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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ I for Idli (Idli Rice Version)

So far in the series,
Today is the turn for the basic version of idli which happens to be the standard for all the idli variations out there and cherished by South Indians. For the uninitiated, idli is an iconic South Indian breakfast dish which are soft and fluffy steamed cakes. They are prepared using a fermented batter of rice and skinned black gram. This traditional dish is considered to be one of the healthiest breakfasts from the region, easily digestible and fit enough to be prescribed for the ill and convalescing. The dish needs an advanced preparation as the ingredients need to be soaked, ground and then the batter needs to be fermented before steaming it in special moulds. Idlis taste bland on their own. However drizzle some melted ghee over them and dig in with delicious accompaniments like a chutney, usually a coconut based one, a lentil dish called sambhar and spicy lentil powders, thus making it a filling and enjoyable meal for any time of the day. They are obviously gluten free and vegan if you skip the ghee.

My idli turn out super fluffy and soft. To be honest, I grew up watching idli being made around me on a regular basis and I don't fret about the idli preparation. I know however it is a daunting task for those who are not well versed with the process. I tried to explain the process in as much detail as possible here for anyone who needs some tips and the post has turned out to be a lengthy one. Idli making involves four steps - soaking the ingredients, grinding, fermenting and steaming the idlis. Grinding the batter to the correct consistency and it's proper fermentation are the important factors which decides the fate of the idlis. Idli making is an easy task with the modern conveniences we have in the kitchen compared to the olden days when the women had to manually grind the batter in stone grinders and steam on wood / kerosene stoves.
Usually if one lives in a warmer climate like India, soaking the ingredients in the afternoon and grinding it in the evening works fine, if planning for next day's breakfast. My husband's hometown is like a hot oven during summers and so, my mother in law would grind the batter around 9 at night so that the fermented batter would not go sour by morning breakfast time. I live in a cold climate and so my routine in recent years has been to soak the ingredients as soon as I wake up. I grind the ingredients around 11 am and leave the batter in oven with the light on. There are instances where my batter took around 24 hours or more to ferment, during the peak winter time.

Ingredients used in idli preparation:
Idli preparation needs two basic ingredients, skinned black gram / urad dal and rice. Skinned black gram, either whole or split can be used. (My grand mother used to use the whole black gram to make dosas and idlis but it is a pain to sit and rinse off the skins off the soaked beans.) 

Idli rice that is used in the recipe is the short, fat parboiled rice that also goes by the name Salem rice. In lieu of idli rice, idli rava aka cream of rice can be used. In that case soak separately black gram and idli rava. Some use fenugreek seeds / methi and flattened rice / poha as well in the recipe.
 
The black gram and rice proportions used also vary from home to home. The rice used varies from 2 to 4 times the quantity of black gram used. I go with 1:2 ratio whereas my mother uses 1:3 ratio. In Andhra and Karnataka, dosa and idli batters are different but I have noticed that some use the same batter for the both the dishes. 
Step 1 - Soaking the ingredients:
Soaking period is about 4 hours but two minutes are needed to rinse and soak the ingredients. Some soak the ingredients individually but I don't see any merits and soak them together which works fine for me. Rinse them twice thoroughly with water and soak them in enough water so that the water level is higher through out the soaking period. (About 3 hours is enough if using idli rava instead of idli rice and the ingredients are soaked individually in that case.)

Step 2 - Grinding the ingredients:
The ingredients are ground to a smooth batter either in a wet grinder or an Indian style mixer / blender. I have a wet grinder but I prefer grinding in my Oster 14 speed blender which works good for me. (The grinder takes more time than the blender and I hate cleaning the grinder.) I haven't watched the time but the amount of ingredients I mentioned in the recipe can be ground in one batch, which takes around 10 minutes. Don't grind the batter too thick or runny. Too thick batter will not ferment and thin batter will yield flat and not well cooked idlis. Salt can be added while grinding if living in a cold climate and in warmer climates, add salt before steaming the idlis. If using idli rava, grind black gram first, squeeze out the water from the idli rava (that has been soaking in water) and add the rava to the batter and run the blender for a couple of minutes to blend.

Step 3 - Fermenting the batter:
This is the important part of the idli preparation. The ground batter needs to be covered and placed in a warm place to ferment. The time of fermentation depends upon the local weather. It may take around 8 to 10 hours to double that time. Place it in an oven with the light on (without turning the oven on) if living in a cold climate. The yogurt setting in an instant pot works too. The final fermented batter would increase in volume, be airy and have a slightly sour smell to it. If the batter turns out thin for some reason, use it to make dibba rotte instead of idlis. 

