17 May 2014

Spongy Dosas and Idlis

Idlis and dosas are staple foods of South India, with not just the states but even districts having their own version and variation for the same.
Getting the batter right is crucial for both, which involves - correct proportioning of the ingredients, soaking them for just the right amount of time, grinding them to the correct texture, and then letting the batter rest to ferment.

I list below the typical ingredients and methods we follow for spongy dosas and soft idlis. Drool away!!! [ Click here for Dosa recipe...]



(Makes roughly 15-20 idlis)
Ingredients :

Idli or boiled rice - 2 cups
Whole, washed Urad dal - 1/2 cup (Mum finds Tata I-shakti dal best for this purpose)
Flat poha or flattened rice - 2 tbsps
Sabudana (Sago) - 2 tbsps
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method : 

1. Wash and soak the rice separately for 2 hours

2. Fifteen minutes before you wish to begin grinding the batter, wash the urad dal only once, and soak in 1 1/2 cups of water, along with lightly washed and cleaned flattened rice, methi seeds and sago.

Note : The traditional wet grinder works best for preparing batter in bigger proportions, also because urad dal needs to be ground to a fine paste and can heat up a standard mixer if run for long. But of course, one can make do with a mixer if grinder isn't available.

3. Grind the ural dal, flattened rice, sago and methi seeds first, gradually adding the entire 1 1/2 cups water used for soaking them. The batter should have a spongy consistency and should increase in volume as you keep up the grinding process.
Once done, transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl or vessel.

4. Now grind the rice, this batter can be slightly grainy, only up to a fine semolina texture. Once this is done too, add to the urad dal batter. Mix the two well together. Leave aside till the dough rises, then refrigerate.
It's recommended not to add salt right away, instead add it just before preparing the idlis. This will prevent the batter from becoming sour soon.
To prepare idlis, grease the idli plates lightly with oil, pour a ladle-ful of the batter in each slot and steam cook for about 15 minutes on a medium flame. Then reduce the flame and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the idli plates, let cool a bit, then sprinkle water around the idlis to help remove them easily. Serve hot with chutney :)




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