Idli is the most common breakfast in many south Indian homes,though I do not make it on a daily basis, I do prepare it at least once in two weeks.I have already posted a version of Idli recipe using Idli rawa which is the usual way in which it is prepared in Andhra.In Karnataka and Tamilnadu,Idlis are usually prepared by using boiled rice or Idli rice.I usually prefer using Idli rice for my Idlis as I like the taste and texture of Idlis better than the Idli rawa ones.Today I am posting the Idli recipe with idli rice and a complete guide to get soft and fluffy idlis
Idli might sound like a very simple dish to get soft, fluffy and airy idlis one needs to practice a lot.I don't think that even all South Indians manage to make good idlis.There are many factors which dictate the quality of idli, like the quality of urad dal or idli rice used, the climatic conditions and the procedure of grinding the batter, i.e using a grinder or a processor.I have shared a few tips based on my experience and advice from elders to help prepare soft idlis,I hope it would help you.This recipe is meant for beginners and hence I have tried giving more details.Please go through the notes thoroughly before you start preparing it.
Check out few Idli varieties and their variations using the basic Idli batter here..
- Kanchipuram(Kanchi) Idli | Spicy Idli
- Khara Idli / Onion Masala Idli
- Idli Recipe Using Idli Rava
- Mallige Idli
- Idli Upma - using left over Idlis
- Masala Idli Fries
- Tri Color Cocktail Idlis
Idli Recipe using Idli Rice Recipe | Idli Batter :
makes 30-32 Idlis
Preparation time: 8 hrs | Cooking time: 15 mins | Total time: 8 hrs + 15 mins
Recipe Cuisine:South Indian | Recipe Category: Breakfast
4 cups Idli rice(Salem rice)
1 cup whole white Urad dal
3/4 cup Poha(atukulu)
3/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
- Soak idli rice and fenugreek seeds overnight or at least for 5-6 hrs.
- Soak urad dal and poha in a separate vessel next morning and let them soak for at least 2 hrs.
- Grind urad dal in the wet grinder until it is smooth,soft and frothy.Add enough water(approx 1.5- 2 cups,it took 2 cups of water for me) at regular intervals while grinding the urad dal.It would take approximately 20-25 mins to grind urad batter.The batter should double in size.To test whether the batter is completely done or not,put a small dollop of batter in a vessel of water,if it floats then the batter is done.Remove it from the grinder and put it in a big vessel.
- Grind idli rice with poha and fenugreek seeds in the wet grinder by adding enough water(approx 1.5 -2 cups,it took 1 3/4 cups of water for me) at regular intervals to a slight coarse paste.You should feel the slight grainy texture of rice when you touch the batter.
- Remove the batter and mix the mixture with the ground urad dal and add enough salt to it and mix well with your hand.You can add some water to the wet grinder and add it to the batter to get the desired consistency,the batter should be thicker(not very thick as well) and not thin.Let it ferment for 8-9 hrs.Some times fermentation depends on the weather,so if the weather is cold it might need another an hour or two extra for fermentation.You will get to see the rise in the level of idli batter once it is fermented and it is the indication.
- Take out the required portion of batter(do not mix the whole batter while scooping out) and refrigerate the rest of batter.
- Grease the idli plates with oil and pour a ladle of idli batter until each impression is filled 3/4th.You can even line it with a wet muslin cloth and pour the batter on top of it.
- Steam it in idli steamer or pressure cooker(with out whistle) for 10-12 mins.Let it rest for another 5 mins.
- With a idli spoon cleanly remove the idlis.Dip the idli spoon in water in between which helps to remove the idlis easily from the plate.If you have used muslin cloth just invert them into the hot box.
- Keep them in hot box or serve directly on to a plate.Always serve idlis hot.
- Use an air-tight container for storing the batter.I usually remove the batter into my tupperware container and cover it with a normal loose steel plate while it is fermenting and once it is fermented I cover it with a lid and refrigerate the batter,this way the batter will be fresh and does not turn sour.
- Fermentation largely depends on the climatic conditions.In places like Mumbai it takes around 8-9 hours for the fermentation.If you are living in cold place you can even place the batter in a preheated oven and turn the oven light ON,this helps in quick fermentation.If you still have problem with it you can add a ladle of idli batter from the previous batch or ready made idli batter which helps the fermentation process to happen without fail.
- The idli batter turns sour quickly if you add salt while grinding the batter and that is the reason few add salt while making idlis.It is your wish to follow which way you want.
- I prefer to use whole urad dal,if you do not get it use regular ural dal(broken).But always use good quality fresh urad dal for preparing idlis.
- Addition of poha is optional but it gives you very soft and fluffy idlis.You can even use a handful of sago instead of poha for the same.You can even add a handful of cooked rice while grinding which ensures to get the softest Idlis.
- If you are using mixer you can use 3 cups of idli rice for 1 cup of urad dal for making idlis.Use cold water while grinding the batter in mixer as the batter tends to get heated while grinding in mixer.
- If you use muslin cloth for lining idlis,idlis remain soft for a long time and it does not form any layer on top as well.Though there is a drawback of washing that cloth,hence most of the time I just grease my idli plates and prepare idlis.
- Once the batter is fermented do no stir it much which makes the batter looses its air bubbles and in return the idlis will not be softer.
- After 2-3 days the idlis might not turn soft with the same batter,you can add a fat pinch of cooking soda mixed with 2 tbsp water into the batter and mix it well and make idlis.Your idlis would be definitely soft.
- If your idli batter turn soar,try this Masala Idli which is a perfect fix for the sour idli batter.
- You can use the same batter for making paper thin crisp dosas.Add enough water to make the batter little thin and then spread the dosa as thin as possible.
Try these accompaniments for Idli:
- Andhra Nalla Karam
- Andhra Karapodi
- Coconut chutney
- Coconut Chutney with red chilies
- Coriander-Mint flavored Coconut Chutney
- Kobbari Karam
- Milagai Podi - Tamilnadu style
- Nalla Minumula Podi(Black lentils powder)
- Peanut Chutney
- Tomato-Onion Chutney
- Onion chutney
- Sambar - with freshly ground spices - Tiffin Sambar
You can use the same batter to prepare crisp dosas.You need to add enough water to make the batter bit thin and spread the dosa as thin as possible and roast it with either ghee/butter or oil to get crisp dosa.You can fold it in the shape of a cone like how I did,just have a look at it.