Idli rice – 5 cups
Urad gota – 1.25 cups
Water for soaking rice – 6 cups
Water for soaking urad – 3 cups
Grinding time for Urad – 25 minutes
Grinding time for rice – 25 minutes
Sea Salt – 7 teaspoons (adjust according to taste)
Fermentation time – 12 hours at 27C-28C
Cooking time – 10 minutes
Rinse rice and then soak it for 6 hours. Rinse Urad dhal and soak it for only 1 hour. Grind the urad first in the grinder. Drain water from soaked urad dhal. Keep the drained water. Do not throw it out. Use it to add to the grinder intermittently.
Add one cup of soaked water, start the grinder and add urad handful at a time. Once all the urad is added, stop the grinder. Open the lid. Use a spatula to wipe the dhal that has splattered to the side of the drum, center of the roller holder assembly and on the wide part of the stones (if using grinder with conical stones like Ultra Dura+, Ultra Grind+ Gold etc) and push it to the center of the drum. Start the grinder again and add water every 5 minutes or as needed. If you add water at regular intervals, urad dough fluffs up better. If you add all the water at once, urad does not grind well and you might see few whole grains. Once the urad is ground well, remove the batter from the grinder.
Drain soaked rice and keep the soaked water separately. Start the grinder with two cups of drained rice water. When the drum is rotating, add rice handfuls at a time. Once all the rice is added, stop the grinder and wipe the splattered rice. Turn the unit on again and continue grinding. Add water as necessary. Do not add too much water. Some varieties of rice does not grind well if there is lot of water. Some particles start floating at the top when it reaches rava consistency. If there is too little water, the rice dough will form a solid mass and it will slow down the drum rotation. The rice batter will also become hot which prevents correct fermentation. Adding the right amount of water is critical for best results.
Once the rice is ground to a fine batter, remove it from the drum. Mix rice batter and urad batter together with salt. If you take the batter and drop it in the vessel. It should just fall from your hands. If it sticks to your hand, it is too thick. If it runs from your hands, it is too watery.
Let it ferment for 12 hours at 27-28C. In the winter climate, keep the batter inside an oven with just the lights on. In the hotter climates, you can just ferment it at room temperature.
Once the fermentation is over, steam the idlies for 10 minutes. Using sesame oil on the idli plates before pouring the idli dough helps to release the idlies better from the plate. After cooking the idlies, take the idli plate, turn it upside down and run cold water over it for 3 seconds. It also helps to release the idlies from the plate.
Serve hot with chutney, Sambar & Idli chilly powder.
Results: Rate the outcome on the chart below – rate it from 1 to 5, 5 being the best