Category Archives: Idli

Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli/Pearl Millet Idli with Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts

Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli

  • Time: 60mins plus fermentation time
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli

 

 

 

 

 

 

another kooky idli recipe from my kooky collection

There are some foods which are my “go to” dishes simply because they are time saving, labour saving, healthy, delicious and versatile. Using the base as a foundation, I can experiment, add, subtract knowing that the end result will turn out just fine. Idli is one such item.

Once you get the hang of the basics of fermentation, making idlis is a doddle. Soak, grind, leave to ferment and once the batter is fermented, you are good to go. Let your imagination run wild and play around with different types of grains and vegetables.

Today’s recipe is made of pearl millet batter and includes mushrooms and mixed sprouts. The combination may sound unusual because we don’t usually associate mushrooms with recipes from the southern part of India (I say usually, there may be exceptions).

If you are a fan of mushrooms, definitely give this one a go. These idlis are denser compared to the conventional ones but are super healthy, super yummy and super satisfying.

Serve with sambar and/or chutney. I had mine with carrot and coconut chutney.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup bajra grains

1/4 Cup urad dal

1 Tablespoon brown or regular rice

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

200 Grams button mushroom

1/2 Cup mixed sprouts

1 Tablespoon paste of green chillies and ginger

1-2 Tablespoons instant oats

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak the bajra grains, urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds for about 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Grind them into batter of pouring consistency.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment in a warm place.
  4. Fermentation can take anything from 6 hours to 36 hours.
  5. Once the batter is fermented, you are ready to make the idlis.
  6. Wipe/wash and roughly chop the mushroom.
  7. Add the mushroom, sprouts, paste of chilli and ginger, instant oats and salt to taste to the idli batter.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Grease the idli moulds with a little bit of ghee.
  10. Pour the batter into the moulds and steam for about 40 to 45 minutes. You know that the idlis are cooked if you insert a toothpick or a knife and it comes out clean.
  11. Once cooked, remove the moulds from the steamer and let the idlis rest for about 5 minutes.
  12. Gently run a toothpick or a knife around the edges of the idlis to loosen them.
  13. Enjoy hot.

Jowar & Bajra Idli with Suva Bhaji & Sweetcorn/Sorghum & Pearl Millet Idli with Dill Leaves & Sweetcorn

Jowar & Bajra Idli with Suva Bhaji & Sweetcorn

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 60mins plus soaking and fermenting
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sorghum (Jowar) & Pearl Millet (Bajra) Idli with Dill Leaves & Sweetcorn

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I am serving you another kooky concoction of mine, courtesy off-the-radar (at least in my case) dill leaves.

I had posted a recipe of rice free jowar (sorghum) and bajra (pearl millet) idlis a few months back.

Today’s recipe is a bit different since, this time round, the idli batter includes rice along with the vegetables.

If you plan to try this out in your kitchen and want to adjust the quantity according to your requirement, the ratio of jowar, bajra, rice and urad dal is 1:1:0.5:0.5.

Jowar & Bajra Idli with Suva Bhaji & SweetcornMy original plan was to make these idlis with spinach but in my quest to eat as many different types of vegetables as possible, I thought of experimenting with dill leaves instead.

Wasn’t sure how they would turn out since fresh dill has a pretty strong fragrance.

end result is delicately scented idlis without the powerful in-yer-face smell of dill weed

According to healthdiaries.com, dill leaves (known as suva or shepu bhaji in India)  have the following 8 benefits:

Bone Health
Anti-Bacterial
Free Radical Protection
Digestive Benefits
Hiccup Treatment
Headache Help
Calming Effect
Sleep Aid

Look forward to more experiments with this vegetable (or is it herb?) in the future.

