Masala Sandan - A form of Idli where Idli batter is steamed in a steel thali / bowl. Sandan also Sannan is a dish very close to every Konkani family, especially the Cochin GSB's. Though it is just another form of idli, Santhan is normally associated with festivities.
Santhan - the spongy form of idly, used to be made in our homes when there were celebrations - marriages, temple festivals (aarattu or thirunal), Santhan is made by pouring idli batter in a large thali or flat vessel and steamed just like idli. Once it is cooked and done, Santhan is cut like cake and consumed. This amounts to considerable saving - time wise - in serving large number of people as making santhan is easier than idli.
There is no parallel to hot steaming Santhan, when consumed along with any compliments like sambar, chutney, kukka humman, gashi, kermbala thoro etc. Here’s a recipe of masala sandan. Recipe idea from '' A sense of spice '' by Tara Deshpande.
Sufficient idli batter for a steel thali / bowl (or 7 – 10 ladleful of idli batter – depending upon the size of a thali / steel bowl)
1 teaspoon oil
1 steel thali / bowl
For the Seasoning:
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
¼ teaspoon urad dal
1 teaspoon channa dal
10 - 12 cashew nuts, split
1/2 - inch piece ginger, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
6 curry leaves, chopped
In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add jeera, urad dal, channa dal, cashew nuts, chopped green chilli, ginger and curry leaves.
Fry all the ingredients for a minute or two. Until fragrant and crisp. Pour this seasoning over idli batter and mix it well until seasoning well combined with idli batter (or remove fried cashew nuts from seasoning and arrange final stage of steaming).
In a steel thali / bowl, grease 1 teaspoon oil.
Pour seasoned idli batter (decorate with fried cashew nuts on top of the batter) up to 3/4 level (to allow for expansion during cooking ) and steam ( do not put weight ) in a pressure cooker / steamer / pedavan on a medium heat for 20 - 25 minutes or till done.
Open the lid and allow to cool naturally.
Cut into desired shape. Serve with gashi / sambar / coconut chutney / pickle / humman ..