Idli is the traditional breakfast of south Indian homes and at the same time the healthiest too. It is made by steaming a fermented batter which consists of rice and urad dal. The process of fermentation breaks down the starch content and hence they are easily metabolized by our body. This is why idly is suitable to all including kids as they are easily digested.
Rice and Urad dal is soaked and grinded separately. Methi seeds can also be added for extra flavor and at the same time it helps in fermentation also. The ground mixture is fermented overnight and during the process, the volume is doubled. As Idlis are bland/mild in taste, it is always served with varieties of chutney and sambhar.
Idly batter is ground with a wet grinder but can be done using a mixer also (ref notes). Fermenting the batter is the most important factor to get super soft idly.
2 cups Idly Rice
1 cup Raw Rice
1 cup Urad dal
¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (opt)
Rock Salt-as per your taste
- Wash Rice and Urad dal for 2-3 times and soak them separately for 4-5 hours. Also soak fenugreek/methi seeds along with rice.
- Drain out water completely and grind urad dal in a wet grinder adding little water till fluffy. Do not add water at once, add little by little when required. It take around 15-20 minutes to grind urad dal in a wet grinder.
- Once urad dal is done, transfer it to a large container.
- Now grind rice along with fenugreek seeds (opt) for another 10 minutes. Add rock salt while grinding.
- Transfer this to the grinded urad dal mixture. Mix well using your hands.
- The consistency of the batter should neither be too thick nor thin. It should be medium.
- Cover the container with a lid and allow it to ferment overnight in a warm place undisturbed.
- The next day, the batter will be raised well. Give it a mix.
- Grease idli mould with little oil or ghee. Scoop out a ladle/spoon of batter and fill it in each mould.
- Boil water in an idli steamer. Place the idly mould into the steamer and steam it for 10-12 minutes.
- Once done, remove the mould and allow it to cool a bit, stay for 2-3 minutes.
- Dip a spoon in water (or in oil too) and take out the idlis carefully into a serving bowl.
- Good quality of rice and urad dal is very important to make perfect idlis. You will get idly rice in the market which can be used.
- Grind urad dal first adding little water at a time till it is light and fluffy.
- The batter should not be too thick or thin. If the batter is thick, your idlis will be hard and if thin, idlis will be flat. So carefully add water while grinding. That is the reason why you should add water little by little while grinding.
- You can add ¼ cup poha/Avalakki or left over rice to get soft idlis. If using reduce the urad dal quantity and replace with poha or cooked rice.
- If you are grinding it in a mixer, use ice cold water while grinding to prevent the mixer motor from heating. But if you are grinding it in a wet grinder, this is not required.
- Always transfer the grinded batter to a large container as the quantity will double after fermentation.
- During colder season, the batter takes longer time to get fermented than winter. Hence keep the batter in a warm place in your kitchen. Keep the batter for a longer time i.e., for 12-15 hrs or sometimes even more. This will help the batter to ferment. You can also preheat the oven for 10-12 mins, then switch it off and keep your batter bowl inside the oven.
- Make sure you do not steam idlis for more than 15 mins, as they may turn dry.
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