idliIf your family likes Idli / Dosa this one is a must have. I’m not a great cook, but would surely love to serve fresh healthy food for my family. No matter what or where, my 6 year old loves Dosas to Pizzas anyday. And for good idlis and dosas a grinder is a must have. It is much more tastier and healthier to make your own batter than buying it from the shop.

I would strongly recommend the Ultra Grind 1.25 litres, its small, compact, portable and does a wonderful job. Idlis and Dosas just taste perfect. At  Rs. 7000 it is a worthy investment for your kitchen. It’s low maintenance and last many years.

Ingredients and Proportions for the batter : ( I use the same batter for idli and Dosa)

Idli Rice : 4 cups ( available at South Indian Stores/ needs / spencers)

Whole urad dal : 1 cup ( not broken, pealed, white whole urad dal)

Methi seeds : 1 tsp

Poha : 1 cup

Wash and soak methi, urad dal and rice separately, for 4-7 hours or overnight depending on climate. Soak poha just for one hour.

Grind  the urad dal and methi to a fine paste, adding minimal water. Remove and keep aside.

Grind the poha first for a minute then add the rice, keep adding water at regular intervals to keep the motor running. When the rice is ground well, it will not be a very fine paste but that’s what we need.

Add the dal batter with the rice batter in the machine,let it mix for 3-5 minutes. I add salt at this stage, many people add it later after fermenting.

The consistency of the batter is important, not too thick, not too runny.

Let it ferment overnight. IN winters I add a spoon of dry yeast to help fermentation ( follow instructions on your yeast packet). Alternately if you have a range oven leave the batter in with the overn light on, ferments very well.

Make your favourite idlis and Dosas. The batter is good for Idlis on day one and two, after that it becomes a bit sour. But it’s still good for dosa, uttappam or dosa balls, rava dosa or ragi dosa.

You could also use the grinder to make vada batter and green moong dal dosas.

Some Important  Notes :

grinder1.I had trained my cook on how to use this machine as its fairly simple. When I soak a lesser quantity, I even grind all ingredients together one shot.

2. The motor gets heated quickly, ensure not to run it for more than 20 mins at a time. Give 5-10 mins break.

3. I’ve even added oats to make it more healthy. Have also tried substituting half the rice with kerala par boiled red rice. It is a bit of a compromise on softness of idli but very, very healthy for your family. Trust me , no one will know the difference unless you tell them .

4. Use regular steel idly cookers ( I’m not in favour of plastic cooking utensils, irrespective of quality or brand). Grease the moulds  with oil ( gingely oil / refined oil) pour batter and steam for 12-15 mins on medium flame, its time to turn off the heat after 2 mins of smelling the nice aroma with steam. My MIL also mixes and few spoons of gingely oil (Til Oil) with the batter to make it more soft and tasty.

5. Let the moulds cool before you scoop out the idlis. Use a thin spoon and dip it in water between each removal.

Some of my friends have bought this machine and are very happy with it, add it to your kitchen if you don’t have one already.

Variations to the batter as recommended by friends :

Vidhya Venkat recipe : With a combination of par boiled and raw rice.

Idli Rice – 3 cups,

Raw rice – 1 cup (regular white rice)

Urad dal- 1 cup

Methi seeds – 1 tsp .

Poha – 1 cup (optional)

Soak rice and dal over night or for 3 hours atleast. Grind urad dal first, grind it to a fine paste. Remove and keep aside. Grind rice with salt (add as per taste). The rice should be slightly coarse to get the proper texture for idle. Mix rice and dal batter and allow to ferment.

Mridula Virmani’s recipe : With regular rice and lesser quantity.

Urad Dal – 1 cup

Rice – 2 ½ cups

Poha / sago –  ¼ cup

Methi seeds – 1 tsp

Soak all ingredients separately for 6 to 8 hrs ( or overnight). Grind urad dal and methi seeds together to a fine paste. The grind rice and poha and mix all three and allow to ferment.

Ekta Jain’s Recipe : With idli rava.

Urad dal – ½ cup

Normal cooked rice – 1 cup

Idli rava – 1 cup

Wash and soak urad dal in warm water for few hours. Grind dal to a fine paste, add cooked rice and grind well.

Wash the idli rava and drain water thoroughly . Mix this to the ground batter, do not grind it in Add salt and  Let it ferment for 7 to 8 hrs.

Priya VK Singh’s recipe : With brown rice.

Brown Rice – 1 cup

Urad dal – ¼ cup

Poha – 2 tsp

Methi seeds – 1 tsp.

Dal soaked for 2 hours, rest soaked for 4 hours. Grind urad dal into fine batter with minimal water and rice into a coarse batter. Mix the two and add salt, allow to ferment overnight. Steam for 10-12 minutes.

Jyoti Bhargava’s  infalliable Dosa Recipe :

Idli sela rice : 3 cups

Parmal rice : 1 cup

Urad duli : 1 cup

Poha / cooked rice – a handful.

Methi seeds : ½ tsp

Soak rice , methi and dal separately overnight. Soak poha  a little before grinding.

Grind dal to a fine consistency, remove to a large contaciner. Grind rice+methi+poha together ( if needed in multiple lots). Keep the rice mix fine. Add it to the dal mix, give it a stir and let it sit covered to ferment over 8 to 9 hours. If desired add salt to your mix before adding water. Give the batter a good stir after adding water.

Jo’s Tip : “I’ve always used a seasoned non-stick  tawa for dosas and put a few drops of desi ghee on the dosas as it starts crispening. Poha / cooked rice helps the dosa to crsipen”