Monday, April 23, 2012

Idli "Steamed Rice Cakes" With Red and Green Chutney

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Day1: This week I will be posting about fermented foods. I thought I will start off with the easiest one - something that I ate growing up right from when I was in my nappies.Mom told me it was my first solid dish. She said she fed me soft Idlis dipped in warm cow's milk.  It is the classic "South Indian Idli", one of the healthier breakfast option cause it is steam cooked. Babies, adults, old folks all eat Idli cause it is easily digestible. And because it is bland it marries well with just about any side dish - chutney, chutney powder, dhal, sambhar, meat and seafood based dishes. So according to me and million other Indian folks, Idli is a wonder dish. :-).

Before I go ahead with my recipe, I want to share with you what I might like to receive this Mother's Day. Since my likes are way too lofty, I am thinking most of them will remain in the list. But at-least they make my post attractive. Husband, take note-

#1 in the Lust List: Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Turquoise Necklace ($US 7200.00)
 Tiffany & Co. Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Turquoise Necklace
Isn't that a cool necklace or what? Oh, how it would pair well with all the summery whites. Hubby would never agree to invest so much on beads, even if it is from Tiffany's.

Now onto to the recipe-
  • 4 Cups Parboiled Rice (or) Idli Rice
  • 1 Cup Shelled Whole Black Gram "Urad Dhal"
  • A pinch of Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Salt (Do not use "Iodized Salt" as it inhibits fermentation)
  • Wet Grinder Or a heavy-duty Blender
  • Soak the rice overnight and the Black Gram for at-least 4 hours.
  • Grind the black gram to a smooth paste in a wet grinder or a heavy duty blender with little water. Remove it to a storage container. Grind the soaked rice adding little water periodically. The rice should be 90-95% ground.
  • Move the batter the same storage container.Add a pinch of soda. Using ladle or clean hands, mix the ground batter. If using salt, use non-iodized salt. Else salt may be added after the batter is fermented. The storage container should have plenty of space for the batter to raise. The batter doubles up in volume. Store the container in a warm spot, like inside an oven.
  • Let it ferment overnight. In cold places, it sometimes takes a day and a half to properly ferment. Keep a watchful eye on the batter else the batter might overflow, like in the picture. The batter for this recipe will make enough Idlis for a large crowd. 
  • Take small portions of the fermented batter, add salt if it wasn't added prior to fermenting. The fermented batter is thick and frothy. Mix with little water.
  • The batter should be neither thick nor runny. 
  • Spray/Smear the Idli pan with little oil and fill up the wells with batter. Using a special Idli steamer, steam the Idlis for 10-15 minutes. If you don't own an Idli pan, use an Indian pressure cooker, remove the cooker weight and steam the Idli's for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cooked Idlis look like plush pillows. 
  • Serve it hot with Red Chutney and Green Chutney, or any side-dish of choice.
Spicy Onion Chutney:
  • 1 Large Red Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 Dry Red Chili or less/more
  • 1/2" Ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 1 Stalk Curry Leaf
  • Marble-sized Tamarind, cleaned and seeds removed
  • Salt, as needed
  • Oil as needed
  • 1/4 Tsp Mustard seeds, for tempering
  • Fry all the ingredients in a little oil except the mustard seeds. The Onions should be well fried.
  • Cool and grind it to a coarse paste. Temper the mustard seeds in a little oil and pour it over.

Refreshing Mint Chutney:

  • A plate of hot steaming Idlis with Red and Green Chutney is served-

  • The Black Gram draws wild yeast from the air and that is how the batter is fermented.
  • After fermentation, refrigerate the batter. It keeps well for up-to a week.
  • During winter I sometimes turn on my oven @ 200 degrees F for 5 minutes and then turn it off. A few minutes later I stick my batter into the warm oven to help the batter ferment.
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  1. for someone like me, your detailed photos and descriptions as well as tips (as in iodized salt) is much appreciated. Following your procedure, I am sure I won't go wrong. Last time I went to Indian market, saw idli makers..just have to decide which is the best one to get!

  2. nice chutney to go withy the fluffy idlis, about the tiffany's you can excuse your husband for this one, it is in deed filthy expensive

  3. Love the soft and fluffy Idlies. Mine is sitting in the drafts !!

  4. Love the idlies and the chutnies along with the blue necklace...really cute but $7200---my neck will fall apart on its own. Anyway I can wish for it in my dreams too...

  5. Idlis are welcome anyday for breakfast. Perfect clicks as usual CL! glad to have u back in the BM..

    hope ur MIL is better now dear.

    Sizzling Tastebuds
    Event : Pickles & Preserves Fest + Giveaway
    Event : CWS - Oats

  6. You can sell me that plate and I would gladly have it. Regarding Tiffany's keep your fingers crossed and keep looking at this photo often, it might manifest. Good Luck !

  7. Nice n delicious Idlis wid yummy chutneys..lovely necklace....go for it..;)

  8. Idllis proved a blessing for my son when he was 7-8 months. very filling

    Hamaree Rasoi

  9. I came here first thing this morning (thanks to my facebook updates from your site) and I love these dishes! The pictures are as usual fab! And the necklace is beautiful, hope you get it :-)
    I make the red chutney almost similar but add a few more tomatoes something like 4 tomatoes & 2 onions.

  10. fluffy idlies and tasty chutnies, an awesome breakfast combo!!! This is my kiddo's favorite!!!

  11. love this entire plate idli and whole stuff

    plz collect ur awards from my blog

  12. beautiful clicks and very neat explanation...well all the best for ur necklace...i am sure u ll get one soon :)

  13. MOst of us would have had idli as the first solid food,i wont mind having them for my dinner tonite,yummy chutneys..Necklace looks fabulous,hope your H will get for u:)..

  14. oh la la...this is a feast for me..idlis mt be no big deal..but these are very soft and inviting .lovely clicks..specially the lid smeared with batter!!

  15. Wow!!!idly looks so soft and fluffy...nice presentation and beautiful clicks.
    Where did you get the banana leaf?

  16. My all time fav breakfast...Looks perfect and soft.

  17. I love the banana leaf on which the idlis have been placed. I never use Soda for Idlis though!

  18. Ahh idli looks so temptingly white and fluffy! Feel like having this now with the chutneys.

  19. @Nalini: In the frozen section at an Indian store. These banana leaves come from Indonesia, i think!

  20. Lovely idlis CL..can have these any time!..

  21. Oh my, love those soft and pillowy idlis with red & green chutneys--perfect way to start any day. Those Tiffany pearls look lovely. I sincerely wish your husband changes his mind and surprises you for Mother's day.

  22. Wow, fantastic clicks, love those idlis anytime, i make similar kind of red chutney but with few more tomatoes & onion, i have one in draft will be posting it soon for fermented foods
    Inbtw, keep ur fingers crossed, you might get it :)

  23. I totally agree with you and the million other Indians : Idli indeed is a wonder food :). And these soft and fluffy idlis just prove the point!

  24. Very inviting platter. Idlis look super soft. The necklace looks beautiful too....

  25. the necklace is so pretty-the color is perfect for summer!

    Life and travelling

  26. Nice post on idly for any novice. Lovely clicks.

  27. The necklace looks so pretty. Love idlis and that platter is extremely tempting...

  28. Lovely idlis. BTW I use iodised salt for idli batter and I never had any problems with fermentation.


Thanks a bunch for your valuable comments and continued support.They are very much appreciated. Yes,like "Rain on Dry Land" and like "Oasis in Desert Sand".
XoXo, Cool Lassi(e)