IDLI!! I have always loved the soft little clouds of fluffy delight. There is just something so satisfying about these seemingly simple dumplings from heaven!
For a long time I had only eaten these at restaurants and never really tried to cook them at home because the whole preparation thing, until I bought a bag of ready prepared idli flour! Not the ready mixed that you get in a box! I have tried these before and they really don't cut the mark so this is why I tried the bag of the properly milled mix. When I did it, it was so so easy and the out come was the best yet! The only downside really was the price. I don't want to sound like I'm being stingy, it just that I hate paying the high price of things that are ready prepared, when I can just put a tiny bit of prep, good results and half of the price! So, I thought that I would try to grind my own idli mix. The only downside to me doing this is, I only have a small grinder and i can't mix up anything wet into it. I have a food processor but it just doesn't seem to grind fine and evenly enough. I just use my processor for the convenience of chopping and grating food stuffs, although it is quite good for making coriander chutney! :-) But anyway! I thought that I could grind my own flour mix. So after much trial and error, I bring to you, my easy idli recipe!
P.S I will improve the photo soon because the idli's look yellow and they really are white! :-)
1 measuring cup of coarse rice flour,
1 tbs white urad dal,
1/8-1/4 fenugreek seeds,
1 tsp salt - or to taste,
1 tsp eno. (not to be mixed until the last minute.)
1) Grind the urad dal and the fenugreek seeds to a coarse flour. Sieve the flour to separate the ungrounded grains. Blend again if you need to.
2) Mix the ground mixture and the salt with the coarse rice flour and mix together well.
3) Mix enough hot water from the kettle to make a fairly thick batter. It should be about dropping consistency, but not quite poring consistency. You can always add some more hot water if the batter thickens. The amount of water was the thing that I have struggled with the most. I know that I haven't written a measure for the water, but I find that the measurement is different every time. I have also found that if you don't add enough water the batter will not ferment properly, but if you add too much water, the idli's will become a messy mush when cooked.
4) Leave to ferment over night in a warm place. Because I live in England, I leave my mixture in the airing cupboard over night or for about 11 hours.
5) when you start to see bubbles in the batter it is ready to cook.
6) Grease your idli moulds and set a large pan of water to boil. If you don't have an idli mould you can always use an egg poacher.
7) If you are using an egg poacher you will have to add the eno in batches. If you are using an idli mould add all of the eno and mix in quickly and then ladle the mixture in to the moulds.
8) Steam for about 8-10 minutes. You can check if the idli's are cooked through by sticking a knife into the thickest part. If the knife comes out clean with no creamy bits on it the idli's are cooked.
Enjoy with sambhar or tomato rasam.