Tag Archives: idli

Kollu Idli/ Horse Gram Steamed Cakes

Kollu or Horse Gram can be used to make soft and fluffy steamed cakes. Other millets used previously to make Idlis were grains and Horsegram is a lentil. Hence, the lentil here is combined with rice to make Idli, the staple breakfast/dinner food of Tamilnadu.

Kollu Idli/Steamed Rice Cakes with Horsegram

Ingredients (makes approximately 25-30 idlis)

  • kollu/horsegram– 1 cup
  • puzhungal arisi/parboiled rice or idli rice – 2 cups
  • uppu/salt – as needed approx. 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak horse gram and rice separately in enough water for 6-8 hours

2. It is important to soak both rice and gram separately for idli. To make dosai, soaking and grinding together doesn’t alter the crispness or softness of pancakes

3. First, drain excess water and grind the horse gram into a smooth batter. It would be super foamy

4. Important point to note in Kollu Idli batter is, horse gram should be ground with minimum water needed. If excessive water is used, the final batter cannot be used to make Idli or steamed cake. Only Dosai/Pancake can be made

5. Remove horse gram batter from the blender and grind soaked rice separately to a smooth batter

6. When both batters are ready, add salt and blend well with a ladle or by hand. Do not use blender to mix both as batter will become watery

7. Leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight

8. Millet or Gram batters do not need as much time as Rice Idli batter. They turn sour sooner

9. 8 hrs in a warm place is enough; If the climate is too hot, check after 6 hours; In an air conditioned environment, I place it in the oven overnight with the oven light on

10. Once fermented, mix the combined Idli batter well

11. Always keep the batter refrigerated for further use

12. Steam Idlis in the mould and serve them hot with chutney of choice.

Thinai Idli/ Foxtail Millet Steamed Cakes

Next in the steamed millet cake series is Thinai/Foxtail Millet. As 200th post of Dosaikal, I had shared two desserts with Foxtail Millet – Thinai Sarkkarai Pongal and Thinai Payasam.

As mentioned previously, all millets can be used in making several staples like idli, dosai, idiyappam, pongal etc. They taste awesome as desserts too.

Try the millet cakes as Podi Idli too. These are stir fried Thinai idlis in spicy gun powder and gingelly oil ….

Thinai Idli/ Foxtail Millet Steamed Cakes

Ingredients (makes approximately 25-30 idlis)

  • thinai/foxtail millet – 3 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/deskinned black gram – 1 cup
  • uppu/salt – as needed approx. 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak millet and black gram together in enough water for 6-8 hours
  2. Drain excess water and grind them into a smooth batter
  3. Once the batter is done in the blender, add salt and blend well
  4. Leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight
  5. Millet batters do not need as much time as Rice Idli batter. They turn sour sooner
  6. 8 hrs in a warm place is enough; If the climate is too hot, check after 6 hours; In an air conditioned environment, I place it in the oven overnight with the oven light on
  7. Once fermented, mix the batter well
  8. Always keep the batter refrigerated for further use
  9. If left to ferment more than needed, the batter might turn too pungent to make idli or dosai
  10. Steam Idlis in the mould and serve them hot with chutney of choice.

Samai Idli/ Little Millet Steamed Cakes

The health benefits of Millets in general, have been written about extensively in almost all posts in the Power Packed Pancakes Series. Hence, I haven’t rewritten those facts. Additionally, useful details of information are available in the internet in abundance. A blogger’s job, especially that of a food blogger is simplified to crisp menu cards and videos. That gives much more space and time for conveying several other like minded ideas isn’t it??

Millets, like rice, are versatile cereals. Cook them like Rice and have with curries; flavour them with lemon, tamarind, coconut or yoghurt; make desserts with jaggery; or enjoy as spicy Pongal on a rainy day. With pound millet flours available in stores, make Puttu (steamed cylinders) or Kozhukkattai (sweet and savoury dumplings) or Idiyappam (string hoppers) – all staples of Tamilnadu.

Since, this series comes after many years of posting Millet Dosais, there might be repetition of facts. I have tried to take care in avoiding that. Bear with me for any unknown recurrence of thoughts.

Among the variety of millets, Samai Idli can be an exact replica of White Rice Idlis due to its color. It is sometimes softer than Rice Idli and puffs up better.

Samai Idli/ Idli with Little Millet

Ingredients (makes approximately 25-30 idlis)

  • samai /little millet – 3 cups
  • ulundham paruppu/deskinned black gram – 1 cup
  • uppu/salt – as needed approx. 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash and soak millet and black gram together in enough water for 6-8 hours
  2. Drain excess water and grind them into a smooth batter
  3. Once the batter is done in the blender, add salt and blend well
  4. Leave the batter to ferment for 8 hrs or overnight
  5. Millet batters do not need as much time as Rice Idli batter. They turn sour sooner
  6. 8 hrs in a warm place is enough; If the climate is too hot, check after 6 hours; In an air conditioned environment, I place it in the oven overnight with the oven light on
  7. Once fermented, mix the batter well
  8. Always keep the batter refrigerated for further use
  9. If left to ferment more than needed, the batter might turn too pungent to make idli or dosai
  10. Steam Idlis in the mould and serve them hot with chutney of choice.

Power Packed Idlis/ Steamed Millet Cakes – Series

Way back in April 2014, I had started a series on ‘Power Packed Pancakes’. The introduction post focussed on how having Dosai/Dosa batter at home can be a stress free affair, and the importance of including whole grains and millets for a Healthy Lifestyle.

How far the post was successful with regards to a stress free read …. not for me to decide.

