I strongly believe that cooking ‘well’ does not necessarily mean cooking ‘fancy’. At times, or rather, most of the times, the simplest of all flavors could do so much magic to our taste buds. It need not be a complicated dish with ‘hard-to-pronounce’ ingredients but just simple food cooked with love and freshest ingredients you could get hold of.
‘Simple food’ is ambiguous and differs between persons belonging to different origin and cuisines. A dish that I consider simple can be complicated to a person in Italy and vice versa. In short, simple/comfort food is the one that each one of us grew up with, the food that we saw our mothers/grandmothers cooking and the food that made our childhood. For me, it is the South Indian cuisine and more particularly Tamil cuisine.
Idli/dosa to a South Indian is like bread/pancakes to my friends in the other part of the world. Idli/dosa paired with different types/flavors of chutney will make the morning scene in most of the Tamil house. To be more precise, chutney is just like how butter is to bread. Will it be so obvious if I say; chutney is the best friend of Idli/Dosa?
So here is the recipe of one such simple chutney that is very quick and easy to make, that can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week and that makes an excellent side to idli/dosa/pongal and wide variety of other Indian breakfasts. Sounds perfect, right?
Onion - 1 medium sliced
Tomato - 1 medium sliced
Green Chilli - 1
Channa Dhal - 1 tsp
Urad Dhal - 2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red Chilli - 3- 4 (adjust to taste)
Oil - as needed
Tamarind Paste - 1/4 tsp (grape sized if using pulp)
Salt - as needed
Cilantro -1 tbs finely chopped
1. Heat about 1 tsp oil in a pan and roast fenugreek seeds, channa dhal, urad dhal, red chilli, asafoetida (in order) till the dhal changes color. Make sure you do not burn them. Transfer them to another plate.
2. Add sliced onions and green chilli to the same pan and sauté till the onion turns transparent.
3. Add tomatoes and sauté till it turns mushy.
4. Allow it to cool.
5. Grind the above ingredients along with cilantro,salt and tamarind paste with little water.
Enjoy your idli/dosa with this simple yet delicious chutney.