Ramadan is over and hence back to the routine. The same old breakfast,lunch,tea and dinner :( I miss Ramadan a lot this time. How nice it was to sleep late, wake up late and no hassles early morning. Kitchen was so clean at mornings. This time both my kids were fasting and so no hunger cries were there too. Now kids wake me up saying 'I'm hungry Mom'.. and so I jump to kitchen directly from bed and make arrangements for breakfast .
No introduction is needed for Idly these days as this has now turned to be so famous worldwide. This steamed cake made from rice and black lentils was not a regular dish at our places , but now it has added up to the favourite lists. We just love them because of its nutritional values and no oil part. I make sure to cook this atleast once a week so that kids get benefited of its protein, iron, carbohydrates and other nutritions.
After marriage, when I asked Jab about the dishes we served as to whether he liked our food or not ,what he said was he liked everything else except our idlys. I was surprised to hear that as it was soft and fluffy. He then took me to a restaurant at Calicut to show me the kind of Idly he liked. It was so delicious. It smelled nicely, was light and not sour at all. I then realised the difference of taste and I decided to try different proportions until I got this correctly. Before we used to take urad dal more and so its flavor was kind of predominating over others.
Urad dal 1/2 cup
Idly rice/ parboiled rice 1 1/2 cups
Rice flakes/ aval/ poha 2-3tbsp(optional)
Fenugreek seeds/uluva 1 tsp
Water 2 cups
Soak urad dal and rice separately for a minimum of 3-4 hours. Soak fenugreek seeds with any of these.
Drain water from this using a strainer so as to add exact measure of water. Grind these separately and keep them for fermentation overnight in two different bowls.(see notes)
When fermented, fold these together adding salt to taste. Do not overmix the batter.
Now keep the idly cooker ready by filling water. Pour big ladleful of batter in each mould and steam it for 10-20 minutes at medium flame. This varies according to the type of idly cooker or the dish you use. Some need little time and some need more. Insert a toothpick or knife into idlys and if it comes out clean then it is done.
Take the moulds out ,sprinkle some water, let it cool for 5-10 minutes and then take it out with the help of a spoon. You can take it out hot too, but it might get sticky and you might find it difficult to unmould. Anyway,the taste is not going to change.
Serve it hot with Sambhar or Chutney.
Fermentation time depends on the temperature of your kitchen. It's so easy here in middle-east kitchen during summers, other than airconditioned ones. It takes 5-6 hours in my kitchen. You add a pinch of yeast if you find it difficuilt to ferment. Adding 1 or 2 tbsp of cooked rice or rice flakes/aval/ poha also eases fermentation. You may either heat up your oven for 10-15 minutes, turn it off and then keep the batter inside. Try any one of these techniques but not two techniques at a time. Don't keep it so long to turn it sour.
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