A classic relatively light steamed rice and lentil cake that is a popular breakfast item on Indian tables. Idlies are served with fresh coconut chutney and or a light lentils stew called sambhar. Idlies are made with a naturally fermented sourdough batter, that can be also used for dosas and uthapams. In short, a very versatile and useful batter.
Idlies: Soft Steamed Rice and Lentil Cakes [Vegan]
- 2 cups idli or other parboiled rice (do not use Basmati rice for this)
- 3/4 cup white lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Water for soaking
- Oil for greasing the molds
- Soak the rice and the lentils for at least six hours with about 2 cups of water each. Add the fenugreek seeds and the salt with the rice.
- In either a stone grinder or the blender, first, blend the lentils with very little water until light and fluffy.
- Remove and set in a large container or in the steel insert of the pressure cooker.
- Add the rice mixture and blend until smooth with just a hint of texture. Mix with the lentil mixture. You can use your hands to mix, the bacteria from your hands actually assists with the fermentation.
- Place the mixture in a warm place or in your pressure cooker. If using the pressure cooker, set the pressure cooker to the yogurt setting. Let it ferment for 8 hours. Open the lid to be greeted with well-fermented batter.
- Grease the idli molds and pour the batter into the molds until about 3/4 filled.
- Place an empty pot in your pressure cooker and fill with about 1 and 1/2 cup of water. Place the idli stand in the pressure cooker.
- Steam for about 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
- Remove and serve hot with your favorite chutney.