For a South Indian a perfect breakfast is either Idli – Sambar, Idli-Chutney or Dosa and chutney. I have started posting various breakfast dishes here and today it is Standard breakfast of every South Indian. Idli – Sambar.
Here is what we need for Idli:
1 cup Urad dal
2 cup Rice
1 big fistful poha * check notes
1. Firstly wash the urad dal at least 3 times and soak the urad dal and poha/flattened rice together for 4-5 hours.
2. In a separate vessel wash and soak rice for 4 hours.
3. Drain the water from the urad dal and keep the water for later use, similarly drain water completely from rice and throw away this water.
4. Add this urad dal in a mixer grinder or a tilting grinder and grind into very smooth paste adding water little by little, stirring the batter with clean hand or spatula.
5. Take ¾ th of the batter out in a clean vessel.
6. Add in the rice to the remaining ¼ th of the batter directly in the mixer grinder and grind it well until the rice comes to a idli rawa consistency. This process takes a few seconds as the rice is soaked it reaches the rawa consistency very soon.
7. Switch of the grinder and then add the rice mixture into the ¾ th urad dal batter and mix well.
8. Add salt and allow the mixture to ferment overnight or 8 hours.
9. Next day or just before making idlis, grease the idli moulds and pour a ladle full of idli batter into the mould, do the same for rest of the batter
10. Steam the idlis in a pressure cooker without placing the weight or in a steamer for 10-12 minutes. Before using Pressure cooker or Pan, first add water in the pan. let it come to a boil. Keep the idli stand and cover the pan. Now take a clean spoon and remove the idlis from the moulds, Steaming hot idlis are ready.
Serve Idlis with Hot Sambar.
I have used rice instead of rice rawa as I have mastered the way of grinding it in the urad dal batter itself I have used rice.
You can also use rice rawa and keep the proportion same. i.e. 1:2 if you are using a mixer grinder like me. If you are using tilting grinder then the urad dal batter fluffs up a lot more than the one ground in mixie so you can add 1:3 proportion i.e proportion urad dal and 3 proportion rice.
Using of poha is not really required if you are using a tilting grinder, my mom does not use it.
We like our idli grainy and not the fine ones so i have kept the rawa consistency of rice. you can make it into a fine paste if you like it that way.
To make Sambar we Need:
For cooking the lentils:
· ¾ th cup toor dal/ split pigeon peas
· ¼ th tsp turmeric powder
· 2.5 to 3 cups for water for pressure cooking
Vegetables and other ingredients for sambar:
· 9 to 10 small brinjal, washed and cut into cubes and soak in water to prevent discolouration.
· 1 medium carrot, washed peeled and cut into cubes
· 1 medium potato, washed and cut into cubes along with skin
· 4-5 ivy gourd, washed and cut into 4 pcs (slit into 2 then cut the slits into 2)
· 1 large onion,peeled and cut into cubes
· 2 drumstick leaves, washed and cut into finger sized pcs
· 3-4 french beans washed and cut into 2 cm pcs.
· 3 medium to large tomatoes,washed and cut into cubes
· 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in ¼ to ½ cup warm water
· 1.5 cups water added later or add as required
· salt as required
· 3tbsp Sambar Powder
· 4 tbsp fresh coriander leaves chopped finely
· 2 tbsp oil
· 4 to 5 curry leaves
· ½ tsp mustard seeds/rai or sarson
Lets Get started
Cooking the lentils:
1. Rinse the lentils well and then add them to the pressure cooker with 2.5 to 3 cups water and ¼ tsp turmeric powder.
2. Pressure cook the lentils for 6 to 8 whistles or more, till they are soft and well cooked. Mash the lentils and keep aside.
Preparing the sambar:
1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 25 to 30 mins.
2. Later squeeze the tamarind pulp. strain and keep aside.
3. In a deep add the veggies, salt pour water. Then add the strained tamarind pulp and stir well.
4. Simmer until the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away. about 10 minutes.
5. If the vegetables are not cooked, then continue to simmer till they get cooked.
6. Now add the tomatoes and sambar masala which we have already prepared. Stir.
7. Add the mashed lentils. Stir and simmer sambar for about 6 to 7 minutes. Add water if required depending on the consistency you want. I make mine slightly thinner whereas my mil makes it slightly thicker, you can make it the way you like
8. Check the taste and add more salt if required.
9. In a tadka pan heat the oil and add mustard seeds, when they splatter add curry leaves and temper this over the prepared sambar.
10. Garnish with lots coriander leaves and serve the sambar hot with idli,dosa or plain rice.
You can add any veggies of your choice.
You can skip adding onions if you are making this on any special occasions.
If you wish your sambar to be spicy then you can add 2 slit green chillies while coking the vegetables.