The measurements need not necessarily be in cups. To indicate the proportionate ratio I have used cups.
- Par boiled rice ( Idly rice )- 4 cups
- Raw rice - 1 cup ( not the basmati one)
- Urad dal whole - 1 and 1/4 cups
- Fenugreek seeds ( Methi or Vendiyam) - 1 teaspoon (optional but recommended)
- Salt to taste
- Wash the rice thoroughly and soak.
- Wash the urad dal thoroughly and soak ( optionally along with the methi / vendhiyam seeds) .
- After 2 to 3 hours drain the water from the rice and grind a little coarsely. You can use the water thus drained too. Use a little amount of water. The batter should be semi solid and not watery. Keep aside.
- Now grind the urad dal ( optionally along with the methi / vendhiyam seeds) to a fine paste by adding adding water a little by little till you see bubbles while it is being ground.The consistency shall be a little more watery than the rice batter and feels very smooth and velvetty.
- Mix this urad dal batter to the rice batter adding 2 to 3 table spoons of salt and mix thoroughly from top to bottom.
- Make sure that the batter is only half full in the container as the batter will start to ferment and expand and will start to fill the container. In cold weather, this may take more hours ( even days !!). You can place it near your stove so that the radiating heat may speed up the process.
Note: Wet grinders are always preferable to blenders/ mixers. You get a better taste if you use a wet grinder that has grinding stones.
The idly tastes better if made on the next day. You must have an idly cooker with 3 to 4 idli plates having 4 to 5 cups or a pressure cooker to use these plates.
- Mix the batter lightly from top to bottom. Do not beat or use force while mixing the batter.
- Grease the idly plates with a little oil.
- Using a ladle, pour one ladle of batter in each of the greased cups of the idly plates.
- Make sure you have sufficient water at the bottom of the cooker.
- Steam cook for 10 to 15 minutes till you can smell the nice aroma of the cooked idlis. ( do not put weight if you are using a pressure cooker)
- To test, stick the wrong end of a spoon in one of the idlis. It should come out without the batter sticking on to the spoon.
Serve hot with chutney ,sambhar, idli podi. A little ghee or sesame oil over the idlis will taste heavenly.
Note: Old timers prefer to lay wet strips of thin cloth ( usually from dad's old cotton dhotis ! ) over the cups before pouring the batter.