mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Buried under…

In Bread, Low Fat, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on March 25, 2008 at 8:38 pm

buried under

This month I have been mostly…

…buried deep in work. I want so much to surface, get a breath of fresh air, and share my notes with you. But work takes priority; it does, after all, help pay the bills.

ragi idli

I have been eating healthy…mostly. Fresh cooked breakfasts had been sacrificed for the convenience of industrial bread…till the guilt caught up with me, and I decided yesterday that enough (of white bread) was enough. And how much work is idli, right?! Wrong. If you want sambar and chutney with it. Still, in about an hour this morning, much of which overlapped with my morning tea-and-newspaper-time, I had fluffy healthful ragi idlies! And there are leftovers for breakfast tomorrow as well!

ragi idli
Ragi Idlies
Makes 40 medium sized idlies

1 C idli rice (or other white parboiled rice)
3/4 C skinned urad dal
1/2 t methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 C ragi (finger millet) flour

Pick over and rinse rice and urad dal a couple of times. Add methi seeds to urad dal. Cover with over an inch of water and soak (separately) for 5-6 hours. First grind the dal and methi mix, adding water as required, till smooth and fluffy. Grind the soaked rice but keep it coarse and gritty. Combine the two batters and mix in ragi flour. Add just enough water to obtain a very thick pouring consistency. Cover and keep in a draft-free place to ferment overnight (the batter should double in volume). (In Delhi’s summer, I suspect, the batter might ferment under refrigeration too πŸ˜€ !)

Oil the idli stand (or whatever you want to use for steaming). Stir the batter a couple of times and pour into the moulds. Steam for fifteen minutes. Serve with sambar and chutney, or gunpowder. I was out of gunpowder this morning (shame on me!), else this could really have been a 15 minute breakfast deal.

Incidentally, the topmost post on this blog is Rava Idli, which always crawls back up to the top five every weekend! Tells you a lot about Indians and our penchant for quick home-made breakfasts!

Eat healthy…I’ll be back…soon! πŸ˜€

Here are some links for what to serve the idlies with:
One-pot sambar

[The first sentence of this post was inspired by Today I am mostly… a delightful blog that I stumbled across some time back.]

  1. nice one anita…its always great to have you back in action!

    Thanks for sticking around!

  2. Good to have you back. Your desk looks pretty interesting.

    I have a new office space, and I love it!

  3. Healthy breakfast indeed!

    Whole grains rock!

  4. a tasty kick to start our day with πŸ™‚ .
    Nice breakfast it is . Pics looks great.

    “In Delhi’s summer, I suspect, the batter might ferment under refrigeration too ” — It made me laugh loud :)) .

    Keep the blog alive with your such lovely posts πŸ™‚ .

    It’s true! My everyday dough turns into sourdough in two days in the refrigerator!

  5. I love that mug! And your desk is very neat compared to mine!

    I’ve seen these idlis before but have never had the courage to make them. I did make your rava idlis πŸ˜€ Now making batter of any kind is a fantasy because I have to go out and get a powerful blender or buy that wet grinder thingee. It costs $300 so I am still balking at the price. I guess I could buy the cheaper one – that’s just $219. Just. Yikes.

    These look fluffy and yummy!

    It’s summer already? No spring? πŸ˜‰

    The picture was framed to suitably impress all of you! [The left side of the work table has been carefully kept out of the frame!]

    This was my first time with ragi idli, rather first time with ragi-anything. I was surprised how fluffy these were; as good as regular ones! Didn’t I read that Sumeet was now available in the US, and not that expensive either…

    And you don’t have to rub in your snow-in-spring normal weather…

  6. An architect? Healthy BF.

    Yup…something like that πŸ˜‰
    (for a moment you had me there – “healthy BF!” πŸ˜€

  7. No idlis allowed in this house, unless accompanied by sambar (chutney AND sambar is hubby’s wish, which will remain that unless he comes in and grinds it himself! πŸ˜‰

    Ragi idlis sounds intriguing…and you’re right – batter in Delhi now might ferment in the fridge itself!! and its not even May …

    Well, sambar is such a great combination with fluffy idli that I will have to agree with your husband…Maybe he will agree to your deal πŸ˜€ – did you actually suggest?

    April has started with thunderstorms and it has cooled to a very pleasant 23 degrees! Yay!

  8. Your desk is so tidy compared to mine.
    The rawa idlis show up regularly at our place.

    Judicious framing, it is called πŸ˜€ . The rava ones are pretty nifty, the flavour of upma packed in an idli!

