Dill Leaves Idli (Shepi Idli)

shepi idli
There are many recipes that are passed on from one generation to another generation. However there are few out of them, which are not liked by this generation… at least at my house. None of my immediate relatives like smell of Shepi(Dill leaves) and hence this one is hardly prepared and would have lost from our contemporary radar but for my wife. Now this one is prepared by my wife for breakfast and she brings this recipe in, from her mother. I do like this dish but not my parents or any other immediate relatives. I have heard from Aayi that some of our relatives who are contemporaries of my grandfather still prepare this. But at my ancestral house, as no one liked, it was never prepared. This may also because Shepi(dill) leaves are not easily or regularly available in coastal area. We do prepare this now at Bangalore, when we don’t have guests. So over a period of time, a breakfast dish has become sort of ‘temporary’ instead of staying contemporary!!! This will have strong smell(and for me it is fragrance!!) and I wonder why Dill leaves have not won many Dil(hearts)s !!!

2 cups dill leaves
1 cup rava
4 tbl spn jaggery
1 cup thin poha(flattened rice)
1 cup fresh/frozen grated coconut
Salt to taste
shepi idli1

Soak poha in water for couple of minutes. Do not leave it in water as it becomes soggy. shepi idli2 shepi idli3
Mix all ingredients except rava. Grind them to make smooth paste.
Mix rava and ensure that no lumps are formed.
shepi idli4 shepi idli5
Pour in to idli molds and steam for 20 minutes(or microwave for 5 minutes).
Serve with chutney or chutney powder.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 30mins

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Horsegram Idlis (Kulitha Idli)

This must be one of the most requested recipes on the site. Aayi sent me the picture of the dish a long ago. But she could not spend time to post it. So finally here it is.

These idlis are very common in Konkani homes. Many people make them in cooker vessels or other steel vessels and cut them into pieces. We like to make them in normal idli stand. When I made these last time, I also added a piece of ginger while grinding. It gave a nice flavor.

Aayi likes to serve them with coconut chutney, here I like to serve it dipped in a hot bowl of sambar. They have a strong horsegram taste to them, which takes a while to get used to. But they are healthy and delicious.

1 cup urad dal
1 cup horsegram(kulith)
2 cups idli rava

PS: Idli rava, also called as rice rava or rice sooji, is available in market with the name “Idli rava(Cream of rice)”. If this is not available, use 2 cups of rice instead. Soak rice for around 4-5 hrs. Then let the water go by spreading it on cloth for around 30mins. When all water is gone, grind(without any water) to a coarse powder (of coarse sand consistency).

Soak urad dal and horsegram for about 4-5hrs.
Grind them together to a very smooth batter. Now add idli rava, salt, grind jut few seconds so that they are well mixed. Leave the batter in a warm place overnight(or for 5-6hrs) for fermentation.
Next morning, make idlis (steam like the normal idlis).
Serve hot.

Serves : 6-7
Preparation time : 40mins

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Gingery Idlis With Brown Rice

gingery idlis

The temperature is dropping very fast here. With the cold weather, we both caught up cold too. Aching throat, runny nose and heavy head was just making things difficult. So after few days of pretty bland food, we started craving for some hot and spicy food. The first thing that came to my mind were idlis. So last weekend, during our ThanksGiving holidays, I made these idlis. We enjoyed them with a steaming hot bowl of sambar.

I hear/read so much about health benefits of brown rice here. I had no clue about this rice when I was back in India. Few months ago, after thinking over it for long, I bought a bag of this rice. I wanted to replace our normal white rice with this. I tried a couple of times and realized we both didn’t like the taste or texture of it. So the remaining bag sat as it is in my pantry. Then I tried Manjula’s brown rice and barley dosa. Do give this recipe a try, it makes very delicious and healthy dosas. Thanks a lot Manjula. So now I knew how to use the remaining brown rice.

While in Bangalore, we used to taste these gingery idlis (I think they were called kadubu or something like that). I was a huge fan. So I added ginger and few green chillies to the batter. It came out amazing.

If you don’t find brown rice or do not want to use it, you can make normal idlis and still make them gingery by adding ginger to the batter.

1 cup brown rice
1 cup urad dal
1 cup idli rava (or soak 1 cup normal rice and make rava)
2 tbl spns chopped ginger
3 green chillies

Soak brown rice and urad dal together for about 6hrs.
Grind them with ginger and green chillies to a very smooth batter. Add the idli rava and grind for just few seconds till it is well mixed with batter (but does not become smooth).
Leave it in a warm place to ferment overnight.
Make idlis. Serve with hot sambar.

