The idli is a popular dish served in the Indian subcontinent. It is a steamed rice cake that is usually eaten along with sambar and chutney.
The idli is made by soaking urad dal, rice, or other lentils overnight, grinding them to a batter and then steaming it in stainless steel Idly plates or in small cups made from plantain leaves or banana leaves. The fermented batter can be stored for up to couple of days if kept in the refrigerator without spoiling.
It has been considered to be one of the most important dishes in Tamilian cuisine. It has been described as “the quintessential South Indian breakfast” and “a food that has come to be associated with Tamil people”.
The recipe below gives you the instructions to make the idly batter at home along with instructions to make the idlies. These days ready made idly batter is also available in most supermarkets across the country.
Ingredients for Idli
- 1 1/4 cup Par-boiled rice
- 1/4 cup Raw Rice
- 1/2 cup Urad Dal
- 1 tbsp Rock Salt adjust as desired
- 2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
How to make Idli
- Wash the rice well and soak it for 4 to 6 hours.
- Wash the dal and soak it separately for 4 to 6 hours.
- If using fenugreek seeds, soak it with the dal
- Combine the rice and dal together and grind until it reaches a soft, smooth and spongy texture. Remember to keep adding water, little by little.
- Do not add too much water. You need just enough to grind them to a soft batter.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Transfer the dough to a large container to ferment. Keep the lid tightly closed. Allow the dough to ferment for at least 2 to 4 hours.
- Grease an idli tray with little oil.
- Pour some batter into each cup.
- Add enough water to a pressure cooker and place the filled idly tray in it.
- Close the lid and do not put on the "weight".
- Steam the idlis for 8 to 10 minutes.
- To check if the idlis are done, open the lid and insert a knife or a fork into one idli.If the dough does not stick, then the idlis are cooked. If the idlis are not fully cooked, steam cook for some more time.
- When done, take out the idly tray and remove the idlis.
- Serve hot with chutney and sambar.