Idlies are total comfort food for me. I can eat it any time in a day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is such a versatile dish and can be paired with a bunch of side dishes. South Indians relish this with so many vareities of chutneys, sambar vareities, kurma, podi and what not? I even have it with rasam or pickle. Since its steam cooked it suits all ages and stomachs.
Its served in big bunglows and small huts as the ingredients are simple and affordable. By pairing appropriate side dishes it can suit any type of occassion. Oh! Enough of praisisng. That much I adore it I should say. Here is the recipe for the spongy idlies we make at home. Today we had it with a spicy vegetable kurma.
Par boiled rice – 4 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 T spoon
Salt – as required
How to make it?
Soak the rice and urad dal separately. Add the fenugreek seeds to the urad dal while soaking. Let it soak atleast for 2-3 hours. Grind the udal dal first adding little by little water until fluffy. A stone grinder is the best to grind idli batter. The batter should be in the consistency of soft butter.
Then grind the rice with little water. The batter should be just coarse enough. Add water whenever the grinder stuggles to grind. That will be an indicator. Always add 2-3 T spoon of water at a time. Mix both the urad dal and rice batter. Usually we used to take the two batters in two big bowls and pour one into another for about 8-9 times to get the perfect blend. During the last 3 rounds add required salt and mix well. Let this mix stand for fermentation in a warm dry place for 8 hours. When you see bubbles on the surface and raisen top you can know that the batter is ready for use. Use idli moulds to make idlai. You can as well use greased plates, small cups. Steam cook the batter for 8-10 minutes. You can test the doneness by dipping your hands in cold water and touching the surface of the idly. Nothing should stick to your hand. Let the mould cool for 1 minute. Then dipping a shallow spoon in cold water take the idlies from the bowl. Serve piping hot with any suitable side dish. I served them with spicy vegetable kurma.
Ingredients for Kurma:
Mixed veggies like carrot, potato, beet root, frehs green peas – 2 cups
Sambar podi – 1.5 T spoon
Salt as required
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Cloves – 3 (heads removed)
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch crushed
Green chilly – sliced vertically 1
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tea spoon
Onion chopped – 1/2 cup
Tomato chopped – 1/4 cup
Grind to a fine paste:
1 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon Somb
Peanut oil – 2 T spoon
How to make it?
Heat oil in a wide skillet and once it is hot add the cloves and cinnamon. When a nice aroma of the frying spices comes add the ginger garlic paste. Once they turn to golden color add the onions and saute till they turn pink. Then add the tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy. Add the sambar podi adn turmeric powder. Now add the veggies and saute for a minute. Add 4-5 cups of water and add 1 tea spoon of salt. Mix well and check the taste and add if you require more. Let the whole mix come to a boil and leave it covered till the veggies are cooked. You can check the beet root if its cooked till fork tender. Now add the ground coconut paste and mix well. Count 20 and switch off the stove. If you have fresh coriander in hand chop a handful and add to it and cover the vessel with a lid. Serve atleast after 10 – 15 minutes.
Thanks Srivalli to remind me about the kurma recipe. I forgot it ;)