“Idli Sambar – A Tasty South Indian Breakfast”
Idli Sambar is a quintessential South Indian breakfast dish that’s loved not only in India but also enjoyed by people worldwide. Soft and fluffy idlis served with a flavorful and aromatic sambar, this dish is not just delicious but also nutritious. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of making perfect Idli Sambar at home.
- 1 cup idli rice
- 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram)
- 1/4 cup poha (flattened rice)
- Salt to taste
- Water for soaking and grinding
- Oil or ghee for greasing idli molds
- 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- 1 small lemon-sized tamarind ball
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.), chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 green chilies, slit
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoons sambar powder
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A few curry leaves
- 2-3 dry red chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Wash and Soak: Wash the idli rice and urad dal separately and soak them in enough water for at least 4 hours. Also, soak the poha for about 30 minutes before grinding.
- Drain and Grind: Drain the soaked rice, urad dal, and poha. Grind them separately to a smooth paste using minimal water. Combine the ground rice and urad dal mixture, add salt, and mix well. Allow the batter to ferment overnight or for at least 8 hours in a warm place.
- Prepare Idlis: Grease the idli molds with oil or ghee. Pour a ladleful of the fermented batter into each mold. Steam the idlis in an idli steamer for about 10-12 minutes or until they are cooked through. Insert a toothpick or knife into an idli, and if it comes out clean, they are done.
- Serve: Remove the idlis from the molds using a spoon. Your soft and fluffy idlis are ready to be served.
- Cook Toor Dal: Pressure cook the toor dal with enough water until it’s soft and mushy. Mash it well and set it aside.
- Tamarind Extract: Soak the tamarind ball in warm water for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out the tamarind pulp and discard the solids.
- Cook Vegetables: In a separate pot, cook the chopped vegetables with turmeric powder, salt, and enough water until they are tender.
- Prepare Sambar Base: In a large pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add cumin seeds, dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves. Sauté until the spices release their aroma.
- Add Onions: Add finely chopped onions and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Add Tomatoes: Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and mushy.
- Spices: Add red chili powder, sambar powder, and a pinch of asafoetida. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Tamarind Paste: Pour in the tamarind extract and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes until the raw smell of tamarind disappears.
- Add Dal: Add the mashed toor dal and cooked vegetables along with their water. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Seasoning: In a separate small pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and minced garlic (optional). Once they splutter, pour this seasoning over the sambar.
- Garnish: Garnish the sambar with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve your homemade Idli Sambar hot. Idlis are traditionally served with sambar and coconut chutney for a complete South Indian breakfast experience. Enjoy the soft idlis soaked in flavorful sambar, and savor the authentic taste of South India!