These steamed, savory semolina cakes are a popular breakfast, lunch or even an evening snack item amongst South Indians. These are very easy to make and do not require any lengthy prior preparation. You can whip this up within 1/2 an hour preparation and about 20 - 30 minutes of cooking time. I sometimes even add one large grated carrot to this batter for added nutrition.
Try this recipe out for a quick nutritious breakfast or brunch. All you'll need is an idli mold/stand.
1 cup semolina
2 tbsp ghee
1/4 tsp baking soda / soda bicarbonate
3-4 green chillies ( small thai green chilies ), finely chopped
1/4 cup cashew nut pieces, roughly chopped
6-8 curry leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh coconut, grated
1 1/2 cup yogurt / fresh curds
salt, to taste
a little oil/ghee for greasing the idli molds
- In a medium saucepan add 1 tsp ghee and when hot, gently saute the cashew pieces till they turn golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- In that same saucepan, melt the remaining ghee, keeping the fire on medium hot, add the green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds before adding the semolina, turn down the heat to medium. Keep stirring the semolina as it tends to burn if left in one spot for too long. Saute this till the semolina starts to turn a pale pink-brown in color. Remove from the saucepan and cool in a mixing bowl.
- Once cooled, add the baking soda, salt, cashew nuts, grated coconut, cilantro and the yogurt. Mix it all well together and set it aside for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile grease your idli molds and keep them ready.
- Fill the idli molds with your semolina batter , about 2/3rds full. Place the idli mold in the idli stand ( there should be some water at the bottom of the idli stand ). Cook as you would for normal idlis. ( If using a pressure cooker, do not place the whistle on top and once steam starts to come out of the top, let it steam for another 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool down for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pressure cooker or idli maker. Using a knife or a spoon, scoop out the idlis from the idli plate. Serve warm with your favorite coconut chutney.