Today we have brought you the Soft Idli Recipe which is one of the most popular breakfast food in South India. This is made as a soft, fluffy, and steamed savory cake. It is often served with a combination of chutneys and sambar.

This article explains how to make this delicious soft idli recipe in two ways. The way to make the idli batter is very important and for this, we present to you how to make it using idli rice or idli Rava. When made using these, idli can be made fluffy and soft idli. Also, this idli batter can be used to make dosa and uttapam.

WHAT IS IDLI?

A savory steam cake known as an idli or idly is created with a batter of steamed rice and lentils.

This savory rice cake is a popular and healthy South Indian food. This is a popular dish not only in India but in many Indian restaurants around the world.

There are 4 important steps to follow while making this soft idli recipe.

  • soaking the rice and lentils
  • blending the batter
  • fermenting the batter which enhances its nutrient value
  • steaming the batter to make idli. 

Soft Idli is regarded as one of the healthiest foods because of this distinctive preparation technique. Idli is a naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and kid- and adult-friendly food choice.

HOW TO MAKE SOFT IDLI BATTER

Idli batter can be made in two different ways. Idli rava is used in the second way, while Idli rice is used in the first. Both of these procedures use urad dal often; The only difference is the type of rice used.

  • Using Idli rice – Drain the water completely and transfer the rice to the blender (or grinder). Add 1½ cups ice-cold water and grind rice to a slightly coarse batter. Transfer the rice batter with the urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using a spatula or preferably by hand until well combined. The batter must be pouring consistency (not runny).
  • Using Idli Rava – Drain the water completely. Squeeze out all the excess water by pressing the idli rava between your palms. Apply pressure to drain maximum water. If there is water left it will make the batter runny. Add to the urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using a spatula or preferably by hand until well combined.

Both batters will produce pillowy soft idlis. You can also make idli, dosas, and uttapam with both. However, each has different textures.

FERMENTING IDLI BATTER 

Whether you use idli rava or idli rice to make the idli batter, the fermentation process remains the same.

Idli batter can be fermented traditionally, in the oven, or with an Instant Pot. Since the Instant Pot always produces consistent temperatures and outcomes, I adore using it.

  • Instant Pot Method A glass lid should be placed on top of the steel Instant Pot pot. Use caution when using the Instant Pot lid because if the batter overflows, the top may lock. So always use a glass lid with a clear window. Select the yogurt setting on the Instant Pot and set the timer for 12 hours. It could take anywhere between 8 and 15 hours, depending on where you live.
  • Traditional Method You can set the pot with the batter on the counter if you live in a warmer climate. Ferment it overnight or for 8 to 12 hours by covering it with a lid that is not airtight.
  • Oven Method Keep it heated, like an oven, in colder climates (turned off). Keep the oven light on to help with the necessary heating.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Idlis are served with sambar and/or chutney. Idli goes nicely with a variety of chutneys, but my two favorites are the coconut and cilantro coconut chutneys.

Although brunch, lunch, and even dinner can be served with this dish, breakfast is where it is most popular.

You can either serve idli dipped in a bowl of sambar with chutney on the side or you can serve idli chutney sambar separately. It takes on the full sambar flavor and tastes much better!

TIPS FOR MAKING SOFT FLUFFFY SOFT IDLI

Quality and type of dal and rice Use idli rice or idli rava and whole white urad dal that is fresh off the shelf. As opposed to pale yellow, check urad dal is white, which denotes the aging process. Check before using since parboiled rice has a propensity to get rancid.

Salt Use only sea salt or other non-iodized salt. Iodized salt should not be used since it prevents fermentation. Before fermentation, non-iodized salt may be added.

Soaking Don’t skip the soaking stage; it’s crucial. Separately soak the rice and dal. Since both rice and dal require various amounts of water and different amounts of time for grinding, soaking them together might not be the best idea.

Water When grinding with a mixer grinder or blender, use ice-cold water. The cold water stops the batter from warming up while it is being blended. To prevent the batter from becoming runny, use the proper proportion (as previously suggested) and add a little water at a time.