Serves : 5-6
Preparation time : 45mins

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Idlis with wheat rava (Ganva rave idli)

As I have mentioned earlier, rice is an important and main item in our food. So during the fasting days, we eat rice only once a day and avoid it for all other meals. At my home, we do fasting every panchami(fifth day of fortnight in Hindu calender). During these days, satvik food -pure vegetarian food without onion and garlic, is prepared. We eat rice with lunch but for dinner, we either eat fruits or make something with wheat. Even for breakfast, rice is not used. So I make these idlis on such fasting days.

We have noticed that these are more softer and easier to ferment compared to the normal idlis with rice. So these days, I make these idlis very often. They have slightly different taste and healthier because of the wheat sooji ganva ravo (Konkani – n is pronounced with nose as in Genhu in Hindi).

1 and 1/4 cup wheat sooji/rava (the one used for upma)
1 cup urad dal

Rava is either steamed or roasted before adding it to the batter.
Roast rava till a nice aroma comes out of it. OR Take the rava in a clean towel and tie a knot around it. Keep this in a cooker and steam (without whistle) for about 10mins.
Cool the rava to room temperature.
Soak urad dal in water for about 4hrs. Grind it to a very smooth batter. (There will be some air bubbles on top when it is finely ground. Also when you touch the batter, it feels very smooth). Add salt and mix again.
Now add the rava and mix with a spoon. Keep aside overnight for fermentation.
Next morning, make idlis.

Serves : 3-4

PS: During summer, I add the rava to the urad dal batter about 30mins before steaming the idlis (only urad batter is fermented overnight) as the wheat rava makes the batter sour if over fermented.

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Sprouted moong idli

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.
Serve hot.

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.

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Kanchipuram idli

Few days back, when I posted a recipe for Kanchipuram dosa, many of you mentioned about this idli. Then I saw this recipe in my diary. I am not sure if it is authentic, but I liked these idlis very much. I saw this recipe in one of the TV shows in India.

These idlis have a distinct taste of cumin seeds, ginger and pepper. This tastes very good with onion chutney. Ever since I tasted these, it has become a regular at my home.

1 cup urad daal
1 cup rice
1 cup boiled rice
1 tea spn finely chopped ginger
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn pepper (I used pepper powder)
1 tbl spn cashew pieces
1 tbl spn yogurt/curd
5-6 curry leaves
1-2 tea spn ghee

Soak rices and daal seperately for 5-6hrs. Grind daal to a very smoothe paste. Grind rice to a coarse paste. Mix both. Add ginger, cumin seeds, pepper, cashew pieces, yogurt/curd, curry leaves cut into big pieces, warm ghee, salt. Keep overnight for fermentation(see idli post for fermentation instructions).
Grease the idli plates with oil. Pour the batter in idli moulds and steam them.
Serve hot.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 30mins (excluding standing time)

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Coconut idli (Soyi Sandan/Sannan)

The name coconut idli might be little misleading, but I did not know how to name this dish. Just because this is steamed like a idli, I came up with this name.

Those who are regular at Aayi’sRecipes know that I blog mostly about dishes with coconut. It is one of the most important ingredients for Konkanis. Most of the people at my native cook a lot of coconut dishes. Every house has coconut trees in its yards. At my home, we have some 20+ coconut trees. So there is no wonder in coconut being used in most of the dishes.

I read this old Kannada saying in one book – “Tengu mattu ingu iddare manganu aduge maduttade” means with coconut and asafoetida, even the monkey can cook :).

I am hearing a lot of people talking about coconut as a kind of “evil” for health. I don’t say it is very good for health, but if you have a habit of eating it, you need not say it is bad and leave it. My grandfather was 93 years old when he passed away and I have not seen him suffering from any disease any time. He was one of the strongest and healthiest man I have ever seen. He didn’t like any food without coconut. He was very very active and didn’t sit at a place for more than 5mins. He always did physical hard work. May be that was the reason behind his good health.

We asked this same thing to one of the best cardiologists in India. He said, since coastal people have this habit of eating coconut from generations, it does not have any bad effects, only thing is you have to ensure doing so much of exercise to burn the calories.

All I am saying is, please don’t see coconut as a unhealthy ingredient. Eat it within limits and do regular exercises and be healthy. Read more about the coconut at coconut research center.

This is my entry to JFI coconut hosted by Ashwini. Soyi Sandan/sannan is one of the most popular breakfasts among Konkanis at my place. For whatever reason, this was not cooked very frequently at my home. There are many recipes for this dish. This is my Aayi’s version with sweet and spicy taste.

