Idli is a South-Indian traditional breakfast delicacy, which is made with par boiled rice and lentils, ground, left to ferment and steamed to cook. There are many factors that dictate the quality. It is a healthy comfort breakfast rich in carbohydrates and proteins when eaten moderately since it is a steamed dish.
I still remember as a kid how I used to hate them as my mom used to mostly make idli for breakfast. But now, it’s my favourite for which I take all hardships to prepare. As I live in a cold place, it is very difficult to get the right fermentation. They never came out soft and fluffy. I had done everything perfect but ended up with hard ones. I could never manage to get the slightly sour aroma of the fermented batter. Finally I have succeeded in creating the perfect idlis. Please refer to my earlier post on Idli and Dosa batter and then continue.
Step-by-Step process in making soft Idli:
I usually try not to stir the batter after fermentation so that the batter is airy which yields idlis that are fluffy and soft. If you want to stir, use a ladle and gently stir the fermented batter. Grease the plates with a drop of oil. Take a scoop of batter and fill it in each mould.
Boil 2 cups of water water over high heat in a pressure cooker/steamer/any vessel which could hold the idli moulds and place the mould with batter in it and cover it with a lid. Steam for 5 min over high heat and 5 to 8 minutes over medium heat. Remove them from plates and allow it to cool. Scoop them from the plates using a spoon serve with sambar, any chutney of your choice, or any podi.
The first day I served with carrot chutney and the second day with peanut chutney and onion chutney. I didn’t have time to prepare sambar. Don’t forget to come back for the chutney recipes!…will follow….
A Quick summary:
- Sufficient Idli batter to make 16 idlis
- Idli moulds
- Few drops of oil to grease the moulds
- Pressure cooker/idly steamer
- 2 cups water for steaming
- You can use the idli batter as such without mixing or mixing.
- Grease the moulds. Take a scoop of batter and fill it in each mould.
- You can use pressure cooker (without weight) or idli steamer or any vessel to steam cook, but ensure water is heated before placing the mould.
- Boil 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker/idli stand/any vessel which could hold the moulds and place the idli mould with batter in it and cover it with a lid.
- Steam cook on high heat for 5 minutes and then on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Prick a toothpick or fork inside the idli, if it comes out clean then it is ready.
- Serve hot with any chutney of your choice, sambar or podi.
- The quality of rice and dal is important to make the perfect batter.
Grind rice and dal separately to get best results.
- Knowing the right texture of ground rice and urad dhal is always important.
- Always bring the batter to room temperature before making idlis or dosas. Cold batter would yield hard idlis.
- If the idli is hard then the consistency of the batter could be thick or the quality of urad dal is poor or the batter may not be fermented properly.
- If the idli is thin and flat then the consistency of the batter could be runny or the quality of urad dal must be excellent (so reduce ¼ cup next time) or could be due to insufficient fermentation.
Happy Cooking 🙂