Instant Idli - Semolina Steamed Dumplings
Pictures courtesy Mrs. Rukmani Garga of Jwalapur
Idlies originate from south of India but are now popular all over India. This version is quicker to make than the traditional Rice and Dal Idlies. You can buy ready made semolina idli mix from most large Indian grocers. Makes approximately 14.
1 cup medium semolina
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. urad/urd/urid dal (split black gram), skinless
1/4 tsp. channa dal (split Bengal gram, skinless)
10-12 curry leaves, removed from stalk and broken up
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped finely
6-8 cashew nuts, broken into pieces or Chiraunji nuts- Cudpah Nuts(optional)
1 green chilli, chopped finely
For Making batter:
Salt to taste
1/2 cup mature (sour) natural yoghurt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
for cooking Idlies
2 tbsp. oil
Idli maker (see picture)
Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a wok or karahi, add mustard seeds, both the dals and curry leaves. Keep stirring with a spoon, until dals are browned.
Add ginger and broken cashew/chiraunji nuts and stir fry for a few seconds.
Add and stir fry semolina until light golden in colour and aroma of ‘roasting’ rises. Turn heat off. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, mix semolina, green chillies, yoghurt, salt, baking powder and enough water to make a smooth batter of pouring consistency.
Cooking idlies the traditional way:
Bring to boil 1 cup of water in an idli maker/steamer/pressure cooker.
Grease idli moulds with oil and pour approximately 1 full tbsp. into each idli cup of the mould.
Steam for 15-20 minutes. If cooking in a pressure cooker, remember NOT to put pressure on.
Making idlies in a microwave:
Microwave idli makers are available easily these days. They are like microwave egg poachers, two plates stacked on top of each other, cooking 8 idlies at a time.
Place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom tray provided with the microwave idli maker.
Fill cups as above, cover with the lid provided and microwave at full for 4 minutes.
Slide idlies out gently from the moulds.
*Traditional Idli maker looks like an egg poacher, with 4 cups in each of the 2 or 3 tiers. They are usually made in sizes that fit in standard, high dome pressure cookers. These days, you can buy microwave idli makers, which cook 8 idlies at a time in only 4 minutes! Results are very good and I often cook idlies in microwave these days.
*Idli maker looks like an egg poacher, with 4 cups in each of the 2 or 3 tiers. They are usually made in sizes that fit in standard, high dome pressure cookers. These days, you can buy microwave idli makers, which cook 8 idlies at a time in only 4 minutes! Results are very good and I cook idlies in microwave these days.