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Idly and Dosa, are the quintessential south Indian food group, which needs its own tools and equipment and if one lives in the cold weather spot  that much harder to produce 🙂
We are not a big Idly eating family, I like them somewhat but the rest not so much. However If we have to eat them we prefer pillowy soft idlies , and I Love them for their ease and mess free quick dinner , pour, steam and done.
I do own a Wet grinder , how can I not considering my roots and love for equipment ? It’s quite compact and works well but I’m too lazy to take it out, use it and clean it and the associated mess involved, Plus I have invested a ton on my Vitamix , and which I proclaim as my only one required, clutter free , long-lasting , easy cleanup , go to appliance. Thereby lately we stopped eating idlies and went with various types of dosas all done with Vitamix.
However this is the new year and I’m usually quite enthusiastic this time of the year, so before I lost my new-found enthusiasm I decide to experiment. I don’t know if it was a fluke but I got excellent idlis , super soft, well fermented and beyond my wildest expectation AND I repeated it again with similar results. That’s good enough for me  to gloat and post.
The key is the fermentation, and the use of the oven so if one doesn’t have an oven I have no clue what to do.
I also used parboiled idli rava, will try with idli rice later, this just saves time in the grinding process.

Ingredients

Idly rava (parboiled ) – 2 cups
Urad dal (whole) – 1  cup
Poha – 2 spoons.
Fenugreek seeds (Vendhayam) – ½ tsp.
Water – for soaking and grinding
Salt – 4 tsp. ( preferable to use rock salt)
Some ice cubes.

Method

Soak urad Dal + fenugreek with plenty of cold water for 3 hrs, soak Idli rava + Poha  with just enough water to get absorbed for an hr or so.
Grind Urad first, drain the water, rinse with ice-cold water, and grind with a couple of ice cubes. This prevents the vitamix from cooking it and thereby killing the good bacteria ( or so i read) . I added some water to get a fluffy paste. Run it for a few seconds in high and then was back to normal.
Turn out the urad dal and grind the idli rava, Do not add water, the rava has soaked enough. Blend that well too. Just make sure vitamix is not warming the batter.
and that’s it . Add rock salt and mix well with hands( washed well). Use a stainless steel dish.

Fermentation

This is usually the iffy part, I warmed the over for 5 min, and turned it off and put the batter inside with the light on, every few hours ( 4 or so) I turned the oven to warm for about 3-5 min and turned it off. I did this about 3 times and viola next day idly batter 3 times the original volume. I was astounded, you’d think I won the lottery.

  • We went thru most of the batter, idlis were so soft that everyone ate more than normal ( apparently it was like eating air ehh)
  • The 2nd time I warmed the oven only once and set  a pan of steaming water on the shelf  below the batter ( Thanks J aunty)
  • I just mixed the batter once and quickly made the idlies, yep paranoia that it would sink like a stone.
  • To the remaining batter  , add 2 cups sprouted Ragi flour, some yogurt + salt + onion / green chilies / cilantro and lo behold, awesome Ragi dosa. This was way tastier than the idlis !!!

 

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