link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: IDLI (Steam cooked Rice and lentil cakes)

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Saturday, October 8, 2005

IDLI (Steam cooked Rice and lentil cakes)

IDLI (Steam cooked Rice and Lentil Cakes)
Idli is very good for health, since its steam cooked and made of rice and black gram lentil and fermented overnight, its supposed to be very light on the stomach. Idli can be had during typhoid, jaundice or Malaria, its also served to ladies after delivery as it is light on the stomach and very easy to digest. Idli contains very little oil, the oil that we use to grease the moulds is all the oil that we use. If you are using a nonstick idli mould, you don’t need to use oil at all for greasing also.

Each Idli approximately provides 1.67gms of protein, 0.14gms of fat, 9.12 gms of carbohydrates, 0.21gms of minerals, 44.5kcal of energy and 0.09gms of fibre.
It’s a very good breakfast item to be had early in the morning. Idli can be fed to infants 4 months and above. Mash the cooked idlis and feed them, its very nutritious. Here is the basic Idli recipe.
Par boiled rice - 3 cups
Udad dal -1 cup
Salt as per taste
Rinse and soak rice and udad dal seperately in water for 2 hours. Grind the two seperately, and mix them together with salt. Keep it overnight for fermentation, In the morning you will see that the batter has risen and doubled in size. Mix the batter well. Now coat the idli moulds with oil, pour the batter into the Idli moulds and steam cook. Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or molagapodi.

Making Idlis using Idli rava
If you are making Idlis using Idli Rava, The proportion you can use is
Idly Rava – 3 cups
Udad dal -1 cup

Salt as per taste
Soak the Idly rava and Udad dal separately. When you soak the Idly rava, any impurities will come up, remove it and change the water. Rinse the Udad dal and once it is soaked for around 2-3 hours. Grind it into a fine paste separately, Once the udad dal is grounded, Add the soaked idly rava and grind together with the grounded udad dal and your batte4r is ready. Allow it to ferment overnight. Once the batter has risen, add salt, mix well. Coat the idli moulds with oil and pour batter into idli moulds and steam cook. Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or molagapodi.

This is yet another recipe I learnt from my good friend Srilatha and tastes absolutely divine. You can make this with the freshly fermented Idli batter or with yesterdays idly batter. Srilatha says, today you can make idli and next day you can make masala idli for breakfast. This is one dish no one would complain about. People who don’t like Idlis may actually love this spicy idli. Always make the masala to be mixed with the batter, just before you pour into the idli mould else the idli wont taste so good. Don’t mix the masala in the morning and make the idlis in the evening.
Idli batter
Onions - 2
Grated carrot – ½ cup
Green peas – 2 tbsps(optional)
2 green chilies, chopped
1 small piece ginger grated
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

Asafetida - ½ tsp
Peanuts or Cashew nuts – 2 tbsps
Grated fresh coconut - ½ cup
Salt to taste
Curry leaves – a sprig
Freshly chopped coriander leaves
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Chana dal (
Bengal gram) – 1tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Finely chop Onions, peel and grate the carrots, grate the ginger, finely chop the chillies.
Fry the Peanuts or Cashew nuts whichever you are using in ghee and keep aside.
In a pan, take some oil, Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chana dal, wait for the mustard seeds to crackle and then add the grated ginger, finely chopped chillies and curry leaves, once they are fried, Add the grated coconut and the grated carrot, salt, turmeric, asafetida, red chilly powder and just stir fry once, so that all the masala mixes well. The carrot should not be cooked, it should be crunchy.
Incase you are adding green peas, after frying the green chillies and ginger, add the peas and fry till you see the peas slightly changing its color and then add the remaining things as mentioned above. Add this masala into the idli batter, also add the fried cashew nuts or peanuts that you are using and mix well. Add coriander leaves and mix well.
Check for salt, if you feel it’s less add at this point. Now coat the idli moulds with oil, pour the batter into the Idli moulds and steam cook.
Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or molagapodi. Try out the masala idli.

Par boiled Rice - 3 cups
Udad dal - 1.5 cups
Grated Ginger - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Asafetida - ¼ tsp
Pepper – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Cooking Oil
Ghee - 2 tsp
Salt as per taste

Rinse and soak par boiled rice and udad dal separately in water for 2 hours. Grind the above coarsely and add asafetida and salt to this. Keep it overnight so that this will ferment. Fry pepper, cumin seeds, grated ginger and curry leaves in ghee. Add this to the batter. Mix everything together. Coat the idli moulds with oil and pour batter into idli moulds and steam cook. Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or molagapodi.
  • Some people add a pinch of soda bi-carb to the idli flour, so that it comes out well, but personally I don’t prefer to add it. Incase, your idli has flopped, may be you can add soda bi-carb and try the next round.
  • Someone suggested to me that adding a tablespoon of sago to be soaked along with the udad dal and ground as usual makes the batter soft and the idlis more fluffy. I did try but the results were quite similar except that the idlis were slightly fluffier, you can try this tip.
  • Someone also suggested that while grinding the dal and the rice, adding a tablespoon of cooked rice and grinding it along with the batter, will make the idlis softer and fluffier, you can try this tip and let me know.
  • You can also add a teaspoon of fenugreek (methi) seeds to the dal and grind it, its good for health and gives a faint fenugreek flavor to the idli. Fenugreek is usually added during winters as it gives heat to the body during the cold season.
Note: Grinding the idli batter in a wet grinder (stone grinder), gives you more batter than grinding it in the mixie. Also the taste will be better when ground in stone.

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