Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Idliwallas in Mumbai scurry from the busy streets honking their horns on the bicycles. They have a huge aluminum pot on the back seat of the cycle and the horn announces their arrival as well takes them out of the busy crowd. I must admit, I have never eaten idlis from them, as mom makes excellent idlis at home. But I always wanted to try from these idliwalas. Maybe when I go to Mumbai...

Steamed Rice Dumplings
1 cup urad daal
2 or 3 or 4 cups rice
A handful of thick pressed rice
salt to taste
Oil for greasing

1. Pick and rinse urad daal and rice separately. Soak them in different containers with enough water. Let them soak for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Next morning, grind urad daal to a smooth paste adding very little water. Set aside.
3. Wash thick poha and grind drained rice and poha together to paste.
4. Mix well with the urad daal paste. Cover and set aside for fermenting.
5. Depending on the temperature/climate, the idli batter will rise and will be double in size.
6. Heat water in pressure cooker. Grease idli stand.
7. Pour a ladleful batter in each cavity.
8. Place idli stand in the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame without placing weight for 12 minutes.
9. Lower the gas and steam for another 10 minutes.
10. Switch off the gas. Wait for 5 minutes. Open the lid of the pressure cooker.
11. Take out the idli stand. Let it cool down a little.
12. Scoop idlis out using a butter knife without poking the steamed idlis.

Note -
1. If making idlis in a cold climate, you may need to add 1/2 tsp baking soda to make fluffy idlis.
2. Different people have different proportions for rice:urad daal ratio.
For a traditional Konkani fare, serve fresh idlis with chutney and coconut oil.


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