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Monday, March 2, 2015

Idli Recipe | How To Make Soft Idli | Tips and Tricks

          How to make soft Idlies ? is the biggest question for any amateur cooks from south India or to any north Indian who want to make idli occasional.It's not really tough job though, by following these simple tricks you can achieve the desired softness.

       My mom makes the softest idlies,my grandma used to eat hot hot direct from the plate and she loves it more than anything.I haven't realised its importance until i ate idli at my hostel .For such a big crowd making idli is a tough job though .Even my Mother-in-law do a very soft idli.She makes me hungry for more with her lip smacking vengaya kosu.Check the idli recipe before we move on to tips.  

  1. Wet grinder(i use table top) plays a major role in making the idli very soft.But in case if you don't have one use Indian mixer.Soak some poha or sabudana along with rice,that do the process(it don't grind the batter, he he) of making the idli soft.          
  2. Ratio of rice and urad dal :Actual is 6:1 , i do 5:1 . If urad dal quality is less try to add little more urad dal.(This ratio is for wet grinder)
  3. Add fenugreek seeds to urad dal.Here in US it takes longer time for the seeds to get soft because the water is so cold.Either you can soak in warm water while you soak urad dal or soak well before (at least 6 hours).otherwise it will remain full in the batter.Adding of fenugreek seeds makes the idli softer and they have many medicinal qualities too.Helps reducing cholesterol and cools the body etc.
  4. Soak urad dal for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour and grind it to minimum of 20 min in table top grinders.
  5. Grind rice until fine paste.(the texture should be like flour,guess u got me).
  6. Mix them well together.Rice batter is white and urad dal batter is pale white.You have to mix them until you see an even colour all together.Mixing helps urad dal batter mix to rice evenly ,if urad dal batter stays on top, you get a flat idli not a fluffy one.
  7. The batter has to ferment very well. If you live in warm countries just put them out over night, the next morning you can make perfect spongy idlies.If you are not ,then ferment the batter for at least 18 hours by placing them out the day before afternoon itself.If you tried this method and the batter is not fermenting properly, Keep the oven light on the whole night, morning it will be perfectly fermented.
  8. When the batter is over fermented try to mix the batter and pour in mould.If its not fermented then do not mix,that make idlies hard.
  9. The pot where you are going to steam the idlies should be covered with water at the bottom.
  10. Even, flame plays an important part in making the soft idlies.If the flame is too high idlies will stick to top.If the flame is too low idlies will remain white even after 10 minutes and taste very different.
  11. To check whether the idlies are done ,Poke it in the middle with a fork or a spoon.The fork has to come clean without any raw batter.If you took them from the pot by mistake before its fully done,keep it again until you don't see any raw batter in middle.
  12. When using cloth method for steaming, how to get the idlies out ?:Just hold the idli mould and reverse in a plate large enough to hold the mould.Sprinkle some water on top(not too much).Try to peel the cloth gently from idlies without tearing.
  13. When you don't have holes at the bottom of idli mould you probably will not be using cloth method.In that case try to take idli out using a spoon after cooling.Spoon around the corners and take it out gently .
Is this tips useful for you?Write to me by mail or just comment here.

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  1. what post! Making idlis is a challenge for me, I always get it wrong... my kids love idli and I feel bad not making it for them.

    1. Now you have some tips.Go ahead and make them some soft idlies

  2. soft and fluffy idlis..looks too good dear

  3. Thanks so much for the great tips. I hardly make idli but when I do, I know how too. The ones you made indeed is soft and spongy.

  4. Very well written post Sathya. Idli is a must here in my house too.Where did u get the wet grinder from India or online ?

  5. very very soft idlis.. very informative post esp for people like me who stay in colder countries..

  6. Very helpful and informative post...Thanks for sharing

  7. Thanks for the tips dear! They are very helpful :)

  8. Well illustrated about soft idli making..... and all these tips are really useful .... :)

  9. too soft and yumm idlis da.. useful post

  10. nice post sathya......
    very useful for beginners..........

  11. Wonderful post...really this kind of simple looking recipes needs lots of patience fr perfect result.


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