Fermentation is very whimsical here in the US..How hard did i try to make the perfect Idlis that smells so much like home, just as soft, as pillowy...just as heavenly..It did take me quite a while, but now I guess I am in Idli heaven. The secret, ELGI Ultra Wet Grinder my MIL got me from India this summer..The timing could not have been better, as I call spring/Summer - "Idli Season". During this period, the whimsical fermentation turns less temperamental and more predictable.

The other Idli recipe I have here on this blog is made from Idli-rawa, which essentially means the resulting Idlis are kinda second grade, not the best quality that can be called "premium grade A"!!!!The best of idli is always the from the scratch rice idlis. In fact the 'Idli rice' is supposed to yield excellent result. However I figured out that using the Carolina long grain rice yields good quality Idlis as well. Try a few varieties before you know your Idli!! Chances are that you will start appreciating Carolina long grain rice much better. In fact Arborio rice makes good Idlis as well, for those of you who's Risotto plans went sour. Try making Idlis with the Arborio rice that makes you feel guilty every time you reach out for the pantry door.
I have fallen in love with Carolina long grain rice for it takes only about a fourth of soaking time than the traditional Indian Idli rice. Again the choice is yours.
After having these Idlis for breakfast the other Wednesday, I drifted away to a time that would never come back...Lounging on the Mango trees in my late Grandfather's grove. It was like summer vacation all over again, at a time when vacations did not mean coming back home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes crying to be laundered; Vacations meant, sun, summer, mangoes, jack fruits, Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles,water-from-the-pumpset, delightful aromas from Granny's kitchen, unlimited Idlis, Dosas, Pooris, a hearty appetite, a vocabulary sans words like 'diet' 'weight' 'watch' 'inches' 'kilos' 'pounds'......Ha!

Here we go again...


We will need,

Idli Rice     1 cups
Carolina Rice/ Sona Masuri 2 cups
Urad Dal   1 cup
Beaten rice /Avalakki/Poha 1/2 Cup
Fenugreek    1 tsp
Kosher salt   2 tsp
Channa Dal   2 tbsp

  • Soak all the ingredients except salt separately overnight.
  • Grind separately the dals and the rice adding as little water as possible. Try using the soaking liquid instead of water. Mix well. Stir in the salt. Sit it in a warm place, say a warm oven for at least 8-10 hours to ferment. The mixture is ready to be used when it is almost double in volume.
  • When the batter is ready, grease Idli moulds. Set a steamer or a pressure cooker with about 2 inches of water. 
  • Without stirring the batter, gently scoop a ladle full of batter and pour it on to the Idli moulds. The idea is to retain as much aeration as possible. Steam for 10-14 minutes till the idlis are firm and done.
  • Rest the idlis in the mould for a few minutes, Scoop them out and serve then with sweet chutney, peanut chutney and Sambar just like my Ajji / grandmother would.


Unknown said...

Healthy breakfast idli.. adding channa dhal is new to me..looks nice..

KALVA said...

we make idlis with ravva,, i like this version too.. looing for the recipe. nice one!!

Anonymous said...

Could Idli rice be a substitute for Risotto? Idli rice seems to be cheaper than Arborio.