How To Make Idli (South Indian steamed Rice Cake)
Idli is a very nutritious and tasty South Indian rice cake. It is steamed which gives it additional softness and tastes amazing with any Sambar, Coconut Chutney, Chana Chutney or Molagapodi (a powder of dried red chilies, sesame seeds, lentils and salt). Basically parboiled rice or termed “Sela Chawal” in the local markets was used to make this lovely snack but nowadays a special kind of “Idli Rice” is available which has all the properties to make soft Idlis. Apart from this Urad Dal (White lentils) are used and they ferment the batter.
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Key ingredients for Idli (South Indian steamed Rice Cake)
How to make Idli/Dosa Batter
Ingredients to make Idli (South Indian steamed Rice Cake)
- 3 cups of Idli Rice If you get Idli Rice its fine to use 2 cups of Parboiled Rice – Sela Chawal and 1 cup of any normal small-grained rice like Mansoori Kolam or Shakkar Chini or just 3 cups of the aforementioned normal rice)
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp Urad Dal
- 1/2 tbsp Fenugreek Seeds(Methi Dana) – optional If you live in hot and humid climates the methi dana is not required.The Urad Dal is sufficient for fermenting and lending the right taste to the batter)
- 2 tsp salt to make 16 Idlis
Steps to make Idli (South Indian steamed Rice Cake)
- Thoroughly wash and soak the rice along with fenugreek seeds (if you are using) for 12-14 hours (filtered/boiled and cooled water is recommended).
- Following day keep an update on your cell phone and wash and soak the Urad Dal for 3 hours prior to the fourteenth hour.
- Grind according to the type of the gadget you have,
- If you are using a wet grinder like Preethi or Butterfly, set the stones in the right position and add a cup of the soaked rice and fenugreek seeds.
- Run and check if the stones are working properly, else fix the screws as possible to get perfectly smooth batter.
- Start grinding (If you are using the grinder for the first time, then refer manual for further instructions).
- Grind the rice to semi fine first and then make granular paste by adding nearly ½ cup of water.
- After the required consistency is achieved, transfer the contents in a large bowl and add urad dal.
- Grind till it turns smooth. The consistency should be buttery. You can add ¼ - ½ cup of water if required.
- Mix this urad dal mixture with rice mixture and set aside.
- If you are using mixer grinder, then use the wet grinding jar (refer the provided manual for further assistance).
- Start by grinding rice and fenugreek seeds. Grind till semi fine, add ½ cup water and grind till little granular.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Now grind urad dal till smooth paste by adding ¼ -½ cup of water.
- Combine rice and urad dal mixture and set aside.
- Whisk till rice and urad dal mixtures combine together. Leave this to ferment for, 12-14 hours in oven, on low temperature, if you stay in cold regions.
- 8-10 hours if you stay in warm regions 6-8 hours if you stay in hot and humid regions
- Following day whisk the batter and use ½ of the batter to make 16 Idlis. To this add salt and combine well.
- Using a silicon brush gently grease the idli plates with sesame or any cooking oil. Heat enough water in Idli steamer or pressure cooker (without vent weight).
- Using a ladle fill in the molds with batter upto ¾ th of its capacity. Steam on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave it to cool. Open the lid and using a run a spoon or knife gently on the edges and scoop out the idli’s. They should come neatly.
- Serve hot with sambar or chutney or molagapodi soaked in oil.