1 cup coconut
1 cup rice rava/sooji or idli rava
1 small piece of tamarind or 1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
A pinch asafoetida
3-4 red chilies
1 tbl spn jaggery

Grind coconut with tamarind, red chilies, asafoetida and jaggery to a coarse paste without adding a lot of water. Add rava, salt and mix well. Grease a cooker vessel with oil and transfer the coconut mixture to it.

Steam in a cooker for around 12-15mins like idlis(without weight). Serve with coconut oil (I served it with chutney).

Serves: 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: You can also soak rice and grind it to coarse powder and use it. I use the rice rava to make this fast.

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Rava idli

I ate rava idli for the first time in Bangalore. This was neither prepared at my home nor I had tasted it anywhere at my native or in Belgaum. So first time when I ate it, I became a fan of it. After that I would eat it everytime I went to any restaurant, but never tried making it at home.

This recipe is from my friend Poornima. I hesitated to post it because I could find a recipe of rava idli in almost all blogs. But finally I thought of posting it anyway, anytime I needed to make this again, I wanted a reference.

Everytime I make this dish, I remember my Pappa (father). He always says he had tasted this during his college days in the hostel canteen. He says he loved these idlis. I wish to make these idlis for him when I visit him or he visits me next time. I know, before that Aayi would make these for him, but still :).

1 cup wheat sooji/rava (medium thick)
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn grated and crushed ginger
2-3 finely chopped green chilies
1 tea spn chana daal
1/4 tea spn soda
3/4 cup grated carrot
1 tbl spn cashews(optional)
2-3 strands of coriander leaves
2 tbl spn grated coconut(fresh or frozen)
1 cup yogurt/curd
1-2 tbl spn oil

Roast sooji till a nice aroma comes out.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add ginger, green chilies, chana daal and fry for sometime. Switch off the heat and immediately add sooji, mix well.
Add salt, soda, carrot, coriander leaves, coconut, yogurt/curd and mix well. Leave it for around 30mins.
Grease an idli stand. Keep half cashew and then put the mixture on top (so that when the idlis are removed, the cashews can be seen on the top). Steam for around 12-15mins.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 30mins (excluding standing time)

Updated on Dec 07 – 2006:
PS: If you do not want to add soda, still the idlis can be made soft. I got the following tips from Poornima.
– Add more oil. When the seasoning is mixed with rava/sooji, it should be almost the consistency of rava laddoo.
– Add more curd/yogurt. The batter consistency should be like normal idlis.

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Spicy pumpkin idli (Kumbalkayi idli)

This recipe is from my friend Poornima. I have posted many of her recipes here so far. She is one of the most important source of Kannada recipes for me. Few days back I called her and she gave me many recipes and this is one of them.

Pumpkin is called Kumbalkayi in Kannada. This is a spicy idli. I prepared this few days back and absolutely loved it.
The Konkani version of pumpkin idli(dudde kadamb) is sweet in taste.

1 cup idli rava (rice sooji)
1 tbl spn chana daal
1 tbl spn moong daal
3/4 cup grated pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped onion
4-5 green chilies
2-3 strands coriander leaves
1/4 cup coconut

Increase or decrease the amount of daal according to taste.

Soak idli rava in water. Soak daals seperately for around 4 hrs(I soaked them overnight).
Mix rava, daals, onions, pumpkin, green chilies, coriander leaves, coconut and salt.
Keep the mixture in idli stand and steam for around 12-15mins (According to original method given by my friend, make small balls of the mixture and steam them).

Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

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Fried idli

There are many ways to utilise the left over idlis. Sometimes we make upma from them. Sometimes we powder them and add coconut, chilies, ginger, salt, coconut oil and asafoetida water to make idli puddi (idli-hinga-udak). Sometimes we shallow fry them with cumin and mustard seeds. All the three taste amazing. I have also seen some people deep frying the idlis or make an upma of deep fried idlis, I am yet to try this version.

When we were kids, Aayi prepared idli-sambar-chutney for breakfast frequently. At my home we all had different tastes. So sometimes she ended up making all idli upma, idli puddi and fry for evening snack.

This picture is sent to me by my brother and sis-in-law from Bangalore.

10-12 idlis
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn cumin(jeera) seeds

If the idlis are thick, cut them horizontally to get thin slices (2-3 pieces from each idli).
Heat tava and spread oil. Spread the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start popping, keep the idlis on it. Fry from both sides for 5-6 minutes (till they get slight brownish tinge).

Serve with chutney powder.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 10mins

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