Idli Sambar

Photo Credits: Ravi Talwar

Steam cooked rice-and-dal Idli or Sooji Idli (quicker) with Sambar, this healthy and filling breakfast is a regular item in most South Indian homes. Originated here but loved all over, you’ll often find this dish as a light lunch option too. This combo tastes best when served with coconut chutney.

To read some interesting facts about Idlis, visit India-Infofacts

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Ingredients for Rice-Dal Idli

Ingredients for Sooji (Semolina) Idli

Ingredients for Sambar

Procedure for making Idli Sambar

For Rice-Dal Idli

  1. Soak urad dal and rice separately in water for 6 – 8 hours or overnight. Drain and grind them separately in food processor into fine pastes.

Note: You may use this food processor.

  1. Combine both the pastes in a bowl and add salt. Keep this batter aside for 4 to 5 hours for fermentation at a warm place.

For Sooji Idli

  1. Combine the sooji and sour curd to a thick paste.
  2. Add salt and some water if needed to form a thick dropping batter. Keep it aside for half an hour. Do not add the Eno powder or baking soda at this point. Add it just before pouring this batter into idli pan for steaming.
  3. Meanwhile put the arhar dal, 2-½ cups water, cut vegetables, salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker and place it on medium heat.
  4. After 1 whistle, reduce the heat and let the sambar cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Allow the steam to escape fully from the cooker and then carefully open it.
  5. Take the idli stand (idli mould pan) and grease it with a drop of oil in each mould.

Note: You may use this idli maker.

  1. Now stir the idli batter well once again and pour 1 tablespoon of batter in each mould. After filling each mould, give the stand a gentle shake to evenly settle the batter in the moulds.
  2. Now pour 1 cup water in the idli maker pan or a pressure cooker and put it on medium heat. Allow the water to come to a boil.
  3. Put the idli stand in the cooker or idli maker pan and close the lid but do not keep whistle over it in case of pressure cooker. Let the idlis cook in the steam for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile put a medium size deep saucepan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil in it. Once the oil gets heated add mustard seeds to it and let them crackle.
  5. Lower the heat and add curry leaves and whole dried red chilies.
  6. Add in spices and tamarind paste; mix well and pour this mixture in the cooked sambar. Stir well and return the cooker to low-medium heat.
  7. Let the sambar simmer for another 5 minutes. Then remove the cooker from heat and transfer the sambar into serving bowl.
  8. After 15 minutes of cooking the idlis, remove the cooker or idli pan from the heat and open the lid. Carefully lift out the idli stand and let it cool down a little.
  9. Now separate the idlis from the stand by running a sharp knife along each mould below the idli edges. Transfer them into the serving dish.
  10. Serve hot idlis with sambar and coconut chutney.

Preparation Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

Cook’s Tips:

  1. You can add some mustard seeds and chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) to the idli batter to enhance its taste.
  2. To check whether idli is cooked or not, insert a clean toothpick in it. If it comes out clean, that means idli is ready.

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