If you don’t have an idli cooker, pour the batter in a shallow container which you can fit in a steamer, steam it for the given time, cut in square or diamond shape and enjoy.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup whole jowar

1/2 Cup whole bajra

1/4 Cup unpolished rice

1/4 cup urad dal

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 Cup fresh dill ldeaves

1 Cup sweetcorn kernel

1 Tablespoon paste of minced ginger and green chilli

2 Tablespoons instant oats

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease the idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak the jowar, bajra, rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Grind to a fine paste of pouring consistency and leave in a dark place to ferment. This can take anything from 8 to 24 hours depending on the outside temperature.
  3. Once the batter is fermented and you are ready to make the idlis, chop and wash the dill leaves.
  4. Wash the sweetcorn kernels.
  5. To the fermented batter, add the dill leaves, sweetcorn kernels, ginger-chilli paste, instant oats and salt to taste.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Pour the batter in greased idli moulds.
  8. Steam for about 40 minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the moulds from the steamer and rest them for about 5 minutes.
  10. Gently lift the idlis from the mould and transfer to a plate.
  11. Enjoy with some chutney of your choice.

Tomato & Coconut Chutney

Tomato & Coconut Chutney

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30-40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tomato & Coconut Chutney

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I have come back from Kashmir, I have been a bit of a snoozy cook partly trying to readjust to former routine and partly trying to use up ingredients in the kitchen.

Today’s chutney recipe was born out of one  such snoozy moment.

Needed an accompaniment to go with sprouted moong and carrot idli I was having for dinner and had some tomato and freshly grated coconut kicking around in the refrigerator. Le voilà!

A very good friend of mine believes that unplanned experiences turn out to be the best and most memorable ones. This recipe is a testament of that.

If you plan to try it, feel free to substitute/add/modify with whatever you have lying around.

Goes very well with idli, dosa, as a sandwich spread or even as a dip for Indian themed dinner party. Will stay good in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Ingredients

1 Cup freshly grated coconut

2 Tomato, large and ripe

15-20 Curry lreaves

1 Onion

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

3-4 Fresh chilli (red or green)

1 Tablespoon dalia dal (roasted split bengal gram)

1 Tablespoon urad dal (black gram)

1 Teaspoon mustard seed

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1/2 Cup water

1 Tablespoon peanut or sesame oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and roughly chop the onion.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the tomato.
  3. Wash and slice the chilli.
  4. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  5. Wash the curry leaves.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  7. Once it is hot, lower the heat and throw in the mustard seeds.
  8. As soon as they start spluttering, add the asafoetida.
  9. Stir for about 15 seconds and add the dalia dal and urad dal.
  10. Cook for a few minutes till both the dals turn a shade darker.
  11. Next, add the curry leaves and stir for a couple of minutes till they become slightly crispy.
  12. Add the onions, chilli and ginger along with salt to taste.
  13. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Uncover and add the grated coconut.
  15. Stir around a bit and cook for about 5 minutes till the coconut turns a bit toasty. You will also get a nice coconut-y aroma.
  16. Add the tomatoes and water.
  17. Mix well, cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
  18. Take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down completely.
  19. Once cool, put in a blender or a food processor and blend till you get smooth consistency.

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

  • Time: 60mins plus soaking, grinding, fermenting
  • Difficulty: easy
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Rice Free Beetroot Idli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My blogger friend Teagan of the Three Ingredients Serial fame is the inspiration for today’s recipe, or rather her latest episode (which features beetroot) is.

Reading the episode made me realise how little I eat the vegetable even though I like it so much.

Beetroot is full of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium. It also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid and has the goodness of carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre.

This is another one of my kooky concoctions which turned out absolutely delicious and a validation that healthy food need not be boring.

nourishing beetroot, mixed sprouted beans, jowar (sorghum) and bajra (pearl millet) make for wholesome, moreish, idlis

Enjoy with some coconut chutney.

The following yields 10-12 idlis.

