The Idly Story

Today’s breakfast was Idly with chutney and Chinna vengaya sambhar (sambar with those tiny onions called shellogs).

Ma, the Idly you make is so soft and yummy !!!!

(Proudly smiling) Thank you, my dear.

But, why the Idly which we ate during the travel, was hard and totally tasteless ???

Everything lies in the technicality of preparing the batter. I’ll teach you all about it, when u grow older, OK ???

I’ve fantasized a lot about the soft soft Idlies which my Mom makes and I am glad that I learnt the art of perfect preparation of the batter.

So many friends ask me how the Idlies are softer at my place and I always give them a smile, before answering “Its all in the batter” !!! πŸ˜‰

But I also make the batter the same way, as you do, will be their retort.

It’s a blend of – the proportion of rice and urid dhal and the appliance used for grinding. Β Don’t expect great results while you use a Mixie.

In our South Indian families, the most important thing in any kitchen, is the Grinder. Every new bride gets one from her mother along with the secret recipe to a great preparation of Idly and Dosa. Trust me, this Grinder makes all the difference.

Yes, that’s what I’ve and its been a great journey with my grinder. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

To explain it a bit more further, the urid dhal needs to be made into a fluffy batter, for soft soft idlies. And that perfect fluffiness can be achieved only and only by grinding it in a Grinder. The Mixie gets heated up, owing to closed less space and the urid dhal batter becomes stiff and thick, not fluffy and soft. This is an important point to remember and invest wisely in a Grinder, for getting best Idlies at home. πŸ™‚ Β Of course, the proportions too are very important.

And also, we never use Idly rava, which is available readily in shops – which can be soaked and mixed with the urid dhal batter. Β We always soak and grind the rice, in a Grinder, which adds to the softness. Idly rava makes the idly quite brittle when cold and might need lots of water to swallow them. πŸ˜‰

Not only Idly, Vada also comes out fantastically soft and fluffy and crisp on the outside, when the batter is made with the Grinder.

I made them on last Tuesday, when the men in the family change their sacred thread rightly named as Avani Avittam (Avani – tamil month, Avittam – the star). And also some yummy Vella payasam (Kheer made with dhal and jaggery). It was really delicious. πŸ™‚

And tomorrow calls for another round of goodies, with a Bday Party for Lord Krishna – the Janmashtami. πŸ™‚ This is my favourite month, with loads of festivals and more opportunities to make yummy foods. πŸ™‚

So, are the idlies you make pass the Softness QC ??? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ Β Come on, share your experience on making idlies. πŸ™‚

Idlies are my fav food and its the best food while travelling. Β But I always come back home hungry, for the softness of the Idlies I make. πŸ™‚


67 Replies to “The Idly Story”

    1. I saw chinna onions and nothing else πŸ˜€ I luvvvvv it with Idly πŸ˜€ Sigh! I so have to soak the dal and rice tonite πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ and get small onions πŸ˜€

      Off to read the remaining part nw πŸ˜€


        1. Idlis are favvv here @ home too πŸ˜€ We eat them for BF, lunch and dinner sometimes πŸ™‚
          And I hv to go home and prepare things for tomorrow’s festival too. Luv this season πŸ˜€


  1. Yum yum Uma πŸ™‚ Idly is not my favorite; but vada is and so is vengaya sambhar πŸ™‚ I too love my grinder :), had an ultra for 8 years and now a butterfly πŸ™‚

    So what is menu for tomorrow? I just called amma to confirm her recipe for appam and cheedai; never made cheedai in my life; going to try tomorrow.


    1. Hey !! So, u like vada and sambar. πŸ™‚ Gud gud…. πŸ™‚

      Tomorrow – appam is for sure. Cheedai if time permits. Of course, aval (poha) with coconut and sugar. πŸ˜‰

      Tell me how your cheedai comes out. πŸ™‚ Better post it. πŸ™‚


  2. I don’t make idlis… πŸ˜€
    I dont have that idli making vessel either! πŸ˜€
    Only plate idlis I have made and that’s come out really soft and nice! But, I used MTR mix for that!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰
    Dosa batter comes out well – no issues there! πŸ™‚


      1. yea. the MTR mix is good.. sambhar of course is made at home without the instant mixes!! πŸ˜€
        But, idlis – I need to buy that idli making vessel! πŸ™‚


  3. Oh yes! Agree to all of tht. The ones I make come out super soft too. Tried twice in the mixie…and got doddali (called it thus because the idlies cames out flat like small dosas!!) instead!

    Grinder rules: and that too, the original one over the tabletop one. Table top does not work as well as the bigger ones you place on the floor (not the one with the 3 stones and the chain). πŸ˜‰

    So well, I suppose i’ll get no surprised looks and flattery when you come over to Blore and have idlies fr breakfast πŸ˜€

    Btw, idly is my fav food too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yey!!


