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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Super soft idlis - the quintessential South Indian breakfast

How we perceive food is influenced by our regular eating habits and the culture that we are from. While idli is considered healthy,light and easy on the stomach as it is oil-free and steamed by most South Indians, I recently came across a person who believes that idli is a very heavy food as it contains dal.
Idli is something that is made in my household quite often. In spite of that, I have never thought of posting it on the blog so far, as it is something that I consider to be simple, everyday food. However, many friends have spoken to me about how difficult they find it to make soft, fluffy idlis. Hence, this post.

What you need:
Idli rice* - 4 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1 tbsp

Wash the rice and dal and soak separately in plenty of water for at least 8 hours. Add the methi seeds to the urad dal after washing the dal.*
After an hour or two of soaking, pop the urad dal with the water in which it is soaking into the refrigerator. *
Grind the urad dal, along with the cold water until it becomes light and soft. This takes close to half an hour in a grinder.
Add the soaked rice, in batches, with water if necessary, and grind until smooth. This will take another 20-25 minutes. In the last few minutes of grinding, add in some salt.
Set aside the ground batter over night to ferment.
In the morning, grease the idli plates, pour the batter into it and steam for 10-12 minutes.
Let it cool for 5 minutes and then serve hot with molaga podi, chutney or sambar.

Notes :
* Idli rice is not the same as the regular rice used for cooking. It is labelled and sold as idli rice in most major grocery stores.
* Methi seeds can be soaked with either rice or dal. However, since the urad dal is ground for a longer time in the grinder, I have found that the seeds are well ground if they are soaked with the urad dal, whereas, if you were to soak it with the rice, you might find little brown flakes of methi in your idlis.
* Putting the urad dal in the refrigerator is optional. However, I have found that the yield of batter is significantly more if this is done.

This is my post for Blogging Marathon #36, under the theme Oil-free breakfast.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 36
This is also my 14th post for Blogathon 2014, a daily blogging event for the month of January. 

13 comments:

Padmajha PJ said...

Can never live without idli batter!! And I do agree that it is really a healthy food...

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

Idli is our family food. We survive on Idli/Dosai. These idlis look nice and soft

Vimitha Anand said...

Soft and fluffy idlis

Varadas Kitchen said...

Nice detailed description about a basic recipe. Enjoyed reading about the little tricks you have found to make the batter better.

Harini-Jaya R said...

I never knew that soaked urad dal in the refrigerator yields increased batter!

sra said...

The idlis look so good, they convey the softness.

Pavani N said...

Comforting, filling & healthy breakfast. Idlis are just perfect.

notyet100 said...

I can have this anytime

Manjula Bharath said...

wow thats an super soft and yummy idli :) looks fantastic dear :)

Ramya Krishnamurthy said...

super fluffy and soft idlis

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Good recipe! making soft idlis is a challenge faced my many and this will be very useful!

Sreevalli E said...

They are look soft & perfect..Yum..

Srivalli said...

Idils are my all time food, can be had for any course..your idlis look so soft Jay..