Idlis are a regular break fast in most south indian homes. It is served with a varieties of chutneys, sambhars and mulagai podi. The batter is ground on the previous day and allowed to ferment for 6 to 10 hours, depending on the weather conditions. I learnt the perfect recipe for Idli batter from an old family friend Parameshwariakka.
Skinned Whole urad dal is good. In case it is not available you can use broken variety.
Ingredients – Proportion 1
Boiled rice 4 cups.
Whole urad dal 3/4 cup.
Fenugreek (methi) seeds 2 teaspoons.
Salt 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.
Boiled rice 5 cups.
Raw rice 2 cups.
Whole urad dal 2 cups.
Salt 3 teaspoons
If you are using a mixie to grind soak the dal and rice separately.Grind the dal first and then the rice.If you have a grinder, soak the rice and dal together.
Wash and soak the ingredients for 6 hours. Drain and grind , adding 1/2 cup water in the beginning. Keep sprinkling water as the batter absorbs. It will take 1/2 hour to 1 hour for this process. The softness of the idlies depend on this process. To get the right consistency you will need approximately 2 cups water for preportion 1, and 4 cups waterfor preportion 2. Transfer the batter to a large container. The batter will rise so fill only till half. Mix salt and cover with a lid.
The batter should be very smooth. Now leave to ferment. The batter will almost double in ten hours.
If you stay in a cold place, do not despair. You can wrap the container with an old shawl or keep it in a room where you have the room heater.
Grease the idli stand with oil. Stir the batter well and add 2 table spoons water and pour into the idli plates**. Steam in a cooker ( with out weight ) for 5 minutes*. Take out the idlis with a wet spoon after 5 minutes.
Serve hot with Sambhar, chutney and gun powder.
*The time depends on no of idlis you make. Time mentioned here is for 12 idlis.
**You can use the required amount of batter and store the rest in the fridge and make dosa or idli when you want. The batter can be stored for 10 days.
Idlis are the easiest to cook, once you master the procedure. So please Ask mami and clear you doubts.
You can also steam in a microwave Idli stand also. You can add a little more water to the batter.