Saturday, August 8, 2020


What's for breakfast? This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I open my eyes in the morning. Still not completely awake, wanting to spend a little more time curled up, my routine-following brain whispers to me telling me to leave the comfort of my bed while the lazy side of me wants to relax a little bit more to enjoy the warmth of the bed . Then finally the alarm beeps and I have no option but to get up. And again it strikes me, what's for breakfast?

When it comes to my everyday chores, by nature I'm a very disciplined person . I try to stick to my routine and mostly follow my weekly meal plans. Yes, I do that regularly, a MEAL PLAN. Because I find it difficult to prepare food without prior planning, I hardly serve processed or packaged food to my family. All the meals are prepared from scratch. Meal planning is not rocket science. One needs to sit down with a pen and paper with a clear mind. How do I do it? First I make a list of the food I'm going to prepare for each meal for seven days a week. Then I list down the items I need to buy and things I need to prepare beforehand. I like to bake bread for sandwiches, or the stuffing for parathas, or a big bowl of sambhar to go with some dosa and idli. Try it once and your life will be much more easier. Do I cheat? Do I deviate from my original plan? Yes, sometimes, but I mostly stick to my plan.

So, as I was talking about breakfast, if you know me then you must have noticed dosa and idli is a common breakfast at my place. I make them very often, but I never shared the recipe for it. So today I thought to share one of the easiest, healthy, gluten free breakfast recipes with you all. A simple humble idli recipe. I serve it with sambhar and coconut chutney.

While making the sambhar I find the colors of the ingredients are very attractive, and click a few shots. It is a great practice to photograph the ingredients. If you are into food photography, you must do it everyday.

For idli I make the batter using per-boiled rice and urad dal, in a 3:1 ratio. Soaking the rice and dal properly for at least 7-8 hrs makes a lot of difference. It helps to grind the rice and dal into a smooth paste. I use my mixer grinder to make the paste. First I grind the dal then the rice. Try to avoid adding too much water while grinding. I keep the batter in a large pot, cover it and let it sit overnight on my kitchen counter to ferment. If your room temperature is too cold you may need more time for proper fermentation. Or you can keep the batter inside the oven with the light on. In Kolkata it's mostly hot throughout the year, so I have never gotten any trouble while fermenting the batter, even during winter it rises up well,but it may take a few hours more than it takes in summer.

I left the batter to ferment overnight, so I can work with it the next morning. See a little planning makes thing so much easier. For making idli I use my idli maker. You can use any large utensil to steam the idli. Many of my readers complain about de-moulding the idlis. They say the idlis break as they try to take it out of the mould. There's only one solution to this, make sure to coat the moulds with oil generously.

I added some curry leave and mustard seed infused oil to coat the idli moulds It came out really good. Heat vegetable oil in a small pan and when the oil is hot add curry leaves and mustard seed, use this oil to coat the moulds. This gives a nice flavor to the idli.

Things need to make Idli:

  • Rice (parboiled): 1 cup
  • Urad dal: 1/3 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 15-20
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil to brush the moulds

Steps of making Idli:

1. Wash and soak the rice and dal separately. Add the fenugreek seeds to the rice. Soak at least for 7-8 hrs or overnight.

2. Grind the dal first and pour it into a large container.

3. Grind the rice and add to the dal and mix well. Avoid using too much water while grinding.

4. Cover and let ferment overnight or till the batter rise to double the size. After proper fermentation the batter should be very light and porous.

5. Put water into the steamer and let it boil.

6. While the water start to boil grease the idli moulds generously with vegetable oil. I used the tempered oil to bring extra flavour to the idlis.

7. Pour batter into the moulds. Tap the moulds lightly to spread the batter evenly. sprinkle little salt over the batter.

8. Place the moulds in the steamer, lower the heat, cover the steamer and cook for 12-15 mins.

9. Carefully take out the mould and with the help of a spoon remove the idlis. Serve with sambhar and chutney.

I also make dosa with the same batter. Will post about my dosa making process very soon.

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