I went to my local Asian grocer the other day to purchase ingredients for making idlis. My family love them. They are great dipped into many Indian pickles and chutneys. Idlis are equally tasty added to soups and curries. That’s what we did tonight.
Anyway, while I was there I told the owner of the shop what I was doing and he told me I had to try his mother’s idli recipe. I already had a recipe I liked which you can see here but he convinced me to give his mother’s recipe a go.
Note: The Idli batter takes 24 hours to prepare and ferment.
His mother’s recipe calls for poha. Poha is flattened rice available at most Asian grocers and online. If you can’t find it just use a little more Basmati rice.
The end result was sensational. The idlis puffed right up and the whole family gobbled them up.
As recipes go, this one is quite time consuming. It is easy, however. Leave yourself at least 24 hours though. This is honestly the best recipe for idlis I’ve tried at home or in any restaurant.
My New Idli Recipe
- 250ml (1 cup) broken Basmati rice (available online and at Asian grocers)
- 250ml (1 cup) parboiled Basmati rice
- 125ml (1/2 cup) white urad dhal
- 60ml (1/4 cup) phoa (flattened white rice available at Asan grocers)
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablesoons salt
- oil for the idlli molds
- Cover the broken rice and poha in water and soak overnight.
- In a separate bowl, cover the urad dhal and fenugreek seeds with water and soak overnight.
- After you have soaked each for at least 12 hours, drain and retain the reserved water.
- Using a food processor, grind the rice, soaked broken rice and poha for about five minutes adding a little water at a time until you have a smooth batter. Do not rush this step. You may even want to grind for longer so that you have a really smooth batter.
- Do the same with the urad dahl and fenugreek seeds. Again, do not rush this. You want a very smooth batter. It should not be grainy when rubbed between your fingers. Well, perhaps just a little grainy. 🙂
- Combine the two batters in a large bows and stir to combine with the salt.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to ferment in a warm place for at least 12 hours.
- The batter should bubble during this process.
- When ready to cook, oil your idli moulds so the the idli don't stick when cooking.
- Pour a little water into a large pan so that the water comes up almost to the top of your bottom mould. Bring the water to a boil.
- Pour the batter carefully into lightly greased moulds and place into the steaming pan and cover.
- Let steam for about 10 minutes. The idlis will puff up as photographed. To check that they are done, stick a toothpick or fork into an idli. If it comes out clean they are ready. If you pull it out and there is a little idli batter stuck to it, cook for another minute or so.
- Be careful not to overcook the idlis as they will become dry.
- Allow to sit for a couple of minutes after cooking and then carefully remove the idlis from the mould.
- Serve with pickles and chutneys or in a soup or curry.