Wash and soak the lentils for 3-4 hours or even better overnight. Drain and rinse well. Drain out all water again, making sure there is absolutely no water left
Put all the ingredients (no water) in the medium sized jar of your blender and grind at speed 1 for just 10 seconds. Open the lid, mix with a spoon.
The mixture should be coarse, a few whole grains of dal or bits of chilies is just fine. If absolutely needed, process again 5-10 seconds.
If you make a paste of it, you may not love the dumplings.
Taste to check if you need more seasoning like salt or ginger. If necessary, just add more of these to the ground mixture, do not grind the mixture again.
If you need more chilies, either chop fine and add or grind separately and mix.
Lightly grease idli plates. Make about 12 small portions of the mixture and place in the plate, flatten slightly.
Steam on high heat for about 12-14 minutes and check to make sure the dumplings are not doughy. Do not steam much longer as they may feel very dry.
Serve warm or at room temperature with coconut chutney.