Step 4 - Steaming the idlis:
If living in a warm place, salt can be added to the batter at this point. Gently stir the fermented batter a couple of times to uniformly aerate the batter and ladle the batter into greased moulds. If you don't own a idli stand, they can be steamed in small steel cups / glasses. Or even in a steel plate with high edges in a similar fashion to dhokla and cut them into wedges. The idlis can be steamed in a idli cooker, pressure cooker or a steamer. Don't use the safety valve if using a pressure cooker. Steam the idlis on low medium setting and it takes around 20 - 25 minutes on my gas stove to steam them. Moisten your fingers with water and check the top of idli to check whether they are done. They will not stick if done. If the idli top sticks to your moist fingers, then it needs to be steamed further.
Storing the batter and idlis:
I never refrigerate the idli batter but my mother recommends the refrigerated batter to be used within three days. She adds salt only to the portion she is going to use to make idlis and refrigerates the rest of the batter. She leaves the batter on the counter for a while before using it the next time. The refrigerated batter can be used to make again idlis, dibba rotte or ponganalu.
 
I instead usually make a big batch of idlis and freeze as many idlis as I need. (This works if you don't have power cuts in your area.) I cool down the idli immediately after preparation and freeze them to use later. They need to be just warmed in a microwave, covered until hot to enjoy them when needed. 

Ingredients: (Yield - 20 - 22 idlis)
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
1 cup idli rice
1 & 3/4 tsp. salt or to taste
1 & 1/4 cup water
Ghee to grease the idli moulds and drizzle over idlis while serving

Directions:
* Rinse idli rice, and skinned black gram together and drain. Soak them together in water, in a wide bowl for about 4 - 5 hours and drain the water used to soak completely.
* Grind them together adding salt and water just enough 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.)
* 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.
* The fermented batter looks like below - thicker than when grounded, airy, and slightly sour smelling.
 
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
* Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil. 
* Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle. 
* Ladle the batter into the idli  moulds carefully without spilling.
* 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.
* 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, sambhar and/or spicy podi. Mine were served with roasted gram chutney, sambhar and nalla karam podi.
* Refrigerate the left over idlis and use in a day or two. 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 #122 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ H for Halasina Hannina Idli / Halasina Hannina Kadubu (Jackfruit Idlis)

The inspiration for my idli series came from Karnataka cuisine which has a wide range of traditional idli recipes. These jackfruit  idlis are one among the bunch which are commonly prepared in the South Canara region. These idli indeed are unique compared to the other versions tastewise and in terms of preparation. They are usually steamed in envelopes of teak leaves which lend their aroma and color to the dish. In lieu of it, banana leaves are used and of course in absence of both, idli moulds or small cups can be used to make these idlis.

Jackfruit is extensively used in cooking in the coastal areas of Karnataka. It is called halasina hannu in Kannada, pelakayi in Tulu and ponosu in Konkani and so the dish goes by different names. Gujje gatti is a local name. Jackfruit idlis are called halasina hannina kadubu / gatti / idli in Kannada. The names pelata gatti or pelakayi gidde in Tulu allude to teak leaves that are used to steam them. They go by ponsa muddo in Konkani if they are steamed in leaves or else ponsa idli. 
These idlis are a common preparation during the jackfruit season in Mangalore / Udupi areas and the same batter can be used to prepare fritters by adding some extra rice flour. The idlis are usually on a sweet side, redolent with the fruit flavor. Jackfruit is the star ingredient of the dish and one cannot miss either the flavor or the  fragrant aroma of the bulbs in the dish. 

These idlis are made with a batter prepared using rice/rice rava, jackfruit, coconut and jaggery. The amount of jaggery used in the recipe depends upon the sweetness of the jackfruit bulbs used. If jack fruit bulbs are sweeter then less jaggery is used and vice versa but it should be noted that these idlis are on a sweeter side. I used tinned jack frit bulbs which were sweet. The jackfruit idlis can be prepared using either rice or rice rava / idli rava or even toasted semolina. I have used rice rava here. If using rice, it needs to be soaked for a couple of hours and then ground into a slightly coarse paste.
These idlis are served for breakfast along with coffee with no side dishes or served with just some ghee / honey. I enjoyed them on their own. The extras can be refrigerated and should be finished with in a day or two. They can be frozen as well as I have done. Just nuke them in a microwave when needed in a microwave safe dish, covered and they come out soft and piping hot.

