Idli problem - do others see the same issue

Discussion in 'Recipe Central' started by DocDough, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. DocDough

    DocDough New IL'ite

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    I have been successfully making idli for a few years but have had problems lately that I don't fully understand. My recipe uses 64g of urad gota (decorticated whole black matpe beans), 192g of parboiled rice, 1-1/4t salt, and 1/4t guar gum (as a tasteless, colorless substitute for the methi seeds which act only as a thixotropic agent). The beans and rice are soaked separately for 6 hrs (the rice is washed the urad not) in RO filtered water (no chlorine, mineral content< 10ppm). The urad is then ground (with water to make a total dhal + water weight of 256g) plus salt and guar gum for 5 min in a stone grinder, producing a very smooth paste. The soaked rice (plus water to make 550 gm) is added and ground for 11 min until the particle size is like coarse sand or idli rava. The batter is then covered with plastic and fermented at 30°C (86°F) until it at least doubles in volume.

    When it works, it works fine, taking about 13 to 15 hrs to double. The batter is then steamed in greased idli pans for 13-15 min, cooled slightly and served or cooled fully and frozen.

    The problem I have been seeing is that the batter does not ferment (after 48 hrs it just picks up a pink bacterial growth on the top surface that stinks but does not get foamy or rise). I am suspicious that the beans I have bought were treated with heat or radiation to kill insects before they were imported and that the process also killed off the leuconostoc mesenteroides bacteria.

    My question is this - have others had this problem and solved it by buying a new batch of urad dhal or gota? Or is there some other process step that I don't have under control and to which I am blind?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or insights.


  2. Coffeelover

    Coffeelover Platinum IL'ite

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    Well Come to Indus ladies. You will enjoy the site.
    Search for Idli recipe here. you may get your problems solved.
    Your recipe sounds so complicated like Calculus or Scientific method.
    I use
    3 cups of Idli Rice ( washed and soaked wiht 1 tsp Methi seeds)
    1 cup white full urad hal ( washed and soacked - keep it int he fridge)
    1/2 to 3/4 cup Beaten rice or Poha washed and soaked separately.

    after 4 hours, I grind rice with Poha and 2 tbsp cooked rice -
    Urad dal- separately and mix with salt. Next day, idli comes good.

    Good luck.
  3. Saraswathipv

    Saraswathipv IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi DocDough,

    Welcome to IL.

    Do follow what coffeelover has mentioned. You might want to take a look that the link Soft Idlis in the USA too.
    All the best for getting super soft idlis :-D.

  4. lakshmi13

    lakshmi13 Gold IL'ite

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    My idli recipe is like this:-

    1 cup urad dal (without skin)
    4 cups rice
    1/4 tsp methi seeds

    I soak both rice and dal separately. I add methi seeds to the dal while soaking. After two hours I first grind the dal. Take it out and then grind rice. When rice is ground to a coarse paste, I add the urad dal batter and grind for another ten minutes. Thereafter, I keep it for fermentation. Best is to soak by afternoon and leave the batter overnight for fermentation. This batter is good for both idli and dosa. Keep it a little thick for idli and thin it for dosa. It stays in the fridge for a week. Add salt only for the required quantity. Adding salt and leaving for fermentation or in the fridge results in faster development of fungi.

    Try it out!!!

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