Happy's Cook

Monday, August 17, 2015

Homemade Idli Dosa batter Recipe | Failproof Idli Dosa Batter| Idli Recipe | Plain Dosa Recipe | South Indian Soft Idlis | Breakfast Recipes

Idli/Dosa is a traditional breakfast in south India. It is one of the healthiest and popular breakfasts. In my school and college days, I love only dosa and don't prefer Idlis at all. However, I started missing my mum's softest Idli during my PG hostel days. She makes fabulously soft idli and serves it with runny coconut chutney tempered with small onions(shallots). She says the softness of the Idli mainly depends on the quality of the urad dal used. Also, she never soaks the urad dal for more than 30 minutes and she skips the fenugreek seeds to get pure white Idlis. I follow her measurements(4 cups idli rice: 1 cup urad dal) religiously when I was in Chennai and it gives amazing results. 
After we move to Sydney, the quality of the urad dal we get here is different and I didn't get soft idlis with this measurement. After so much trial and errors, finally, I have settled with (2 cups idli rice:1 cup urad dal) and a handful of Poha(Aval). This failproof Idli & Dosa batter is giving me the perfect sponge idlis. 
I will explain both the measurements in this post and you can choose anyone based on the type of urad dal. The good quality urad dal will give the fluffy batter.
Method 1:(For good quality urad dal that is not too old)
Idli Rice - 4 Cups(Parboiled idli rice)
Whole Urad Dal(without skin) - 1 Cup 
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp(Optional)
Salt - as required 
Water - as required  
The Urad dal I get in Sydney is not giving very fluffy batter, so I am following the below proportions. 
Method 2:(Explanations at the end of the post)
Idli Rice - 2 Cups(Parboiled idli rice)
Whole Urad Dal(without skin) - 1 Cup 
Poha(Aval) - 1/2 Cup(a big handful) 
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp(Optional)
Salt - as required 
Water - as required
Method 1:
1. Measure the ingredients exactly as given above. Soak idli rice, fenugreek seeds separately for 2 to 2.5 hours. Soak Urad dhal for 30 minutes. Drain water from urad dhal and fenugreek after it is soaked. Clean the grinder once, firstly add the`urad dhal and fenugreek. Stand near the grinder for the initial 5 mins, make sure the urad dhal doesn't stick in the grinder. Just use the plastic spatula to move the urad dal if it is about to stick. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water.
2. Just sprinkle water now and then while grinding. Also, make sure the urad dhal doesn't stuck in the sides of the grinder walls. The urad dal needs grinding for about 45 to 50 mins. The ground urad dal should be light and fluffy. It should not be watery. Check the fluffiness in the below pic. Collect it in a container which can hold the fermented batter next day.
3. Now drain water from the rice and add it to the grinder. Initially add 1/2 cup of water and make sure it doesn't get stuck.  Allow it to grind for 30 minutes. Sprinkle water now and then to get a smooth batter. The rice batter should be ground smoothly with slight coarse texture as below. It should not be ground very smoothly like the urad dhal batter.
4. Now collect the rice batter in the same urad dal container. Add required salt and mix it together. Just make sure the urad dal and rice batter blends well. Place it in a warm place. Allow it to ferment for 10 to 12 hours. Make sure the container used for fermenting has enough space for the batter to rise the next day. The fermented batter will have a porous look. Now the idli batter is ready.
5. To Make Idli: After fermenting, if the batter is very thick the idli will be very hard. So just sprinkle little water and mix it once. If you add water more at this stage you will not get fluffy idli, instead, the idli will be flat. So make sure to add little water. Take a ladle full of batter and add it in the idli pan and steam it for 10 to 12 mins in high flame. Slide a spoon around the edges and take the idli. 
The soft idlis are ready to be served. Serve it hot with Sambhar and chutney.
6. To Make Dosa: Take the required quantity of batter in a bowl and add little more water. The batter should be in pouring consistency. Take a laddle full of batter and pour it in hot dosa tawa. Spread it outwards in circular motion. Sprinkle little oil, cover it with a lid and cook until it is slightly browned. You can also flip to cook the other side. 

Serve the crispy dosa with chutney or sambar.
Method 2:
If you are following the (2:1) proportions, then wash the rice and urad dal for few times until the water is clear. Soak the rice and urad dal together along with a handful of poha/aval for 2.5 hours to 3 hours.  Then grind it together either in mixie or grinder until the batter is fluffy and smooth. Mix salt with your hand and allow it to ferment for 10 to 12 hours.
Points to remember:
  • Prepare Idli, when the batter is fresh. After 2 or 3 days make dosa or kuzhipaniyaram.
  • I grind only once in a week. So I split the batter into two equal halves and store it in the fridge. Handle properly so that the batter will not be sour soon.
  • Whenever you make dosa, take the required batter in a separate bowl and prepare. This is to preserve the batter in the fridge for longer days.
  • The idli is mainly based on the quality of urad dal used. Use good quality urad dal for the idli.
  • According to mom, urad dal should not be soaked for a longer time. The fluffiness of the batter will not be as expected when it is soaked for a longer time.
  • The idli batter should be thick and fluffy. The dosa batter should be in pouring consistency. The water quantity I have mentioned is approximate. So adjust accordingly.   
Warm Regards,
Happy's Cook - Divya

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