Monday, December 16, 2013

Ragi Idli - brown beauties for a healthy breakfast

Food blogging and gray skies do not go hand in hand. My blog posts have dwindled in number this past week and if you really insist on knowing the reason, just follow my finger that points to the cloudy, dark outdoors. To top the cream with cherry (that is pretty good for a saying, don't you think?), the investment made generously by the ever supportive BH in the form of a camera flash decided to die on me. I had to hide my face as BH found some tell tale remnants of cooked lentils and a few strands of cilantro sticking right next to the battery case. The man thinks that I have blocked the electrical connection with a non conducting dal or such material. I am officially on the 'Hall of Shame' list at home currently. I may have been a tad negligent, but in my defense, things like these are bound to happen when the kitchen counter doubles as food blogger's direct feed to the channel :-).

All is not lost yet, a pact has been made and BH has been all pacified with promises of delicious food (that is an easy endeavor always, I mean the pacifying part not the bribe :-)) and has agreed to work on the 'cleaning of the flash and bringing it back to life' activity as soon as he can get some time from the seemingly unending meetings and work he has been involved in. In the mean time, I pray fervently that his diagnosis is right on and also ask for a few minutes of sunshine and brightness to coincide exactly with the time I am done with my cooking and ready to take pictures so I can invite you all to try my recipes with cheerful looking pictures that do justice to the deliciousness of the dishes :-). Too many specifications in my prayers, let us see how things turn out. I will keep you all posted.
Until such time, I am going to depend on my ever dependable stash of dishes in my drafts. You have to accept that there is definitely a strong evidence of intelligence in my brain given the fact that I have quite a few yummy creations in my drafts ready to go at a moments notice. Some days, I go on a cooking spree and make multiple dishes and take hundreds of pictures of them all. But by the time I get to them, the mood would have passed and I stare blankly at the pictures and beyond as I cant seem to feel any stories connecting me with those pictures. Sometimes I flutter away to find another set of pictures that make me write reams and reams of stuff about it, and I put the original set back in the draft folder and move on, the draft gets forgotten, well almost or until now..

A month or so ago, I had written a post about diabetic friendly recipes for the Diabetic awareness day and while working on that post, I had made more than one diabetic friendly recipes. While all of them were very close contenders on the taste scale, I had to choose one and I went with Barley upma as that seemed to be a not so common dish. At the same time, my ragi idli got pushed into the draft. This very unassuming idli is a perfect breakfast or dinner when eaten with a spicy chutney or sambar. I have two variations of the same recipe, they change the texture of the idli a little bit, so choose whichever one you prefer.

If you haven't done already, Ragi or finger millet is something you want to incorporate in your regular diet, it has low fat content, good amount of fiber content and high calcium content . If you are not used to the color it imparts to the dishes, it may be a put off initially but don't let that deter you from experiencing a very earthy and fulfilling taste. We relish Ragi mudde, Ragi rotti and Ragi dosa on a regular basis at home.
What do you need to make Ragi idlis?
Makes about 20 idlis
1/2 cup urad dal
1 Tblsp avalakki/poha/rice flakes
1/4 Tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 Tsp salt
Variation 1:
1 & 1/4 cup ragi flour
Variation 2:
3/4 cup ragi flour
3/4 cup idli rava

How do you make Ragi Idli?
  • Soak Urad dal with poha & fenugreek seeds for 3-4 hours.
  • Drain the water, scrub and wash the soaked dal once and grind it to a very smooth batter using water.
  • Variation 1:
  • Once the urad dal is soft (I grind it for about 25-30 minutes in wet grinder), add the ragi flour slowly and give it a couple of pulses so it mixes well with the urad dal paste.
  • Alternatively, you can take the urad dal paste to a big bowl, mix the ragi flour until it is homogeneous and lump free.
  • Variation 2:
  • Rinse idli rava in water and keep aside for an hour. Squeeze out the extra water and add it to the ground urad dal batter along with the ragi flour.
  • Follow the below steps for both variations:
  • Add salt and mix together. Adjust the consistency of the batter using water as you are using dry flours here. It should be easily pourable but not flowing thin.
  • Cover and set it in a warm place to ferment, takes about 8-10 hours. See notes for help on fermenting.
  • Grease the idli plates with a drop or two of oil and pour a spoon full of batter. Steam like regular idli for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked completely.
  • Let the idlis stand in the plate for a couple of minutes after you switch off the stove, remove gently using a butter knife. We had it with carrot chutney.
  • I usually switch the oven light on and keep the batter inside the oven, this ferments the batter well overnight. You can heat the oven to the lowest temp setting on Bake, switch it off and put the batter inside for fermenting. If you live in a warm climate, a corner on the counter top will do the trick.
  • I added some grated carrots to top the batter when I poured them to the idli moulds. This adds a little bit of color making it appetizing to the consumers and gives extra nutrients.
  • Since store bought ragi flour is very fine in texture, these idlis are not grainy like the regular idlis, variation 2 gives you that texture as you use half of rice rava/idli rava.
  • These idlis do not plump up like regular rice idlis and remain the same size after cooked , make sure you steam them long enough to cook them through.


NamsVeni Pothas said...

raagi idli very interesting recipe that every one likes. with chutney ( is it Onion chutney in the picture? ) it looks very yummmyyyy!! i must try this .

Saranya Balaji said...

such a healthy and comfort food..

Kannada Cuisine said...

They look sooo good