Monday, September 14, 2015

Mallige Idli ( Steamed rice and lentil cakes); Meatless Monday

Idlis are a staple in my home. Either every weekend or at least every other  weekend I make it. If I have house-guests, then one breakfast is guaranteed to be idli-sambar. And the idli batter has a pretty permanent place in my refrigerator. This is not because I am a South Indian. Well, yes,partly because I am a South Indian, but mostly because everyone at home likes idlis. My husband likes it with Sambhar, I like it with chutney and my kids like it with butter and honey. I like my idlis with some texture. I have spoken at length about the idli texture in my previous idli post.You can find it here. But my kids prefer the super-soft idlis that the Tamilians ( people from the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu) make. These idlis are made differently from the way we Mangaloreans make them. The lentil-ratio is different in that they use more rice and less lentil. They grind the rice to a fine paste while we use rice rawa ( cream of rice).They also use cooked rice and fenugreek seeds in their batter. The result is a homogenous batter that has a very fine puréed texture that results in idlis smooth, soft & fluffy. Now since my kids like it I make this version more often. After all, it is all about the kids!Every now and then I sneak in my version of idlis. :)

This recipe is courtesy my Tamilian friend Vasundhara Rajan, who is more like a mother to me in this country so far away from home.

Servings: makes around 20 idlis


Urad dal( split matpe bean): 1/2 cup
White rice/ Idli rice: 1 1/2 cups
Cooked rice: 1/2 cup
Methi seeds: 1/2 tsp
Water:  for soaking, grinding and steaming as needed.
Salt: 1/2 tsp ( can adjust as per individual taste)


Separately soak urad dal in 2 cups water and rice, methi seeds together in 3 cups water for at least 3-4 hours. I usually soak at night and grind in the morning or soak in the morning before leaving for work and grind in the evening.

Grind urad dal with 1- 1 1/2 cups water until fluffy . Take it in a big bowl .

Separately grind the rice and methi seeds with 1.5-cups water to a fine paste. You can add a little more water if needed.

Now add the cooked rice to this and grind until well mixed. Add this to the bowl with the urad dal.

 Add salt and mix the batter well. The batter has to be thick. It cannot be runny.Allow it to ferment for 6-8 hours.

Grease the idli mold with oil, fill it with batter until 2/3 full and steam in the idli steamer / pressure cooker ( without using the weight) for 8-10 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.

Idli served with cranberry chutney.

Serve hot with sambar/ chutney or both.

Idli served with sambhar.

Cooking made easy:

Grinding the urad dal in a stone grinder makes it more fluffier as opposed to grinding it in the blender/mixer. It also gives greater yield and requires lesser water to grind.

Grinding urad dal with ice cold water gives better results.

Tip for healthy living:

If dandruff bothers you, try applying a juice of one whole lemon, keep it for 30 mins and then rinse as usual. This when done regularly for at least a month, will reduce the dandruff significantly.

Food for thought:

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. Og Mandino