Ria's Collection: THE VERY BEST IDLI / DOSA

Friday, June 9, 2017


Growing up, I hated Idli's with my entire heart and soul. It's one thing I could never relish. I wondered why people raved about how soft Idli's are! What's the big deal in making soft Idli's when it's so tasteless. Whenever my excited Amma tried to convince me to eat them for breakfast, I would wholeheartedly hate the entire scenario. No matter what chutneys or sambar it was served with , Idli was always an Idli for me. Rather...an Eddally!Ugh. Afterall, it was just a bland chunk of steamed dough!
Things changed. It was during the wonderful hostel days with pathetic food that I started relishing it. It was not because that Eddally was anything different from what Amma would make, it was what was served with it. It was this super watery,sambar like curry that made the whole thing exciting! We were served Idli's every Wednesday at Maria Sadan and I would eat like 3-4 one in one go. They always made extra Idli's because no one cared for it and I am pretty sure the Chechy's in the kitchen loved them!
Things changed when I conceived Ian. Guess what ... the only thing that I wanted to eat was Eddally! I didn't want to wait to wait until the batter fermented, I wanted them right away! So Jobin took me to an Indian restaurant closeby and I was so happy to order and eat Idli's. I was literally drooling when they brought in my order. Let me tell you, that was I think the very very first time that I actually paid money to eat an Idli. It's funny how you end up doing such funny stuff when you are pregnant,right?
Things really really changed. I was on a hunt to make the best Idli's ever at home. I usually stick to our usual ratio of 1:3 but sometimes I would try new proportions. I tried adding some cooked rice and that gave me some amazing ones but this time when I added poha, the results were just mindblowing! It takes me about 18 hours even in Summer for the batter to ferment,in Minneapolis. It could be just me but it does ferment and is never sour when I begin to use it,so I think I am doing it all right! :-) So if your takes time to ferment, just know that I am with you! :-)

Idli's were my #1 craving while I pregnant with Zara as well. It could be because of that, both my kids love Idli's. I personally feel it's a very healthy and wholesome food,especially if you are travelling. Ordering Idli's would be the safest.


1 1/2 cups Idli rice,washed
3/4 cups whole urad dal,washed
1 cup thick poha (not Kerala thin aval but the small oval shaped ones used for breakfast dishes.It is sold by that name.Check this link to see how it looks)

Method: Soak Idli rice for 4-5 hours. Soak urad dal separately & poha separately for 1 hour. Using a mixie, grind the rice along with poha using just enough water to submerge it and grind it to almost a fine paste. A little but of grain like fine sooji rava is what you are looking for. Remove the ground rice and poha mixture to a large container. Now, grind the urad dal using just enough water to submerge it and grind it to a very smooth paste.Pour this into the rice mixture and mix it well using your hands. It should feel fluffy and a bit like a nice cake batter, if you know what I mean! :-)
Cover and let it ferment until it's almost doubled. Add salt and gently stir. This batter is very frothy once fermented.My microwave oven is the warmest place in my kitchen,so that's where I leave my batter to ferment.

For making Idli's:
Prepare Idli moulds like you would normally and fill them with the batter. I cook my Idli's on high flame and they were done in 8 minutes.

Always use high flame and make sure you do not over cook them, they will turn hard. Just insert a paring knife into the centre of an Idli and if it comes out clean, it's done. Take it out of the steamer and let them cool a bit before you remove them from their moulds. These Idli's remained intact even after 6 hours of steaming them.Soft ,spongy and so good!

For making Dosa /Uthappam :
I used the same batter without thinning it out which is what I usually do with my other recipe.You just have to make them the way you would with any other batter. This batter makes super soft,spongy Uthappams as well as nice crispy Ghee Roast.

If you have noticed, I didn't show you a photograph of a Dosa/Uthappam made with this batter.It's only because Idli's are always the toughest thing to master for many of us. You have no idea the amount of messages I get on my Instagram account whenever I share a story/video/photo of my Idli's. That's the only inspiration for me to actually make an effort in getting this post ready.
Today for breakfast, I made some Uthappam's for Ian & Zara. They love carrots so that's what I used. I really hope you give this recipe a try and when you do, please come back here and tell me how you liked it! This is by far my most favourite recipe. If it can work for me here in Minnesota, it will work for you guys too! Just make sure your batter is not too thick, it should be easily pourable yet  not watery. Like I mentioned in the recipe, I used just enough water so that the rice & dal was submerged,not to the exact same level but like 2-3 tablespoons more so that it stays under water. Also, remember...do not over steam your Idli's. I really want this recipe to work for you and I am sure it will!


