Have you ever thought of making idlis using cornmeal? Yes, it is possible and is absolutely delicious! It is especially useful if you have not soaked your lentils for regular idlis and want to make idlis next day for breakfast. These idlis can also be made instantaneously without any fermentation! How cool is that??
You can make it with or without adding any vegetables into it. I like to add some peas and carrots into the batter . Some people also use chopped green chillies and grated ginger. I don't like that in my idlis. I would rather pair it with a spicy chutney. Also, I want my kids to eat this and they don't like it if there are chillies in it.
This is a easy recipe wherein there is no grinding involved. Yogurt/curd is used to make the batter. A pinch of baking soda is added. The batter is allowed to ferment for 2-3 hours. I like to make mine at night and leave it on the countertop, ready to be steamed in the morning. If you want to make it instantaneously, use eno fruit salt instead of baking soda.
Servings: makes 16 medium sized idlis
Prep time: 15 mins + 2 hours fermentation
Cook time: 10-15 mins
Total time: 2 and 1/2 hours including fermentation time.
Cornmeal: 1 cup
Yogurt: 1 cup
Water: 1/2 cup ( may not need all)
Baking soda: a pinch ( optional)
Salt to taste
Coconut oil: 1 tsp + for greasing the pan.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Urad dal (split matpe beans): 1/2tsp
Chana dal ( split chick peas): 1 tsp
Cashew halves: 1 tbsp
Dry roast the cornmeal in a sauté pan it in a plate/ bowl and keep aside.
In a saute pan, heat oil . Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal,chana dal curry leaves and cashew halves.Sauté for few seconds. Add the cornmeal.
Roast on low heat until fragrant( around 5-6 minutes). Turn off the flame. Let it cool down.
Take this mixture in a bowl. When cooled down, add the cooked peas and carrots, salt, baking soda and yogurt. Mix thoroughly.
Add the water little by little, mixing well in between until you reach the consistency of idli batter.
Let if ferment for atleast 2 hours.
When you are ready to cook the idlis, grease the idli mold with ghee/ butter 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:
To make these idlis instantaneously, just add eno into the batter instead of baking soda. Make the batter and steam it immediately. When eno is added to the batter, the batter should not be kept for a long time. It loses its ability to rise.
Tip for healthy living:
Incorporating as many vegetables into all your meals not only provides you with the essential nutrients and dietary fiber, but also reduces the calorie value of the meal thereby making it healthier.