Is this idli? This one looks like a dosa! The residents of Ramasseri have heard many people asking this question with a dubious frown. And they are least surprised by such remarks, because they know very well the kind of idli they make. This is called Ramasseri idli, their very own preparation. This idli is unlike anything else, and they are very proud of it.
Mahesh Kutti, a chef hailing from Ramasseri, confident of the unique item from his native land, proudly introduced a special combination for Ramasseri idli in the Spice Route International Culinary Festival held at Bolgatty Palace Hotel. And that special combination - gravy of broiled chicken- won many hearts.
Mahesh’s innovation revolutionized the tradition of Ramasseri idli, which did not have a proper combination as yet. These idlis were commonly served with sambar and chutney. A favorite ‘doubles partner’ of this idli was chutney powder mixed with ghee. Some people prefer to eat the idli with plain chutney powder without mixing with oil or ghee.
But, there were also a very small group of people, who combined the celebrated idli with chicken curry. When Mahesh introduced this ‘secret’ in the festival, it was a surprise revelation for the visitors as well as the fans of Ramasseri idli.
When asked about the secret of the recipe, Mahesh gave a casual reply, “This is just another nadan chicken curry you get from any shop.” But, we know from its unusual taste that this one is not just another chicken curry. There is something special about the recipe for sure.
There is a long story of toil behind this mouth-watering preparation. Here is the recipe: Choose a fine and healthy nadan chicken, take its feathers off and clean it. Pull out the entrails and other internal organs; but, should not remove the skin. Broil the out layer of chicken on all sides using a firebrand (it means broiling the skin). Now cut the chicken into pieces.
Next you need to prepare a mixture, consisting garam masala sautéed in oil, clove, garlic, cardamom, pepper, chilli pepper, red onion, grated coconut and curry leaves. Stir fry all these ingredients together and mash them.
Now we are on the halfway to a delicious chicken curry. Sauté the minced ginger and green chilli, and put the pieces of chicken into it. Do not add water. Stir it well and add the mixture of spices into it. Water content should not be more than what is needed for loosening the mixture. As the chicken gets cooked, fry mustard seeds in two drops of oil.
Stir fry it with finely minced red onion and garlic. Add this sautéed ingredient in the Chicken-masala-mix and stir it well. The finest combination for Ramasseri idli is ready to eat! Mahesh reminds that the cooking must be done in earthenware or metallic platters having a solid base.
For over one and a half decades, Mahesh had been working abroad as a chef in star hotels. Now, having bidden farewell to the expatriate life, Mahesh is settled in his home village and wishes to propagate the new found yummy combination that has been a smash hit at the culinary festival.