Katharita idlis

Chef: Richard Fletcher

Ethnic: Indian
Main Ingredient: Urad Dahl and basmati ricer
Categories: Main
Meal Type: Dinner
Food Type: Vegan
Servings: 2
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes

Katherita and I have been friends for over 50 years. She is one who has given me so much inspiration over the years on cooking. A few days ago she posted this on Facebook. I asked for the recipe and she gave it to me. Hope you will enjoy this. Thanks Katherita for sharing this.
setting up the cooker, spooning in the batter. they then get steamed for 7 minutes or so in a large pot.
fluffy and light - they rose more than expected (the trays are placed one over the other while steaming - a couple rose enough to get stuck to the tray above them!) the only ingredients are urid dal, basmati rice, salt, and water. the grinding and fermentation do the rest.
there ’s a few leftovers - wish i could invite y ’all to participate

  • 1 cup urad dah
  • 2 cups  basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • water for soaking


when i first saw electric food processors, my first thought was, "what a boon for indian cuisine!" and yes, they make things like dosas, idlis, and varas easy to make.
wash well, then soak rice and dal separately for 4-6 hours in enough water to cover by 1-2 inches (the dal will grow, check after an hour or two to make sure it ’s still covered)
the dal should be ground to a very smooth paste. it usually doesn ’t need any additional water.
mix the two batters together in a large bowl that holds heat well (i use clay pottery). beat in the salt - you ’ll add a bit of air as you do. it should drop slowly - not liquid, but soft enough to fall from the spoon. (if you ’ve ever made choux pastry, that ’s about the consistency)
i ’ve been told that if you want it to rise faster, you can add baking soda or yogurt - i ’ve never had to. check after 8 hours - it should have grown (some people say doubled - i ’ve never seen it do that - more like risen about 3-4 inches). if you stir the batter a bit, it should be airy, like a well-risen yeast dough.
i ’ve made them only once without an idli steamer. then, i used little glass prep bowls in a chinese bamboo steamer. it worked ok, though they stuck a little. but they were just about the right .
i have a pot into which the steamer fits perfectly (i think it ’s a 4-quart standard stew pot). one important thing is that the pot has a tight-fitting lid. if not, place a kitchen towel under the lid, then fold it back over the top, to create the best seal possible.
my daughter loves to pour a bit of melted ghee over them, but i ’m sure anyone who knows them has their favorite way of eating them.
that ’s the idlis. you want the rasam recipe too?
for those who don ’t have what is basically a "proofing oven", a heating pad and wrapping in a towel works.

*water for soaking not found in USDA database
Nutritional information
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Katharita idlis
Servings Per Batch 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories1014 Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 0g2%
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0g0%
Sodium 1178mg49%
Potassium 1130mg32%
Total Carbohydrate 206g69%
Dietary Fiber 32g 127%
Sugars 2g
Protein 38g 76%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 11%
Iron 15%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.