I chanced upon this Idli when I was talking to my maid one day. She know that I cook and click and do something on the net[that is what she tells others :)].So one day she asked me if I had tasted Fenugreek Idlis and since it was new to me, I asked her the recipe which she shared happily!
This Vendhaya Idli is a part of the Kongunad Cuisine of Tamil Nadu .Though it is called Fenugreek Idlis, these do not taste bitter. They are just like the regular idli but more fluffier.
The usual ingredients for Idli is Rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. But here we don’t use urad dal. The fluffiness of the idli is attributed to the quality and quantity of the Urad dal[to a larger extent] and to fenugreek seeds[to a lesser extent].
In this Idli, we are not using Urad dal and for the fluffiness, we are going to add an extra large dose of fenugreek seeds and a secret ingredient called Castor seeds.
Castor seeds are called Amanakku vidai / Kottai muthu.As far as I know, these are only used in making Idlis.When using them the outer tight coat is removed when it is gently pounded with the back of ladle / rolling in / pestle. Discard the skin and used the white part for the recipe.
Idli Rice- 3 cups
Fenugreek seeds / Vendhayam– 1/3 cup
Castor seeds / amanakku / kottaimuthu– 15 numbers
Eno / Cooking Soda- 1 teaspoon [optional]
Salt to taste
Soak the rice and fenugreek seeds separately.Remove the husk of the castor seeds and keep aside.No need to soak it. First grind together the rice and castor seeds.Add water little by little while grinding and once it comes to a fine pasty consistency,remove from grinder. Next grind the soaked fenugreek seeds along with 1/2 cup of the soaked water and grind till it becomes fluffy. Keep adding more water if needed,but it should not be runny.The batter must be fluffy.Once done scrape off the batter from the sides of the grinder and add salt. I use rock salt. You can use table salt as well. Now pour in the ground rice batter and let the grinder run for 5 minutes.
Remove the batter into a large vessel and let it sit overnight or for 5-6 hours or till it ferments and rises in volume. Mix well and use or keep it stored in the frigde.
If the batter is stored in the fridge, remove it from the fridge and leave it on the counter top for at least 15 minutes but not more than half an hour.
If using cooking soda, take out a portion of the batter and add eno and a teaspoon of water over it / cooking soda to the batter and mix gently. Use up all the batter as soon as the soda/ eno has been added. Do not add to the whole batch and keep for later use.
Now to steam the idlis, you can use this kind of the traditional steamer where a cotton cloth is dipped in water and spread on the perforated plated and the batter is poured into the moulds. Water is heated in the vessel and the plates are placed inside the vessel ,covered and cooked till done. a spoon / toothpick inserted in one of the idlis must come out clean.It takes10- 15 minutes.Once idlis are done, the plates are taken out and sprinkled with water and the idlis ‘peel’ off easily from the cloth.
Serve these idlis with a side dish of your choice…
Take a look at all that was served so far on The Buffet On Table…