Have you ever wondered why your idli turn hard at times? Though you stick on to the age old recipe of your mother or grand mother, sometimes it becomes a disaster. It usually happens with me during winter season. The soft and spongy breakfast would turn in to rock hard food seeming a terrible punishment for the mouth. Do you know the pinpointing reason for such issue? It is “FERMENTATION”. Because perfect fermentation happens only in the warm weather when batter is set undisturbed for some good hours. So in colder places either we have to artificially create warmness for the batter or we should extend the resting time to 20 hours. Today I have come up with an extremely soft and spongy mallige idli recipe which has some key ingredients to make it velvety soft.
Let me put down some key possibilities where idli can become disaster:
- Lentils to Rice ratio- Normally this is 1:2. Meaning if you take single cup of split black gram lentils then 2 cups of rice is recommended. Here instead of rice you can even choose rice rava. Using rice-rava for idli batter is explained in my soft idli recipe post. Always choose good quality lentils for perfect idli.
- Fermentation- This natural process plays vital role in making the idli soft and spongy. So 8-10 hours of fermentation at warm weather (above 25℃) is necessary in any case. So when temperature falls below the 25℃, I either extend fermentation time or create some warmness artificially.
- Grinding and batter consistency: Wet grinder is recommended for grinding the idli batter which results in fluffy, light batter with good volume. The consistency shouldn’t be watery instead it should be foamy. But even using mixer, you can carefully grind the batter (though volume is less) and achieve result close to that of wet grinder.
- If your batter sits in refrigerator, before steaming the idlis bring it back to the room temperature.
Unlike normal idli, today’s post is about mallige idli which has different set of ingredients all together. Along with black gram lentils, it has sago and rice flakes for that extra soft-ness. The other factors like fermentation and batter consistency holds good for this one too. So learn various tricks like this to make your breakfast, a pleasant affair.
Lets together, relish this steamed spongy food of life.