Friday 30 January 2009

Idli

Idli is one of the most nutritious and popular breakfast dish in South India, which seems to exist ever since the 18th century. The richness and the diversity of India’s culture opens out to innumerable Indian Breakfast dishes like Dosai, Aappam, Idiaappam, Puttu, Pongal, Vadai, Poori, Chapati, Upma, Uthaappam, Sojji, Curd rice, Kichdi in South India and the uncountable varieties from the other states of our rich mother India like Aloo Poha, Besan Ki Roti, Gobhi Paratha, Roti, Pav Usal, Pyaz Ki Kachori, Sabudana Kichdi, Thepla and so on.....and these are only the Breakfast items....

As a South Indian, I naturally love to eat these rice and lentils based idlis, not only for breakfast but also for a light dinner (accompanied with some Meat/Fish curries),here below with Pork Vindaloo as they are not only delicious but also nourishing and easily digestible because of the fermentation process. They are traditionally accompanied by Sambhar (rich lentils based vegetable curry), Coconut chutney (simply and naturally coconut) and tamarind based chutneys of different varieties.
Though the grinding and the preparation might be a little fastidious, it is easier to cook once the batter has been grinded in the right proportion and it can be refrigerated very well for few days.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw rice
2 cup parboiled rice
1 cup split skinless Black gram dhal
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash both the rice together in water. Drain and then add enough water to immerse the rice completely. Let it soak for about 5 to 6 hours.

Soak the black gram dhal separately for the same lapse of time.

Remove the black gram from the water and grind to a smooth and fluffy batter by adding very little water in a wet grinder for about half an hour or until you get the smooth consistency. Set it aside.

Grind likewise the soaked rice and stir together both the mixtures along with the salt (which is very important for the fermentation).

Keep this mixture in a wide and big vessel (as the batter rises up after fermentation) in a warm place overnight or until the batter triples it’s original volume.

After the fermentation, pour the batter in idli molds and pressure cook without the weight for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot with any curries/chutneys/ pickles.
Below with Vadava Thuvayal(Vadavam Chutney)Dosai, Idli, Idli Podi, Sambhar, Vadava Thuvayal
Note: the batter can be refrigerated until re used. The consistency of the batter for idlis should be neither too thin nor too thick. The same batter can be used to make dosai by thinning it a little with water. Though in India the fermentation is very easy and quick, here, it is a big problem because of the chlorinated water and the iodized salt which destroy the wild yeast necessary for the fermentation. Try to use non-iodized salts like (Rock salt) and try adding a tbsp of fenugreek seeds along with the black gram dhal, which contains the wild yeast for easy fermentation.
For people who don’t have wet grinders, you can do the same with a mixture of Rice flour (Cream of Rice) and Urad Flour (Black gram flour) readily available in the markets.

2 comments:

Poornima Nair said...

Looks soft and fluffy...Just perfect..

Malar Gandhi said...

I hardly make idlies...tips here are good to try them soon. Idly looks fluffy and like maligai poo...

I can be reached at

malargandhi@rediffmail.com