Idli is a popular and nutritious South Indian breakfast dish. These are soft, light, and fluffy steamed round cakes made from fermented rice and lentil batter.
• 1 cup regular rice plus 1 cup parboiled rice or 2 cups idli rice plus 2 cups parboiled rice
• 1/2 cup whole or split Urad dal – 120 gms husked black gms
• 1/4 cup thick poha – 20 gms (flattened rice)
• 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
• 2 cups water – for rice soaking
• 1 cup water (for soaking the Urad Dal)
• 1/2 cup water – for grinding Urad dal or add as needed
• 3/4 to 1 cup water – for grinding rice or add as needed
• 1 tsp rock salt (edible and food grade) or sea salt
• Oil – as needed to coat the idli moulds
• 2 to 2.5 cups water – for steaming Idli
Soaking rice and utensils
Both regular rice and parboiled rice should be picked and rinsed.
Rinse the poha and combine it with the rice.
Fill the container halfway with water. Combine thoroughly. Cover and soak the rice and poha for 4 to 5 hours.
Rinse the Urad dal and methi seeds several times in a separate bowl.
Separately soak the Urad Dal and methi seeds in water for 4 to 5 hours.
Making Idli batter
The soaked Urad dal should be drained. Keep the water aside.
Grind the Urad dal and methi seed for a few seconds in a blender with 1/4 cup of the reserved water. Then pour in the remaining 1/4 cup water. Now, grind until the batter is smooth and fluffy.
Place the Urad dal batter in a separate bowl and set aside.
To make a smooth batter, grind the rice in batches.
In a large mixing bowl or pan, combine both batters. Mix in the salt thoroughly.
Cover and leave the batter to ferment for 8 to 9 hours, or longer if necessary.
The idli batter will double in size and rise after the fermentation process is completed.
Grease the idli pans.
Fill the moulds with batter and steam the idlis in a pressure cooker or steamer.
Remove the vent weight if using a pressure cooker (whistle).
Steam for 12–15 minutes, or until the idli is cooked.
Serve the hot idlis with coconut chutney and sambar.
The remaining batter can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
Remember to add the appropriate amount of water to the batter. The idli will become dense if the water content is low.
Urad dal must be finely ground. Urad dal batter must be soft, light, and fluffy. To make soft and fluffy Idli, I recommend grinding both Urad dal and rice separately. A well-ground Urad dal batter also aids fermentation.
In the winter, leave the batter to ferment for a longer period of time, such as 14 to 24 hours or more.
A pinch of sugar aids in the fermentation of the batter. The idli will not be sweet if you add up to 1 teaspoon sugar to this recipe.
Last Updated on August 14, 2021