Have you ever had recipes that you have been following regularly for years and never thought about tweaking it or playing around with it? I have… until I stumbled across a recipe recently put by another food blogger where she made the recipe with success … pure brilliance on her part.
I started making Idlis after I got married since DH has been eating them everyday for breakfast while he was back home in India and going every week/weekend to a South Indian restaurant was not a feasible option from a health point of view 🙂 I have had a lot of failures during the initial days with making the idli batter , fermenting it here in the east coast weather and then getting fluffy idlis 🙂
Once I had experimented adding instant yeast in the idli batter so they will ferment well.. ohh boy… what a bad idea that was… add to the misery , DH’s family was visiting and I served them gooey,chewy idlis… was so embarrassed
So after a lot of failures and having a hit or miss when making idlis, I have just stuck to the usual recipe from my mom with a 1:3 ratio of urad dal and rice. I just use normal rice for making idlis because i don’t find the value in specifically buying idli rice because that also has been a hit or miss for me.
However, over the years, I have learned one tip from a lady who made idlis at a South Indian temple I visited like 5 years ago during my visit to India and that is to use whole urad dal and not the broken urad dal. Since then, I have started using whole urad dal, and my failures have reduced quite a bit but still in winters I have to monitor the idli batter to ensure it ferments well.
Recently this year , I found Poonam’s recipe of Yellow Moong Dal Idli and I was completely intrigued by the recipe since there was no rice in the idli batter recipe. Really … No Rice..Imagine saying that to a owner at the Murugan Idli Shop in Chennai to not use rice in the idli ..He/She would think we are crazy or something .
I approached the recipe with a bit of skepticism because really with all the failures I have had while with idli making and having never seen my mom or grandmom make idlis without rice.
I have made the recipe twice now and its been a success both times. They are indeed soft fluffy and taste like idlis though they may have a yellowish hue to to them but its awesome , because its a very good healthy protein boost . First Time, I followed the recipe exactly as posted by Poonam but the second time, I reduced the quantity so that I could make it for 2 folks and i don’t get overloaded with idlis, though i don’t mind it and would have freezed them for future use.
Thanks Poonam for posting this recipe and changing my view on idli’s forever now . This recipe is definitely a keeper because of the big health factor it has.
Alright, enough said and here is my take on these Yellow Moong Dal Idlis.
- 1 1/4 cup Yellow Moong Dal (Yellow Lentil)
- 1/2 cup white whole ural dal (without the black skin)
- 1 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp salt
- Idli Mould if you have them or ramekin cups
- 1 + 1/2 cup of water for steaming
- Steaming Vessel or Pressure cooker.
- Soak the Yellow moong Dal, Urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 4 hours.
- Drain the excess water from the soaked dal
- Use a high speed blender , Indian style Mixie or if you have a the idli grinder use it and grind the idli batter.
- Using Blender , Put all the soaked Yellow moong dal, ural dal, fenugreek seeds and salt and add 1 cup water to blend
- After blending, the batter should have a pancake batter consistency and should not be too runny.
- Put the batter in a non-reactive bowl and make sure that the big is big enough since the batter will double in size.
- Keep this batter in a warm place to ferment for 8-10 hours.
- Once you see the batter has fermented and doubled in size, we are ready to make idlis.
- Add some water to a pressure cooker and heat it up or use a steamer vessel in which you can steam these idlis.
- Mix the fermented Idli batter once and let the water come to a boil in the pressure cooker.
- Grease the idli moulds and add the batter half way through since they will puff up.
- Once you have added the batter to all the moulds, keep it in the pressure cooker.
- Close the lid and let the idlis steam for 10 minutes
- Keep a timer and switch off the heat after 10 minutes
- Let the idlis rest for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker before trying to remove them.
- Keep a cup of water near you and take a spoon and scoop the idlis out of the mould.
- Serve the idlis hot with some hot Sambhar or my favorite "Molagai Podi"(Gun Powder that we can eat).
- Below are tips I use to make sure the batter ferments well for me.
- Make sure to not soak the whole ural dal for more than 4-5 hours. it starts losing its fermenting properties the longer you soak it.
- I usually preheat my oven to 350 F and then switch it off so that i get a warm place to ferment the batter.
- I use a microwave cover (plastic one with few holes) to cover the batter bowl to allow for the heat to react with the batter and ferment the batter. Using Saran wrap does not allow the heat to work with the batter and help the fermentation.
- keeping the batter uncovered , dries it way too much and if there is not enough moisture, the batter will not ferment.