Beryl Davidson said...

Ria, you dont use Fenugreek seeds in this recipe?

Unknown said...

Is this the same ratio and water we will use when making it in a wet grinder?

Ria Mathew said...

Hi Beryl, not this time.
Hi Unknown, I don't know since I don't have a wet grinder. If you are familiar with making idli batter in it, go ahead with the water proportion that you already use.

Sameera Aboobacker said...

By poha you mean white aval right?

haritha rajashekaran said...

Can you show me a pic of that thick poha used for making??

Ria Mathew said...

Sameera, It is white aval but a thicker variety. I have given a link to it in the ingredient list, please take a look.
Haritha, I have updated the ingredient list with a link to it, please take a look.

Anna said...

Oh my God, your story is exactly the same as mine. I used to hate the smell of idli steaming and will sit with a sad face for breakfast all through my life. Then I conceived my elder one and ate idli-vada-sambar for breakfast on all working days and mini idlis with ghee as tea time snack... Ditto for second pregnancy and immediately after the deliveries I went back to my old self of not being a idli person. Both the kids love it so much that I religiously make idli & appam maavu for the week on all weekends

raj said...

Tried it and came out soft spongy idlis and dosas.used same batter for both. Thanks for the recipe Ria and the clarification about poha.I have shared the recipe to my sil also.

Ria Samuel said...

I never liked eddally as a kid! My mom always ended up making dosa for me on the days when every one else ate idli. Hostel never made me like it either - I loathed the sambhar there! But definitely what made me love idlis was those vegetarian restaurants in Bangalore that gave idli dipped in Sambhar!
I tried making the batter with Poha last week - like you said I got really soft and fluffy idlis!! I did add fenugreek seeds too and poha was only half a cup!

Ann Rose Thomas said...

This truly is the very best idli batter recipe !!! I used to try a new recipe almost every week with different proportion of rice, dal & have also tried adding cooked rice .. a big list of trials .. your recipe nailed the batter! This will be my locked and final recipe .. Thanks Ria !! I can finally make soft idlies ��All thanks to you !!!

Reny Zax said...

I tried it and got such a fluffy idli. Like clouds. πŸ˜ƒ... attempted few dosas but found it tooo soft. Loved the idlis!!

ANN FURTAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ANN FURTAL said...

Superb recipe Ria. The best I've tried..n there's not one I'll ever try again. This recipe gives such good results. Super soft fluffy idlis that were gulped down by my munchkins without the usual fuss. Thanks a lot dear.

S J said...

For how long should the batter be fermented?

Ria Mathew said...

Anna, haha! Pregnancies can make us do and eat crazy stuff! 😊
Raj, Reny, Ann, Ria, Ann - Thank you all so much for trying this recipe! I am very glad to hear that you all liked them as much as we did! πŸ‘
SJ - Like how it's mentioned in the recipe, you need to wait till the batter doubles in volume. It can be between 8 -24 hours depending on where you live and how hot the weather is. It never ferments in 8 hours for me where I live though. If you have made Idli/ Dosa batter before, you should be knowing how it works. If not, the batter should increase in volume and it will be very frothy once it's fermented. I hope this answers your question! 😊

pris said...

What do you think about using a Hamilton Beach food processor to grind?

Ria Mathew said...

Hi Priscilla, I am not sure if a food processor can do this job for us since I have never using it for this purpose. If it's a blender,it can.

fjms said...

Finally found the one recipe which worked well on first try! Made both dosa and idlis and they came out great, thanks for sharing! By the way I share the pregnancy craving story too :)

buBBle said...

I've been wanting to send this message for a while now-its to say a huge thank you for the wonderful best ever idli/dosa recipe. They're the fluffiest softest bestest ever.

I've tried it a couple of times in the last 3 weeks and it's been perfect. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat any other kind of idli or dosa ��

nyls said...

Tried it and and am hpppy to report that I won’t be a looking for a recipe for idly anymore!! The idlys were amazing and my DH describes them as little clouds of heaven 😁😁thank you for sharing!

shilpa menon said...

Hands down the best recipe I have ever tried ... I got super soft idlis and crispy dosas .. holy grail recipe .. thanks a lot :)

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