Thursday, December 16, 2010

#45 Ragi Idiappam or String Hoppers

Ragi or Finger Millet is grown all over India and Ethiopia, and has the valuable amino acid methionine. It is widely used in South India for making dosas, rotis and drinks as traditional breakfast. It can be
made into Kerala delicacies like Idiappam and Puttu which are normally made of white rice powder.  Pediatricians recommend Ragi for infants because of its high nutritional content of iron and calcium.
Home made Ragi malt was considered one of the most popular infant foods and it used to be part of my baby food plan for the girls. Today, I would like to use this powerful grain extensively in my cooking, although I have tried out chapathis and kozhukattas but, if you have any new ideas please pass it along.

Ragi flour- 1 cup
Water- 2 cups approx
Salt- a pinch
Oil- 1 tspn
Coconut grated- 3 Tblspn

1. Dry roast the Ragi flour lightly until the aroma is given out.
2. Boil 2 cups of water, add salt and pour enough water into the ragi flour and stir briskly to form a dough.
3. Roll the dough in your hands and press into an idiappam mold/press. The idiappam mold is a cylinder that is filled with the dough and the top metal disc should be pressed through so that the noodles or string hoppers fall well through the holes at the base.
4. Grease idli steamer plates with oil. Press down on the mold onto the idli plates in the shape of idlis. Top with coconut.
5. Steam well for about 7-10 mins until cooked. Cool.
6. Serve with Chicken or Potato curry or sugar.

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