    1. LOL @ doddali !!! πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

      Oh yeah, I remember that one – my patti had that, when I was a little girl and I’ve helped her so many times to make the batter – I think all those years of practise under patti’s eyes, made me learn the tricks to soft idlies. πŸ˜‰

      I would love you more and hug you, if you give me soft soft idlies. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  4. well my favourite food or snack is Vada sambhar πŸ™‚ I have loved it from the day i first ate it the BAD thing is I dont know how to make it .. so SO.. as you mentioned the idly how about how to make the Vada too I would definilty love it … πŸ™‚

    and yes I got theat grinder too, my mum brought it last time when she came ot visit me πŸ™‚


    1. Hey, I am impressed – your mom got u a grinder !!!! Cool !!! πŸ™‚

      On your request, will post the recipes for vada – see I am trying to find ways to do a post. πŸ˜‰


  5. Wow! since you are so good at making these, please share the proportions and recipe for a foodie like me please πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Me too wanna eat what you all are enjoying πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


  6. Ohhh yummmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! I have never got the hang of making perfectly soft idlis, but my mum has, over the years!!! And that picture in your post… absolutely drool-worthy!!!


    1. Hey, come on, you shld have learnt all those things by now, from ur mom !!! πŸ™‚ You got a grinder there ???? Then, I’ll give u the recipe, you can make those two men around to drool for the idlies u make. πŸ˜‰


    1. There are so many such ingredients which they say add to the softness. But soft idlies can be made with only rice and urid dhal, is my learning !!! πŸ™‚

      Avalaki is poha, right ????


  7. I used to hate idlies when i was a kid but during my first pregnancy i started liking them,now i love them uma.I prefer eating idlies with peanut and tomato chutney and husband prefers them with small onions sambar,he simply loves that combo.

    For kids i make mini idlies and rub molagi podi with ghee on them and they love it.And idly are must when kids are down with fever.

    I always use rava for making idlie but i grind rava and dal separately and mix it.It soft idlies.Wet grinder is in my list of things i have to buy soon.


    1. Ha, there goes the tip – grind the rava too, before mixing. Good u do that Sari. πŸ™‚

      Glad to see u think like me – idlies during fever or even stomach upset condition too.


  8. Yumm Yumm Yumm…. I have never been able to make Idly’s from scratch ever..> i have tried, trust me. But for now, I stick with Gits Packets.. or with Sooji… .. dont scream please…. but I love Idly’s and really cant get them right!
    Now, I am craving this really bad… time to make my trip to an Udipi restraunt for some!


  9. grrr 😦 gt no grinder plans yet 😦
    so th mixie thingy dampened ma spirits 😦 well ollathu kondu onam..tht vadas sure look yummmm bought 1kg of urad dal ths week πŸ˜› wen thr was an offer..let me put it to sme use! thnku!!


    1. Oh, you saw this in the middle of the night, huh !!!! So sorry…that certainly was not my intention. πŸ™‚

      BTW, you can add this to the menu list, when you come home. πŸ˜‰


    1. Oh, no, it doesn’t taste bad, but this home made tastes much better !!! πŸ˜‰

      But I think, we should use whatever is available, in order to eat Idlies. πŸ˜‰


  10. Yumm. Always love the home made idlis. We used to use the stone grinder earlier. Then switched over to mixie. Loved granmas idlis better… same secret she used to tell… grind urid till its smooth n fluffy! which as you said..can never be achieved using mixie. These days we use the ready made batter which is convenient.


    1. Oh, its good to see another Ultra owner. πŸ™‚ Just as I do for Ultra – mine is 13 years old and touchwood, all fine still. πŸ™‚

      Does Namnam like idlies ???


  11. Wow!! Never knew, that the trick is in the grinder!!
    How about grinding it in the jar of the food processor and the later whisking it in the food processor?? Will that work?? I guess so!
    Have rarely grinded the batter at home…always relied on Spencer’s!! πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing!! Looking forward to the right proportions for the idly batter!! πŸ™‚


    1. Why dont you try that food processor + whisking technique and get back to me ??? Ppl here want to know if grinder can be substituted by a food processor. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Sure, sure, will put up the idly proportions soon. πŸ˜‰


  12. idli with molaga podi mixed together wrapped in banana leaf is simply the greatest thing in the world to have on a journey πŸ˜›

    when I was young, I did not like idli that much, but things have changed now πŸ˜›

    yes, the grinder is a part of the household ……….. always has been πŸ˜›


    1. Spoken like a true South Indian – what a combo na, OG !!! Oh, I love the banana leaf packing, while on travel, which gives them a special flavor….OMG, its really so tempting. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›


  13. Uma…u r kindling my taste buds so much these days…I’m craving for these food..oh god!! Send me the parcel!!!
    I can never get that soft fluffy idli, so i bing on those ready made mixes. And i dont have/like a grinder. The easiest thing is to get the batter from Mom or MIL!!


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