Iron Chef meets Iyer n' chef !!
Traditional (tamil brahmin) Tam Bram festival fare involves a full three course meal each with rice as its focus, accompanied by about 5-6 vegetable dishes prepared in different styles. Very different from a typical western sit down lunch or dinner. The first course is rice with Sambhar, a thick lentil gravy seasoned primarily with Tamarind and a coriander seed influenced spice blend. The chef is free to use their creative skill & include almost any vegetable of their choice. A very common combination of dishes for this first course include a potato 'roast' & Usli, a chick pea batter stirfry with a wide choice of greens.
My inspiration from Chef Michael Symon's presentation from his show 'Cook like an Iron Chef':
(For those of you interested in the original Recipe here's the link: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/michael-symon/potato-wrapped-pacific-cod-with-a-grilled-leek-red-bliss-and-purple-peruvian-potato-and-lobster-salad-recipe/index.html
Sambhar rice & Usli in a baked potato roulade served with a side of sweet & sour Mangai Pachadi.
The possibilities of variations are a plenty. The Usli ensures that the dish is well rounded nutritionally & not exclusively carbo loaded.
For this you need:
Any type Sambhar rice or even prepared Bisibela.
Usli (feel free to use any kind, I used a Rappini (Broccoli Rabe) usli
1 potato, peeled & sliced thinly Lengthwise.
A blend of Salt, Red Chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric & Asafetida as per taste
Oil for blanching & Sauteing.
Heat oil in a skillet & fry the potato slices till blanched (cooked till just soft). Remove from oil & drain on a paper towel
Arrange the potatoes slices on a cling wrap sheet as shown
Roll the potato slices around the rice & Usli, taking care to ensure that the cling wrap does not get entangled in the roll. At this point you may refrigerate to roll to prepare later. This also ensures that the potato starch adheres between the slices to form a firm covering that will not fall apart.
Sprinkle with the salt, turmeric, chilli powder blend. Adjust the seasoning as per your personal taste
Preheat oven to 300 F
In a non stick skillet (this is one place where I prefer investing in a good non stick skillet with a metal handle that can be used in the oven) heat sesame oil and gently place the potato roulade.
Add the torn curry leaves on top of the roulade. Keep spooning the oil from the skillet onto the top to release the flavors from the spice blend & curry leaves .
Pop the skillet into the oven for ~ 20 mins until the top surface of the roulade is golden.
Cut & serve warm with a side of Mango pachadi.