Friday, May 10, 2013

Idli Sambar- South Indian Tiffin

As you all Idli Sambar are the well know traditional breakfast of south India. Idli are nothing but rice savoury cake made with rice and splitted black gram. The batter needs fermentation for atleast for 6 hour and then they are steam into cakes. These are usually served with sambar and coconut chutney. Idlis have many variations like standard idli, mini idlis soaked in sambar, rava idli, Kancheepuram idli, stuffed idli with a filling of potato mixture, ragi idli, pudi idli with the sprinkling of idly podi that covers the bite-sized pieces of idlis. It is also said that Idlis are easily digestible food when served with  sambar that provides a mix of proteins and carbohydrates to our  body.


  •  Raw rice  – 2 &1/2  cups
  • Parboiled rice – ½ cup
  • Split Urad Dal/Black Gram – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
  • Salt – 1 tbsp

  •  Wash and soak raw rice and parboiled rice together for atleast 6 hours. And also wash and soak the urad dal  and fenugreek seeds for atleast for 4 hours.
  •  Grind soaked urad dal into the mixer until it is light and fluffy by adding little amount of water and transfer it to a big container.
  •  Now add soaked rice to the mixer  and grind it coarsely by adding water .
  • Then add ground rice along with ground urad dal . Mix both the batter well.
  • Add salt and with your hand mix the batter well for atleast 5 minutes. This helps in better fermentation.
  • Remember the consistency of idli batter should not be too thick or too thin.
  •  Ferment the batter for overnight or at least  6 to 7 hours.
  •  Next morning or after 7 hours, Mix the fermented batter well and now the batter is ready to make idlis If you are not going to use it immediately, then refrigerate the batter.
  • Prepare the idli stand. I use my pressure cooker to steam Grease the idli moulds with some oil. Pour a small ladle full of batter in each idli moulds . Do not pour too much batter as the idlis will expand in size as they cook.
  •  Now steam the idlis for about 10-12 mins on high.Add 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker and keep the idli stand in it. The water level should be lower than that of the last idli plate. Cover with the lid of the pressure cooker with the whistle removed
  •  After 10-12 mins remove the idli stand from the pressure cooker and let rest for 3-4 mins. Now remove each idli carefully using a flat spoon.Serve with chutney and sambar.


Ingredient  Col 1
  • Split Moong Dal/Green gram – 1 &1/4 cup
  • Eggplant, small size – 2-3 nos
  • Green Pepper – 1 small
  • Onion – 1 medium
  • Tomato – 2 small
  • Green Chili – 3 no. (or more, according to your taste)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

 Ingredient Col 2
  • Tamarind paste – 2 tsp (or 1 small lemon size tamarind)
  • Sambar Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro leaves – a handful
  • Salt – to taste

Ingredients to temper
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies – 2 no.
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
  • Hing/Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Oil/Ghee – 1 tbsp

  • Wash dal and add in the pressure cooker.. Chop all the vegetables into small cubes and add it in the pressure cooker. Also add “ingredients of column 1” in the pressure cooker and add sufficient water. Cook for 3-4 whistles.\
  • Once the pressure is released, add the “ingredients of column2” and bring the sambar to boil on a medium flame. Add some water if you want to adjust the consistency. Cook for about 10 mins, until the raw smell of tamarind and sambar powder goes away.
  • Finally temper the sambar by heating 1 tbsp of oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves, dry red chillies and hing. Saute for 15-20 secs and pour over the sambar. Lastly garnish  the sambar with freshly chopped cilantro.


  1. very nice Pranjali ... love your moulds

  2. your idli's shape are unique. Can you show your idli mould in your next entry?

  3. nyc..u made idli in muffin tray ?? :p ;)

  4. One of my favorite breakfast dishes.........never seen them in this shape before though.