Thursday, May 23, 2013

Steaming hot idlies- A great source of Vitamin B-12 for vegetarians/ vegans

Got to try some Idli Chutney while you are hanging out in southern part of India right??? Although it isn't really a hangout for me, I know for the fact that I don't need a reason to enjoy each bite of this wonderful hot steamed Idli!

Idli/ idly is one of those delicious nutritious snack/lunch item that I can eat in any season of the year. It tastes even better in chilled winter when you can enjoy them dipping in the spicy hot Sambar. In summer I usually prefer the idli with coconut chutney. It also tastes great with number of different kind of chutney's as well, but coconut is my personal favorite. (Scroll down to see other options for the chutneys)

The mixture of rice and Urad daal makes a perfect carbs-protein combo which I absolutely love. The fermented batter increases the vitamin B-12 content in the food. It's a great item to include in a vegetarian/ a vegan diet. Fermentation of Idli is caused by the air-borne wild yeast which is drawn by the urad daal and fenugreek seeds from air.  Being steamed, idli is easy to digest.

So let's get cooking..:)

Soaking time- 4-5 hours

Preparation time- 15 minutes.

Fermenting time- overnight/ 10- 12 hours depending on the temperature.

Cooking time- 15-20 minutes.

Makes 10-12 idlies depending on the size of your idli maker.

  • 2 cups of parboiled rice or any short to medium grain rice
  • 1 cup of skinned whole urad daal. 
  • About 2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds.
  • 4-5 tbsp of cooked rice/ soaked poha
  • Salt to taste.
  • Cooking oil spray for coating the idli moulds.
  • Start by washing and soaking rice and urad daal and fenugreek seeds separately in a room temperature water for about 4-5 hours.
  • If you have a wet grinder, which I am thinking about buying, you will get awesome results, but if you don't have one, you can certainly use a nice blender. Grind the rice and the daal seperately and then mix together well. While grinding the daal you can add the fenugreek seeds into it and then grind. Make sure you make a smooth paste. while grinding the rice add the cooked rice or soaked poha to it. This is what makes idli soft and  fluffy.
  • Mix both the the batters together and don't forget to use your hands to mix it well so that the heat from your body will help in starting the fermentation process.
  • Cover and keep the mixed batter aside to ferment overnight or at least 10-12 hours.
The above procedure is the general guideline to make the idlies. However there are some variations that you should know about.

  • Different types of rice results in to different end result. Please remember to use short to medium grain rice. I have used the parboiled rice and sona masuri as well, both work well.
  • You can also use black lentils with the skin on it instead of skinned whole urad daal. The only difference you will notice is ,you will see the black fragments of the lentils into the batter and the idlies won't have the white color.
Fermentation Guidelines-:

  • If you are happened to be in a hot climate, you can keep the batter in the corner of your kitchen in a glass or a stainless steel container. Cover it lightly with the lid, don't close it completely.
  • The fermented batter doubles in size, so make sure you keep the batter in a container which has enough space needed for the batter to rise.
  • If you live in a colder region, or making idlies in winter you have a few options to ferment your batter well-:
  1. Heat the oven to the lowest temperature. Turn it off and then keep the batter inside the oven for the whole night.
  2. Without turning the oven on, just turn on the light in the oven and keep the batter inside to ferment overnight.
  3. If you don't have the oven, just keep the batter in the warm place, near your cooking range or in a warm corner of your kitchen.
  • After the batter ferments, and whenever you are ready to make the idlies,  add the salt to taste and mix the batter. Do not overmix, as the trapped air bubbles will get released. We need these air bubbles as they help make the idlies soft and fluffy.
  • Spray the idli maker and keep ready. Add a spoonful of batter into the idli moulds and steam them for about 15 minutes on a medium to high flame.
  • When done allow them to cool down for a minute and then take them out of the moulds.
  • Enjoy the hot idlies with your favorite chutney.
I have tried my idlies with my Split Pea Soup in place of sambar and I loved it. It was a great change in taste to the traditional idli- sambar combination.

Some of my favorite chutneys-:

Coconut- Coriander chutney is at the top of the list when it comes to my personal favorites,which is pictured above. The recipe of which will be coming in my next few posts. When I make only chutney with idli and not the sambar, I sometimes like the dry chutney. Here are some of my favorite chutneys.
If you have your favorite chutneys that you enjoy with steaming hot idlies, I would love to try them out. If you try any of my favorites, I would love to hear about it too.

These idlies are headed to Priya's May 2013 edition of Healthy me & Healthy us event hosted by Jayanthi.


Ashwini Deshpande said...

Lovely Idli's. We love them with simple podi or green chutney.
Love Ash.

Manali said...

Thanks Ash, will have to try podi someday.:)

Priya Suresh said...

Our favourite breakfast..Beautiful soft idlies.

Manali said...

Thanks Priya!

Jayanthi Santhanam said...

Idlis look so soft and the chutneys are mouthwatering and inviting. Thanks for sending this to Healthy me & Healthy us event. In particular, thanks for taking the effort to include the logo. However, the image is not eat well plate, rather, the first image with Healthy me & healthy us on it. Could you please change the logo and then send me an email? thanks! Hope to hear about more healthy recipes from you.

Manali said...

Thanks Jayanthi for the catch. I have sent you an e-mail with the update.