  9. Great breakfast! And super-fluffy! Love the addition of ragi to regular idlis. But soaking and grinding is quite a lot of work!! Rava idlis are always a quick fix, and a great one at that πŸ˜€

    Good to see you after many days. Are there any mangoes yet in Delhi?


    I was happy to note that the idlies lost none of their fluffy-ness on account of ragi.

    Mangoes – not yet. Parents’ trees are blooming though. Some artificially ripened ones are showing up, but I stay away from those; they are such an anti-climax.

  10. someone else too has ragi on their mind err plate πŸ˜‰ i made ragi dosa for breakfast!
    idlis look so soft & fluffy.

    Ragi was quite the flavour of the week I think!

  11. healthy one:))first time here..nice blog dear

    Welcome to AMTP, Dhivya!

  12. Your work looks interesting, Anita πŸ™‚ It feels so good to read you again.
    Note to self: must buy ragi flour. The idlis look divine. I love the earthy color.

    It is, it is! πŸ˜€ Never a dull day! It is keeping me away from the blog though…
    Yes, get some ragi flour and experiment. I am wondering how it would be in bread…or even cake!

  13. Nice post! Yummy and healthy breakfast!


  14. Back finally… I thought maybe you were busy with the exams πŸ™‚

    I have urad and ragi flours…and idli rava… should I try??? or should I bring out my wet grinder after all!!

    Nope, I left school behind a long time ago…and don’t meddle with the son’s schedule either πŸ˜‰ !

    Absolutely…I think it would work. And, all you scared-of-wet-grinder folk out there, Raaga is on to something!

  15. whats happening today? just saw ragi dosa and then ragi rotti and now ragi idli… its ragi day πŸ˜€

    …followed by mallugirl’s idiappam, and Indira’s ragi dumplings!

  16. The idli looks very fluffy and soft….

    Light as air they were…

  17. Praise the Good Lord!! You are back:) Missed you awfully.

    And you just made my day sweeter!

  18. Very nice…makes me want to get out my ragi flour that I scowled at after my mudde experience. πŸ˜€ I love podis! I have milagi and peanut-chatni podis usually handy; mixed with rice or with idlis or dosas is truly a handy quick meal or snack, but who can deny ready-made sambar… (gotta go I hear a bee buzzing)

    So, did you?
    I am going to get all experimental with this fantastic flour…the colour is so interesting too. I am going to see how it fares 50-50 in roti…
    I am waiting for you to post a podi recipe…soon, I hope.

  19. These look really soft and fluffy. Never thought of ragi in idlis. I shall definitely adopt this to my breakfast repertoire.

    I have decided to alternate between ragi and regular idli. Somehow, you just feel better when you think your breakfast got even healthier.

  20. Power packed ragi idlis for breakfast.Nice idea ,surely gonna try this .

    Do try, Mamta – these are no extra effort at all.

  21. Thanks for mentioning my Today I Am Mostly blog!
    And your food looks divine…

    Thanks for coming by, Paola. I look forward to a glimpse into your life; the pictures are so endearing.

  22. Anita,

    Great you re able to work and cook at the same time, impressive,… spiderwoman πŸ™‚

    LOL – why spiderwoman?!

  23. Anita,
    Gr8 to have you back. Been wondering what’s up. Thank God it was work that kept you away.
    Nice work area, soft idlis …lovely photos.
    I missed your posts & realized that i have not written in before.(Its when your eye is injured that you realise its value !!)A ghost reader just came alive.Will try to real from now !

    See, there is always a silver lining! Because I had to stay away, you delurked! Thanks for reading, Farah! I look forward to seeing more of you here πŸ˜€ .

  24. Will try to be real from now on….I meant


  25. coincidence!! i just posted ragi idiappam!guess i should idli next.:)

    They are queer, these blog coincidences…and the ‘disease’ continues to spread.

  26. Idlis are surely the best bet for a quick,healthy,light yet satisfying meal…You would kill me if I say I make the packet wali idlis *wicked grin*
    Lovely post and pics πŸ˜€
    Keep posting!

  27. Hi Anita,

    I tried the ragi idlis following your recipe and they turned really good, much softer than I thought they would be. The following day I thought I’ll try and see how dosa made with this batter turns out. Well, it turned out so good (really crispy) that I ended up making dosas of the remaining batter. Wish I had taken a picture of it to send it across.

    This was the first time I used ragi in cooking and I’m so happy that its available at the Indian grocery shop here. I’m going to get a bigger packet the next time I go there.


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