Idlis and Dosas (just like any other south indian household) are the staple breakfast items at my place. After a point you run out of ideas for side dishes to go with these breakfast items. Kumbakonam Kadappa is a great alternative to pull you out of the regular sambar-chutney rut.
Kumbakonam Kadappa is a popular lentil based side dish served in the Kumbakonam-Tanjavur districts of Tamil Nadu. These districts have awesome temple towns and the food served their still untouched (thankfully) by modernization of the cities. Typically, idlis/dosas/pongal are served piping hot on banana leaves with generous servings of Kadappa. There is something about the fragrance of hot food on banana leaves…hhmmph!
Lets look at how to make Kadappa in OPOS method today. You can complete this side dish, before you are able to finish making idlis/dosas.
Pull out your 2 litre pressure cooker and add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. I use cold pressed coconut oil which lends a great flavor to the dish. Add 1/2 cup each of chopped onions, potatoes, carrots and 2 slit green chillies, 2 sprigs of curry leaves.
Next, add 1/4 cup of coconut paste (just grind fresh coconut with 2-3 teaspoons of water) or 5 teaspoons of coconut powder that you can buy from any supermarket. Also, add 2 teaspoons of cashew powder.
To this add, 1/4 cup of moong dal. You can chose to soak the moong dal for about 30 minutes as well.
Now on to the spices – add 1/2 teaspoon each of fennel (soombu) powder and garam masala. You can substitute fennel powder with cumin (jeera) powder if you do not prefer the fennel flavor. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger.
Now add 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix well. You can add 1/4 cup of hot water if you like it to be a bit liquidized. I love to serve this side dish with hot idlis that are made by lining a muslin cloth on the idli plates. This is the traditional way of making idlis, and results in very porous, soft idlis as the idlis get a chance to get steamed beautifully on both the sides.