Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Powered by Idli

We had a great day yesterday. It was a public holiday. We were with Brent's brother in the morning, we all stayed the night at his place because he has a TV and we wanted to watch the RWC. Chris, Brent and I were sitting round trying to work out ideas for this week's blog (nearly there). I wondered if there was a vegan All Black so Chris googled it and although we didn't find one we did find heaps of other vegan sportspeople from around the world - NBA players, football players, tri-athletes, hockey players all sorts. And although we haven't yet found a vegan All Black there is a vegan body-builder who was Mr New Zealand 2001, 2007, 2009.

After all that talk about sport we decided to go to the pool for a swim. Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre is awesome! Anyway, we stayed to late, which we always do and then we went for a drive round the south coast which was lovely and so, by the time we got home it was really late for making dinner. Toki was really hungry so we through some kebabs in the oven for her and while I was reading her stories Brent popped out to get us some take-aways.

We are so lucky living where we are living. We have so much choice when it comes to take-aways. Last night Brent went to Roti Chenai . Roti Chenai makes amazing South Indian and Malaysian cuisine. I've found that each city has a type of food which is does better than any other: Auckland is Thai, Christchurch is Japanese and Wellington is Malaysian. Roti Chenai is the only place I know of in Wellington that makes idli.

Last weeks post about cheese replacers made me think a bit about idli. It has a great salty, slightly fermented taste that really seems to satisfy that part of my appetite which used to be satisfied by cheese. I first tasted idli at Roti Chenai and I loved it. When Toki was a baby, because we didn't have much money and we didn't get out much I started making idli at home. I've never made it from scratch. I buy the Git's Idli mix which comes in a box. Here's an TV commercial for it staring Vidya Balan and Udy Tikekar (two big names in Hindi flims). To make idli you need idli steamer. The one I have has frames like this which sit on a stand which sits inside a normal pot of shallow boiling water. I got the steamer and the mix from a small Indian supply grocery which is in Lower Hutt and I've seen both the mix and the steamers in other suppliers.

Idli is fun to make, well, my cheats, from a packet idli is and it is delicious - especially with chutneys and dahl. My understanding is that it is traditionally eaten at breakfast time and I reckon it would make a great start to the day. It also occurred to me while I was searching for images that idli would make a great lunchbox filler.

Image: Breakfast 4: Idli, dal and coconut chutney. Fort Cochin, Kerala Creative Commons licensed by Flickr user Adam Klinger. Thank you and also YUM!

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