To my mind, there are two main differences between idada and dhokla (another Gujarati dish with similar cooking method). Idada are white in colour (and, so, called white dhokla by some) and there is no tempering involved before serving.
In my family, we tend to ferment the idada batter before cooking although you will find some recipes on the internet which skips this stage.
Here, I would like to share with you my idada recipe with a twist. The addition of cabbage increases this dish’s nutritional value without taking away from the original taste.
The above photo was taken before steaming. Not sure whether you can see the specks of green but this is what the batter looks like with the inclusion of cabbage.
3/4th cup white rice
1/4th cup skinned split black lentil
one cup finely grated white or green cabbage
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon oil for greasing
1 tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle
- Soak rice and lentils for 8 hours.
- Finely grind them in a mixer or a blender with some water. The consistency should be neither too runny, nor too thick.
- Now put the batter in a large container, cover and place in a dark corner of your kitchen for 8-10 hours for it to ferment. The reason we are using a large container is to allow some extra room for the batter to rise.
- When you are ready to cook the idada, mix the cabbage and salt in the batter.
- Grease a cake tin or a thaali, pour the batter in it and sprinkle the coarsely ground black peppercorns all over (see photo above for visual reference).
- Put the container with the batter in a steamer (or over a pot which is half filled with water), cover and steam for 30 minutes.
- To check whether it is cooked, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know that it is done.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle some sesame oil over the cooked idada making sure it is evenly spread, cut into diamond shapes and serve.
This is what my cabbage idada looked like once cooked and oiled. The cabbage has visually disappeared!
serve idada with green or red chutney