Idli

A very common Tamilian breakfast dish that is served with chutney/sambar/milagai podi

If you are living in cold country, the batter will not ferment properly. You can keep the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light. Or, you can keep the batter near heater vent.

One of our Readers Mr. Ramaswamy sent the following tips for Fermentation of Idli batter:

The fermentation is caused by air-born wild yeast. Urad and Fenugreek seeds draw the wild yeast from air. So keep the washing to the minimum.

The tap water in developed nations are mostly has Chlorine and/or Fluorine. The common table salt is iodized. These halogens (Chlorine, Fluorine and Iodine) kill the wild yeast. Use non-iodized salt such as ‘Kosher salt’ and Use spring water, boiled or filtered tap water to avoid Chlorine/Fluorine.

I use an electric hand blender to infuse air and make it frothy to accelerate the fermentation process, before keeping it in the oven.

The ideal temperature for fermentation is 30 to 32.2⁰C. If the temperature is below 30⁰C, it will take longer to achieve acceptable level of fermentation. If the temperature is higher than 32⁰C, the batter may become sour. Acceptable level of fermentation is when the batter has doubled in volume

Keeping the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light (40 w bulb is ideal) and keep it over night.

  • Idli Sambar

    Difficulty: Easy

    This sambar recipe is specifically made for idli and dosai with dhal, onion and tomato.

  • Dosai

    Difficulty: Medium

    The classic breakfast dish made with parboiled rice and dhal. It is served with Chutney and Sambar

  • Idli Milagai Podi

    Difficulty: Easy

    This spicy powder goes well with idli and dosa. It is usually mixed with gingelly (sesame seed) oil when serving with idli or dosa.

Idli

Recipe by S Kamala
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: BreakfastCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Medium
Servings

7

servings
Soaking time

8

hours 
Cooking time

10

minutes
Fermentation

8

hours

A very common Tamilian breakfast dish that is served with chutney/sambar/milagai podi

Ingredients

  • Parboiled Rice – 3 cups

  • Raw Rice – 1 cup

  • Urad Dhal – 1 cup

  • Salt – 2 teaspoon

Directions

  • To make Idli batter:
  • Soak both the rice and dhal separately in water for about 6 to 8 hours.
  • Wash and grind rice and dhal separately to a fine paste.
  • Mix together with salt and make a thick batter.
  • Leave it for at least 8 hours to ferment.
  • To make idli:
  • Boil water in the idli cooker.
  • Grease the idli plates.
  • Mix the batter thoroughly. Pour the batter in the idli plate and put it inside the cooker.
  • Steam it for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Take out the plates from the cooker and leave it outside for one to two minutes.
  • Remove the idli using a sharp spoon.

21 Comments

  1. what is parboiled rice???can u tell me ???

  2. Hi,

    Parboiled rice is “Puzhungal Arisi” or it is sold as “Idli Rice”.

  3. Hey kamala,I have kept the batter inside the oven for 6 hrs but the batter dint get fermented shall i use it to make idlis.

  4. Hi Anitha,

    6 hours is not enough for fermentin. However, you can make the idli with the batter what you have. The idli may be slightly hard. Otherwise use it for making dosa.

    Now it become cold in US, I used to follow the below procedure:

    Keep the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light and keep it over night (atleast 8 to 10 hours).

    The batter is perfect for making idli.

  5. Hi,
    I tried fermenting the batter by keeping it under direct sunlight in the patio for atleast 4 hrs then I'll keep it inside the house. This has really helped to ferment in this cold weather. Hope it will help u too.

    Regards,
    Savitha.

  6. Thank you for the information Savitha. Hope it will help other readers also.

  7. I am living in london. I am prepareing idly batter using indian maxi. I am using the measurement 1 cup urad dhal and 4 cup idly rice but i am not getting soft idlies, what can i do for soft idlies give me advice.

  8. Hi Vidya,

    Softness of the idli depends upon so many factors like proper fermentation, grinding urad dhal to right consistency, quality of the rice etc.
    Moreover when you grind urad dhal, the batter may be soft but not frothy which we will get when we grind it in a “Wet Grinder”. To grind it in a mixie, you can increase the quantity of urad dhal, 3:1 proportion. You can also add a handful of “Poha” or “Cooked rice” when you grind the rice. This will make idli soft. Since you are living in London, the batter may not be fermented properly. See that factor also and allow to ferment it inside the oven or near vent.

  9. Thanks Kamala. Really you gave me usefull tips, I am going to try this weekend.

  10. Some tips for Fermentation of Idli

    The fermentation is caused by air-born wild yeast. Urad and Fenugreek seeds draw the wild yeast from air. So keep the washing to the minimum.

    The tap water in US and Canada is almost always has Chlorine and/or Fluorine. The common table salt is iodized. These halogens (Chlorine, Fluorine and Iodine) kill the wild yeast. Use non-iodized salt such as ‘Kosher salt’ and Use spring water, boiled or filtered tap water to avoid Chlorine/Fluorine.

    I use an electric hand blender to infuse air and make it frothy to accelerate the fermentation process, before keeping it in the oven.

    The ideal temperature for fermentation is 30 to 32.2⁰C. If the temperature is below 30⁰C, it will take longer to achieve acceptable level of fermentation. If the temperature is higher than 32⁰C, the batter may become sour. Acceptable level of fermentation is when the batter has doubled in volume

    Keeping the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light (40 w bulb is ideal) and keep it over night.

  11. Fazmina Ameen

    Hi kamala….
    Idli was so good….really soft…. loved it
    Thank you so much
    Got praised and named as best idli maker of the house. ..
    I think you deserve them…

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