Friday, July 12, 2013

How to make Idli | |இட்லி தோசை மாவு | Dosa Batter plus Tips

This post is specially for my new reader who requested the basic method for making the idli-dosa batter.

Measurements :-
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 The ratio is 3 : 1  (ie, 3 cups Idli rice  : 1 cup Urad dal and 1 teaspoon fenugreek)

Ingredients :-
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Idli rice - 3cups
Urad dal  1cup
Fenu greek - 1teaspoon
Preparation :-
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1. Measure each ingredient as per the above measurement and keep seperatel. Soak rice in enough water; add fenugreek seeds to urad dal and soak them separately with enough water. Let these soak overnight. Next day wash them, drain and keep aside.

Method : -
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1. Grind Urad dal along with fenugreek seeds to a very soft consitency. Add about (1 to 1 and 1/2 cup approx). Texture of the batter should be silky soft, let it grind for more than 20 minutes.
2. Grind the rice separately using a grinder. Suggested time for grinding rice would be less than 15 minutes. Add water little by little (1 to 1 and 1/4 cup approx) and grind to a thick batter. This batter should not be too soft, you should feel the texture like bombay rava.

3. Take a big vessel combine,urad dal batter and ground rice along with salt. Mix well with your hands. Cover with a lid.

4. Pre-heat oven at 400F, let it stay for 5 minutes, swtich off. Now place the vessel and close the oven.

5. Next day the batter should rise almost 2 inches high with tiny bubbles. Do not mix right away. Take the portion which you want to use that day and store the rest in a different container undisturbed. Store in refrigerator for upto a week. Do not add salt, if you intend to keep the batter for long time.

Note : -
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1. Fermenting using oven is only for friends living in cold climatic conditions. Rest can just allow it to ferment at room temperature.

Tips :-
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1. Basmati or Sona Masoori rice also work well. I have made idlis and dosas with Sona Masoori rice.

2. You could also use a combination of parboiled rice and regular rice.

3. Adding some poha or cooked rice makes the idlis amazingly soft.

4. Use larger vessel to avoid overflow while the mix ferments.

5. Please do not use rice flour as it gives a poor texture.6. You can use cream of rice also known as rice rava or rice sooji. Cream of rice is coarsely ground rice. But when using rice rava you may have to experiment from brand to brand.

7. To get a crispier and brown dosa, add some chana dal.

8. In winter it takes longer time (12 to 14 hours) to ferment and during summer it takes lesser time (9 to 10 hours).

9. Dosas do not turn out golden if there is no fenugreek seeds and if it is not fermented well.

10. Even if the urad dhal is not good enough, idli will not come out soft. If the urad does not fluff up while grinding, it is an indication that your idli is not going to be soft enough.

11. Batter will not ferment well if no salt is added or if the surrounding is not warm enough.
 
Do’s and Dont’s to aid in the fermentation process :-
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1. Do not over-wash urad dal or the fenugreek seeds, as it washes away the collected wild yeast.
2. Chlorinated water and iodized table salt are not friends of this wild yeast.

3. The Chlorine in the water can destroy the wild yeast. Use spring water, boiled or filtered tap water to avoid Chlorine.

4. In our homes we use common table salt which is iodized. The iodine can destroy the wild yeast. So, you can use non-iodized salt.

5. Homes which are centrally air-conditioned reduce the supply of this wild yeast.

6. Avoid adding retarding agents before you keep the batter overnight for fermentation. The fermentation can be retarded by ingredients like curd-yoghurt, baking yeast, baking soda or baking powder. Only after fermentation is complete , you can add curd or the baking powder or soda as required or needed.

Temperature for fermentation :-
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The best temperature for fermentation is 30º C to 32º C. If the temperature is below 30º C , it will take longer to achieve an acceptable level of fermentation. If the temperature is higher than 32º C, the batter becomes sour. Acceptable level of fermentation is when the batter has become two and a half times the original volume.
In cold countries or in cold season, its difficult for the batter to ferment. You can do the following methods:

a. Preheat the oven for a few minutes. Then close it and keep the batter inside the oven.

b. You could also keep the oven light on. Keep the batter inside the oven. The heat and warmth of the light emitted from the oven will help in the fermentation process of the batter.

c. If you don’t have an oven, you could keep the batter in a warm place or warm corner in your kitchen.
  
If there is left over batter, then you can refrigerate it. Don’t keep it outside as the fermenation process continues and over fermantation makes the batter sour and may even spoil it. Use the refrigerated batter the next day.


What is the difference between Dosa Batter and Idli Batter :-
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1. Generally, the Dosa batter is thinner than than the Idli batter. 

2. The Dosa is crusty and crisp, while the Idlis are soft and fluffy. Yet I have had soft dosas and they too are good. One can just add water and thin the Idli batter to make crispy Dosas. You could also add some ground chana dal to the batter to make crispy dosas.

I hope you this post really helps you and you manage to cook really soft idlis and crisp dosas at home :)) 

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Related posts :- 
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Click here for more :- Tips 

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