Ingredients

1/4 Cup jowar

1/4 Cup bajra

1/4 Cup urad dal (skinned black gram)

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Cup mixed sprouted beans

1 Large (or 2 small) beetroot

1 Tablespoon paste of minced ginger-green chilli

15-20 Fresh curry leaves

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak the jowar, bajra, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 10 to 12 hours.
  2. Grind them till you get a fine paste. The consistency should be like a pancake batter.
  3. Leave in a warm, dark place to ferment for anything from 5 to 48 hours. Fermentation time will depend on the outside temperature so you will need to plan accordingly.
  4. Once the batter is well fermented, you are ready to make the idlis.
  5. Peel, wash and finely grate the beetroot.
  6. Wash the mixed sprouted beans.
  7. Wash and roughly chop the curry leaves.
  8. Add the quick cooking oats, ginger-green chilli paste, curry leaves, mixed sprouted beans and grated beetroot to the idli batter.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Heat the oil and once it is hot, lower the flame and add the mustard seeds followed by asafoetida.
  11. As soon as the seeds start spluttering, take them off the heat and pour the tempered oil to the idli batter.
  12. Mix well. If you find the batter to be too thick, add about half cup water (remember oats will absorb some of the moisture too).
  13. At this stage, you can keep the batter aside upto 8 hours till you are ready to cook the idli.
  14. Grease the idli moulds and pour the prepared batter into them.
  15. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.
  16. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean you know the idlis are cooked.
  17. Take out the idli moulds and let them be for 10 minutes before unmoulding.

Note:

  1. This recipe will also work with the traditional rice based idli batter.

Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli, The Kooky Way

Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli

  • Time: 60mins + fermenting and sprouting time
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we go by some of the popular search engines, there is no recipe out there for idlis made from pumpkin and moong bean sprouts. So I like to think of this as one of my kooky inventions.

I may be wrong, the search engines may be wrong… If anybody has tried this combination before, would love to read about your experience.

My relationship with moong bean sprouts is quite rocky. There will be days and months when they are totally off my radar and than suddenly they appear and I end up sprouting a batch to last me through several recipes.

This time round, I have used moong bean sprouts in Healthy Maggi Noodles with Vegetables 3 and Colourful Sprouted Moong Bean Salad.

Now it is the turn of idlis. I still have a couple more recipes in which I will be using them after which we will be saying a temporary adios to each other!

In this recipe, I have used the traditional idli batter (makes a change from my usual rice free idlis).

A totally successful experiment worth repeating and an easy and fun way of incorporating more vegetables.

soft, fluffy, delicious and very healthy idlis

The following assumes you have some fermented idli batter and moong bean sprouts ready.

Depending on the size of your idli moulds, this will make about 8 to 10 idlis.

Ingredients

1 Cup fermented idli batter

150 Grams pumpkin

1 Cup moong bean sprouts

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1-2 Teaspoons pure ghee

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and finely grate the pumpkin.
  2. In a bowl, combine the fermented idli batter with grated pumpkin, moong bean sprouts, quick cooking oats and salt to taste.
  3. Grease idli moulds with pure ghee.
  4. Pour the batter in the moulds and steam for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Take out the idlis and leave them aside for about 5 minutes before unmoulding.
  6. Enjoy with some coconut chutney.

Coconut Chutney, The South Indian Way

South Indian Style Coconut Chutney

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Coconut Chutney, The South Indian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a really quick and simple recipe for South Indian style coconut chutney which will go very well with idlis, dosas, uttapams and upma.

For those who may be shying away from coconut thinking that it is fattening, here’s some good news.

coconut is good for health

Raw coconut contains a type of dietary fibre called medium-chain triglycerides which can lead to weight loss. It is also rich in other dietary fibres and contains a variety of fats which help boost our immune system.  Several types of minerals are also to be found in raw coconut which helps us maintain good health.

This chutney will stay good in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

I had this with some pumpkin and moong bean sprout idlis. Delicious :-).

