Archive for the ‘Idli’ Category

Simple Breakfasts

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Breakfast is the important meal of the day. Most people skip it thinking that it is going to help them reduce weight . Women especially skip breakfast because of the early morning rush- waking up kids,getting them ready, cooking and packing lunch and literally running around. But skipping breakfast is only going to create health issues later in life from general tiredness to diabetes. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper is a common quote which stresses the importance of eating a good and healthy breakfast.

Though the common breakfast during weekdays is either Bread/Cereal/French toast, we reserve the traditional Indian breakfast during weekends. Either Idli, dosa with Sambar or Upma will be our weekend breakfast menu.

Rava idli is one of our favorite breakfasts/dinner recipes. It takes about 15 minutes to prep and another 10-12 minutes to steam the idlis.

Home made Rava Idlis:

Rava(Cream of wheat)- 1 cup
Salt to taste

Yogurt – half a cup
Water – 3/4 to 1 cup
Chopped green chilies- 1 tbsp
Chopped Cilantro- 2 tbsp

Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts(optional)- chopped- 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves- 1 tbsp


Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter, add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Stir fry for a minute. Add the rava(sooji or cream of wheat) and stir fry well for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell of the rava disappears, at the last stage add cashews and fry once.

Transfer the fried rava to a bowl. Add chopped green chilies, cilantro , salt and mix well. Slowly add the yogurt, whisking well to avoid any lumps. The rava will absorb all the yogurt. Let it sit for a mintue-two while it thickens.

Then add the remaining water and make it like a thick pancake batter.

Grease idli plates with some sesame oil. Pour the rava idli batter into each idli plate. Steam it in a pressure cooker(without whistle) or a steamer for 10-12 mintues on medium heat.

Insert a knife/fork into the idlis to check if they are done. If the fork comes out clean, idlis are done.

Serve with chutneys or sambar. We had it with coconut chutney.

Coconut Chutney:

To Blend:

Coconut- 1/4 cup
Dahlia (pottu kadalai)- 1 tsp
Green chilies-3
Chopped cilantro- 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Water- 1/4 cup

For tempering: (optional)
Oil- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp

Blend the items given under to blend section, without adding water first(powder them). Then add water and blend them to a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, pour them on top of the chutney and serve with idlis.

You can also serve it with kothamalli thokku(cilantro relish), tomato thokku or daikon chutney.

These idlis and chutney are going to JFI-Breakfast, an event started by Indira.

I am reposting another simple breakfast- Morekali (Savory pudding with buttermilk) for JFI.

Print Friendly

Kadubu (Idli Tower)

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Tumbler idli, kadubu idli or idli tower is a fun way to make kids eat idli and it is also good once in a while for adults. Besides, if the idli plates are missing, you don’t have to wait. You can just scoop the batter into stainless steel moulds and make kadubu.

Tirumala-Tirupathi is a place everyone would have visited at least once. But I never(never means never) got a chance to go to Tirupathi. Every time I would plan a trip and some thing would turn up making me to postpone the trip. Every one our family has been there except me, from this new born kid to 80 year old gradmas. But after we got married, we had a week to pack up and land in the US. N had no problems with Tirupathi and he has been there many times even on a overnight trip from Bangalore.

Our return flight was on Saturday and on Tuesday, N suddenly wanted to go to Tirupathi before traveling back to the US as a couple. Though it was a hectic trip,I was happy that finally I got a chance to go there. N drove from Bangalore and mid way, the car tyre had a puncture and we had to stop, and it started raining as well. I almost thought I am never going to go see Venkateswara and I said to N that we should go back. But, there was this small repair shop nearby along with a small dhaba on the road. The folks there saw us and said they will fix the problem and till then we can wait in the dhaba. Seeing the food made there, N suddenly wanted to order kadubu(He talks non stop about woodies kadubu).

Eating that steaming hot kadubu with a spicy chutney and giggling in the rain, feeling so relaxed and content is one of my treasured memories. Soon, our car was fixed and we did manage to reach Tirupathi by around 10 pm in the night and finally, I had a chance to see Lord Balaji the next day(after a couple of hours in the queue). Nothing came to my mind as I stood there, just a moment of peace and as I was taking in the deity’s image inside, we were told to move. But I am so glad that we waited that day instead of turning back, it is going to be nearly 4 years and I haven’t made another visit to Thirumala.

