One can never miss Idli and Dosa at a South Indian’s home! Idli and Dosa are our staple breakfast recipes. There may even appear in the dinner menu too. Growing up I never liked idli! I loved to eat Dosa (rice flour crepes) for all 3 meals of the day. My mom made awesome idlis but just that I never liked them. My love for this fluffy beauties arose when I started to cook Yes! This is one of the easiest yet wholesome breakfast recipe that one could make in a jiffy! These days I do make idlis more often. While they get cooked, which would be 13-15 minutes, I would finish making the side dish (chutney/sambar). On the whole all I would spend is just 15-20 minutes in the kitchen! Awesome rite? 😉
Each family would have their own idli recipe. Its basically the proportion in which rice and dal are used that decides the softness of the idlis. My mom uses 3 cups of idli rice with 1 cup of dal. This combination works for both idli and dosa. My neighbour aunty grinds idli batter with 3 cups of rice and 1/2 dal along with 1 tsp fenugreek seeds. One thing I have noticed is that we add more rice than dal. While I was looking for some recipe on the net, I landed on Murugan Idli Kadai’s web page. For all those who wonder what it is – Murugan Idli kadai is a famous restaurant known for their signature idli and other breakfast recipes. Believe me they have published their secret recipes on the net!! I could hardly believe my eyes! As much as I drool at the restaurant’s menu, I never thought I could get their traditional recipes to try out at home.
I tried their idli recipe the very next day and it came out really rice. DH named them as “Malligai poo” idlis(Jasmine flower/mallige poovu)
What kind of rice do we use to make soft idlis: You can find “Idli rice/Idli arisi” in Indian stores. I use ponni idli rice. This variety gives fluffy soft idlis.
Should we use whole urad or broken ones: Use whole urad dal (de skinned ones). They are also called gota urad dal.
Do we need a wet grinder or can mixie be used to grind idli batter: I absolutely love having wet grinder. I brought both grinder and mixie when I came to US. Honestly grinder would be a best bet. Don’t worry if you don’t have one! Mixie does a pretty decent job as well. Many of my friends use ice cold water to grind the batter in mixie. I have used mixie to grind idli batter and liked it too!
Can a blender be used instead of mixie (from India): This is little tricky. Frankly I have never tried grinding idli batter in blender. But have heard from friends/relatives that it is not as good as having an Indian mixie.
How long does it take for the batter to get fermented: About 12-18 hours. But in cold climates, it could take even longer.
How to ferment the batter in winter: I live in Chicago and winter here is brutally cold! I usually grind the batter in the evening. I allow it to ferment for 24-36 hours. (Almost one full day). Here is an age old trick followed by all the “desis” living in cold countries to ferment idli batter. As soon as you grind the batter, transfer it to an oven safe bowl and leave the batter in the oven for overnight. Make to sure to turn on the oven light too.
Recipe Source: http://www.muruganidlishop.com/recipes.htm
To Soak: 6-8 hrs
To Ferment: 12-18 hrs
To Prepare: 10 mins
To Cook: 13-15 mins
Idly rice: 2 cups
Urad dal: 1 cup
Cooked rice: 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste
Idli batter recipe
- Wash and clean dal and rice
- Soak dal, rice and fenugreek seeds in water for 6-8 hrs.
- Grind the dal (with the water used for soaking it) into fine paste. It should be frothy and thick.
- Transfer it to a tall vessel.
- Now grind soaked rice and fenugreek seeds along with the cooked rice.
- Add water as necessary.
- The batter should not very thick and not too watery.
- Mix it with ground urad dal.
- Add salt and mix thoroughly.
- Allow it to ferment for 12-18 hrs.
To cook fluffy soft idlis
- Grease the idli mould with little cooking oil (preferably gingelly/sesame oil)
- Pour the batter in the mould and cook it for 13-15 minutes.
- Do not cook the idlis for more than 15 mins, else they would turn hard.
To cook idli in pressure cooker
- If you do not have idli cooker, then you can use idli mould in normal pressure cooker too.
- Do not put the whistle and cook the idlis for 12-15 minutes.
To serve the idlis
- After you swtich off the stove, wait for 3-5 mins and then open the cooker and remove the idlis.
- Serve yummy idlis with chutney/sambar or milagai podi.
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