Its been really quiet here at Kannamma Cooks for the past few weeks. We just moved from Hong Kong and we are now settling down in Bengaluru. I have moved 7 homes in the past 10 years. Now, that’s not COOL at all! My friends make fun of me saying that Vinodh takes me on yearly vacation to different places. I am finally happy to be back in Bangalore and we are slowly settling down. Its going to be a little slow this month but I promise to make up in the coming weeks. I am trying to include as much whole grain as possible in our diet and this brown rice idli is really perfect. I have some neat tricks to get soft brown rice idlis. I am sharing it with you all today. This recipe makes excellent brown rice idlis that are so soft that one would not find any difference from the usual idlis except for the colour.
You can grind the batter for the recipe in a mixie / food processor and can still get good idlis but grinding the batter in the wet grinder produces the softest texture on the idlis. My wet grinder is close to 15 yrs old and still going strong. When it comes to wet grinders, I recommend the brand Ultra. Its also manufactured in my home town – Coimbatore.
Here is where you can buy it!
Here is how to do it.
The secret to good soft brown rice idlis is the avalakki / aval / poha. Poha is soaked and ground and added to the batter. Poha makes all the difference. I even add poha / aval to my regular idli batter and the texture is unbeatable.
Wash and soak the urad dal, fenugreek seeds, rice for 3-4 hours in lots of water. Soak the poha / aval in one cup of water. The fenugreek seeds and urad dal can be soaked together.
Now lets grind.
The key to good idli batter is to use very minimal water while grinding. If the batter becomes watery, the idlis from watery batter will be flat and hard later.
Grind the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in the wet grinder adding 1/4 cup of water. Do not add all of the water at once. Add in two intervals. Grind the urad dal for at-least 20 minutes till it has fluffed up in volume and its smooth. Transfer the batter to a bowl.
Do not drain the water from the aval / poha if any. Grind to a smooth paste. Add couple of tablespoon of water – “only” if necessary. Grind to a smooth paste. It will take about 10 minutes. Transfer the batter to the bowl and mix it along with the ground urad dal.
Drain the water from the brown rice and grind the rice in the wet grinder. It will take about 20 minutes in the wet grinder. Add 1/2 – 3/4 cup water while grinding. The lesser, the better. Transfer the batter to the aval-dal mixture and mix well.
Add in the salt. Mix the batter well (preferably with hands – they are the worlds best spatula – isnt it?) and cover the bowl with a lid.
Keep the bowl in a warm and draft free place and allow it to ferment for 6-8 hours. The batter would rise and be very bubbly. Mix the batter well and the batter is now ready for making idlis. Store the batter in the refrigerator and use it in 3 days.
Lets make idli.
Put some water in an idly vessel and put it on medium flame. Oil the idli plate and gently fill the rounds with the batter. Put it inside the idly vessel and let it steam for 6-7 minutes. The idlis are ready if a spoon inserted in the middle of an idli comes out without wet batter.
The key to good idlis – Do not allow it to over cook. It might become hard and dry. Just keep an eye and remove the idlis after 6-7 minutes. Do not remove the idlis from the idli plate immediately. It might stick. Leave it undisturbed for 4-5 minutes and then spoon it out. Serve hot with your favorite chutney and sambar.
The one common comment I get from a lot of readers is that, their idlies did not rise and the idlies were flat. The main reason is watery or runny batter. Watery batter will not rise and the idlies will be hard and flat. So use caution while grinding and do not add too much water while grinding. The batter will thin out a little after fermentation. So a BIG CAUTION on using water. Please use correct measurements as mentioned in the recipe.
- ½ cup whole white unpolished urad dal
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 cup brown poha / aval
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2 teaspoon rock salt
- Wash and soak the urad dal, fenugreek seeds, rice for 3-4 hours in lots of water. Soak the poha / aval in one cup of water.
- Drain the water from urad dal and grind the urad dal in the wet grinder adding ¼ cup of water. Set aside.
- Do not drain the water from the aval / poha if any. Grind to a smooth paste. Add couple of tablespoon of water only if necessary. Mix it with the urad dal batter.
- Drain the water from the brown rice and grind the rice in the wet grinder. Add ½ - ¾ cup water while grinding. The lesser, the better. Add to the aval - urad dal batter.
- Add in the salt. Mix the batter well.
- Keep the bowl in a warm and draft free place and allow it to ferment for 6-8 hours.