In most south Indian households, the day typically starts with cleansing the house, and making idlis or dosa. Both make for excellent breakfast dishes, and what's more, they are filling and delicious too.
But making idli is not everybody's cup of tea. The batter is typically prepared a day in advance, and requires expertise.
Here are some tips to make the perfect idli batter.
1. Do not put too much water at one go while grinding the dal and rice. This will result in a watery battery, which will not lead to fluffy idlis. Also make sure to add cold water or ice cubes as the process may end up heating up the mixer-grinder.
2. Add some methi seeds in your batter. It not only adds a nice fragrance and texture, but also aides in fermentation.
3. Soak your urad dal for not more than half an hour. For the rice, you can keep it for a minimum 4 hours or even overnight. For the same reason, there is no need to soak both together.
4. If you live in a tropical city, you can leave your batter to ferment for six to eight hours. Make sure you add salt to your batter, otherwise your batter won't ferment well and result in flat idlis.
5. Your idli batter should be like pouring consistency, more like a ketchup. If it's thick, the idlis will be hard and if it's runny, they will be flat.