India and Indians are popular all over the world for its multi cultural diversity and food habits. Recent studies have shown that the South Indian dish, Idli has been confirmed with the most nutritious and healthy food and breakfast of this era. It truly is as it is light on stomach, contains healthy carbs and proteins and contains no fat and cholestrol.
There are different ways of making this dish appealable and interesting if you are a person who’s consuming it on daily or weekly basis. Inetresting versions with different kinds cereals and legumes and with veggies have been rolled out. Dunking in hot curry is another version of having this or you can simple have it with some milk and sugar (my kids favorite option other than tomato chutney)
Idli is one of my favorite comfort foods. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, when it is made, we just have it as a meal. I have seen doctors and nutritionists suggesting this food as the best option to start a day for patients with diabetes, cholestrol, heart issues and post surgery care. That itself show the importance of this wonderful food.
Sambar, a curry or stew made adding varieties of veggies and lentils adds on to the beneift of having idlis. Different varieties of chutneys and spiced powders using lentils and legumes are another combination to accompany with idlies. Tomato chutney and sambar are the two options which are preferred in my home. Please check my website ( http://simiskitchendiaries.
Before going in to the details of the Idli recipe, I would like to mention few of the health benefits of this wonderful food. Idli are made from cooked white rice, black lentils and a pinch of salt. No oil is required, as the steaming process prevents the batter from sticking to the mold. To eliminate most of the sodium, skip the salt at the cost of flavor. For more fiber, use brown rice instead of white rice though it does create a grainier texture and turns idlis tan rather than their usual white color. One idli is one serving and weighs about 0.75 ounce, though with their low-caloric content, average diets easily accommodate a helping of two.
Each idli contains just 39 calories, which is a minimal amount in comparison to a healthy 2,000-calorie daily diet. Idlis contain no fat, no saturated fat and no cholesterol. Consuming less than 16 grams of saturated fat and 300 milligrams of cholesterol lessens your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. From the salt, each idli does contain about 65 milligrams of sodium. MayoClinic.com recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams per day to prevent high blood pressure.
In a single idli, you consume 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of carbohydrates. For a light snack, that is a notable amount of protein and fiber with minimal carbohydrates. Healthy adults need 50 grams of protein and 225 grams of carbohydrates daily. Adequate protein facilitates muscle repair, and carbohydrates provide energy. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and bulks stool — men need between 28 and 34 grams of fiber and women between 22 and 28 grams daily.
One idli contains 1 milligram of iron, and trace amounts of calcium, folate, potassium and vitamin A. The iron is mostly from the black lentils, with about 25 percent of it from the rice. Iron keeps your blood oxygenated and is crucial for any diet. Men need 8 milligrams daily and women 18 milligrams. Hope this insight will prompt you to add idlies more in your meal or as often as possible.
I prepare a large batch and store it in tiffins and containers and use intermittently. Idlies will remain more soft and fluffy when it is stored in freezer. Since I multi task, its very difficult for me to prepare this every other day. So I make these in batches and store it.
I use only the idli rice and whole black grams for making this. Ive tried adding flattened rice/poha/aval and cooked rice while making batter. But it becomes so sticky and handle to manage. With this recipe also you get suer soft fluffy idlies. I always take 1 glass of rice to a little more than half of gram. The can of a condensed milk is my best buddy for measurement. It gives accurate measurement for rices and the like.
IF you are using a blender, be careful not to over run it there by making it hot. The temperature should be always normal to slighlty cool when grinding, mixing and keeping it to ferment. Take care to keep the batter in a warm place so that the right temperature lets you have the right consistency and texture of fermented batter. For cooler, snowy places and during winters over here, what I do is an hack for you all. I keep the light on of the gas oven for half an hour and then switch it off and lace the batter inside the oven. If its too cold, you can keep the light on till its fermented.
Hope all these tips and hacks become helpful to one n all. If you have any queries, please do mail me or add in you comments in the box below.
Wash and drain the rice and gram separately.
Add enough water to soak these and keep for 5-6 hrs or overnight.
Add a teaspoon of salt to a grinder. Add in the grams and a cup of water. Grind to a smooth fine paste. Transfer to a bowl or container with lid.
In the same jar, add the rice and add half cup of water. Grind to a fine coarse mixture. If you feel you need more water, then you can add bit by bit checking the consistency. Batter should be thick.
Transfer this also to the mixing bowl and combine.
Stick the lid on and keep it for fermenting for 7-8 hrs or overnight.
Mix up the fermented batterand adjust salt.
Meanwhile keep the Idli steamer ready with moulds. You can use the mould which you have if you dont have an IDli mould and steamer. You can use the normal steamer also for this.
Smear the mould generously with oil. Pour a ladle of batter in each mould.
Place it in steamer and steam for 10-12 mts with lid on.
Enjoy with sambar and chutney.