My favourite comfort food. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – I can eat idlies at any time. I make an idli batter almost every weekend for a leisurely breakfast followed by coffee.
This recipe does not use cooking soda – I detest soda as it invariably makes me feel uncomfortable and bloated. The picture above was taken with the last remaining idlies, sambar and chutney. Will try to replace this picture next week.
Using Idli rice might give you fluffier idlies but on most occasions I use the normal indrayani or kolam rice available at home. Use any rice – texture might differ but taste will rarely vary.
1/2 cup Split Urad dal (split black gram)
1 cup Rice
1/2 tbsp Methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds)
1 cup cold cold water
Salt, to taste
- Wash the rice and dal thoroughly.
- Soak them separately (add the methi seeds to the dal) for at least 4-5 hours.
- After 4-5 hours drain and mix together. Grind them in a mixer/grinder adding 1 cup of cold water gradually. The final batter should be smooth, frothy and slightly coarse.
- Put the batter in a steel or ceramic bowl. Add salt and mix batter with your CLEAN hands. This will help fermentation.
- Cover the bowl (not airtight) and keep in a warm place for at least 10-12 hours until it ferments. Check for salt after it ferments and add more to taste.
- Take an idli steamer (a steamer with round idli moulds). Boil some water in the bottom half of the steamer.
- Grease the idli moulds with ghee and spread a little batter in each of them. Place the moulds in the steamer.
- Steam for 10-12 minutes. Remove the moulds and cool for a few minutes before serving hot idli with sambar and chutney.
I have a few wicked recipes for sambhar and chutney. That will be another day, another post. Until then get your idli batter ready. The process might sound daunting but it is actually quite simple and totally worthwhile. Readymade batters use preservatives and soda bicarb which I think are totally unnecessary and unhealthy.
I also add extra water to turn this into a dosa batter or I fry the extra idlies with onions, red chillies and curry leaves. There are times when kids love just idli fry (idli deep fried) or idli with sweet yoghurt (dahi idli).
To each his own