Searching for soft Idli recipe like a sponge? There are tons of South Indian Idli recipes around the web. What’s the special about this recipe? well, this is the most reliable one which I’m following more than a decades time very successfully.
What is Idli?
Idli is the top listing South India breakfast food. It is made of fermented rice flour and skinless black gram flour. In India, this dish is considered as a light and easily digestive food. Toddlers in Southern India start their solid diet by these Idlies.
Idli is popularly named as Chennai idli, Madurai idli, or Malige idli. All the names refer to the same recipe, and they have different names just as a marketing trend. The recipe is the same for all the above. But they taste different from place to place because of the type of ingredient used. Like a change in the variety of rice will result in the change in taste and in texture.
How does it taste like?
The idli tastes little salty and with a hint of sour. Spongy in texture like a fluffy cake and taste like a sour bread.
Since these have subtle flavors, it is best to serve with flavorful, spicy side dishes.
Side Dishes for Idli
Traditionally in India, especially in Tamil Nadu, this is served with Sambar, Chutney, Podi(spicy mix), and other authentic side dishes like kondakadalai thakkali chutney(chickpea tomato chutney), poondu chutney(garlic chutney).
The spicy chutney-like, mint chutney, radish chutney, coconut chutney, urad dal chutney, mango chutney, cabbage chutney are to name some. But there are hundreds of side dishes that is best to have with. I’m a die-hard fan of this best soft Idli recipe.
Euipments to make idli
The batter for making the idli is thin like a flowing consistency. Hence it definitely needs a mold to make idli. This is made in many ways, in different equipment like a traditional pot or modern day idli trays. Though every family has their own trusted way of making South Indian fluffy idli recipe.
There are verities of Idly molds available in the market, from pressure cooking style to the pan style. You may choose whatever you want depending upon your necessity. I always prefer to go with this cloth type molds as it is easier to remove from the molds still it is piping hot.
Traditional Idli Pot
This is what I use, and definitely, want to emphasize that I love this method to the core, and this is what made my recipe stands out among others. I keep following this, though there are some impressive special gadgets are available.
In this traditional idli recipe method, I use simple cotton clothes as liners. The cotton clothes make it easy to remove the idli from the molds very easily even when it is super hot.
Pros- Best soft Idli is most possible, where you can serve very hot idli as soon as you made. For those, who are new to South Indian cuisines, super hot idli is the authentic way of serving. Serving hot idli represents the value of affection we have towards our guest.
Cons- The cleaning part is difficult. You need to soak the cloth for at least 2 hours to remove all the particles stuck in there. Because of this, everyone started using the following modern methods.
Idli cooker is the specially designed equipment to make easy soft Idli. You may also go with the oiling type of molds, where you are required to grease the mold before pouring the batter. Once it got cooked, remove it from the stove, allow them to cool for a while. Using a sharp spoon gently remove this soft idli from the molds.
Pros-Easy to clean and easy to cook. It blows the whistle when the idli is done. So it minimizes the work for testing the doneness.
Cons-You needs to grease the mold with the cooking oil, which makes the surface not so soft when compared to the traditional idli cooking method. And also it is tough to remove idli from the mold when it is hot. You need to wait for a while till it cools down.
You can get the idli molds separately and use your existing pressure cooker for making idli. In this method, cook with the lids on and remove the whistle.
Pros-Cost effective, as you do not need to buy the entire pot, but you can use your pressure cooker for cooking.
Cons-The disadvantages are the same as the above for idli cooker.
without conventional molds
If you want to make homemade idli recipe and do not have the molds? do not worry. You can make idli with any available molds with you. You can use your stainless steel glasses, deep plates or small bowls to make idli. But grease with cooking oil and pour the batter. And steam it.
soft Idli recipe
- 2 Cup of Idli / Dosai Batter
- Place the idly maker over the hot stove top. Add 1-2 cups of water to the pan. Now spread washed and clean cloth, and gently pour Idly batter in the Idly molds evenly.
- And start steaming it in the Idly maker. After 5-7 min of steaming.
- Keep it upside down on a plate and sprinkle cold water over the cheesecloth, Now the Idlies can be separated from the cloth very easily.
- Enjoy your Idlies. I always prefer to use this cheesecloth to make Idlies in a traditional way.
2. Always be careful of the hot steam while removing molds from the steaming pan.
Do not forget to check out another recipe for South Indian breakfast dish Oothappam, here in PepperBowl.