Idli is the healthiest breakfast of Indian cuisine and staple food of south india. Idli is a soft and fluffy steamed cake made of fermented rice and lentil batter.
Idli is a fermented food and fermentation increases bio availability of minerals in food helping the body to assimilate more nutrition. This is what makes idli suitable to all including babies and children. This post shows how to make idli batter/ Idli maavu at home for making soft idli which is commonly referred as Mallipoo idli in Tamil and Mallige idli in Kannada (as soft as jasmine). Also is shown stuffed vegetable masala idli recipe. Idli goes very well in combination with side dish such as Chutney, sambar etc which is covered in my earlier post.
How to make perfect idli batter for soft idli?
Par boiled rice(Idli rice) and fenugreek has to be soaked for minimum 4-6 hours but for lentil (urad dal) it need not be soaked for more than 2 hours otherwise the soaked water might start smelling. Using soaked water during grinding helps to ferment easier. Urad dal and fenugreek grinding takes little more time than rice. In my video I have also specified water quantity for rice and urad dal batter. This could be of use to beginners to make soft and fluffy idlis.
If water is less in the batter, idli will be hard and if water is more then idli will be flat. We have to be very cautious in water quantity. Use only crystal salt,rock salt and not iodised salt.It helps in fermentation. Grinding urad dal is the main factor to get soft idli. Add little quantity of water 3 to 4 times and grind 20-30 minutes according to the quantity of urad dal.
Ingredients for Idli batter
Idli rice – 4 cups (cup size 125 ml)
Fenugreek – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Water for grinding : Urad dal batter – 2 1/4 cups Rice batter – 3 1/2 cups Makes 25 nos. approx
Healthy masala idli
Ingredients for vegetable masala
Grated cabbage – 2 tbsp
Grated carrot – 2 tbsp
Grated capsicum – 2 tbsp
Potato – 1 no (boiled & mashed)
Grated spinach (palak) – 1/4 cup
Chopped coriander leaf – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
Stuffing sufficient for 8 Idlis
How to prepare Idli batter
I used a 125 ml cup for measurement.
Rinse idli rice and soak rice and fenugreek for 4 hours separately
Soak whole urad dal for 2 hours
After 2 hours add fenugreek with soaked urad dal.
Note:I wanted to show how much water is used in the batter making for the benefit of beginners. I use soaked and drained water during grinding. For urad dal you need 2 1/4 cups ( cup size 125 ml as mentioned before)
Step 4 Grinding Urad dal for urad dal batter
Drain water from soaked urad dal. Add 1 cup of soaked water to urad dal and transfer the contents to wet grinder and start the grinding. Grind for 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides in between with the scraper so that urad gets ground uniformly. Add small quantity of water every 3-4 minutes and grind to make soft and fluffy batter. It takes about 20 minutes for the batter for the given quantity.
Step 5 Grinding rice for rice batter
Drain water from soaked rice to a separate vessel. Add 2 cups of water in rice. Start the grinder and transfer rice with water to grinder. Grind for atleast 12-13 minutes. Add water in between as required in small quantities. I used 3 1/2 cups of water to grind rice of given quantity to a smooth batter
Combine Urad dal batter and rice batter together. Add crystal salt. Mix well for 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the batter to a vessel having good depth so that the batter occupies about half of the vessel. Ferment the batter for 12 hours. After 12 hours the quantity of batter gets almost doubled. The batter is well fermented.
Step 8 Making Idli
Nowadays different type of steamers are available with idli mould plate
Option 1 using traditional Idli pan
Fill the pan with 3-4 cups of water. Cover the idli mould plate with wet cotton cloth.
Place the idli mould plate inside the pan. Heat the pan for few minutes.
Pour idli batter in Idli mpoulds and cover the lid.Keep stove in medium flame. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Turn off stove. keep aside for few minutes
Take the idli mould plate out and keep it upside down.Remove the knots that keeps the cloth tied to the mould plate. Sprinkle 2 tsp water on idlis. Now remove the idlis from the cloth.
Soft fluffy mallipoo idli(as soft as jasmine) is now ready
Preparation of vegetable masala
Add grated vegetables and greens with mashed potato and then add salt, turmeric powder,chili powder and tomato ketch up.Mix well. vegetable mixture or masala for stuffing is ready.
Take one lemon sized vegetable mixture and make it round shaped cutlets
Add two cups of water in pressure cooker. Heat for few minutes.
Grease idli mould.Pour idli batter on to the moulds to half capacity of mould.Then place vegetable mixture cutlets on the mould and pour batter over the vegetable mixture to cover it
Place the filled up idli mould inside the pressure cooker. Close the lid. Don’t put the vent weight. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
Healthy masala idli is ready
Note: With Idli batter you can also make dosa,paniyaram,oothappam etc.