Saturday, May 3, 2014

Even softer idlis

I am pretty confident about my idli recipe.  I can consistently get really soft idlis, and hardly have any misses.

Recently though, this recipe I tried out, put my own idlis to shame.  They were the softest I had ever made and were healthier than the ones I normally make. The last time I tried this recipe, the idlis came out great, but the dosas did not.  I have not yet tried to make dosas with this batch of batter, but will update this post once I try it out.

Update:  Made masala dosas with the same batter yesterday and they came out great!

Soft Idlis

I have a huge bag of brown rice in my house.  My husband, the biggest rice eater in the house, doesn’t like to eat brown rice with traditional south Indian food – and I don’t blame him.  Rasam and sambar don’t taste as good with brown rice as they do with white rice.

Anyway, I use brown rice in my adai batter.  Since I don’t make it often enough to use up the brown rice, I needed some other ways to finish my stash.  I have heard of friends making idli and dosa batter with only brown rice and decided to try taking a small step in that direction.  I substituted one cup of white rice with one cup of brown rice and the results were fantastic!  The idlis were not white in color, but turned out super soft!

Idlis with Molagaipodi

I even packed some for my husband, who was traveling east and with the odd timing and time difference, would have missed lunch completely.  He ate the idlis soaked with molagaipodi for lunch on the plane and did not have to put up with airport food.

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 2 cups idli rice
  • 1 cup whole urad dal, without skin
  • 1 tsp. methi seeds
  • salt to taste

Idli batter in the mold

Here is how I made it:

  1. Wash the three types of rice together in several changes of water.
  2. Wash the dal and methi seeds also in several changes of water.
  3. Soak them separately for at least 4 hours.
  4. I use my Ultra Pride wet grinder to make my batter.  Add a little bit of water to the grinder and start it.  Add the urad dal with methi seeds.  Grind it to a smooth, fluffy paste.  You may need to add water if the batter is getting too thick.
  5. You will also need to keep scraping the batter from the sides of the grinder, to make sure that it is all uniformly smooth.
  6. Remove the urad dal paste into a big bowl.
  7. Now add more water to the grinder and add the rice to it.  The rice gets done much faster than the dal.  When you have a mixture that is not totally smooth, but is not coarse either, stop the grinder.
  8. Remove this and add it to the urad dal batter.
  9. Add a tiny bit of water to the grinder to clean the sides and pour this also into the bowl.
  10. Add salt to the batter and mix it well with your hand.
  11. Cover the batter and leave it in a warm place overnight.  I leave it in my oven (no heat or light).  If you have a difficult time with fermenting, turn on your oven light overnight so that the batter is in a warm environment.
  12. Your idli batter will be nice and bubbly and ready for you in the morning.

Baby idlis

To make idlis:

  1. Mix the batter thoroughly.
  2. Grease idli molds with either nonstick spray or oil.
  3. Spoon a small ladleful of batter into each mold.
  4. Add a little bit of water to the bottom of a pressure cooker or steamer.  Place the idli molds in the cooker/steamer and steam for about 15 minutes without the pressure building (with the weight off or in the steam release position).
  5. Remove the lid and let the idlis rest for about 5 minutes.  Remove them from the mold.

Serve steaming hot with chutney, molagai podi, or sambar.


  1. I made these idlis last week and they came out really soft. Thanks for an awesome recipe


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