Ingredients: (Yield - about 10 idli)
2 cups jackfruit pieces
1/2 cup shredded fresh coconut 
1 cup jaggery, powdered (or adjust as needed)
2 cardamom pods
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup rice rava / idli rava (Fine cracked rice)
2 - 3 tbsp. water 
Ghee to grease the idli plates

Directions:
* Add jackfruit pieces, coconut, jaggery, cardamom and salt together to a blender / food processor.
* Blend the ingredients together to a paste.
 * Add rice rava to the bowl and just pulse to combine. (If using soaked rice instead of rava, drain the water completely from the rice and add it to the jackfruit puree. Blend it into slightly coarse paste without adding water.)
* Transfer the rice rava - jackfruit mixture to a bowl. Cover and keep it aside for about 20 - 30 minutes.
* The mixture should be thicker than the regular idli batter. However if the mixture appears too thick after the resting period, add a few tbsp. of water to the bowl and mix well. (I added about 2 tbsp. of water.)
* Heat water in a idli cooker / pressure cooker / steamer base on medium heat.
* Grease the idli plates and fill them with the jackfruit batter. Place the idli stand in the steamer and close the lid. Don't use the pressure valve if using pressure cooker.

* On low medium flame. steam for about 20 minutes or until when the surface of the idlis don't stick when touched with moist fingers. Turn off the stove and let sit for about 10 minutes.
* Run a sharp spoon around the edges of idlis and remove the idlis. 
* They can be served plain or with ghee or honey. Serve them warm for breakfast along with coffee.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #122 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Monday, May 3, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ G for Greengram Idli

So far in this idli series,
D for Dal Idli

I have started a 'A - Z' Idli' series last month and it's turn for the alphabet G today. For the uninitiated, idli is an iconic breakfast dish from the south Indian cuisine, made with a fermented batter of rice and skinned black gram. Idlis taste bland on their own but make a delicious meal when served along with a chutney (usually a coconut based one), sambhar - a lentil preparation and podi - a spicy lentil powder.

Today's idli is a protein rich and nutritious option for breakfast which I prepared on a whim sometime ago using my pesarattu batter. I have always felt that pesarattu is something that you either love or hate. These green gram based pancakes from Andhra are mostly loved in the coastal regions than the rest of the state. I have no problems with pesarattu whereas my husband is not a great fan of those. Why I am mentioning it here is that it applies to these idlis as well. If one doesn't mind pesarattu then these greengram idlis taste fine as well since the batter used in both cases is the same one. My husband surprisingly did not mind the flavor of these idlis.
Here is another version of green gram idli that I posted a while ago that contains rice and black gram as well. These idlis were made with just green gram alone and no rice / idli rava or black gram went into the preparation. In this version, the green gram is soaked for a few hours and then ground with ginger, chillies and salt. The batter needs no fermentation, making this idli an instant version. The green gram can be soaked previous night and ground in the morning for breakfast. Stir in Eno's fruit salt into the batter just before preparing idlis.  

These guilt-free idlis are obviously healthy, gluten-free and diabetic-friendly.  Grease the idli moulds with oil instead of ghee, if following vegan diet. They make a filling and enjoyable meal when served along with chutney and sambhar. 

Ingredients: (Yield - 12 idlis)
1 cup green gram / sabut moong / pesalu
1 inch piece of ginger
2 green chilies
Salt to taste 
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fruit salt / 1 Eno's sachet
Ghee / oil for greasing the idli moulds
Directions:
* Rinse and soak green gram for about 3 to 4 hours in sufficient water.
* Drain the water used to soak the green gram. 
* Grind the soaked green gram, ginger and chili in a blender, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed. (I added 2 tbsp. of water to grind the ingredients.)
* Transfer the ground batter to a container. Add salt and cumin seeds to the batter and stir to combine.
* Grease the idli plates with ghee / oil. 
* Heat water in an idli cooker / pressure cooker base or in a steamer.
* Add fruit salt to the batter and sprinkle some water over it. Gently stir the mixture to incorporate the fruit salt into the batter. (Add fruit salt just before steaming idlis.)
* Spoon the batter into the greased idli moulds and place the idli stand in the cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the pressure valve if using pressure cooker. 
* Steam on low medium flame for about 20 minutes or until done. (When you touch the tops of idlis with moist fingers, the idlis should not stick.)
* Wait for about 5 to 10 minutes and remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges. 
* Drizzle a spoon of ghee over the idlis and serve with chutney and/or sambhar.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #122 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Pistachio Lassi

Lassi is a summer coolant native to India. This traditional beverage that is locally popular has yogurt as it's base and comes both in sweet and salted versions. A fresh batch of yogurt made with full fat milk is best suited for lassi preparation. The basic version needs only yogurt, water and salt / sugar which is filling, nourishing and cooling. Adding spices and herbs makes it more flavorful though optional. Twists to the traditional drink has lead into many variations that include nuts / fruits and so on. 

