This is a delicious way to spice up ordinary idlis and also gives them some more texture. You can use my idli batter recipe or try an instant idli batter. You won’t get the nice fermented flavour using instant batter but your idlis will still be amazing. I promise! It is also a lot less work to use instant batter.
This is a good, easy recipe to make if you are having friends around. They are best served with a selection of chutneys, pickles and sambar. Everything except the actually steaming of the idlies can be done ahead of time and the steaming only takes about fifteen minutes.
For your information, one litre of idli batter should get you about 16 x 5cm diameter idlis. You will need an idli steamer and any size idlis can be made. I picked up my idli steamer at Spices of India.
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- 1 litre idli batter
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon white urad dhal
- 1 teaspoon channa dhal
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 green chillies – finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons cashew – lightly crushed
- 10 curry leaves
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger powder
- Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil/ghee in a large frying pan. Add the channa dhal and urad dhal and move the lentils around in the oil until lightly browned. Add the cumin seeds and sizzle for a further 30 seconds and then stir in the green chillies and cashews. Fry for a further minute or so until the cashews begin to turn light brown. Stir in the curry leaves and chopped coriander. Allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk the ground turmeric and ginger powder into the batter and then add the fried mixture. Using the remaining oil, lightly grease your idli moulds. You only need a film of oil in each reservoir, no oil puddles!
- Pour the batter into the moulds and steam for ten minutes. After ten minutes, stick a toothpick or fork into a couple of the idlis. If it comes out clean, your idlis are ready. If there is a film of batter on it, steam your idlis for a couple more minutes until your toothpick/fork comes out clean when stuck in.
- Remove the idlis from the steamer and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before attempting to remove them. This will make it easier to get them out of the recesses. Carefully remove the idlis from the tray with a knife or small spoon.
- Serve with sambar and a selection of pickles and/or chutneys.