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Monday, July 12, 2021

Oats Idli / Steel Cut Oats Idli

If one is looking to incorporate oats in diet, especially Indians who are looking for other than porridge / instant cereal ideas, here are some healthy idlis to try. These idlis are prepared using steel cut oats and not the quick cooking version. They are therefore prepared the traditional way, by soaking the ingredients, grinding and fermenting the batter. These idlis are nutritious, gluten-free, and vegan like many idli versions I have posted so far in this idli series. They make a filling and wholesome meal when served with sambhar and chutney. 
The different types of oats available in the market - the steel cut version, rolled oats and the quick cooking oats, all start from oat groats. When the tougher outer shells aka hulls are removed from oat kernels, they are called oat groats. The difference among the oat varieties lies in the way they are prepared and processed. Steel cut oats aka Irish meal is the less refined of all the three. They are oat groats chopped into 2 to 3 pieces using a steel blade and hence the name. They have a chewier and coarser texture and take longer to cook of all the three varieties. Rolled oats or old fashioned oats are oat groats that have gone through steaming and flattening process. Quick cooking oats are further processed for a quicker cooking time.
I have posted two versions of idli below, the second version has less oats compared to the first version. Second version idlis are a tad lighter compared to the first version and makes a delicious meal, served with sambhar. If using idli rava (cream of rice) instead of idli rice, then soak it in water individually and don't grind it along with the ingredients. After grinding the rest of the ingredients, squeeze the water out of the idli rava and just mix it with the ground batter.

Version 1
Ingredients: (Yield - 20 idlis)
1 cup steel cuts oats
1/2 cup idli rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
A handful of flattened rice
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
2 & 1/4 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cup water to grind

Version 2
Ingredients: (Yield - 16 idlis)
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup idli rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram/ urad dal
2 tbsp. flattened rice / poha
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
About 2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cup water to grind
1. Add steel cut oats, idli rice, skinned black gram, flattened rice and fenugreek seeds to a container. 
2. Rinse them twice with water and drain. Soak them together in water, in a wide bowl for about 4 - 5 hours and drain the water (used for soaking) completely. 
3. Grind them together adding salt and water as needed to grind into a smooth and thick batter. (The salt can be added just before making idlis if living in a warm climate. I add it while grinding since I live in a cold climate and the batter takes longer to ferment.)
4. Transfer the batter to a container large enough to hold the fermented batter. (The batter raises while fermenting and so plan accordingly and use a big container.) Cover the container and allow it to ferment overnight (if the batter was ground in the evening) or for about 10 - 12 hours in a warm place. If living in a cold climate, leaving the batter in an oven with the lights on (without turning on the oven) helps. Or use yogurt setting in an instant pot.
5. The fermented batter looks like below - thicker than when grounded, airy, and slightly sour smelling. Refrigerate the batter if not using it immediately and bring to room temperature or leave it outside for a couple of hours when ready to use it.
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
5. Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle.
6. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and fill them with batter.
* Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
7. Steam the idlis on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney and /or sambhar. Mine were served with tomato chutney, roasted gram chutney and sambhar.
* Refrigerate any left over idlis and use in a day or two. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Just nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.


Harini R said...

I have always made Oats idli using rolled oats. Using Steel cut Oats is a great idea too. I agree the lesser processed they are the better for us :)

Srivalli said...

I am yet to use steel-cut oats Suma, infact I should check this out and make it..your plate looks so inviting!

Sowmya :) said...

I have a pack of steel cut oats and I was wondering what to do with it. Love this idea of getting the family too eat oats. These idlis looks awesome!

Radha said...

This is a very healthy idli. I would love to have a plate of it. The Idli series is amazing one with lots of idlis to try. Love it!