Put everything together and give it a good wash.
Tips: Some versions include adding few fenugreek seeds. If you want to, add around 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds as well. Some versions include few castor beans thats soaked as well and then ground into the batter. If castor beans are not available a few tsps of castor oil is added to the ground batter. This supposedly adds to the softness. I did not do any of these.
Soak them together in lots of water overnight. This picture is after soaking for about 9 hours.
Next grind them together in a wet grinder. If you don't have one, you can use a mixie. Make sure to use a small amount at a time and use cold ice water to grind the batter. You dont want the mixie getting too hot.
Make sure to grind it little thicker and to a very silky smooth consistency.
When you see air bubbles in your ground batter, you know its ground well - esp the urad dal. Normally this is where you would add salt and give it a good mix. But salt is an yeast inhibitor. In a humid place, it make sense since you don't want the batter to rise too much. But in a cold/dry climate, we want the yeast to work at its best and hence I add salt only after fermentation.
I heat the oven for few minutes, switch it off, turn on the light and leave my batter there to ferment for around 10 hours. My kitchen is on the cooler side and hence I find this method works the best for me. Depending on your climate/temperature you might take less/more time for it to ferment.
A well risen and fermented batter the next day.
As explained earlier, I add salt now. I add about 4 heaped tsp of himalayan pink salt and give it a good mix. I posted the video earlier in the post.
Ladle this batter to your idli mould.
Tips:You can remove small amount of batter (that you would be using) and add a pinch of baking soda to enable it to rise even more while steaming. I usually skip it.
Steam them around 8-10 minutes until the toothpick in the center comes out clean.
I have heard that making it the traditional way of using a cloth gives better results and tried it with a cheesecloth.
While I did not find much difference texture wise, it sure made bigger sized idlis. :)
By Hema on Oct 14, 2020