Soft Rice Idlis (karnataka Cuisine)
Idli is a traditional breakfast in South India. They are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented urad dal and rice. Beaten rice(poha) when added in little quantity adds a smooth texture to the idlis. This is my recipe of how I prepare it.
1 cup Rice - preferably par boiled or sona masoori
1/4 cup Poha(beaten rice)
1/2 cup dhuli Urad Dal (split and skinless black gram lentil)
1/4 tsp Fenugreek or methi seeds
Salt as per taste
Oil for greasing steaming plates
Mix rice and poha, wash and clean it with water. Soak it in enough water overnight for 5-6 hours. Add methi dana into the urad dal and wash, clean and soak it in another container overnight for 5-6 hours.
Drain the soaked urad dal. Don't throw away the water used for soaking the urad dal. This water will be used for grinding the urad dal and the rice separately. Grind the urad dal along with methi dana in a mixer/blender to a fine smooth paste with very little water used for soaking the lentils. Take it out in a big container. Drain the soaked rice along with poha and grind it into a smooth paste using very little water used for soaking the urad dal. Mix the two ground ingredients and add salt. Cover the container with a lid and let it rest stand still in a warm place to ferment to a spongy batter. The lid of the container should not be placed too tightly and make sure that the container is big enough. The batter rises on fermentation and if the container is not big enough, the batter will overflow.
When the batter is fermented, stir and mix the batter so as to form a smooth mixture. Take an idli steamer and fill it with enough water. Bring it to a boil. While the water is heating, grease the idly steamer plates with oil. Pour 2 spoonfuls (or as required )of batter into the molds so that it fills 3/4th of the molds. I did not fill to the top as the batter rises on being steamed.
When the water starts boiling, put the idli stand into the steamer. Cover the lid and cook it on medium high heat for 10-11 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the idlis to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, then it is done else cook it for another 2 minutes or till it is done. Let the idlis cool for 3-4 minutes and then take it out using a spoon onto a plate. Serve it hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.
My Tip: If are staying in a cold place and it's difficult to get fermentation, I have a solution. Preheat your oven at 200F( do not preheat more than this). When the oven is preheated, turn off the oven and wait for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put the container having the idli batter inside the oven with lid covered. The batter will get fermented in 3-4 hours.