My version today contains pistachios in the lassi as the name suggests and the lassi is flavored with cardamom and sugar. This creamy, cool beverage is a perfect foil for the summer heat. Here are some lassis that have been posted earlier.

Ingredients:
2 cardamom pods / 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
6 tbsp. pistachios
2 cups chilled, full fat yogurt
4 tsp. sugar or to taste
Crushed ice as needed
Directions:
* Separate the seeds from cardamom pods. Grind pistachios and cardamom seeds together coarsely. Transfer the ground pistachio to a bowl. 

* Save some of the ground pistachio for garnishing. Blend yogurt, sugar, remaining ground pistachio, cardamom and ice until smooth and frothy. 
* Pour lassi into serving glasses and garnish with crushed pistachio. Serve immediately.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #121 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Doddapatre Thambuli / Thambli

Thambli / Thambuli is a age old dish from the south Indian state of Karnataka which is usually prepared as a coolant in summer months. Yogurt is the base for any thambli dish and there are many varieties of thambli prepared using brahmi leaves, spinach leaves, curry leaves and so on. Menthe thambuli is one among the variety. A herb / vegetable / spice is ground along with coconut and spices and is added to yogurt and is served as a first course of the meal.

Today's star of the dish is doddapatre / karpooravalli / ajwain plant leaves that is known for it's medicinal properties. The leaves have been used as a home remedy for cold / cough and minor stomach ailments in India, for ages. My mother always has a pot of this herb at her home and this used to be her quick cold remedy for my son when he was an infant which used to work like a charm. 

My sister in law is the one who prepared this during my last visit to India and I just took some pictures during the process. This thambli recipe is a quick and fuss-free one and a beginner recipe. The leaves have a strong and distinct aroma which makes this thambli a delicious side dish to steamed rice with a drizzle of ghee.

Ingredients for thambli:
1 tsp. oil / ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 green chili
2 cups doddapatre / karpooravalli / Indian borage
1/2 cup coconut, shredded or in pieces.
Yogurt as needed
Salt to taste
Ingredients for seasoning:
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

Directions:
* Heat ghee/oil and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add green chilis and doddapatre soppu. 
* Fry until water almost evaporates, about 5 minutes. The leaves change the color and reduce in quantity. Keep it aside and let it cool.

* Grind the leaves along with the coconut. It will come around to about a cup of paste. This ground paste can be used immediately or refrigerated and used within  2 to 3 days.
* Add the paste and salt to yogurt and mix well. Thambli would be slightly on thicker side and so add yogurt accordingly.
* Heat oil for seasoning in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, remove from heat and add it to the yogurt mixture.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #121 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Authentic Andhra ~ Beerakaya Pottu Varugu


 (Originally published on 2/20/2011.)

People always ended up with surplus amount of vegetables and fruits when societies were agro-based. They had to come up with ways to not let their hard work go down the drain in the pre-refrigeration era. Sun-drying and pickle making have been two methods of preserving the agricultural bounty in all cultures. Sundried tomatoes, dried mango (amchur), dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) are some of the things that we buy from stores even without thinking. 

Preserving surplus produce by sun drying them has been a common practice through out the world, for ages. In the south Indian state of Andhra, something that has been sun-dried and can be stored year round is called varugu. And in vegetarian homes, "that something" usually happens to be vegetables / vegetable peels / greens / fruits.  

Sun drying does not cost anything and the dried stuff could be stored away for later use. Besides the surplus stuff, the wilted or the mature vegetables that are not fit to go into any dish and also their peels were used to get sun dried and were used later on a rainy day. If a portion of the vegetable was rotten, that was discarded and the rest was sun dried too. Such was the frugality of our ancestors.

Varugu making has somewhat become obsolete in this modern era as everyone has to depend on their local grocers / markets for their supply of produce which is available through out the year unlike the past. Besides the prices of vegetables in India seem to be so high to even try sun drying. However give it a try this summer, if you have a vegetable patch in your backyard or when you get vegetables at bargain prices.
 
