South Indian Idli Sambar

Idli Sambar
Idli is something I can eat all day long. One of my comfort foods. My Mom used to make it especially for me. In most Konkani homes, idlis are made in small steel bowls and a special idli cooker called as Pedawan. Next time when I visit my parents, I'll click some pics for you guys. Here in my kitchen, I use a steel idli cooker with the idli plates.

All over Southern India, Idli Chutney Sambar is a well known breakfast item. Let me tell you how my Mom makes it.

Raw Rice (Medium Grain) - 1 cup
Split Urad Dal/Black Gram - 1/2 cup
Tatte Idli
Pressure Cooker Idli

How to cook South Indian Idli:
  • Soak rice and urad dal in plenty of water in separate vessels for 6 - 8 hours.
  • Wash soaked rice and dal well. Add little water at a time and grind urad dal to a smooth fine thick paste. Let the blender/grinder pulse the urad dal paste for another 40 - 60 seconds. This increases the fluffiness of the steamed idlis. Pour the ground urad paste in a big bowl.
  • Next, add washed rice to the blender/grinder. No need to wash the blender. Add little water, at a time and grind rice in batches to a coarse paste. For my blender, I divide rice in 2 batches. When you touch ground rice, it must be grainy like semolina (rava). Add the ground rice to the bowl and mix well. Your idli batter is ready for fermentation. Idli batter has a thick consistency, similar to a cake batter.
  • If you are short on time, skip the rice part and use 3/4th cup store bought Idli Rava (Rice Rava).
    South Indian Idli

  • Cover the bowl and keep the batter in a warm place overnight for fermentation. Here in this cold weather, I keep the bowl in the oven. After fermentation, the batter will rise a little. Add salt to the batter and mix well. Add a pinch of baking soda to make the idlis more fluffy and soft. I prefer my idlis minus baking soda.
  • Grease the idli plates with little oil or cooking spray. Fill the batter, say 2/3rd full in each mold, leaving some space for idlis to puff up after steaming.
  • Before pouring idli batter in the plates, make sure that the water in the cooker has started boiling. After water starts boiling, pour the batter quickly and place the plates in the cooker. This step is important or else idlis turn soft on top and hard at the bottom, as rice starts settling down.
  • Steam the idlis in an idli cooker for about 12 - 15 minutes. You can use a pressure cooker too, just remove the weight/whistle while steaming.
  • Remove the lid and let the idlis cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and remove the idlis on a serving plate.
    Idli Sambar
Serve soft hot Idlis with Coconut chutney and/or Sambar.


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