of birth. Steamed rice dumplings have always done that to me, for as long as I can remember, it is called “Idli” from where I come from, a staple South Indian breakfast, a versatile dish and a healthy one at that, has had many avatars of it’s own, paired with different spicy combo’s is something you will never forget once you taste it.
Today, being Martin Luther King Day, it was a holiday, had time on my hands and in a mood for some culinary adventure.My thoughts flew back to the time, I first tasted ,’Nei Idli’s’.’Nei’/Ghee is clarified butter and Idli’s are steamed rice dumplings in the South Indian language of Tamil.It was in a small restaurant near the University hospital in Vellore, a city in the north eastern part of the state of Tamil Nadu. I remember the distinct taste of ghee coating every lentil in the sambar ( a lentil based vegetable curry, another staple in every South Indian home) and being immensely happy after tasting it, that I went to the same place each morning during my stay there in the city. It was served in a little bowl, with hot piping sambar and these happy Mini Idli’s swimming gleefully on it, that it is impossible to resist.The ghee is the icing on the cake, like I said, it makes your heart smile.
This cold and rainy day, I was determined to recreate that magic in my kitchen, I pulled out the mini Idli pan which has been safely packed in the pantry …..
I already had the Idli batter…..
I quickly made some yummy sambar to go with it & Voila! before I knew it, the ‘Nei Idli’ was sitting in my dining table all dressed & ready to go. The weather outside was soon forgotten, each soup spoonful of Nei Idli was just what we needed on this day, comfort foods always taste like that, they wrap your taste buds and your frail nerves with the tenderest of heart strings and you are no more the same.Even our pet demanded a second helping, need I say more ?
Your ‘Nei Idli’ is good to go, spreading happiness & comfort all the way ! Enjoy!
You can find more of my published Idli recipes here:
- Idly Upma :
2. Colorful Cocktail Idli’s :
3. World Idli Day :