I picked an easy one for day 2, I for Idli. For those of you who have never heard the word idli, here’s a little background info: Idli is a very traditional South Indian breakfast. It is a steamed cake made of fermented black lentils (urad dal) and rice.It is one of the most balanced breakfasts with the perfect combination of carbs and protein. Also the fermenting process adds good bacteria that aids in digestion.
I don’t make idlis often since the batter doesn’t ferment well in winters and I’m too lazy and forgetful to soak the lentil and rice for the rest of the year. Well anyway I made sure I remembered to soak, grind and ferment the batter. Thanks to the lovely warm weather we have been having lately, my batter fermented nicely in about 12 hours and the idlis turned out soft and fluffy.
Plain idlis are quite common, but today’s masala idlis are a really nice variation. I saved an article on Idlis from a Telugu newspaper in 2006. One of the recipe in that article is this ‘Masala Idli’. The addition of vegetables and the masala gives these idlis a nice spicy kick.
Make the Idli Batter: Soak urad dal & fenugreek seeds in a bowl and idli rawa in another bowl for at least 4 hours. Grind dal into a smooth paste. Drain and squeeze the water from the rawa and add it to the dal along with salt. Mix well and set the batter aside to ferment in a warm place for 8~12 hours.
Make the Veggie Mixture: Microwave potato and carrot until tender. Alternately they can be boiled or steamed also.
Grind the coconut, roasted gram, green chilies and cilantro into a smooth paste.
Heat 2tsp oil in a saute pan; add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves; once the seeds start to splutter add onions and cashews. Cook till the onions turn translucent.
Next add tomatoes and the other cooked veggies. Cook until tomatoes turn mushy.
Add the masala paste and salt. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Then add this mixture to the idli batter. Mix well and distribute the batter evenly in the idli molds, steam for 12~15 minutes. Serve hot with chutney of choice.
All the veggies tend to sink to the bottom, so here's the cross-sectional view of a masala idli 🙂