Ingredients

1 Cup fresh, shredded, coconut

3-4 Green chilli

Fresh ginger the size of your thumb

1/2 Cup fresh curry leaves

2 Tablespoons dalia dal (roasted split bengal gram)

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

2-3 Dry red chilli

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1 Tablespoon peanut or sesame oil

15-20 fresh curry leaves

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Dry roast the dali dal on a very slow flame for about 10 minutes. You may need to stir frequently. Set aside to cool.
  2. Wash the half cup of curry leaves. Dry them on a kitchen towel and set aside.
  3. Wash and chop the green chillies.
  4. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  5. In a blender or a food processor jar, add the roasted dalia dal, shredded coconut, green chilli, ginger, curry leaves and salt to taste.
  6. Add about half a cup of water and blend till you get a fine paste like consistency.
  7. Transfer to a bowl.
  8. Wash and dry the 15-20 curry leaves.
  9. Break the dry red chilli into 2 to 3 pieces.
  10. Heat the oil and when hot, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds.
  11. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the asafoetida, broken dry chilli and curry leaves.
  12. Stir for about 30 seconds and add this to the coconut chutney.
  13. Mix well and put the chutney in a bowl with airtight lid.

Note:

  1. You may need to ad more water, please adjust quantity accordingly.

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Jowar (Sorghum) Grains

Bajra & Jowar Idli

  • Time: 40 minutes plus soak and ferment time
  • Difficulty: easy
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Bajra & Jowar Idli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the idlis we gorged on with my previous recipe of vegetable sambar.

They are made from bajra and jowar grains.

yes, it is possible to make yummy rice free idlis which are just as good as their conventional cousin

Grain idlis do not turn out as fluffy as the rice ones. Well, this is not strictly true. They do fluff beautifully in the idli cooker but as soon as they are out of the steam, they turn flat. But once you bite into them, you will find that they are just as soft.

To boost the nutrition value (as if they are not healthy enough!), I added some quick cooking oats to the fermented batter. It is just a personal preference, not necessary for these beautifully turned out idlis.

We got 25 idlis from the following. Really depends on the size of your idli moulds so this is just a rough indicator of the yield.

Ingredients

1 Cup bajra grains

1 Cup jowar grains

1 Cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 Tablespoons fenugreek seeds

3-4 Tablespoons quick cooking oats (optional)

1-2 Teaspoons ghee

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak the bajra, jowar, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 8 hours. The water should be a couple of inches above the level of the grains.
  2. Grind the soaked grains, dal and seeds till you get a fine paste. The batter should have creamy consistency (you don’t want it too liquidy).
  3. Place the batter in a warm, dark corner to ferment. The fermentation process can take anything from 5 hours to 24-48 hours depending on the outside temperature.  Go here for tip on fermenting in cold weather.
  4. You will know that the batter is fermented when it rises a bit and the surface turns a couple of shades darker compared to the original batter. You will also see bubbles form on the top.
  5. When you are ready to cook the idli, mix the oats and salt to the batter.
  6. Grease the idli moulds generously with ghee.
  7. Pour the batter and steam for about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, take the idlis out of the steam and let them sit for about 5 minutes before removing them from the moulds.
  9. Enjoy with some chutney and/or sambar.

Fermenting In Cold Climate

Fermenting in Colder Climate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing as how temperatures are low all across, I hope that today’s Kooky tip will help anybody out there looking to speed up fermentation process in cold weather.

This method will work well for batters, non-yeast doughs as well as for sprouting of beans, seeds and nuts.

having successfully tried it a number of times, am tempted to say that it is fool-proof

Depending on what you are fermenting, I suggest that you have a peek at 12 hour interval to check the progress.

I call this the double-barrel method. Don’t ask me why but the name has stuck in my mind for this approach!

Equipment Required

1 Large pot with lid

1 Medium pot with lid

Method

Step 1: Heat the large pot till very hot. Take it off the heat and place it on a heatproof surface.

Step 1 Fermenting in Colder Climate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Put the food that needs fermenting in the medium pot and place this pot in the just heated large pot.

Step 2 Fermenting in Colder Climate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Cover the medium pot sitting inside the large pot. Finally, cover the large pot. Now keep the large pot with the medium pot inside in a dark corner of your kitchen. Be careful when handling the large pot as it will still be hot; use some gloves or a kitchen towel. You may want to put a heatproof plate underneath.

Step 3 Fermenting in Colder Climate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: After 12 hours, check whether your food is fermented. If you want to sprout some beans or seeds using this method, put them in a muslin before you place them in the medium pot.

