I noticed the horse radish in the garden is putting out some larger leaves now. I’ve always wanted to try using the leaves to wrap and steam other foods. What I ended up doing today was kind of a fusion of several dishes from different parts of the world. What I had in mind was idli with upma flavors and ingredients but wrapped and steamed like dolmas or tamales.
I started by thinning Greek yogurt with water and adding it to instant idli mix. I left the batter on the counter to ferment for a few hours.
In a skillet with a little oil I fried mustard seeds, cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, broken cashews, chopped curry leaves, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. I folded the spice and nut mixture along with some raisins into the fermented idli mix.
By holding on to the stem I submerged the horseradish leaf in boiling water for about 20 seconds to soften it up. I then cut off and squared up the stem end of the leaf, put a spoonful of batter on the wide end, folded in the sides and rolled it toward the tip.
The hot water in which I had wilted the leaves was poured into a steamer pot and the dumplings were steamed for 20 minutes.
Horseradish leaves are perfectly fine to eat, especially when young as these were. I was expecting them to have more of a peppery flavor, but they were surprisingly mild. I didn’t eat these dumplings with the wrapper on, though. I was curious how the filling turned out.
The dumplings were definitely not soft, light and fluffy like idli should be. I can think of three possible reasons: the batter was thicker than what I would use for idli, being wrapped up they had no where to expand and fluff up, and they may have steamed for longer than they needed.
All in all the experiment was a success, and I will, no doubt, play around with the idea some more. These would make a handy lunchbox item.