Thursday, December 26, 2013


About Idly:

Idli (Tamilஇட்லி) also romanized idly or iddly, plural idlis, is a traditional breakfast in south Indian households. Idli is savory cake of South India that is most popular throughout the southern part of India including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka. The cakes are usually two to three inches in diameter and are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice. The fermentation process breaks down the starches so that they are more readily metabolized by the body.
Most often eaten at breakfast or as a snack, idlis are usually served in pairs with chutneysambar, or other accompaniments. Mixtures of crushed dry spices such as milagai podi are the preferred condiment for idlis eaten on the go. A variant of Idli known assanna (Konkaniसान्नां sānnāṃ) is very popular amongst the Goans and other Konkani people. Another variant known as "Enduri Pitha" is very popular in Odisha. For preparation of "Enduri Pitha", mixture of black gram paste and ground once-boiled rice is wrapped in turmeric leaf and steam cooked.
To make idli, place four parts uncooked rice to one part split black lentil (minapa pappu, urad dal) in a pan and soak separately for at least four hours. Optionally, to improve taste, add half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to the lentils at the time of soaking. Grind the lentils (with the fenugreek seeds) to a fine paste attaining the consistency of whipped cream. Grind the rice to a coarse paste separately in a heavy stone grinding vessel (rolu-rokali, rubbo-kallu, oralu kallu). Mix both the lentil and rice paste thoroughly. Leave the paste to ferment overnight, until it has expanded to about 2½ times its original volume. In the morning, put the idli batter into the ghee-greased moulds of an idli tray or "tree" for steaming. Note that a traditional method in Tamil Nadu avoids greasing and uses pure white cloth which is placed on moulds and batter is poured over it after the idlis are cooked the trays along with cloth are inverted upside down in a plate & water is sprinkled on the cloth, then the cloth is pulled and the idlis come out without sticking to the cloth. So that idlis are prepared without a single drop of oil or ghee. Those cloths are washed daily and kept separately in kitchens. The perforated moulds allow the idlis to be cooked evenly. The tree holds the trays above the level of boiling water in a pot, and the pot is covered until the idlis are done (about 10–25 minutes, depending on size). The idli is somewhat similar to the attu, dosa, a fried preparation of the same batter.
In the old days, when the idli mould cooking plates were not popular or widely available, the thick idli batter was poured on a cloth tightly tied on the mouth of a concave deep cooking pan or tava half filled with water. A heavy lid was placed on the pan and the pot kept on the boil until the batter was cooked into idli. This was often a large idli depending on the circumference of the pan. It was then cut into bite-size pieces and eaten.
Idlis are usually served in pairs with coconut chutney (thengai chutney/kobbari chutney) or kaara chutney (onion chutney), sambar and idli milagai podi (karam podi) with ghee. Kobbari pachadi and karampodi are first used to eat in combination of idlis in Andhra Pradesh, specifically in Kostha Andhra Districts.
Allam pachadi (which is made of Ginger and available in both the sweet and spicy varieties), also goes very well with idlis and dosas.
If there are excess uneaten idlis, they are often used to make a savory snack called idli upmma. This can be prepared by cutting the baked idlis into small pieces and keep at a side. Then, pour some oil in a hot pan. Put some sliced onions, black crushed dal, curry leaves and fry till golden yellow of onion. Then put the cut idlis in it and fry well. Taste it with coconut chutney or pickles or with chutney powder with ghee.


Idly rice - 4 cups / Parboiled Rice – 3 cups & Raw Rice – 1 cup
Urad Dhal – 1 cup
Salt – 2 teaspoon
yeast - 1/4 tsp(optional for fermentation)


1.Soak both the rice and dhal separately in water for about 6 to 8 hours. Wash and grind rice and dhal separately to a fine paste.When you drop a ball of dhal battter in water ,it should float and not sink Mix together with salt and make a thick batter. Leave it for atleast 8 hours to ferment.

2.Boil water in the idli cooker. Grease the idli plates. Mix the batter thoroughly. Pour the batter in the idli plate and put it inside the cooker,cover and  Steam it for 7 to 10 minutes. (If you are using pressure cooker, do not put the weight. Allow the steam to come out.)
Idly Cooker

 3.Check Idlies by poking it with a skewer ,if it comes clean then idly is cooked.Let the idlies stay for 5 minutes.You can remove idly by using a sharp spoon .(Immerse the spoon in water before you take out idly,this will prevent idly to come out of the plate smoothly)

 4.Now a great tip to keep all idlies hot till you serve.
Take a steamer,fill the bottom pot with water and line the top rack with paper towel and place idlis in them and cover it with the lid and keep in stove with low to medium flame.You can make all idlis and place them in refrigerator ,next day you can do the same process to reheat the idlis too.

5.Serve with chutney/sambar/milagai podi or with anything you like.

Tips: If you are living in cold country, the batter will not ferment properly. You can keep the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light. Or, you can keep the batter near heater vent.
You can add 1/4 tsp of yeast while grinding the batter.This also helps in fermentation.
Idly with Coconut Chutney

Idly Served With OnionTomato Chutney

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