Kanchipuram Idlis

When I get some free time yet don’t want to sit with my phone, I read cookbooks. Reading them is a pleasure of it’s own and I forget the rest of the world and dive into the world of recipes. ❤️

On one such day, I saw a recipe of Kanchipuram idlis in the cookbook “Dakshin Bharat dishes” by Mrs Jaya V Shenoy which is a must have cookbook in every Konkani household. My grandmother and mother refer to the Kannada version of this book while I was lucky enough to be gifted the English version of it by my aunt, Chandriakka during my marriage. It has definitely been the best gift for me. Thank you akka. I always remember you when I read it. ❤️❤️

As I read the recipe for these idlis, I saw that it had baking soda as an ingredient which I try to avoid as much as possible. So I added the naturally fermenting ingredient, Methi which gives soft idlis and also increases the health quotient of the idlis.

The resultant were these super soft, spongy idlis with bites of cashews and chana dal. Also, they turn out so flavourful that you will keep craving for more. We loved it so much that I had to make them again within the week as we could not get enough of it.

These idlis are definitely a welcome change from the regular idlis and can be made occasionally when you are bored of the same old breakfast dishes. Hope you all try and love it like we did. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Makes about 22 idlis}

1 Cup Raw white rice or Idli rice (I use any variety of small grain white rice available here)

1 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1 tsp Methi or fenugreek seeds

1 Tbsp Chana dal (To be soaked and added into the batter after fermentation)

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds

6 to 8 broken cashews

A sprig of curry leaves

A pinch of pepper powder

1 to 2 green chillies

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the Urad dal along with Methi in atleast twice the amount of water. Wash well and soak the rice separately. I soak both for atleast 4 hours. Once soaked, drain the water completely from it.

2. Grind Urad- Methi with 1 Cup water or as required to a smooth paste. (It took me 1 Cup water to grind it.) Remove into a large vessel.

3. Now grind the rice with little of the leftover Urad batter in the mixer to a little coarse paste (like rava consistency). I did not add additional water at all while grinding rice. Pour into the same bowl and mix both batters adding salt.

4. Ferment the batter overnight or for atleast 8 hours in a warm place.

5. While making idlis, add soaked Chana dal and also prepare the seasoning. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, cashews, pepper powder, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till cashews turn light brown and add the seasoning to the batter.

Note: I usually soak the Chana dal in double the water for about an hour the previous night. Drain the water and refrigerate to add to the batter the next day. This saves soaking time in the morning.

6. Mix well. Pour into greased idli plates and steam for 20 mins or till done.

7. Enjoy with a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* Grind the rice to rava consistency. If you grind it smooth, the texture of the idlis may not be as good.

* Methi seeds give these idlis a very soft texture. So don’t skip it.

* To save time in the morning, soak the Chana dal in enough water the previous night for an hour. Drain and refrigerate. Add to the fermented batter while making idlis.

* All ingredients in the seasoning give a good flavour to the idlis. So don’t skip it except green chillies which you can skip if serving small kids. My kids are fine with it though. I remove the chillies and give them.

* This chutney is Hing chutney with red chillies. I just grind coconut with dried kashmiri red chillies, Hing powder and tamarind paste with salt and little water to a smooth paste. Drizzle coconut oil on top or season it with mustard seeds and curry leaves. I don’t season most of my chutneys as my daughter does not like mustard seeds.

3 thoughts on “Kanchipuram Idlis”

  1. Isn’t 1:1 ratio too much of urad dal for idlis? My normal ratio is 1:3 for urad : rice idli batter.urad is of very good quality n it rises pluffy while grinding….

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    1. This ratio is what I found in the Jaya V Shenoy cookbook. I use split ones though and I use mixy for grinding. You can reduce to 1/2 Cup Urad dal if your Urad dal quality is very good.

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