Preparing Idli batter in a mixer/blender
This is for people who do not have a wet grinder or for people who want to grind lesser quantity of batter for 1 time use. The recipe is inspired from my neighbor Shabnam, and this method gives very soft fluffy idlis. She gave me the idea of grinding the beaten rice/poha with urad dhal, which I had never heard of before. But believe me, the idlis came out very soft and fluffy. Now I use the same method with the regular idli batter.
I have given measurements for the least quantity of batter that can be made. Just ensure that you use your medium size blender or mixer so that you can grind the urad dhal well in one go. Since mine was not in good shape I used my small chutney jar to grind, which nevertheless gave soft idlis.
Non- Indians who are reluctant to try Indian recipes, can give this a go as it gives better idlis than you find at the restaurants. Do not worry about the rice, urad dhal and poha getting wasted as I have umpteen recipes coming up with these ingredients. Poha is also known as aval in South India. You can get all these ingredients in any Indian Supermarket around the globe. In Qatar, you can get minimum quantity of idli rice measured out at Indian Super market. The other shops like FFC, Lulu etc have minimum 2 kilos pack. The rest of the ingredients are available at every shop.
Idli cooker or steamer is not a must if you are not making idlis regularly. If you do not have an idli cooker or steamer, then you can grease small cups and steam idlis in them. You can also grease pie plates or other plates available, steam in them, and serve by cutting the idlis into wedges. But if you are looking to make it regularly, then the idli cookers make your job easier. You can find them easily at Indian supermarkets or online. Apart from idlis these can also be used to steam string hoppers or idiappam.
Mixer or Blender Idli
- 1.5 cups Idli rice
- 1/3 cup urad dhall
- few grains fenugreek seeds
- 1/8 cup poha/beaten rice
- salt as needed
- water as needed
- Wash and soak the rice and poha seperately . Soak the urad dhal with the fenugreek seeds in the refrigerator. Soak them all for atleast 2 hours .
- Grind the urad dhal and the poha together to a nice paste. Keeping the urad dhal in the fridge ensures that the mixer does not get heated up.
- Transfer to a vessel and grind the rice to a nice paste. Mix this up with the urad dhal batter and a bit of salt and ferment for 6 hours to overnight.
- Next day, mix up again and check for salt. The batter should be mildly sour.
- Grease the idli plates, and pour the batter into the moulds. Steam them in the idli cooker for about 12 minutes.
- Check the idli for doneness, let it rest for a minute or two in the mould. Scoop the idlis out using a sharp spoon and serve with any chutney or Sambar.
- You can also make dosa/ Indian crepe with this batter, as with any other idli batter.
- The time for fermenting the batter will depend on the climatic conditions. If you live in a hot place 4-6 hours are more than enough. But if you live in a cold place you may have to give more time for fermenting. Alternately you can keep the batter in the oven with light on, or warm up the oven to about 40°C , switch it off and keep the batter in to rise.
- Refrigerate left over batters immediately, as keeping it outside for a long time will make it sour. The batter will last upto a week in the refrigerator.
- With the same batter you can make dosas, uthapams and kuzhi paniyarams . Separate posts coming up for these recipes.