But why Idili, and why now? Well the nice people at Gitadini USA were kind enough to ask me if I'd like to try out their new silicone idili molds.
I use many of their products in my own kitchen and so of course the answer was YES! Idili I thought, no problem. I'd made idili before, what's the big deal? The big deal as it turns out was I needed a good idili recipe. In the past I'd made rava idili but could not find my recipe for that. So what does one do about a missing recipe? I went to the source of my Indian cooking and contacted the person who started me on this path 25 years ago. I called my sister in law.
When I told her I was making idili, she laughed. "From scratch? Nobody in India bothers to make those from scratch any more. It's too much work. Why do you want to make idili anyway?"
I explained about the molds, how cute the half moon shapes were, how I'd planned a wonderful fresh coconut chutney, how I'd invited people over... My sister in law uses the old fashioned idili steaming tray, the same one I've used before on the rare and distant occasion when I'd made idili. I explained how beautiful these new silicone steamers were, how I was dying to break them in.
"Good luck" she said, "get a mix."
I plowed ahead with my soaking and grinding (I'd found a recipe online), I poured my rice and dal into my Ninja blender and got a batter. I turned on my warming oven to its lowest setting then turned it off and popped the bowl of idili batter wrapped in a towel inside. Sunday morning I'd planned to have idili and chutney and chai. Dreamer. As I waited by the steamer, I was starting to get discouraged.
My idili fantasy turned into a nightmare. Instead of pillowy soft cloud like idili, I had tough idili.
So tough they refused to leave the molds. Now we're talking silicone molds here so those were some hard ass idili. Shockingly, when I tried in my embarrassment to toss them, no one would let me. It seems, though the texture was totally wrong, I'd devised some sort of breakfast crumpet, that paired with the spicy coconut chutney tasted delicious. As long as you don't look at what you're eating. So ok, a week wasted on failed idili recipes. I was back to square one and googling idili mixes when I started my cancer treatment.
My tumor was very very small and thankfully had not gone anywhere when I had surgery at UCSF in December. I fall into a grey area as far as additional treatment goes. Very small cancer, no nodal involvement, to treat or not to treat. As it turns out, with targeted biologic treatment the survival rate goes from 90% up to 98% and I like those odds a whole lot better, so I'm doing that. It won't impact my hair etc and I'm glad for my weird mutated DNA that there's something that works on it, as opposed to 25 years ago, when I had a much riskier situation. In short they hadn't even discovered my gene yet. So I've been running around dealing with that, and banging my head against the idili wall ( which in my case is not pillowy and soft)!
I knew I needed to regroup, clearly this idili thing needed further study. It was either fly my sis in law out here for further research, (she had plans to go to Key West where it's even warmer), buy a mix or pour something else into those molds. But what??? Then it hit me, Kulfi! Easy, sweet, and who doesn't like ice cream? It could even be made vegan if I so desired. So Kulfi it was.
Mango Cardamom Kulfi
Here's What You Need:
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 can evaporated milk (full fat)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of whipping cream
1 large pinch of ground cardamom
Here's What To Do:
Peel and chop the mangoes into pieces. Here's how:
Puree the mango in a food processor or blender and set it aside.
In a bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the evaporated milk.
Add in the whipping cream.
And the pinch of ground cardamom.
Whisk the pureed mango into the milk mixture, blend it in well.
Pour the kulfi into the molds. Don't fill them all the way up as it will expand slightly.
Cover the top of the molds with foil and place them in the freezer until they are solid.
This takes a few hours, so plan ahead.
When the kulfi has set, unmold...
I really loved these GitaDini molds and they're letting me share a mold with someone. So if you'd like to get one of these idili molds drop me a comment. Let me know what you're planning. These molds can be used for ANYTHING, and not just idili. Bake in them, make ice cream, a savory dish, whatever.
Just give @GitaDiniUSA and @kathygori a shout out on Twitter, or just leave a comment right below. It's all good. I'll choose someone via random.com in one week. To win. you must reside in the USA.
I've been using GitaDini products in my home for several years now I know you're going to love them just as much as I do! Coming up next, I shall not surrender the idili fight and more easy Indian recipes for busy days and nights, follow along on Twitter @kathygori