If you like to make idly for your breakfast or even for dinner here is how I make it using instant idli mix. Although Idli is a popular South Indian cuisine it is also popular among Sri Lankan Tamil community as a preferred meal.Also this can be introduced as a Sri Lankan Jaffna recipe! But for my surprise I tasted Idli for the first time only after I arrived to Singapore!
When I visited Sri Lanka recently I found that there are many brands selling instant idli mix in Sri Lanka.So I know idli has gained its popularity among many Sri lankans.If you follow the tips below you can easily make soft idlis without worrying about hard ones and enjoy this quick and easy recipe.
How to Make soft idly in few minutes?
Until recent I didn’t try making idli at home but I have tasted delicious idli from Indian restaurants. When it comes to making idli using the traditional method by soaking and grinding the ingredients including Urad dhal, it sounds like so much work for me. If you follow this blog, you already know that I am a lazy cook. So it never happened in my Sri Lankan kitchen.
But recently I wanted to add some quick and healthy breakfast options for our daily meal. Apart from its difficulty in making idli from scratch, the taste of idli is an ideal choice for our breakfast. This is why I wanted to try making idli at home. However I use store bought idli mix for making these soft and instant idlis.
It is easy and quick.You will have soft and spongy idli in less than 1 hour.Idli is also good as a healthy lunch box meal for kids.
Things to know before using instant idli mix
Before you buy instant idli mix, be sure to check the ingredients. Choose a brand that only uses natural ingredients such as Black gram (Urad dal) ,rice and leaving agents. In Singapore I use House Brand Idly mix for making soft and instant idly.
Read the instructions in your idly mix. However be sure to try and adjust the quantities and fermenting time according to your taste. The mix I use, it says to leave batter aside for only 5-6 minutes. Although I could make idli after leaving the batter for 5-6 minutes, those were not so soft. But when I keep the batter aside for around 15 minutes that gave me soft idlis that suits our tastes.
If you like making instant idly mix at home, you can make it in a big batch and use as and when required. Soon I will share the recipe for instant idly mix in this blog.
Whip the idli batter well when you make the batter. This step helps better fermentation. Idli batter will ferment with the help of aeration so that you can provide better aeration with better whipping.
Where to buy idli plates and idli steamer?
If you don’t have a idli steamer then don’t worry.There are alternatives as mentioned below.If you like to cook idli more regularly,then having an idli steamer would make your life easier.
I bought my idli steamer from Sri Lanka in a recent visit.You can check any shop that sells cookware.In Singapore you can check Mustafa for buying an Idli steamer.
When you buy idli maker,be sure to buy one with few plates.Then it is easy to make idli for the family within few batches.There are idly makers that can steam idli in few plates which makes 14,15,16 or even more number of idlis in one batch.
Check here for different idli maker options and to check the price.
Alternatives for idli plates
If you don’t own idli plates or a idly steamer, then don’t worry. There are many alternatives to steam idlis.
But you need to steam it. Therefore it necessary to have steamer option with a steamer, rice cooker or even using a pan as in this recipe.
Instead of idli moulds you can use small metal cups for making idlis. Muffin trays or cupcake trays are suitable too if it fits your steamer. You can also use leaves such as Jackfruit leaves, banana leaves or Kanda leaves to make mould shape. In Sri Lankan recipes you can find Gotu Pittu which jack fruit leaves are used to make the mould for steaming. Use a tooth pick or a piece of coconut leaf stick (Iratta) to tuck the leaves in to a mould shape.
How to serve idli
To eat idli you need few sides. As in Indian cuisine, idlis are served with sides such as sambar, red chili coconut chutney and green chili coconut chutney. While these sides make your idli meal perfect you can also use Sri Lankan sides such as dhal curry, coconut sambola and chicken curry with idli. This green coconut sambola is perfect too.
Anyway, after this idli recipe I will also share few Indian chutney recipes which pair with idlis. Be sure to check the blog.
Here is how to make instant idly using store bought idli mix within 30 minutes.I am sure you will like this instant idli recipe as it saves you more time. 🙂
Instant Idli Recipe
Ingredients (For about 14 soft idli)
Total time: 30-40 minutes
1 cup of instant idli mix
Water as required (Approximately ¾ cup water )
¼ cup curd (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the idli batter
Put the idli mix in to mixing bowl. Add water slowly and make a thick batter. Whip the batter well in order to make soft idlis.
(Optional: If you use curd, then you have to mix curd with the idli flour before adding water)
When the batter is thick yet flowing well, then it is ready to make soft idli for your meal.
Keep it aside for around 15 minutes for better fermentation.
Step 2: Arrange the utensils
You need a idli steamer or a steamer with idli plates in order to steam. Pressure cooker or rice cooker can be used too.
Grease the idli plates with oil.Keep aside.
Add 3-4 cups of water to the steamer and boil it.
Step 3: Steaming Idli
After about 15 minutes of fermenting, mix the idli batter again.
Pour the idli batter in to the moulds of the idli plates.
Steam these idlis for about 15 minutes.
If the idlis are well steamed, you can confirm it with a tooth pick or a fork. If you insert a tooth pick or a fork in to an idli it should come out clean.
Remove the idli plates from the steamer.
Then gently remove the idli to a plate. You can use a butter knife or a fork to remove idlis from the plate.
Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.
Or you can also use other curries such as dhal curry or chicken curry instead of sambar in order to give it a Sri Lankan touch.
Well,if you try this instant idli recipe after reading this post,be sure to leave me a comment with your experience! 🙂
Do you like eating Idli?Have you tasted idli before?Please share your thoughts.