- Submitted by Dahlia
(Soft Idlis using Cream of Rice, Andhra Idli Recipe, Idli Batter With Idli Rava)
Making idli with idli rava is the common method used by the Telugu and Kannada people. The Malayalees and Tamilians make idli using parboiled rice which I have shared in detail before. Being from Tamilnadu, I follow that procedure on a daily basis. I started using idli rava during my stay in US when idli rice was not easily available in the area where we stayed. Idli rava used to be available in a Pakistani store and one of my Andhra friends told me the procedure to make idli using this method.
For making idlis, first you have to soak urad dal and idli rava separately for 1 hour. The ratio she suggested was 1:2 i.e 1 cup of urad dal and 2 cups of rice rava. I have also tried making it in the ratio of 1:3 and it came out good. Usually 1/2 kg of rice rava measures to about 2.5 cups. I add the whole thing for 1 cup of urad dal. After soaking, the urad dal is made into a smooth batter. The idli rava is squeezed to remove excess water and then mixed with the urad dal batter. Salt is added and the batter is let to ferment for about 10 hours until it doubles. Then idlis can be made using the regular procedure. This was the method shared by my friend and is also followed in most homes. The texture of the idli is soft with a little graininess that comes from the rice rava. That’s perfectly soft and spongy.
For all those who are used to eating idlis with parboiled rice with a smoother texture, this may not impress you at first. I have seen many Tamilians living abroad who want to give a try making idlis with idli rava. So I would suggest you to follow a slight variation in method. Grind the rice rava along with the urad dal while making the batter. This way the idlis come out smoother. Also, I suggest adding ½ cup of poha or cooked rice while making the batter to make the idlis even softer. I encourage my friends staying in Tamilnadu and Kerala also try making idlis using rice rava. The soaking requires so much less time and grinding time is less too. So here is the detailed recipe.
Recipe for making Soft Idlis using Idli Rava
Preparation time: 12-15 hours (including soaking and fermentation)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Idli Rava – 2 cups
- Urad dal - 1 cup
- Flattened Rice/ Cooked Rice – ½ cup (optional)
- Wash the urad dal, soak the urad dal and idli rava in separate bowls. If you are using flattened rice, soak it also in another bowl. Let it soak for at least 1 hour.
- Grind the soaked urad dal and poha using a wet grinder or mixie to a smooth batter. Remove it into a big bowl.
- Squeeze out the excess water from the soaked idli rava between the palms and mix with the ground urad dal batter.
- Mix required salt, cover with a lid and keep it in a warm place to ferment for about 10-12 hours.
- After fermentation, the batter would have doubled in volume.
- Grease the idli plates, pour a ladle full of batter to fill three fourth of the moulds. Steam it for about 7-10 minutes. Enjoy with your favorite chutney or curry.
Detailed Steps to make Idli using Idli Rava
Use good quality skinned urad dal and idli rava to make the best idlis. Wash and soak the urad dal with enough water to submerge it completely. Also soak the idli rava separately.
If you are using flattened rice, soak it also in another bowl. If using cooked rice, you can add it while grinding the batter.
Let it soak for 1 hour. Drain the excess liquid and reserve it in a separate bowl. Use this water while grinding the batter. Transfer the soaked urad dal and poha to a wet grinder or mixie. Grind it to a smooth batter. Add the reserved water little by little while grinding to get the right consistency of the batter. Remove the batter into a big bowl.
Now squeeze the soaked idli rava between the palms little by little to remove the excess moisture and mix with the ground urad dal batter. If you are looking for smoother textured idlis, grind the squeezed idli rava along with the urad dal.
Mix required salt with the batter. Traditionally salt is mixed with hands to kick start the fermentation with the warmth in the palm. Cover and keep it in a warm place to ferment. Usually the batter takes 10-12 hours to ferment. In hot summers, it might ferment in 7-8 hours itself. In colder places, you may need to place the batter in the oven with the light switched on or cover the vessel with a thick blanket to maintain a warm environment to aid fermentation.
After fermentation, the batter would have increased in volume and you can see air bubbles. Now you can make idlis or refrigerate the batter for later use.
To make idlis, grease the idli plates and pour little batter to fill three fourth of the moulds. Bring water to boil in the idli pot and place the idli stand inside. Cover and steam it for about 7-10 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, place the idli stand and stem without putting the weight.
You can check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick. It should come out clean. If it feels sticky, steam it for a couple of minutes. Do not over cook, otherwise idlis will become dry.
Let it rest for 5 minutes. After that remove the idlis using a wet spoon and enjoy.
- If you are using a mixie for grinding, I suggest leaving the urad dal in the fridge to cool it before grinding. Also grinding in short intervals. That way the batter does not get heated up. If the batter gets heated, it will not ferment properly and the final idlis won’t come out perfectly.
- If you do not have idli stand, you can make idlis using stainless steel tumblers. Check out my detailed procedure for making tumbler idlis here.
- As with any type of idli, it tastes best with some piping hot sambar, coconut chutney or idli podi mixed with some ghee/oil.
- You can serve it with any type of chutney or curries. To make the meal extra special, serve some hot coffee/tea and medhu vada along.
- If needed, you can also make dosa with the same batter. It will be a little grainy but not bad.
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