When you think of food and South India , I am sure you cannot escape thinking of the soft , fluffly , white melt in the mouth idlies....Even though it is the crispy dosas which are more in demand in my house , my vote would always go to the steaming hot idlis...I have always wondered who would have discovered the equations behind these wonderful dishes... They seem to be with us ,, passed on from generation to generation from our mothers and grand mothers ....and have today become the part of tradition.
I read an article that caught my attention a few weeks back that spoke about the history of Idli.I was amused and amazed.. According to reasearcher and scholar, historian K.T. Achaya Idli has its origin in Indonesia ...We never used to make this fermented batter earlier before , it was introduced from our neighbouring cuisine.. Indonesia ...Thus food like all art links us to our own roots ...when India and Indonesia was not divided as two separate land masses and when the whole of Eurasia was addressed as Jambudveepa our cultures, food habits,art and architecture have co existed and survived and also influenced our traditions. To read more on K.T. Achaya and his research click here.
Idli has always been a comfort food for me . It is the easiest to pack and carry with us during train journeys .. filling and healthy for both kids and adults and once you have the batter ready in the fridge hot steaming idlis are ready in no time ...
Depending on the availabiliy of the wet grinder or ordinary blender/ mixer the ratio of the rice and urad dal varies . As I do not have a wet grider the ratio I use is 3:1 One Urad dal for every three cups of rice. I also add 2 tbsps of fenugreek seeds for an added smell. Soak this mixture for 4-6 hours and grind to a smooth smooth paste. If you grind the urad dal and rice separately you will get better fluffiness for the idlis . Keep for fermenting overnight. Add salt to taste . steam idlis by pouring the batter into idli moulds . Steam for 10 minutes and your idlis are ready to eat. I make healthy variations by garnishing the batter with grated vegetables before steaming .
I submit these indo- indonesian beauties to the legume love affair hosted by The well seasoned cook.