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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Idlis and Tricolor Idlis

When Pooja announced tricolor theme, it got me into thinking. Rice and coconut were the only white things which were popping before my eyes. Today, I was preparing idlis for breakfast. Suddenly, the rava idlis with carrot toppings I used to eat at Kamath Hotel in Bangalore flashed before my eyes. They used to be my favorite and I thought why not serve the regular white idlis with green peas and orange carrot which represent the colors of our National flag. So, here they are for the entry to Pooja's theme of the week, orange, white & green.
The usual soft, fluffy, melt in your mouth idlis just got a makeover and the recipe follows here. Note that idli rava is different from rava idli mixes. Rava idli mix is used to prepare rava idlis.

Ingredients required to make idlis:
Urad dal - 1 cup
Idli rava - 2 cups
Salt - Accordingly
Ingredients required to make tricolored idlis:
Idli batter
A small carrot grated
A small cup of green peas

Preparation of idlis:
Wash urad dal and idli rava seperately with water to remove any impurities. Soak urad dal and idli rava in water seperately for atleast 3 hours. Throw away all the water used to soak.
Grind urad dal very smoothly with as little water as possible in a blender.
Then squeeze out any water present in the rava using your hands and add it to the ground urad dal and mix well. Alternatively, (after squeezing out the water from the rava) you can add the rava to uraddal in the blender and grind for a couple minutes more so that the rava and uraddal are mixed well.
Collect the batter in a big vessel and add salt. Allow it to ferment in a warm place for 8 - 10 hours. I usually soak the dal and rava around 9-10am, grind them at 3 pm and leave the batter container in a warm oven till next morning.

If idli batter is fermented properly, you see a raise in the level of the batter. So, always add the batter to a container which can hold more than the ground batter.
(Next day morning,) Add 2-3 cups of water to idli cooker / pressure cooker.   Grease the idli moulds with ghee or oil. Fill them with fermented idli batter and put the idli stand in the idli cooker / pressure cooker. If using a pressure cooker, don't use the weight.
Steam cook on low - medium heat till they are done. It would usually take around 15 - 20 minutes.

Preparation of tricolor idlis:

Add grated carrots and peas to the greased idli moulds before adding the idli batter. Steam them as said above.

Serve idlis with chutney / sambhar.

Here are some helpful tips:
1. For batters to ferment well especially during winters, put the batter in the oven, with the light on. If that doesn't work, preheat the conventional oven and turn it off. Then place the batter container, with the light on. I always had well fermented batters even during winters.
2. Rice rava can be substituted for Idli rava. Dal & rava ratio can even be 1:3 instead of 1:2.
3. Here is a way to check whether the idlies are done. Carefully remove the lid. Wet your fingertips and touch the idlis. If they don't stick, the idlies are done. Do this with out getting into the way of the hot steam. :)
4. Use a container with enough room for the batter to rise. Put a large plate or aluminium foil sheet under the container to catch any drips after the fermentation. Yeah, it happens sometimes. The batter rises more than you expected and you may end up with a messy oven.
5. Idlies can be refrigerated or frozen. If frozen, you may need to thaw them. If you refrigerate them, you can put the idlies in a container and place it in a pressure cooker with out the weight on and steam for 5-10 minutes. They will be piping hot as the freshly made ones. Or sprinkle a few drops of water and place it in a microwave safe bowl covered, for 1 - 2 minutes depending upon the quantity.

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Asha said...

Beautiful creation!I make them by mixinf everything.Very appropriate entry.Looks mouthwatering.

Pooja said...

Hi Suma,
your idlis loks so nice and colorful with all the perfect color of our national flag.
thanks for participating with such a creative twist with idlis. :)
I just love the pictures too .
thanks for sharing

swapna said...

me first time here..u got a nice blog..i can't see the picture of the idlis but by the name it is interesting..will see some time after...:-))

Seema said...

Very attractive looking entry for the tri colour week Suma.

Jasmine said...

very nice creation.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thank you all for your nice comments.

madhuli said...

Very nice idea!they look very tempting.thanks a lot.

Nupur said...

Ooh, very adorable idlis, Suma!