Batter consistency It shouldn’t be very runny or thick. Thin batter won’t rise, but it still might ferment and produce flat idli. Due to insufficient moisture, the thick batter cannot ferment properly, leading to hard idlis. The batter should be thick enough to pour and thin enough to fall in ribbons.

Temperature Warm temperatures are necessary for fermentation, which typically takes the batter 8 to 15 hours to complete. You can ferment either in the Instant Pot or an oven that has been turned off. Avoid overfermenting the batter as it will become very sour. When the batter has fermented, place it in the refrigerator.

Steaming Idli shouldn’t be oversteamed; instead, steam them for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Benefits Of Soft Idli

There are many benefits of eating idli, a traditional South Indian dish made from fermented rice and lentils. Idli is very easy to digest and is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also low in calories and fat.

Idli is a good breakfast option as it is filling and nutritious. It can help you regulate blood sugar levels and boost energy levels. Idli is also known to aid in weight loss, as it is a low-calorie food.

Idli is a healthy option for those with diabetes, as it helps regulate blood sugar levels. The fermentation process of making idli also creates probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.

Idli is a versatile dish and can be served with a variety of chutneys and sauces. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Idli is a healthy and delicious option for everyone to enjoy.

soft idli recipe

Soft Idli Recipe

Idli is popular and healthy South Indian breakfast recipe
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
FERMENTING 12 hrs
Total Time 20 hrs 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Servings 32 idlis
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup urad dal or split white urad dal
  • 3 cups Idli Rice or  idli rava
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • ¼ cup Poha
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • cups ice-cold water

Instructions
 

Prep Work

  • Rinse urad dal 3-4 times or until the water runs clear.
  • Add fenugreek seeds along with 3 cups water and soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Rinse Idli rice (or idli rava) 3-4 times or until the water runs clear. Soak seperately in 4-5 cups of water for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • Rinse and soak poha 5-10 mins before blending.

To make idli batter

  • Drain the water completely and transfer urad dal, fenugreek seeds and poha to a grinder or blender along with 1¼ cups of ice-cold water. Grind the urad dal to the light fluffy batter. Test by adding a drop of the urad batter to a bowl of water. It should float. This indicates the right batter consistency.
  • Transfer the urad dal batter to a large pot/bowl or Instant Pot steel pot. Make sure the bowl/pot has enough room for the batter to rise.
  • Makes rest of the batter using either idli rice or idli rava
  • Using Idli Rice Drain the water completely and transfer the rice to the blender (or grinder). Add 1½ cups ice-cold water and grind rice to a slightly coarse batter. Transfer the rice batter with the urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using a spatula or preferably by hand until well combined. The batter must be pouring consistency (not runny).
  • Using Idli Rava Drain the water completely. Squeeze out all the excess water by pressing the idli Rava between your palms. Apply pressure to drain maximum water. If there is water left it will make the batter runny. Add to the urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using a spatula or preferably by hand until well combined.

Fermenting Idli batter

  • You can ferment idli batter the traditional way, in oven or use Instant Pot. Depending on where you live it can take anywhere from 8-15 hours.
  • After fermentation, the batter will double, rise and turn light, fluffy and bubbly. It will also have a slightly sour aroma.
  • Gently mix the batter 1-2 times to even it out. Do not over mix as that will cause the idli to rise and go flat after steaming.
  • This recipe makes about 8 cups of batter and depending on Idli mold size can give 32-36 idlis.

How to make Idli

  • Grease idli plates lightly with oil or ghee. Mix the batter once and fill the idli mold with batter.
  • steam for 10-12 mins on high heat.
  • Remove the idly stand out, cool for 2-3 mins. Insert a knife in the center of the idli, it should come out clean without any batter stuck to it. This indicates idli is done! Using a wet spoon, remove the idli.
Keyword Idli, indian foods, Soft Idli Recipe

Recipe Source shwetainthekitchen

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