Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Very Special Indian Food.....Idli with Sambar, Dosa, and Uttapam (I Part)

My Indian Spice Box

This is one of the Indian dishes that I do love the most. Probably, you will not have all the things to make it, but I thought it will be good to share this recipe for you to know.

When my friend Kalpana taught me how to cook Indian food, she show me the typical food that I knew it: paneer, dal, tandoori and so on. Nevertheless, one day she told me that the next lesson would be South Indian food, which is where she was from. She promised me that I would love that food!!.....and to be one of my favourite Indian foods now.....

When she described the process of mixing the lentils (urad dal) with the rice, and let them fermented overnight it was wear to me. However, it was my ignorance.....What is fermented food?....Don't we eat fermented food daily like yoghurt and sauerkraut?....Fermented food is full of probiotics.....and everybody knows that is very healthy....

What I like of this dish is that with the same batter you can make three delicious dishes: idli, dosa, and uttapam. As I said before, probably you will not be able to make it, but if you go to a South Indian restaurant, you can try it!

Idli Batter

3 cups of ponni rice
1 cup urad dal

Soak them together for one hour. Then, grind them to a fine paste (I use the blender), add salt, and leave it to ferment overnight.


You will see that is fermented when the batter has bubbles.

In the morning, place the batter into greased idli molds, and steam it over boiling water. The holes of the idli molds will make the steam to go through and cook the idlis.

You have to place the idli tray in a pot with boiling water (only 3 cmc of boiling water). Cook it until firm, which is usually 15 minutes.

You will know that the idlis are cooked when they rise and are not soft.

Idlis that are cooked get rise

When they are warm, take them out of the idli molds......and serve them with sambar

 Freshly Made Idlis


1 cup of toor dal
1 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste (plus 1 cup of water)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric 
Pinch of Asafoetida
Sambar Powder (you can use the brand MTR or MDH)
3 curry leaves
Mustard seeds
Chillies if you wish
Vegetables such as onion, carrot, green pepper, okra, tomato. 

Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water for 25 minutes. Squeeze it out to make 1 cup of tamarind juice. Reserve it.
Wash the toor dal, and cook it in 2 cups of water with turmeric.  Discard the foam that is obtained when you cook it. Cook it until is soft. Add the tamarind juice, and the asafoetida.
Toor Dal

In a pan, heat two tablespoons of oil, and add the chillies, curry leaves, and mustard seeds. Fry them for two minutes. Add the vegetables that you wish, and fry them for five minutes. Transfer this mix to the cooked toor dal. Add sambar powder to taste. Cook them together for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Add more water if needed.


Serve the sambar with idli....ENJOY!!


 Where I place the spices to cook Indian food?.....In my Indian Spice Box....

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