A - Z Idli Series ~ G for Greengram Idli

So far in this idli series,
D for Dal Idli

I have started a 'A - Z' Idli' series last month and it's turn for the alphabet G today. For the uninitiated, idli is an iconic breakfast dish from the south Indian cuisine, made with a fermented batter of rice and skinned black gram. Idlis taste bland on their own but make a delicious meal when served along with a chutney (usually a coconut based one), sambhar - a lentil preparation and podi - a spicy lentil powder.

Today's idli is a protein rich and nutritious option for breakfast which I prepared on a whim sometime ago using my pesarattu batter. I have always felt that pesarattu is something that you either love or hate. These green gram based pancakes from Andhra are mostly loved in the coastal regions than the rest of the state. I have no problems with pesarattu whereas my husband is not a great fan of those. Why I am mentioning it here is that it applies to these idlis as well. If one doesn't mind pesarattu then these greengram idlis taste fine as well since the batter used in both cases is the same one. My husband surprisingly did not mind the flavor of these idlis.
Here is another version of green gram idli that I posted a while ago that contains rice and black gram as well. These idlis were made with just green gram alone and no rice / idli rava or black gram went into the preparation. In this version, the green gram is soaked for a few hours and then ground with ginger, chillies and salt. The batter needs no fermentation, making this idli an instant version. The green gram can be soaked previous night and ground in the morning for breakfast. Stir in Eno's fruit salt into the batter just before preparing idlis.  

These guilt-free idlis are obviously healthy, gluten-free and diabetic-friendly.  Grease the idli moulds with oil instead of ghee, if following vegan diet. They make a filling and enjoyable meal when served along with chutney and sambhar. 

Ingredients: (Yield - 12 idlis)
1 cup green gram / sabut moong / pesalu
1 inch piece of ginger
2 green chilies
Salt to taste 
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fruit salt / 1 Eno's sachet
Ghee / oil for greasing the idli moulds
* Rinse and soak green gram for about 3 to 4 hours in sufficient water.
* Drain the water used to soak the green gram. 
* Grind the soaked green gram, ginger and chili in a blender, adding a few tablespoons of water if needed. (I added 2 tbsp. of water to grind the ingredients.)
* Transfer the ground batter to a container. Add salt and cumin seeds to the batter and stir to combine.
* Grease the idli plates with ghee / oil. 
* Heat water in an idli cooker / pressure cooker base or in a steamer.
* Add fruit salt to the batter and sprinkle some water over it. Gently stir the mixture to incorporate the fruit salt into the batter. (Add fruit salt just before steaming idlis.)
* Spoon the batter into the greased idli moulds and place the idli stand in the cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the pressure valve if using pressure cooker. 
* Steam on low medium flame for about 20 minutes or until done. (When you touch the tops of idlis with moist fingers, the idlis should not stick.)
* Wait for about 5 to 10 minutes and remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges. 
* Drizzle a spoon of ghee over the idlis and serve with chutney and/or sambhar.

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