An authentic south Indian breakfast includes a preparation made with Rice or Wheat, usually fermented overnight and then either steamed or fried. Once such dish is the Idli! Accompanied with a chutney or a chammanthy, Iddli’s are best served hot out of the cooker with “Kappi” – Coffee.
Idli Rice/ Boiled Rice – 3 cups
Urad Dal / Back Gram (skinless) – 1 cup
Salt – 1 heap teaspoon
Water – Three parts
One part to soak rice
Second to soak Urad Dal
Third Part set aside for grinding the mixture
Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Preparing the Batter –
Soak rice in a container ensuring the level of water is above the rice. In another bowl soak urad dal and fenugreek seeds. Let them soak for about 4 – 6 hours.
First grind the soaked urad dal. You will see how the batter is nice and fluffy. Grind to a nice smooth silky consistency. Keep aside. Then grind the rice to the same consistency as the urad dal. If required add little water while grinding and then add the rice batter to the urad dal. Mix thoroughly and add salt.
Store this mixture in a big bowl (twice the level of batter) to allow the batter to ferment and rise! Just incase place a plate underneath the bowl so if it does spill over there won’t be a mess on your counter. Let this batter stand over night. (6 – 8 hours) Next morning you will see that the batter has considerably risen.
Finally Cooking – Get your idlli cooker ready and oil the tray/ mould well so when the idli is cooked, they come out easily and they remain in shape.
Take your batter and scoop out the batter from the top. Do not mix it all up. The secret behind nice soft fluffy idlis is not mixing the batter and using the soft nice foam like batter on top. This makes the perfect melting idli. You can have them with Tenga chamandi (coconut chutney), Mulagum cheriyaulli chammathy (chili and shallots chutney) or just MTR Chatni poddi.