Urad dal and rice / cream of rice (rice suji) in a ratio of 1:2
1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
Pinch of baking powder

Blender/wet grinder
Idly stand and a vessel with tight lid (suitable to fit idly stand) [the traditional process]
Or a microwave proof Idli stand


Soak urad dal in just enough water overnight or for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Drain the water and keep the drained water aside.
Grind the dal into silky smooth batter. To get the medium tight consistency, add the drained water kept aside, as needed to the batter,while grinding. Remove the batter in a vessel.
Grind the rice and add (or add directly if you are using ravva) and mix thoroughly without any lumps.
Keep it covered, for overnight fermentation (at least 6hours) in a warm place. By morning, the batter will be doubled in volume. Stir in salt and baking powder. Consistency of batter must be medium, not too tight or too watery. Add water if necessary.

Cooking Process:
Traditional Method:
In a big vessel (fit to idly stand) with tight lid, add about half to one glass of water and bring to a boil. Simultaneously, grease the idli stand plates with a little oil on the surface and pour spoonfuls of batter. Do not fill it to the brim as the idlis while cooking will increase in size. Fill all the plates with idly batter and place these filled idly plates, back on the stand. Place this idly stand with filled plates in the vessel with boiling water. Cover it tightly and cook them on steam.
After about 10to 15 minutes, the batter will be hardened and when touched, won’t stick to your fingers like a wet batter does. Turn off the heat, allow it to cool for about 5 mins and remove the idly stand from the vessel. Run a spoon under each impression to separate steamed idlies from the plate. Remove them all like this and get ready to steam the next batch of idlis.

For the microwave:
1. You will need the double boiler (Tupperware has a good double boiler with idli stand). Take about 2 cups of water in the main vessel and put it in the micro at high for about 2 mins to bring it to boil.
2. Meanwhile, grease the idli stand surfaces and pour batter as explained before.
3. Place the stand inside the main vessel, close the lid and put it back in the oven
4. Cook it at high power for about 8 mins. Once done, allow a standing time of about 5 mins
5. Take it out and take out the idlis. Generally they are already loose and comes out once tapped lightly on the bottom of the moulds.

Serve idlis piping hot with sambhar, coconut chutney and idly karam podi (refer my earlier post on gunpowder chutneys) ~ for a traditional, proper south Indian breakfast.

Extra tips collected from others:
1. You may use round urad dal(whole and white) as they are apparently better than the broken ones for idlis.
3. While grinding add the one or two teaspoons of the soaked fenugreek seeds. This is an old tip, to improve the taste and fermentation.
4. Urad dal batter- the smoother the batter, the fluffy and silky, the idlis will be. Grind, grind and grind, run that blender motor until it gets hot. :)


I am said…
ha ha i like the utensil section..

I just make them in plastic tupperware in micrwave. Discovered this method only few months back :)
Amitabha Ghosh said…
@ I am: Thank you :) ... the tupperware is so much convenient ...

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