Oh, in the midst of all this pantry talk, I almost forgot to mention that I had my special birthday last month and V had his birthday last weekend. Both of us gave each other a surprise birthday party for our birthdays. Out of the two surprise parties, I should say, V was the one who was surprised from the start to end. He had no idea I would be inviting our friends for a surprise breakfast party. Since we moved to our own house last year, it was quiet a challenge for me to give V a surprise party by gathering our friends with whom we were staying in the same apartment complex before we shifted. Few instances favored me such as :
1. French Open tennis (if not for that sports event, V would have gone cycling or swimming during the time I planned the party...phew)
2. The birthday fell on a Saturday
Here are few pics from the party:
Our friends who were kind enough to suggest and offer to make this party a potluck party, made delicious Pongal and Idlis, while I made Sambar and Coconut chutney and of course baked a Carrot cake. I intentionally uploaded the picture of the covered cake on the pedestal as the icing project on the cake went bad :-( ...One of the letters in V's name , started becoming broad and long soon after I finished icing. I then decided next time, I would just stick a color paper cutting with the name rather than write it in frosting ;-) Well its the love which went into making it that matters right? :) hence I wasn't too worried about it as the cake turned out so tasty , even the 11-month old baby of our friend loved it so much that if he was old enough to talk, I think he might have asked for second helping. Thanks to the Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Decadent Carrot Cake Mix which came with dehydrated carrots and raisins in a separate packet along with the cake mix.Though its a Cake mix, I spent considerable amount of time assembling, mixing, baking, layering, frosting, and icing. By the way the cake pedestal was a wonderful gift from cousin Ranji when we shifted to our new home last year . This was the first time I was using it.
Now coming to the Steamed Cabbage dumpling, this is typically a Konkani snack. Though I had not had these, much in my childhood, this time during our India visit, my mother made this with drumstick leaves and , it tasted heavenly :) . The closest I could get here with respect to drumstick leaves would be Fenugreek (methi) leaves. Or maybe I can do it with spinach (as per, today's morning chat with my mother, she tells I can try it with any leafy veggies). Yesterday I didn't think about using spinach as I was concentrated on the almost full head of the partially cut cabbage, whose outer leaves were seen wilting in my fridge . I decided then and there, today's dinner special : Cabbagyaache undi :) . My ever supportive partner V nodded his head in agreement. Now I needed the recipe, and I was browsing Divya's Easycooking blog yesterday and found this recipe for the Undi which suited to my needs as I had to empty the Idli Rava in the pantry and also use up most of the cabbage. I followed her recipe to the 'T' and it came out perfect. The only change I would make is to use less red chillies next time as it was a bit too much for V, though I enjoyed the spicy taste. Here is the recipe for your reference:
- 1 cup Idli rava
- 1 cup fresh/frozen grated coconut
- 7-8 (can be more or less) dry red chillies
- Hing (to taste, usually 1 teaspoon)
- Cabbage chopped finely: 1/2 a cabbage of medium size
- Water to make a very thick batter
- Soak Idli rava with water just covering the top level of rava in the container for 15 minutes
- Grind Coconut, Red Chillies, Turmeric to a very fine paste with very little water.
- Add hing, and the soaked Idli rava (which would have by now absorbed most of the water) and grind it with the coconut paste with very little water to form a very thick batter.
- Add salt, and chopped cabbage and mix well.
- Grease the idli plates or vessel that is used inside a steamer. Make small round balls (size of table tennis ball), and keep them on the greased plates. Steam them in a steamer until the steam is free flowing at high fire and then lower the fire to minimum and steam for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the dumplings come out clean.
- Smear some coconut oil/gingelly oil on the dumplings. Serve it with coconut chutney or as is as a snack, dinner, or for breakfast.