Idli with sambhar and chutney

Idli is my most favorite food. I can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This popular and healthy breakfast from south India is a sour dough preparation made with urad dal and rice. Dal and rice are soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then steamed in special idli moulds to get soft and fluffy idlis. This recipe is my mom’s recipe using urad dal and idli rava. These are the idlis you get in Hyderabad and for me these are the best idlis in the world. You can get idli in Hyderabad 24×7. There are famous road side joints which have people queuing up at even 2 am for soft melt in the mouth idlis.

urad dal and fenugreek seeds

Idli recipe looks very simple but getting soft and fluffy idli takes lot of effort and experience. It depends on the quality of urad dal and idli rava. If the rava is not washed properly, the idlis will turn out yellow. Adding fenugreek seeds to the urad dal will help the batter ferment well. If the dal is less, idlis will be hard. Some people add poha to the urad dal. But adding excess poha will make the idlis flat.  Adding bottled or cold water while grinding the batter also helps to make the idlis softer.

idli batter in Idli mould

The consistency of idli batter should be like whipped cream. It should fall of from spoon easily. Do not over fill the mould. Leave some space for idlis to expand. Idlis can be enjoyed with different chutneys and sambhar. The most common combination for idli is coconut chutney and sambhar. I like it with karam podi.

Idlis make one of the healthiest breakfasts. Top the idlis with ghee or butter if you like.

Idli with chutney, sambhar, and karam podi

Ingredients

Makes 20-30 idlis depending on the size of Idli mould

  • 500 gms (2 cups) Idli rava
  • 200 gms (3/4 cup) urad dal
  • 10 grams (2 tbsp) fenugreek seeds

Chutney

  • ½ cup coconut
  • 3 green chillies
  • ½ cup yellow roasted chick peas
  • ¼ cup ground nuts roasted
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Salt to taste

For chutney

Grind all the ingredients for chutney to a smooth paste using little water.

For Idli

Wash the idli rava 3-4 times under running water. Soak in water and keep aside 6-7 hours.  Wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds 3-4 times under running water.  Soak in water and keep aside for 6-7 hours. Drain water from urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste adding little water. Drain the water from idli rava and add the urad dal paste to it. Add salt and cover and keep aside over night to ferment. Remember to leave enough space in the utensil for the batter to rise as it ferments. If the temperature outside is cold, keep the batter in a microwave or oven (do not switch them on) or any warm place.

Once the batter is fermented, mix it lightly. Pour the batter in greased idli mould and steam for 8-10 minutes. Check the idli and steam again for few minutes if required. Serve hot idlis with chutney and sambar.

 

Tomato Garlic Chutney

Chutneys are an important part of south Indian cuisine. There are different varieties of chutneys in a typical south Indian meal. This tomato chutney is instant side dish made of tomatoes, garlic, onions with a dominating flavor of coriander seeds. I learnt this recipe in Bangalore and this is a true savior when you want to add that extra zing to your boring dal rice meals.

Tomatoes

This chutney tastes well with the sour Indian tomatoes. If the tomatoes you are using are not too sour, you can add lime juice as per taste. Cook this chutney of slow flame throughout and keep mixing in between. Coriander powder tends to burn soon so it’s important to keep the flame low. This chutney tastes well with hot rice and a generous dollop of ghee. This goes well with hot puris too.

Rice and Tomato Chutney

 Ingredients

  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1tbsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10-12 curry leaves

Recipes

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and dry red chillies. Add garlic and let it brown. Add onions and fry for 1-2 mins till they are translucent. Add the coriander powder and sauté for 1-2 mins till there is aroma of coriander. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder.

Cook on slow flame stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes till the tomatoes are pulpy. Use back of a flat cooking spoon to mash tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes become mushy and oil separates. Serve with hot rice and ghee.