Tiffin is lunch, or any light meal. It originated in British India, and is today found primarily in Indian English. The word originated when Indian custom superseded the British practice of an afternoon tea, leading to a new word for the afternoon meal. It is derived from the obsolete English slang tiffing, for "taking a little drink or sip". When used for "lunch", it is not necessarily a light meal.:88
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Since the Christmas period our schedule has been shot to the proverbial poopy but this week, finally we are back in a routine and for me breakfast time has been replaced by Tiffin Time, well actually the preparing of.
Not that I really do breakfast in India, in the Indian sense, as eating rice for breakfast is as alien a concept to me as Nuclear Quantum Physics are. And don't get me started about Idli and dosa. What the hell is Idli and Dosa? I hear most of the world ask in unison.
Well for the fact fans and the just downright curious this is Wicki's lowdown for you...
Idli (English pronunciation: /ˈɪdliː/, also romanized "idly" or "iddly", plural "idlis"; Kannada: ಇಡ್ಲಿ; Malayalam: ഇഡ്ഡലി; Tulu: ಇಡ್ಲಿ; Tamil: இட்லி; Telugu: ఇడ్లీ, ఆవిరికుడుము (Aviri-Kudumu)) is a savory cake of south Indian origin popular throughout India. The cakes are usually two to three inches in diameter and are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice. The fermentation process breaks down the starches so that they are more readily metabolized by the body.
To make idli, place four parts uncooked rice to one part split black lentil (minapa pappu, urad dal) in a pan and soak. Grind the lentils and rice to a paste in a heavy stone grinding vessel (rolu-rokali, oralu kallu). Leave the paste to allow fermentation overnight,
Most often eaten at breakfast or as a snack, idlis are usually served in pairs with chutney, sambar, or other accompaniments.
Dosa or Thosai or Dosé (Kannada: ದೋಸೆ, Malayalam: ദോശ, Tamil: தோசை, Telugu: దోసె, Tulu: ದೋಸೆ) is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter andblack lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
A mixture of Rice and Urad dal that has been soaked in water is ground finely to form a batter. The proportion of rice to lentils is basically 2:1 or 3:1. The batter is allowed to sit overnight for the process of fermentation.
See my problem? well actually I have several problems with these two popular dishes actually:-
1. fermentation ???? I'm not even a fan of the word let alone the process
2. overnight ????? How convenient (N)
3. Rice & Urad dal for breakfast ??????????????????????????????
(pause for shudder)
The other popular alternative to these two mouthwatering delights is Parathas and if you are wondering how to make these, here's how I think it's done...
|Take One Of These|
|Then Ask One Of These To Sit On It|
|One Of These|
People all over the World (including me) can slag English food off all they want, but when it comes to breakfast you can't beat a full english (here comes a bit more Wicki for you)
A full english breakfast is a meal that consists of a traditional cooked dish, typically and originally eaten at breakfast, though now often served at other times during the day. Common alternative names for the dish include bacon and eggs, or the fry-up.[† 1]
The full english breakfast traditionally comprises several fried foods, usually including bacon and eggs, and is popular throughout the British Isles and other parts of the English-speaking world. The name "bacon and eggs" was popularised by Edward Bernays in the 1920s. To promote sales of bacon, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendations that people eat hearty breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast.The normal ingredients of a traditional full English breakfast are bacon (traditionally back bacon, less commonly streaky bacon), fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread with toast and butter and sausages, usually served with a mug of tea. Baked beans and hash browns are also commonly considered an important part of the breakfast. As nearly everything is fried in this meal, it is commonly called a "fry-up".
Now folks I ask you one question then I will rest my case and get back to the Tiffin in hand...
Which key words and images get your taste buds bursting with glee?
Fry Up/Bacon/hearty/several fried foods
Like so =====>
Fermentation/Urad Dal/Steamed Rice
<========= Like so
.....That's what I thought, so there indeedy I will rest my case and get back to the subject in hand, no time for breakfast for me as I am, as I said before my train of thought (as ever) pulled in at the wrong station, busy making BF's Tiffin.