This beerakaya pottu varugu or the spicy, sundried ridge gourd peels is eaten as a side dish to rice. My mother had prepared this beerakaya pottu varugu once when she was visiting us and I have made this later many times. One day my father was casually mentioning how his mother used to prepare varugus with various vegetables when they had extra from their fields. We were preparing something with ridge gourd the next day and she remembered that the peels could be used to prepare varugu. It has become a favorite since and I try to sun dry the ridge gourd peels every summer.

The following quantities are just to give an idea. Use chilies and salt as per your taste.

Ingredients:
Ridge gourd peels - 3 cups
Red chilies - 10 to 12
Salt to taste


Method:
* Wash the ridge gourd peels and remove any strings if present. They must be clean and fresh. Discard the pieces with any brown spots.
* Slightly crush the ingredients together so that red chillies are ground. Do not add any water while doing so. Traditionally a stone mortar is used for the purpose. ( I pulse them together in a food processor.)
* Sundry them till they turn crisp. It takes 2 - 3 days for me.
* Sore them in an air-tight container.
* Fry the dried peels in hot oil. Serve with rice and ghee.


This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #121 under 'Summer Recipes' theme and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ F for Foxtail Millet Idli

Today's idli are made of foxtail millet, a millet that has been grown in India since ages. The millet is rich in fiber, calcium and has a low glycemic index making it an ideal choice for diabetics. These idlis are made only with foxtail millet and skinned black gram, thus  making it a healthy and nutritious breakfast choice for anyone. I sometimes replace a portion of millet with rice but rice free version is obviously healthier. These idlis when served with chutney and/or sambhar make a filling and delicious breakfast / brunch. Obviously, these are gluten-free and vegan if  idli moulds are greased with oil.   
Ingredients: (Yield - 18 - 20 idlis)
1 cup foxtail millet
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Water to grind the batter

Directions:
* Rinse foxtail millet, black gram and fenugreek seeds and drain. Soak them together in water, in a bowl for about 4 - 5 hours and drain the water used to soak completely.
* Grind them together adding salt and water just enough to grind them into a smooth and thick batter .
* Transfer the batter to a container and cover it. Allow it to ferment overnight (if the batter was ground in the evening) or for about 10 - 12 hours in a warm place or in an oven with the lights on if living in a cold climate until it ferments.
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
* Add Eno's fruit salt to the batter if the fermented batter doesn't raise much. Add 1/2 tsp. fruit salt over the batter and sprinkle a little over it and quickly stir the batter to combine.
* Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and spoon the batter into idli plates.
* 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.
* 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.)
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then demold the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Serve them warm with a chutney / sambhar. 
* Leftovers can be refrigerated.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #121 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ E for Elaneer Idli

I was fixated on a recipe from Karnataka for today's 'E' post until I came across Mallika Badrinath's elaneer idli recipe, in a millet version. Inspired by the idea, I used coconut water in my regular idli recipe here but one can replace rice with any millet to make them more healthier. These idlis are gluten free and vegan if idli moulds are greased with oil. Coconut water and the white flesh from a young coconut are used to grind the idli batter instead of water in this case. It makes a difference in the final outcome and one cannot miss how the idlis turn out light, airy and spongy. 

Elaneer means tender coconut water in Tamil and Kannada and hence the name for the idli. Use a young coconut if accessible and add all the pulp / soft white flesh from it while grinding the batter. I had to manage with canned coconut water which was super sweet and contained about a spoon of tiny coconut pieces but not much pulp. The quantity of coconut water mentioned below in the recipe needs to be adjusted if using the soft flesh as well. The coconut flavor is not much noticeable in idlis if using only coconut water (and no white flesh) to grind the batter though the idlis  come out soft and spongy.

Ingredients: 
1 cup idli rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
1 young coconut / Coconut water with soft coconut flesh as needed 
(I used about 1 and 3/4 cups coconut water with no flesh. With coconut flesh, may be less liquid is needed.)
Salt as needed

Directions:
* Rinse idli rice and black gram and drain. Soak them together in water, in a bowl for about 4 - 5 hours and drain the water used to soak completely.
* Add soaked idli rice, black gram, salt, and coconut flesh to a grinder / blender. Next add coconut water as needed and grind them into a smooth and thick batter with pouring consistency. (I used my Oster 16 speed blender to grind them.)
* Transfer the batter to a container and cover it. Allow it to ferment overnight (if the batter was ground in the evening) or as needed in a warm place or in an oven with the lights on.
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and spoon the batter into idli plates.
* 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.
* Steam the idli on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.)
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then demold the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Serve them warm with  chutney / sambhar.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #121 and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.