Note:

  1. After 24 hours, if your food has still not fermented, follow this process one more time. Based on my experience, I would say that it works.

Happy fermenting!

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains: Plain and Masala Varieties

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me start off this post with a disclaimer: I have nothing against rice. In fact, I like rice in all shapes and form although I rarely eat it. In my quest for a healthy and nutritious diet, I try to replace rice with other grains wherever possible.

today’s recipe is a tale of two idlis which met by chance in one cooking session

Having successfully made rice-free jowar (sorghum) idlis in the past, for this recipe, I thought of experimenting with two other types of millet grains: pearl (bajra) and finger (ragi).

a successful experiment which demonstrates that it is possible to make idlis without rice

Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)

Another fortuitous discovery I made while making these is masala idli.

While the first round of idlis were merrily steaming away, I suddenly remembered that I had some shelled peas and mixed sprouts lying around in the refrigerator. I thought of adding these along with some freshly grated turmeric and green chilli-ginger paste to the second round of idlis.

Both types taste equally good. They are soft like conventional idlis although not as fluffy (absence of rice I imagine).

The following makes 24 regular size idlis.

Ingredients for Plain Idli Batter

1 Cup bajra (pearl millet)

1 Cup ragi (finger millet)

1 Cup white urad dal (white gram/white lentil)

2 Tablespoons methi seeds (fenugreek)

Salt to taste

Ghee for greasing idli moulds

Ingredients for Masala Idli Batter (Optional)*

2 – 3 Tablespoons shelled peas

2 – 3 tablespoons mixed sprouts

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste

Method:

  1. Wash the bajra, ragi, urad dal and methi seeds.
  2. Add water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Grind in a food processor. The end result should be a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. Some of the ragi grains may remain whole, this is perfectly okay.
  4. Cover and place the batter in a warm, dark place to ferment. This can take anything from a few hours to 34 hours depending on the temperature (see note below).
  5. When you are ready to cook the idlis, add some salt to the batter and mix well. If you are making masala idli, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.
  6. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter in them.
  7. Put in a steamer and let the idlis steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and leave for a few minutes.
  9. Run a knife under each idli to remove it from its mould.
  10. Serve with chutney of your choice.

Note:

  1. In warm weather, the batter can ferment in a matter of 4 to 6 hours. If the temperatures are low, the fermentation process takes much longer.
  2. For masala idli, you can add any vegetable of your choice. Grated carrots, grated cabbage and grated bottlegourd would work equally well.
  3. I had fresh turmeric root which I grated and used which is why the colour of my masala idlis is so bright! You can use turmeric powder instead.

Here are the two friends side by side – plain and masala.

Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)  Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)

Carrot & Cabbage Bajra (Pearl Millet) Idli

Carrot and Cabbage Bajra Idli with Tomato-Ginger Chutney

A couple of months back, I had made the most delicious jowar idli. I am currently out of jowar so decided to replicate the experiment with bajra (pearl millet) instead.  Additionally, I decided to add grated carrots and cabbage to make a nutritiously balanced dinner.

like tomatoes, carrots are more nutritious cooked

Ingredients

1 cup whole bajra (pearl millet)

0.5 cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 tablespoons brown rice

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

2 grated carrots

Half a head grated cabbage

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee to grease idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak bajra, urad dal, brown rice and fenugreek seeds for 10-12 hours.
  2. Finely grind them making sure the batter is of pouring consistency.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover and leave in a warm, dark place for 8-10 hours to ferment. (If you are in a cool climate, place container with the batter in a larger empty container which you have just warmed. My personal experience is that this speeds up the fermentation process.)
  4. When ready to cook the idlis, mix the carrots, cabbage and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, take out the moulds and let them rest for about 5 minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve with tomato and ginger chutney.

This is what the fermented batter looks like:

Fermented Idli Batter

Here are the idlis cooked to perfection:

Idlis Hot off the Steamer

Tip:

If you don’t have idli moulds, you can still make this recipe. Just pour the batter in a cake tin or equivalent and steam. Once cooked, cool and cut in squares before serving.