These fluffy, steamed savoury cakes, traditionally made from a fermented batter of black gram and rice flour, are perfect for mopping up curry sauces.
Soak the black gram in 250 ml (
Line a bamboo steamer with two layers of muslin or a piece of non-stick baking paper. Place the semolina in the steamer and cover with the lid. Fill a wok about one-third full with water and bring to the boil. Place the steamer in the wok, ensuring the bottom of the steamer isn’t touching the water, then reduce to a simmer and steam the semolina for 4 minutes.
Add the semolina and about 185 ml (
When fermented, dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 1 tablespoon water and add to the semolina mixture along with the salt. Mix well. If needed, gradually add a little water (about
To cook the idli, lightly brush the idli moulds with oil, then spoon in the mixture, cover and steam for 10-15 minutes. To test if the idli are cooked, remove one with a spoon, hold it in the palm of your hand and with your other hand tap it lightly; if the idli bounces, it is ready. Remove the remaining idli from the moulds with a spoon. Serve hot with sambar and green coconut chutney.
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