I thought there is need for this post as many viewers feel I use too little Urad dal. See recipe for idli batter here.
First proportion with Methiseeds gives the softest idlies. I got this recipe from our family friend who makes idlies every day. Its the staple breakfast for most families that hail from Chettinad.
The second one is for those who use a mixer or a food processor to grind.
The real magic needed to get super soft idlis is the technique used while grinding. A grinder is not used to forget about the batter till the grinding is done.
In a grinder:
When using a grinder soak the rice, methi and urad dal together. Soak for 6 hours. While grinding keep adding 1 table spoon water at regular intervals – about once in every 5 minutes. This is very crucial to get the best batter. You know the batter has turned out correct when its very fine and the consistency of the final batter is like cake batter ( for those who prepare cakes).
To be exact I would suggest that it is better to measure the amount of water also. If you soak 4 cups boiled rice (idli rice) and 3/4 cup urad dal and drain water completely before grinding, then you can add 2 and 1/2 cups water. First add 1 cup and the remaining keep adding as the batter absorbs.
This will definitely give you the right consistency. Mix with salt and leave for fermenting.
When you prepare the idlis, take out the required amount of batter in another container and mix with 1 or 2 table spoons water and make the idlies. This way the left over batter will remain fresh for more than a week.
In a mixie:
In the second proportion raw rice is added to make it easier to grind in a mixer. The same procedure as for first method has to be followed for grinding.
Hope these tips will help visitors to get their idli right.