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Sunday, October 10, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ V for Vendhaya Idli

It's time for the idli series again. For those uninitiated, here is a detailed post about idlis and tips for the preparation. So far in this series, I have posted -

The standard version idlis are prepared with skinned black gram and idli rice, that usually go in a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3. However there are a few exceptions like my previous post in this series, uddina idli which was made using skinned black gram / urad dal alone. Here is one more which is prepared using idli rice alone, called vendhaya idli from Tamil Nadu. I accidentally came across these idlis on a YouTube video and the recipe intrigued me enough to try them later. These idlis are made with just two ingredients, namely idli rice and fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds are called 'vendhayam' in Tamil and hence the name of the idlis. The traditional version also contains castor seeds and prepared during summer to combat heat.
Idli rice and fenugreek seeds are soaked, ground and the batter is fermented. Fenugreek seeds which are bitter by taste do not lend any bitterness to idlis and are a healthy addition to idlis here. The fenugreek seeds when soaked turn soft and yields fluffiness to the ground batter. Eno's fruit salt or baking soda is added to the fermented batter just before making the idlis. In fact, adding Eno's fruit salt is a crucial step in the preparation. It helps in yielding a soft, fluffy texture to idlis, even without the addition of black gram / urad dal. Omitting Eno's fruit salt would yield rock hard idlis that are fit to trash. I prefer Eno's fruit salt over baking soda, whenever a idli recipe requires it but if using baking soda, make sure that it is still within expiry date. Otherwise baking soda yields a weird smell to idlis, ruining the taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups idli rice
1.5 to 2 tbsp. fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Eno's fruit salt *
* Baking soda can be added instead of Eno's fruit salt but make sure that it is not beyond expiry date.

Directions:
1. Rinse idli rice, and fenugreek seeds together with water and drain. Repeat the step one more time. Soak them together in water in a bowl for about 4 hours and drain the water used to soak completely.
2. Grind them together adding salt and water as needed to grind them 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.)
3. Transfer the batter to a container that is big enough to allow the batter to raise during fermentation. 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.
4. The fermented batter should rise well and be fluffy but not turn sour.  . 
5. Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
6. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil. 
7. Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle. Add Eno's fruit salt to the batter and sprinkle a tbsp. of water over it. Immediately stir the batter well until it starts to turn frothy. 
8. Ladle the batter into the idli plates carefully without spilling.
9. 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.
10. Steam the idlis on medium heat setting for about 15 - 20 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.
8. Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis from idli stand. Remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.

How to serve idlis:
Drizzle some melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney, and sambhar if preferred. Mine were served with Kumbakonam Kadappa and sambhar.

What to do with leftover idlis:
1. Refrigerate the left over idlis and use in a day or two. 
2. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. 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.

1 comment:

Srividhya said...

Idli without urad dal is interesting.Should try it out sometimes. Loving all ur idli posts. Very nice.