I actually love the idea of Tiffin because:-
1. Like me it was invented by the British and despite this Indians still love us both
2. It's kind of like playing with an indestructible dolls tea set
Tiffin tins are also highly practical as:-
1. They keep the food warm
2. Even the clumsiest of maids can't break them
The downside of Tiffin tins however are:-
1. They become the same temperature as molten lava when even vaguely warm food is placed in them
2. Unless you have asbestos coated finger tips you can't pick them up once even vaguely warmed food is placed in them
I would actually quite like to organise a Tiffin swap party, a bit like a wife swap party but with food instead of keys, I would simply love the surprise element of opening up those cute little tins to discover what delights awaited me (although with my luck it would be burnt fingers and Dosa all round).
I hadn't made Indian food for ages, as when BF is working away I use this as my 'get out of jail free card' and indulge in all that fried English nursery food I love so much and I tend to have mash potatoes with everything (he's not a fan) and even after he got back I thought, he must be sick of eating Indian food every day (as he did when he was away) although technically I have never met an Indian who ever got sick of Indian food every day but, as a reward for taking me shopping when he got back, I decided to whip up A Full Indian (so to speak) and wanted to try out a new curry idea I had in my head for a while.
Also I was determined to try and create a Dal I actually liked aka:-
1. One that didn't have the taste and texture of lentils
2. One that didn't have the taste and texture of baby vomit.
So after playing around with my culinary chemistry set I came up with a Dal that tasted a bit like refried beans, this was most bodacious on two accounts as:-
1. It didn't have the taste and texture of lentils or baby vomit
2. There was an ambience of the word refried attached to it
So I made a yellow cream based chicken curry
(Infact the gravy tasted a bit like Fish & Chip shop curry sauce, so yay me)
A new Naan dough recipe that didn't involve using pesky yeast and leaving to rise for forever and a day (double yay me)
And a Dal that didn't taste of dal. (It was yay me all round)
I made some Basmati rice and BOOM! It was better than A Full Indian - it was A Fat Indian
and better still it didn't take anywhere near as long as usual (more yays on the yay front)
As a leftover lover, not of men mind (I'm no lover of anyones sloppy seconds, thank you very much) I prepared and cooked ample of all three dishes and dough to ensure BF had a lovely hot Tiffin feast on the first day back on the wards.....
2 tsp each of cumin/coriander/garam marsala/chilli powder
4 tsp each of tumeric/sugar/ginger & garlic paste
glug if lemon juice/wine/chilli vinegar
salt & pepper
red onion finely diced
2-3 tomatoes finely diced
1-2 cups of stock + water as needed
1/2 cup of cream
fresh coriander leaves
V for a vegetarian version paneer works equally well
1. marinate the chcken in half of the first ingredients, leave to infuse
2. when marinated brown chicken in a pan of hot oil & set aside
3. in the same pan, add onions, a little more oil, sprinkle on some salt & gently saute till soft
4. add the rest of the spice mix & blend, stirring constantly
add tomatoes and cook on a low heat until softened
5. add a little wine & lemon juice and reduce down to a thickened paste
6. add a cup of stock and let the masala come together, ensuring all spices are absorbed
7. when masala is reduced down a little add chicken and gently cook till there is no pink
8. add the cream & coriander leaves and blend together for a few minutes
9. taste for seasoning & add more fresh leaves for garnish
1 cup of yellow lentils
1 tsp each of above spices
+ extra tumeric
1 tsp ginger & garlic paste
1 red onion, diced
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
30g tomato puree
splash of wine/lemon juice
good knob of butter
1 stock cube
cook lentils in water with stock cube until soft
in another pan repeat steps 3, 4 & 5 of the curry recipe, add tomato paste, simmer
pour lentils & liquid into the pan cook till soft
garlic & coriander naan
2 cups of sifted white flour
1 cup of warm milk
2tsp of salt
2tsp baking soda
combine flour, salt & baking soda
slowly add milk to form a dough
knead for a few minutes leave to rest with a little olive oil
when rested heat contact grill to highest setting & cook
place 1 cup of basmati rice into a large pan of boiling water, seasoned with a stock cube, boil rapidly until rice is cooked
drain & rinse
season with a little garlic butter & fresh coriander leaves
|pack it all in your cute little tiffin tin|