Idly is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish, made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice. With tips from elders and experience of idly making for a few years, I can now confidently say that I have a recipe for the perfect idly. For making idly dosa batter I always used (rice)4:1(urad daal) ratio but now my friend is suggesting me to use 2:2 ratio as more daal would be good for kids.
This is our traditional recipe, which has been followed for generations to generations. The method involve soaking, grinding, fermenting and steaming. A very healthy choice for modern life.
Ok, that is enough, let us buy the ingredients:
1 cup urid dal
3 cup idly rice – note the proportions are key to softness
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 sliced onion
2 cm ginger sliced
4 dry chilies cut into pieces
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 sprigs of curry leaves
Few drop of oil for making garnishing mix
Salt as needed
Grinder/ wet grinder
Idly steamer – a specially made cooking vessel is needed
1. Wash dal and rice and soak them separately in lot of water for at least for 8 hours. Add the fenugreek seeds into the urid dhal during soaking process.
2. Drain the water. Grind the urid dhal and idly rice separately. Idly rice should grinded coarsely and urid dhal should be grinded very finitely. This is also one of the key to the softness. When grinding, add little bit water to help the grinding/blending process.
3. Now mix the both batter and allow for fermenting. Cover the fermenting pot with a lid. Use your hand to mix as it helps to ferment faster and better. If needed can add little water, if the batter is too thick. However, it should be reasonably thick and sticky in your fingers.
4. Set this aside in a warm place for at least 8 hours.
5. Just before steaming, prepare the garnish mix by tempering and slowly bowing the onion, dry chilies and ginger slices. When aroma releases from the browning or caramalising process, add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves with drop of oil.
6. On a high flame, bring enough water to boil in an idly steamer, butter your idly plates and this will allow the idly to easily fall from the idly maker. Mix the batter well, do not over do. Pour this in the molds. When the water to bubble and steam up place it in the steamer. Steam for exactly 10 mins on a medium high flame and off the heat.
7. After 2 mins, remove the plates and set them aside for 2 to 3 mins, remove the idly and serve with sambal/chu