From Power Packed Pancakes, now, its time to move on to Power Packed Idlis or Steamed Cakes. What the Tamils call Idli is generally described in English as Rice Cakes. Specifically, these are Steamed Rice Cakes. This time, the steamed cakes are with Millets and no Rice included. Hence, they are truly Power Packed and Healthy.

I don’t prefer to mix Rice in the Millet Idli batter, especially if the purpose is to cut down the Rice intake. A pack that reads ‘Whole Wheat Bread’ or ‘Brown Bread’ in the shelves of supermarkets, tricks the consumer to believe it is 100% original Whole Wheat bread. The soft and tasty bread is certainly a combination of White flour and Whole Wheat, or many a times 70-80% whiteflour with the inclusion of Wheat Bran.

Rice is a wonderful Grain, in comparison to the empty caloried White Flour. But, I’d like to keep my Millet Dosai or Idli, without the inclusion of Rice.

Hence, I use the best suited Millets for Idlis, as simple as that. Other Millets which don’t turn out soft and fluffy (that’s expected from a Steamed Cake), can be made as Dosai. The batter is rigidly the same, devoid of Rice.

Why are we talking about Rice here?

Well, there a two basic ways of making Idlis with millets. One – making the Idli batter with Millet and Black gram and NO Rice at all; the other is to substitute one portion of rice with millet. Certain Millets like Thinai (Foxtail Millet – one of the oldest millets of the Tamils), Samai (Little Millet), Varagu (Kodo Millet) or Kuthiraivali (Barnyard Millet) are best suited to make fluffy soft Idlis, with NO Rice at all. A few others like Kezhvaragu (Ragi/Finger Millet) or Kambu (Bajra/Pearl Millet) don’t create the best steamed cakes with millets alone, they need the addition of Rice.

But, Horse gram, which is a lentil and not a Millet, should be treated like the black gram in Rice Idlis. That’s why, Rice and Horse gram are blended to make Steamed Cakes.

This series aims at providing an alternative way to incorporate millets in our diet. Having included them in our daily life style for several years now, I strongly feel this has been one of the healthiest changes I’ve adapted. Also, one that makes me stay very close to a few of the countless traditional foods of my soil. Especially, when there is written literary document that proves these were consumed by my ancestors several thousands of years ago.

So, let’s get started.

Basic Idli/Dosa Batter

Idlis and Dosais/Dosas are the most common and popular breakfast snacks of south india and especially tamilnadu. The soft and fluffy quality of Idlis or the crispy crunchy texture of Dosais – all depends on the perfect consistency of the batter. Par boiled rice and dehusked black lentils soaked, ground and left to ferment for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight – sounds like a tedious process! But having done this, there is no problem every breakfast or dinner time or even when we come back after a tired day’s work – the batter is handy for a quick breakfast or dinner or even inbetween hunger pranks!

The ground batter is used as Idli for the first day. The second day, when the batter becomes more sour is fit for making dosais. But I make dosais out of the first day batter too. The fenugreek seeds in the batter brings out the colour of the dosais.

parboiled rice

 

 dehusked black gram

 

 

 Basic Idli/Dosai/Dosa Batter

Ingredients (makes approximately 50 idlis or 40 dosais)

  • Parboiled Rice – 4 cups
  • Dehusked Black Gram (Urad Dhal) – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 11/2 tsp

Method of Preparation of Batter

  1. Wash Urad Dhal and Rice separately until clean
  2. Soak the Black Gram (Urad Dal) and Parboiled Rice in water separately for minimum 6 hours or overnight
  3. Add the fenugreek seeds to the Urad Dhal before soaking
  4. First, grind the soaked Dhal and fenugreek seeds
  5. Use the soaked water for grinding to make a foamy batter – use only required water to make the batter foamy
  6. When it comes out foamy and soft, remove it in a big vessel
  7. Next, using the same soaked water, grind the rice until smooth
  8. Here too, use only required quantity of water for grinding
  9. Add salt to the big vessel and mix ground dhal and rice well with hand
  10. Cover and leave this batter for a minimum 12 hours so that it ferments well
  11. During colder temperatures, the batter can be kept in an oven at warm position overnight
  12. Generally if the batter is ground in the evening hours, it is fermented and ready to make dosais or idlis next morning during summers
  13. After each time of using the batter, it should be stored in the refrigerator

Stone wet grinder with batter

 

 well fermented foamy batter

 

Things to remember while preparing batter

  1. The quality of ground dhal makes all the difference – it should be foamy, silky and very soft
  2. Quality check – Dip your hand in water and immediately give a soft touch to the batter. If the batter doesn’t stick to your hand, it is ready and is right time to remove from grinder or blender
  3. Rice should be ground smooth without any granules
  4. Always mix salt to the ground dhal and rice with your hands. Body temperature helps in proper fermentation
  5. Make idlis or dosais only after batter is well fermented – it should rise well.

Storage of Dosai/Dosa Batter

  1. Once the batter is done and fermented, it should be stored in the refrigerator
  2. Each time idli or dosai is made, take the needed quantity in a separate vessel and keep the rest back in the fridge again
  3. Do not mix water to the whole batter to make the consistency better. Each time you take out the required quantity of batter, adjust water accordingly
  4. While making batter in more quantities, after it is fermented and ready, mix it well from the bottom of the vessel, transfer it to two separate bowls
  5. The bowl with the top part of the batter should be used later
  6. The bowl with the bottom part of the batter should be used first as it may contain more of the rice paste settled at the bottom and it may make the batter thicken and sour faster
  7. Once the first bowl is over, even after a couple of days, the second bowl is fresh enough to make fresh idlis like the first day batter
  8. This is how my mother and grandmother uses the batter made from huge wet grinders.