Friday, September 25, 2015

Home made Idlis | How to make soft Idlis | Typical TamilNadu Breakfast

Today's breakfast recipe is Idlis from Tamilnadu, India. It's the most comforting dish in the world to me.To get spongy idlis, you have to take care to lot of things, 

  • Buy good brand of urad dal & Idly rice.
  • Wash both the urad dal & rice well before soaking, i normally wash it for 3 times.
  • Always use fresh water at room temperature to grind
  • Dont use the soaked water to grind.
  • The urad dal should be fluffy & light.
  • Using wet grinder to grind for best result.
My mom still use skinned & splitted urad dal for idly, she soaked the dal and spent almost 20 mins to remove the skin from dal before grinding, It's really boring & tiresome job to do,  i used the same process in initial days , but now i use only whole urad dal, she says that will give best result,yeah that's true too. I like my mom's idly the most than mine. Some people use fenugreek seed to get softness,but we never used in our home.If you grind the urad dal batter perfectly, then you will get soft idly. 

Homemade Idly

Preparation Time : 8 hrs | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Breakfast/Dinner | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Idly Rice - 2 cup
Whole Unskined Urad Dal - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tbsp
Water to grind

Wash both idly rice & urad dal well and soak it separately for 3 hrs.
After 3 hrs, drain the water from urad dal and put it in wet grinder and add fresh water to grind it.The urad batter should be thick and dont add more water at the start.Just sprinkle one or two handful of water in between every 3 to 4 mins.It takes approximately 15 to 20 mins depends on your wet grinder.Dont remove the batter from wet grinder when all the dal  is mashed well, when you sprinkle water & allow to grind, it will become fluffy & light.
After 20 mins, collect  the batter in a large vessel and then drain the water from rice and add it in wet grinder and grind it to smooth batter, it takes 15 mins approximately.Collect  the rice batter in the same vessel. Now add 1/2 cup of water in wet grinder, wash the grinder well and add the washed water into the batter.Add enough salt to the batter and mix it with hand well. The rice batter and urad dal batter should be mixed well. Cover the vessel and let it ferment for overnight.Next morning, the batter will be fermented well, mix it vigrously with the laddle.Take the idly pan and add some water & bring to boil.Take the idli plate & cover it  with damn cheese cloth, pour the laddle of batter in each hole of the plate. When the water in the idly pan comes to boil, place the idly plate and cover it .Cook it for 5-7 mins depends on the size of the idlis. Once cooked(toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean) remove the idly plate and invert it in another plate, remove the idly plate first and then the cheese cloth.Piping hot & spongy idly is ready to serve.Serve it with sambar & chutney. I served idly with Tiffin Sambar, Coconut Chutney, Kara Chutney,Coriander chutney ,Podi,Urad Dal Vada & Kesari.
  • Place the batter in large vessel to ferment dont fill the vessel more than 3/4 of its size, otherwise it spills over the vessel after fermenting.
  •  If your idly is hard, then the amount of urad dal is not enough, so add little more next time
  • If you idly is very flat, the the amount of urad dal is more, you have to reduce it next time.
  • If you're in cold country, keep the batter in oven with oven light on, it will help to ferment the batter, I used this technique when we were in Colorado.It works amazingly.
  • If you're keep the batter in fridge, bring the batter to room temperature before making idly.
  • Cold batter gives hard idlies.

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  1. Melt in the mouth idlis..I remember my mom making dahiwadas out of husked Urad Daal and then spending hours on removing that skin..times have changed !
    But your idlis look really nice and spongy..the whole platter is tempting me.

  2. Omg, those soft idlis looks simply out of the world, that breakfast platter is too good Sandhiya, great job..

  3. Idlis looks so soft and delicious.Love to taste them now with all those chutnies.

  4. Even my aunt use to make idli with husked urad dal and it was my cousin's job to wash and remove the husk. Idlies looks very soft and fluffy. Love the accompaniments you have served with the idli

  5. Must say this is my comfort food too anytime..such a wonderful breakfast thali you got for us!

  6. Thats the traditional way of making idly with the cloth in that aluminium vessel. It does makes a huge different.

  7. Love the idlis.. Such a comforting breakfast. So homey and so healthy

  8. Wow, that is one elaborate South Indian breakfast thali. Idlis look so soft & delicious.

  9. Soft idlis and this is comfort food for me.

  10. Lovely idli platter. I have never used a cheese cloth for making idlis.

  11. Love the idli nthe platter. I have never used cloth to make idlis. Will try next time.

  12. Loving those side dishes that you served with the idlis. Yummy platter.

  13. loved to read about the details in this article Sandhya....i could practically taste the idli through your post...

  14. Where can i get the cheese cloth. .?

    1. @ambika, if you're in india, you can get it from any cloth store or in departmental stores at all major cities.

  15. @ambika, if you're in india, you can get it from any cloth store or in departmental stores at all major cities.

  16. Hi Sandhiya, if we are making idlis using cloth - it doesn't retain the softness when it becomes cold. Is it normal?

    1. @Deepa, urad dal gives softness to the idli, either you use cloth or plate,it doesnt affect the softness. Always try to use good quality urad dal or you can increase 1 or 2 tbsp of urad dal than i mentioned here. And also grind the urad dal till it becomes fluffy and the urad dal batter should be float on water.

  17. Hi Sandhiya, if we are using cloth for making idlis - it doesn't retain the softness when it becomes cold. Is it normal?