I have been having a hard time to clean up my pantry, refrigerator etc before our India trip. So I stopped buying any groceries some 15 days ago. Yeah, I am a very bad shopper and my pantries always overflow with different lentils, beans etc. Same goes for refrigerator. So I stopped going to grocery stores and all I cooked for past couple of days was pohas for breakfast – which, according to me, is not a breakfast, it is an evening snack. Yup, I am not even close to switching to cereals for breakfast, I love them as crunchy snacks and can’t accept them as breakfast. That being the case, I was totally intrigued to post this recipe today when I saw it in my draft (okay…that was a lie. I am salivating thinking of all the nice dishes I will be eating in India and a hot bowl of idlis is one of them).
This recipe was actually originated when I had decided to make idlis more often on weekdays. I never keep the batter in refrigerator, so whenever I want to make them, I start fresh. One fine day when I was going to start steaming them, I saw a batch of sprouted moong begging to be used. So I thought I would use them in idlis for a different taste. I ground those with ginger and green chilies, added to batter and kept them for steaming. All the time I was mentally preparing myself for another big batch of “tennis ball idlis” because I thought they would turn out rock hard. But to my surprise they came out soft and very tasty. Since then, I have made these couple of times.
Now the most asked question and I may get a frustrated look from some people for my answer..hahaha. How do the idli batter ferment in this freezing cold? And the answer is….. tada…I take the batter in covered steel vessel and keep it in oven overnight with oven-light on. So, please do not try this with gas ovens. Mine is an electric oven, so it works fine. Attempt at your own risk.
These have a strong moong taste which takes a while to get used to. So give it a couple of chances. Serve with a hot bowl of sambar or your choice of chutney and you have a hearty breakfast.
1 cup urad dal
2 cups idli rava (or 2 cups rice, soaked, dried and coarsely powdered)
1 cup sprouted moong
4 green chilies
1/2 tea spn ginger
Make idli batter with urad dal, idli rava and salt as explained in this post. Keep the batter overnight for fermentation.
Next day, just before steaming idlis, grind sprouted moong with green chili paste and ginger. Do not use much water. Do not make the paste very smooth, it should be a bit coarse.
Mix the paste with batter. Steam the idlis.
Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 20mins (excluding the idli batter preparation time)
PS: Do not attempt this if your idli batter is not fermented well. These idlis are slightly harder than the plain idlis, so if the fermentation has not happened well, the idlis become rock hard.