There is a very interesting history attached to the all-known and a completely savourful staple food of South India-The humble idly/Idli or Iddiyapam (Fermented Fluffy Steamed Rice & Urad Dal Cakes). It is debated that it is originally a modified form of the fermented ‘iddalige’, which is an Indonesian Urad dal (split black lentils) batter cake.
The experimentation in taste of Idli continues to surprise and delight people across geographies and I decided to thus put my own dash of style to it with my simple repertoire of handy herbs and aromatic spices. These are easily available in your kitchen and within no time a spiced up differently tasting idli is on your plate to be dipped in Sāmbhar and gets pulled up with the smooth coconut chutney/dip.
- Boiled rice/par boiled rice: 3 cups
- Urad dal (split black gram): one and half cup
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Cooking soda (optional): 1 pinch
- Cooking oil: 2 teaspoon
- Chana dal (split Bengal gram): 2-3 tablespoon
- Onion: 2 no. (Medium size)
- Green chili: 3-4 no. (As per taste)
- Asafoetida: 1 pinch
- Fresh coriander leaves (chopped): 2 tablespoon
- Soak rice and dal for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Grind the rice to a course paste with help of ‘dosa grinder’ or ‘mixi grinder’.
- Grind the dal with water to a very smooth paste.
- Mixed both paste together, add salt, stir well.
- Cover the mixture; leave it for 6-7 hours for fermentation.
- Soak chana dal for an hour or two. Keep aside.
- Chop onion, ginger and green chili into small pieces. Keep aside.
- Fry all masala ingredients till it becomes transparent.
- Put off the flame. Transfer into batter bowl.
- Add crushed black pepper and chili powder.
- After fermentation of the dough, add onion, asafoetida and salt into the mixture.
- Add cooking soda (optional) and oil to the mixture.
- Smear the idli stand cups with little ghee/oil.
- Pour ladleful of fermented mixture/ half cup of idli stand, (so that it gets enough space).
- Place the idli cooker on the gas with a cup of water, heat the water.
- Place the idli stand into the idli cooker and close the lid.
- Cook until toothpick inserted near the centre of the idli comes out clean.
- It will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Take out this idly with the help of spoon, and transfer into serving bowl.
- Masala idli is ready to serve with masala Sāmbhar and coconut chutney.
- You can also serve with tomato onion chutney and dry sesame seed chutney.