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Feb 22, 2013

Idli Batter

Idli is one of the most popular south Indian recipes all over the country. Idli is an ideal breakfast item. Making Idli is not difficult at all; however its preparation takes a little time as the batter for Idli requires fermentation.
In my experience, the key to making soft idli is:
  • Using handful of rice/Poha while making the Urdu Daal batter.
  • Let the dal soak in water overnight inside a fridge.
  •  When grinding dhal and rice use only cold water.
  •  Not running the blender continuously, but in short bursts
  •  Making sure that the batter (before fermentation) does not have too much     water.
  • When you grind the idly batter, the rice should be ground to a fine sooji rava consistency and not to a fine paste.
  • To aid fermentation in cold countries, preheat your oven to 200F and put it off. Place the vessel containing the batter on a plate (to collect the overflown batter in case it pours out) and keep oven closed overnight.
  • You can use idli rava instead of grinding rice. Just grind the urad batter and mix with idli rava! However, the idlis will be like the udupi style ones, not like the smooth chettinadu style idlis.

Idli Rice – 4 cups
Urdh dhal – 1 cup
Aval (beaten Rice) - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil (for greasing the pans)

  • Wash and soak the Daal, Poha and rice overnight or for 8 hours.
  •  Wash and drain the rice. Grind it coarsely in a grinder.
  • Proceed to grind the Urdh Daal, with Poha and required amount of water and make a fine frothy paste.
  • Do not add too much water; the water should be sufficient just so that the mixer/grinder motor runs smoothly.
  • Now mix the ground rice and Daal together into a batter.
  • Mix salt and set aside in a warm place for 8-9 hours or overnight for fermenting.
  • Idlis are ready to be cooked when the batter is well fermented.

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