Monday, September 29, 2014

Kulitha Idli ( Steamed Horse Gram Lentil Rice cakes)

This is one recipe that screams "healthy". I have been meaning to try this for the longest now. Kulith means horse gram. We make a myriad of dishes with it. We make kulitha koddel, kulitha saaru upkari and kulitha upkari. The nomenclature is because this grain was fed to horses and cattle.Horse gram is extremely nutritious. My mother used to state that eating horse-gram would give one the strength of a horse! It is also one of the few lentils/ beans that are apparently not gassy and does not create bloating. Combine this great healthy grain with urad dal( matpe bean lentil) and rice and make idlis ( steamed rice lentil cakes) with this and you have bonus nutrition. The regular idlis just have the matpe bean lentil and rice, this has the additional nutrients. The down side is that the idlis don't look very pretty. They look like they have flax-meal in them! Taste wise, awesome! I love it!

So without further ado let me share the recipe with you.

 Servings: 20 idlis


Kulith ( Horse Gram): 1/2 cup
Urad dal: 1/2 cup
Idli rava ( rice rava): 1 cup
Cooked rice/ poha: 1/4 cup
Water: 1 to 1 1/2 cups to grind urad dal and horse gram
Salt to taste ( approximately 3/4 tsp)


Soak kulith ( horse gram) and urad dal for 5-6 hours.

Wash idli rava/ rice rava thoroughly and keep aside.

Blend kulith and urad dal in a blender adding water little at a time until it rises to 2 times the volume you started with. Make sure you give the motor of the blender some rest in between. The consistency of the ground batter should be fluffy  and light ,not runny.

Pour the batter  in a big bowl/ container.

Now mix the washed idli rava with the  horsegram-urad dal , add salt,cover and let it ferment overnight ( 5-6 hours if in hot weather).If living in a cold region, you can keep it in the cold oven/ microwave overnight with the equipment turned off.

Next  morning you  can steam the idlis.

Grease the idli mold with ghee/ butter/ Pam, fill it with batter until 2/3 full and steam in the idli steamer / pressure cooker ( without using the weight) for 10 minutes on medium- high flame.

Turn off the heat and let it cool down in the steamer for another 10 minutes before taking them out of the mold.

Serve hot with sambar/ chutney or both.

Cooking made easy:

Well fermented batter results in soft, light and fluffy idlis. You can know this when the batter has risen a little in the container. Inadequte fermentation leads to poor quality idlis that are hard,dense and has a doughy texture.

If the batter is too thick, add a little water. The consistency of the batter should be slightly thick ( thicker than dosa batter).

The addition of little bit of poha/cooked rice helps ferment the idlis better making it soft an fluffy.

This idli can also be made with sprouted horse gram as I have made in the pictures below. Sprouting also helps with fermentation especially during winter.

Tip for healthy living:

Horse gram is extremely nutritious.

Food for thought:

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.
Eric Hoffer