Feb 10, 2011

Soft and spongy Idlis- Easy Breakfast recipes- how to make idli batter

      Well, I know many of you think that this is too simple a recipe to be included in a blog. You might have seen scores of idli recipes in atleast a thousand blogs. But then, am sure there are atleast a few like me who dont get perfect idlis all the time. Yes, no matter how many times I have changed the proportion of varieties of rice and lentils ,no matter the batter fermented beautifully unlike many, the idlis always turned into a heavy mass, of course edible, but could not be eaten with a grace. Then a friend of mine gave me some tips on making idlis and thanks to her, the idlis turned out just the way it has to- soft , light and spongy.I have also tried in mixie and it works great too!! See some tips at the notes below the page!

Idli recipe

Idli rice/parboiled rice/boiled rice- 4 cups
Udid dal-1 cup
Cooked rice/poha - 1cup(have tried poha number of times,always works great!!)
Fenugreek seeds- 1tbsp(gives nice aroma too)
Salt -2-3tsp
Sesame oil as required 
how to make idli batter

   Wash and soak the rice and udid dal in seperate vessels for around 4-5 hours. Soak the poha(if using)10 minutes before grinding.Add the fenugreek seeds in udid dal during soaking.
Grind the udid dal  in a wet grinder to a very fine paste adding around a glass of water. Remove from the grinder.
Then grind the rice to a slightly coarse paste(fine suji consistency). Also add poha/cooked rice and fenugreek seeds. Add water while grinding rice.)about 2 glasses accordingly)
The grinding process for each of them takes around 25 minutes. Now mix both the batter to a uniform mixture. Add salt and allow it to ferment overnight atleast for 8 hours.
Store the batter in a air tight container(tupperware) in a fridge.
     Keep the required amount of batter required to make idlis  at room temperature before steaming them. Pour the batter in the idli moulds greased with sesame oil. Place them in a idli cooker or normal pressure cooker(minus the weight). Steam for around 10-15 minutes till the idlis are done. Let it be in the steamer for 5 more minutes. Scoop it out with a help of a wet spoon.
      Serve hot with sambar, chutney or milagai podi. Drizzle some sesame oil on the idlis before you serve. tastes great.

You should add enough water while grinding to ensure you get softer idlis. It's not going to work when you add water after grinding and fermentation. You can use soaked beaten/flaked rice /aval/poha instead of cooked rice.
Fenugreek seeds aids in fermentation process. But its totally optional.
You can use your hands while mixing the batter to ensure uniform mixing.
Read here to help you understand about the batter fermentation.
In case you want to use the same batter for making dosa, dilute it with some water to a pourable consistency. It is ideal to make idlis first and then can use the remaining batter for dosas.
(Some use the rice lentil ratio of 3:1, but in my case 4:1 worked well. Try adjusting if you are still not satisfied with your idlis.)
If you are still unsatisfied, try adding a tbsp of soaked sago/sabudana while grinding the rice. Has worked fine with me.
+++ If you are using mixie, use chilled water while grinding rice. This will prevent from the blades getting heated. Sometimes it gets heated and mixie stops running. Chilled water prevents from the blades getting heated.
You can use a little more udid dal while grinding in the mixie, but the same proportion works just fine for me.
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