Poha Idli / Avalakki Idli / Flatenned Rice Idli

So far in this series -
D for Dal Idli
J for Jowar Idli
L for Lauki Idli
O for Oats Idli
Here are some super soft and quick version idlis made with flattened rice and cream of rice aka idli rava. These idlis need no advance planning as the batter needs a minimal amount of grinding and does not need fermentation as the standard version idlis. In fact, these idlis can be prepared in less than an hour, including the prep work and steaming the idlis. These idlis are obviously gluten free and vegan and can be served with a side dish of your choice - chutney / sambhar / podi. 
These idlis tend to be softer than the standard version because of the flattened rice used in the recipe. Thick or thin flattened rice / poha can be used in this recipe. My mother uses poha, idli rava and yogurt in the same proportion while making these idlis but I use more idli rava compared to the poha quantity being used. Poha needs to be soaked in yogurt until it softens and then ground finely. Idli rava is then mixed to it and soaked for a short period of time. A pinch of cooking soda or Eno's fruit salt is added just before steaming idlis as the batter is not fermented in this case. However don't go overboard using fruit salt since the idlis get ruined. They tend to spread and turn out crumbly. 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. fruit salt would be enough. 
Ingredients: (Yield 10 idlis)
1/2 cup thick variety flattened rice / poha
1 cup yogurt
3/4 cup idli rava
Salt to taste
Water as needed (I added about 1/2 cup.)
1/4 tsp. Eno's fruit salt
Oil / ghee to grease the idli plates
1. Add flattened rice / poha in yogurt to a mixing bowl and mix well. (I added 1/2 cup yogurt for soaking poha and 1/2 cup yogurt while grinding.) 
2. Cover and leave the mixture until it softens. (The thick variety poha I get locally softens very quickly. Thin variety poha can be substituted if the thick variety poha available takes longer to soak.)
3. Add the mixture to a blender and grind the mixture finely. Then add idli rava and salt to the ground poha. 
4. Pulse the mixture a few times just to combine. There is no need to finely grind the mixture.
5. Transfer the mixture to the bowl and add water if needed to bring to a thick, pouring idli batter consistency. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes. 
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
6. Add 1/4 tsp. of Eno's fruit salt and sprinkle a tsp. of water over it. (or add a pinch of baking soda instead of fruit salt.) Gently stir the batter with a ladle until the mixture turns frothy.
7. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and fill them with batter.
* Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
8. Steam the idlis on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney and /or sambhar. Mine were served with tomato - cilantro chutney.
* Refrigerate any left over idlis and use in a day or two. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Just nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed.

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