Super Easy Idli Batter for Soft, Spongy Idlis
Discovering the Ideal Idli BatterBut there was one trick, I never learnt from Amma – or should I say, I never thought I could – and that is making the Idli Batter. Amma though, had always used the grinding stone to grind the idli batter and was always spot on with her idlis. Coming back to making the Idli batter, I have had so many tales – most of them quite intimidating – of how idli batter can go horribly wrong – flat idlis, hard idlis, smelly idlis, yellow tinged idlis and so on. And the theories about making the correct idli batter are many – add sago, add fenugreek seeds, add ice cubes while grinding, add a pinch of salt, don’t add too much water, and so the list goes on. Truth be told, some of these work to some extent. But let me come back to my experiments with Idli batter. When I started serving the Food Aggregator, I had a wonderful help at home – Kasturi who used to make the batter, and that came out reasonably soft. So while she made the batter, I took the credit for the soft idlis.
Going commercial with the Idli batterLater when I started “The Chennai Kitchen”, my own label that provided South Indian breakfast to customers in the society I live in, I know I had to make the batter myself. And so what began as an experiment, became a trademark Idli Batter that I started selling to customers. Fortunately, my brand of batter not only came out great – but I developed my own template for it, so that the quality of the batter I make is consistent, and predictable. The idlis are soft, fluffy everytime.
Tip # 1: Add Enough Water
So, what is the secret of the ideal Idli Batter? Well, the first and most important secret, according to me, is water. Most people while grinding idli batter, are hesitant to add enough water. To me, moisture is what makes idlis soft, and lack of moisture – just the opposite, makes them hard. Please note that I use a tabletop wet grinder for grinding the batter. For smaller quantities you can use a Mixie or Blender as well