The given recipe is the idli batter I made for kanjeepuram idli. But mid way, I changed my mind and made it as kadubu instead. Grinding for idli batter can be found from my previous post on Idli here

Ingredients (To make 3 tall kadubus)

Idli batter- 2 cups
Oil- 1 tsp (plus additional one tsp to grease the moulds)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Chana dal- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- few
Cilantro- few leaves
Finely chopped green chili- 1
Finely chopped ginger- 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped cashew nuts- 1 tsp
Grated carrot- 2 tbsp


Grease the cups or glasses to make kadubu and keep it aside. Make sure that you do not use glass bowls.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, chana dal,chopped green chili, ginger, turmeric powder and grated carrot and stir fry well for 2-3 minutes. Add cashews at the end and just stir fry once.

Transfer this fried contents to the idli batter and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and mix well again. Fill the moulds only to the half of their capacity with this idli batter (as the batter will increase in volume when it steams). Steam the kadubus in a steamer or pressure cooker(without whistle) for 14-16 minutes.

Switch off and let it cool for a minute. Remove the moulds from the cooker. Immerse a knife in water and just go around the mould once. Quickly invert it on to a place. Repeat the procedure for other kadubu idlis.

Serve the tower idlis as they are, or slice them up like tikkis and serve hot with chutneys. We had it for breakfast with plain tomato chutney(thakalli vathakal).

This Kadubu is my entry for Srivalli’s Kids-Delight event. I am also reposting :

Veggie noodle nests. Check out how you can make idiyappams delectable 😉

and egg-tomato thokku dosa for this event.

Print Friendly

14 Idli and more for a soccer mom

Friday, January 8th, 2010

14 idlis/ Mini Idlis:

I wanted to move away from my comfort zone of Idlis and post about other recipes but the flu I had last week(year????) and the weather made me to crawl back to idli. We call it kutti idlis (small idlis) and the 14 idli is a term made famous by saravana bhavan hotel chain in Madras. These idlis are similar to the usual idlis in batter, but the presentation is what matters. The idli plate is also different, instead of the usual 4 idli holders, the mini ones have almost 20 mini idli moulds in a plate.

Instead of serving idli with chutneys, these 14 idlis are soaked(I mean literally soaked) in bowls and bowls of sambar. The idli absorbs the flavors of the sambar and becomes almost double in size but becoming soft and tender in the process. If you put one idli in to the mouth, it just slides down like butter, warming you up. This is almost a mini-meal or even a snack during tea time.

Ingredients: (Makes about 30 mini idlis)

For Idli:

Urad Dal- 1/2 cup
Idli rice- 1.25 cups
Usual cooking rice- 1 handful
Salt- 1 tsp

For garnishing:

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp
Ghee- one tsp

Other Ingredients:
Onion sambar- 3 cups


Grinding for idli and the procedure for making idlis can be found from my previous post here or even below this post. But for 14 idlis you have to use the small idli plate with lots of idli moulds. If not, you can also use small cups instead of idli plates and make idlis as usual.

Idlis goes well with onion sambar and a typical arachu vitta sambar recipe can be found here. Just make sure that you have made extra sambar if making 14 idlis.


Place the 14 idlis (or more) in a soup bowl or a wide bowl (bowls or cups are better than plates). Pour some sambar generously over the idlis. Wait for a minute or so, the idlis will quickly absorb the sambar, pour some more sambar till idlis are floating in sambar. Let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb even more flavors. Just before serving pour one ladle of hot sambar on top, garnish with coriander leaves and add a dollop of ghee on top. Enjoy!

But wait, there is more, my idli is not posted here just because of my flu, but also because of this repost special hosted by desi soccer mom.

As you can see , obviously idli was one of my first posts, and as you can guess correctly, I didn’t get many comments for it. Given the number of idlis I must have consumed over the few years,I am sure sambar runs in my veins than anything else :)

When I first posted about idli, I thought every one will know how to make idli as there are a lot of blogs on making idlis (To be honest, after seeing a few blogs, I thought of quitting even before starting). My idli post was as simple as it can get. Soak the ingredients, grind, ferment, make idlis- finished.

Well, if only it is as simple as it sounds in reality. Heaven knows how tough it is to get the batter to ferment in winter, resulting in tough stone like idlis, which will lead to a couple of jokes by N for the following days.

