March 12, 2013

Brown rice mini idlis

What you need: Serves 6 - makes about 50-60 mini idlis
 
2 cups brown rice
1 cup white urad dhal/washed black gran dhal (uddina bele)
Idli pans, or little steel cups/plates that can be steamed

Soak the rice and dhal in separate bowls for about 4-5 hours. I would suggest using hot water to soak the born rice as they have a harder crust than the regular white rice.Drain the water, keeping 2 cups of water aside for later use.
 
Grind the soaked rice first to a smooth paste, remove it into a large bowl. Then grind the dhal  to a fine paste, some like the batter to stay a little grainy, while others prefer it otherwise. Add water only when needed, excess water can make the batter runny. You may add a tsp of salt (and a pinch of baking soda or yeast if you like, to ensure fermentation) to the ground batter, and place it in a warm place, by the stove, oven, or even in the oven overnight with the light on.  
 

The batter would have fermented the next morning, doubling in quantity, not to miss the pungent odor. Now, if this is the state, you can make idlis, but if not, don't even try to make idlis from unfermented batter, make dosas or rice crepes instead. Without fermentation, your idlis can easily compete with stones.

Dip your fingers in some cooking oil, and grease the idli pans or metal cups. Add batter nearly to the brim of the cups. Steam cook them in an idli maker, or a regular steamer/cooker for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Remember not to use the cooker weight, as the idlis will get watery, and never rise.

Once they have risen, let the idlis cool a bit. Dip a spoon in a cup of cold water, and gently scoop out the idlis, like you would scoop icecream. Serve them hot with chutney, sambhar and vada, a dollop of clarified butter, and you will be on cloud nine! Enjoy!