These idlies are lots of fun to make this is how we helped.
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry leaves chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger optional
1 cup semolina
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup yogurt whipped
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1/2 cup water
optional vegetables 2 tbsp carrots, 2 tbsp zucchini grated
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lime juice
2 cups of water for the idly pan
1 tbsp oil to apply on idly moulds
Heat oil add mustard seeds then add cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves and ginger grated if using. Add semolina stir and roast till it becomes a light golden colour and you can smell the aroma. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl and add salt.
When the semolina becomes a little cool add the whipped yogurt and mix. Add water little at a time and make a smooth batter. Leave aside for about 10 minutes covered. If using vegetables grate them and add it to the mixture. The batter should be thick pourable consistency, don't add too much water. Usually semolina absorbs water so you might have to add a little more than 1/2 cup of water.
Heat a big pan with 2 cups of water in medium high heat before adding the baking soda and lime juice into the mixture. The pan should fit the idly stand and water on the bottom of the pan should not touch the mould, so adjust water accordingly. A tight fitting lid with a hole. Oil the idly moulds using a pastry brush.
Instead of using baking soda and lime juice can use 1 tsp of Eno salt, available in Indian stores. Add eno salt or add lime juice and baking soda into the semolina mixture and quickly mix, you will see the mixture will fizz.
Once the eno salt is put the mixture should be steamed right away so this is the last step . Quickly put a tbsp of mixture into each oiled mould, don't put too much on each mould.
When the water is boiling in the pan carefully put the idly stand (if you don't have an idly pan see below) and cover with the tight lid and steam on medium high heat for 7 to 9 minutes. Insert a skewer in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done. Off the heat and leave it for 2 minutes.
Carefully take the idly stand out of the pan, be cautious as it is hot and steam will escape. Using a spatula or spoon slide the idlies out of the mould. If it is steamed for a long time idlies will become hard.
Updated: If you don't own a idly pan try making in a cake pan and steaming. The same way but inserting a cake pan that will fit inside the steaming pan as long as the water touches only the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid that has a hole in it. Put only about 1" high mixture to steam in the cake pan.
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