Monday, August 2, 2010

Soft Idlis with Tomato gravy & Mini ghee idlis

When you say SouthIndian, (esp., Tamilnadu) breakfast, all of us think the soft idlis first! And where ever we go away from home, it is the first thing we miss. More than the rice varieties, we miss the idlis. And they can be had at any time of the day!
In my house, the idlis will be thin and soft to core! And Idlis will go with any kind of chutneys! I always prefer to have idlis with this onion-tomato combination. It is as simple like other chutneys although no grinding is required.

Many different varieties of idlis can be prepared, but still  the basic idli is the most preferred. I grind them only in grinder. But they come out well in the normal mixer also. When I prepare in the grinder, idlis come out soft till the last laddle. Where as in the mixer, the last laddles of batter I use for preparing Dosa.

I love my grandma's idlis. They will be so soft and she always tries to make different side dish each time. And with all these side dishes there will surely be the tasty paruppu sambar that goes heavenly with the idlis. My grandma is now 74yrs old. Even now, if she knows that I'll be there home, I can expect her idli and sambar. She eats only idlis for her lunch cum dinner. And so idli is part of our everyday food.

Idli Batter You need
4 cups Idli rice
1.5 to 2 cups of skinned Urad dhal (I prefer 2 cups)
Salt to taste

Soak the rice and dhal separately for 2-3 hours. Then grind the rice in grinder or mixer untill the dough is soft. Remove the dough to the storing bowl. Then grind the Urad dhal for same time as the rice. Although, the Urad grinds faster, still take the same time or until nice bubbles come in the batter. Then, Mix the batter well by adding the salt. Close in airtight container and keep outside for 18-24 hours in summer and 1.5 days in winter.

Prepare the idli plates by applying oil on the plates. Now, take the prepared batter and add 1 laddle of batter to the idli plates. Steam the idlis for 10 mins or until cooked well. Serve the idlis with onion-tomato gravy (recipe follows). 

You need:
1/2 cup finely chopped Onions
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
2 green chillies
Salt to taste
1/2 inch chopped ginger
For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dhal
1 tsp Channa dhal
Curry leaves to garnish
Oil for tampering

Tamper the Mustard seeds. Then Urad dhal and channa dhal. Now add the chopped onions, ginger and green chillies. Once Onion are sauted, add the chopped tomatoes. Add little water to cook. You can add more water if you want it gravy. Garnish with Curry leaves and serve hot for idli.

Sent this entry for the event One Me Two Ways with the ingredient Tomato hosted my Hima.
Mini ghee idlis and sambar
You need
Mini idlis
2 cups Sambar
1/2 cup chopped white onion
a handful chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp ghee

Take Idli batter in spoons and fill the idli plates. Steam cook the idlis and keep aside.Now add the sambar(recipe follows) over the idlis. Add 1 cup of sambar to 14 mini idlis. Then to this, add the finely chopped onion and coriander leaves. Add ghee nicely and serve hot.

Restaurant-Style Sambar
you need
1 cup cooked Toor dhal
1 cup roughly chopped Onion
1/4 capsicum chopped into squares
1 drumstick cut into 2" lengths
1 Tomato roughly chopped
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 lemon size tamarind
2 1/2 cups of water
1 Big tsp Sambar powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Curry leaves to garnish

For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dhal
oil for tampering

In a heavy bottom sauce pan add a tsp oil. Add fenugreek seeds and wait till it pops. Then add the chopped veggies and the asafoetida. Saute for about a min or two. Then add the tamarind paste and add the water. Now add the sambar powder and turmeric powder. Let this cook until the blankness of the sambar powder goes away. Then add the cooked and mashed toor dhal. Now cook again for 5-10 mins.
Tamper the mustard seeds and Urad dhal in a tsp of oil. Add it to the sambar. Finally, garnish with the curry leaves and coriander leaves(optional).


  1. What a aweet grandmom you have.I still remember her face :) convey my regds to ur mom.

    Those mini idlis are way too good.guess should try this for my daughter!

  2. nice blog with yummy recipes..and love the name of your blog..

  3. Thanks Lakshmi, I will surely tell her, she would be happy to hear someone from my school batch remembers her!

    Thanks Sowmya, I am a regular visitor of your blog and have bookmarked quite a lot of recipes.


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