But then, a few days later posting, I started getting views based on searches for soft idlis, fluffy idlis, grinding idli  batter in mixie and so on..And I started amending the post more, giving tips and adding photos. Finally, after sharing all the expert knowledge I had about idlis and still no comments, one fine day, I saw a comment, ” I completely agree with you and appreciate for sharing this”. My joy knew no bounds, I hurriedly ran to my space to publish it, to let the world know that atleast I have one person who likes it. But, the joy was limited as it was not from a genuine reader :(.. It was an automatic message from some server.

(Point to note: It still has no comments, even today and I am waiting)

If I read  my updated post on my first ever idli, it is more confusing than sounding easy and simple :)
Here it is, and desi soccer mom, thanks so much for hosting this event, and just out of that gratitude, I assure you I will keep visiting your space and will keep filling up your comment corner :)

Here is the original post IDLI.

Print Friendly


Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Hmmm…Soft, fluffy rows of round idlis for breakfast, along with chutney or sambar or both. Who wouldnt want that? Though idli is simple to make, making the batter is not so simple task. If the batter was not fermented enough or did not have enough urad dhal, soft idlis would turn up as bricks no matter how many times we try. Once the batter secret is conquered, breakfast or dinner worries run away from the house. Use the fresh idli batter for idlis, slightly old batter for dosas or fast uthapams. Sky is the limit in turning idli batter into easy breakfast dish.

When I think of this onion chutney I always think of the time when I was in school. My mom was busy making idli and this onion chutney. She was busy doing a thousand things and so asked me to give her a shout when the ingredients have cooled down(after the frying process). I thought I was speeding up the process and stood infront of a table fan with a plate full of fried dhal,onion and red chilis….and off they went in all four directions.

For Idli:
Idli rice- 4 cups
Urad dhal- 1 cup (Use 4 parts rice : 1 part urad dal or 5 parts rice:1 part dal)
Fenugreek seeds- 3/4 tsp

Soak rice and urad dhal plus fenugreek seeds separately for atleast 5 hours. Drain the water and grind urad dhal first till it is fluffy and smooth without adding too much of water. Transfer to a tall vessel. Grind the rice to a thick smooth paste. Pour this on top of the urad dhal paste. Add salt(1.5 tsp), mix both pastes together and let it ferment. It would be better to keep the batter in a warm place.

When grinding for idlis, since I dont have a grinder like how they use in India, I grind the batter in a mixie. I add ice cold water while grinding for two reasons:

1) To cool the motor of the mixie.
2) To get softer, fluffier urad dhal mixture.

The next day morning the batter would have doubled in volume.


Scoop the topmost batter and drop them into greased idli moulds(with oil). Steam it in a pressure cooker/idli cooker for 12 minutes on medium flame(maximum amount of time depends around this mark 12-16 minutes). If you use high flame, idlis will be raw batter inside and cooked on the outside. Check if the idlis are done by inserting a clean knife or fork into one idli, if it comes out clean, its done!!

Remove the lid of the cooker and let idlis cool and pop them out of the mould. Serve idlis with chutneys or podis.

To make onion chutney, heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai, add 2 tbsp of chana dal and urad dal each, 2 red chilies,stir fry for a minute, add 1/2 cup chopped onions and salt to taste. Stir fry till onions turn transparent. Cool and grind to a smooth paste in a blender. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with idlis or dosas.

Whenever I make idlis I think of the famous “Murugan Idli Shop” in chennai which is well known for its soft idlis and endless list of chutneys at an affordable cost/plate of idlis. They add methi seeds(vendayam) to their idli batter as methi cools down the body heat. If you make dosas with methi, that is vendaya dosa and it has its own unique taste. Apart from the idli part of it, I have fond memories attached to it. My hubby was on his way to our home before our engagement and he turned up a couple of hours late. He had just landed in India and he couldnt resist the temptation and stopped at the shop instead of coming home! And till today I pull his leg about it. Here is the link for the murugan idli shop if you want to check it out.

PS: The murugan idli shop website also gives you recipe and proportions to make their world famous idli, I am not sure if I can post it straight(copyright stuff) but if you go to murugan idli shop site given above, you can check out their recipes for idli, dosa, vegetable idli, paniyaram etc.,

Print Friendly