Time and tide waits for none says a 14th century adage and I am sure most of us could not agree with it more. Days fly by at the blink of the eye and even before we realize it months and years have passed by and all that is left behind are memories. Some of them good and warm ones that we like to cherish and some not-so-good ones that we like to forget.

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There are so many ways of evoking those memories like food, people, places, special days etc but I personally feel that food is the strong catalyst of all. Food is a part and parcel of our daily lives and it takes the centre-stage when there are festivals, get togethers, parties etc. So it goes without saying that there will be memories associated with it. I instantly go down the memory lane especially while making special festival meals, traditional meals etc and cannot help but recall the experience of joy, family, food, excitement felt during festivals.

“Mooga Ghashi” along with “Khotte” (idli steamed in jackfruit leaves) is a quintessential part of Konkani traditional cooking. For this curry, boiled moong is cooked in a coconut-tamarind-redchillies paste. No celebration is complete without these two dishes and it is a time-honored tradition followed by many generations.

However making the “Khotte” is a very tedious and time consuming process involving lots of steps. First appropriate Jack fruit leaves are hand picked from the tree, washed and then carefully dried. Next step is the time consuming process, where in which  5-6 leaves are taken and shaped in the form of “hands together, palms touching” by “sewing” it with small sticks.  Care should be taken so that there are no holes or loose ends while making the “moulds” as the batter might run out while steaming. These are then made in number of batches. Regular idli batter is then prepared and left overnight to ferment. The next day “Khotte” (idli) is then made by pouring the batter into the leaves “mould” and then steaming it. Never the less, after all the painful process it goes without saying that the taste is simply out of this world. The aroma that fills the house when fresh “khotte” are out of the steamer is simply out of this world. 

However for obvious reasons, we cannot prepare those idlis here. Instead we prepare another delicacy called “Cucumber Idli” the regular way. Cucumber Idli are instant idlies and requires no grinding and also no fermentation. There is no compromise in taste and the aroma is heavenly.I learnt this from my MIL who is an expert in making these.

Here is another option of making Cucumber Dosa using the same mixture.

This is my contribution for the event Monthly Mingle  hosted by wonderful and talented Meeta of What’s For Lunch, Honey? 

  • Ingredients for the curry

    1 cup green whole moong 

     

Masala to grind: 

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3-4 red chillies
  • Juice of lemon sized tamarind
  • Salt to taste 

For tadka: 

  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • Mustard
  • Asafetida
  • Oil (preferable coconut oil)

Preparation:

  • Soak the Moong in water for about 8-10 hours.  Drain the water completely and keep it covered and let the moong sprout.
  • After the moong is sprouted, pressure cook it with sufficient water. Make sure that the moong is not turned into a paste, but is still separate.
  • Make a fine paste of coconut, red chillies, tamarind and salt adding little water and keep aside.

Method:

  • Take a heavy bottom pan, add the cooked moong along with water and add the ground masala paste stirring in between. Let it come to a boil.
  • Make a tadka of mustard and let it splutter; add curry leaves, hind and red chillies. Cehck for salt and other seasonings.
  • Add this tadka to the boiled moong, masala mixture and cover it immediately.

 Ingredients for Cucumber Idli

  • 1 big cucmber
  • 1 cup of idli rava (more or less depending on the cucumber gratings)
  • Handful of coriander leaves
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • salt 

Preparation:

  • Peel the cucumber and grate it. Retain the seeds of the cucumber but drain the cucumber water completely. Squeeze the cucumber to drain out additional water.
  •  Chop up the green chilies and coriander leaves very finely.
  •  Add the idli rava, coconut, green chilies, coriander leaves to grated cucumber and mix well. Add salt as required. Keep aside for 30 minutes. (Note: Try not to drain water at this time, try to retain as far as possible. But if it is too liquidy then drain the water)
  •  Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and not “gooey” or watery like a idli batter.

Procedure:

  • Grease the idli stand and pour the cucumber mixture in each groove. 
  • Steam this in a pressure cooker without whistle for 15 minutes.

 The idli can be eaten as is.  There is even no need to prepare any chutney or curry or powder. The idli has the right seasoning, but tastes awesome with some ghee.

 

     

NOTE: The moisture content in the cucumber itself is enough to steam the idlis. There is no need to add extra water or even retain water from the grated cucumber. Otherwise they turn soggy if water content is higher. There is no need to add baking soda as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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