Sep 11, 2007
Takka Idli - Sweet and Tangy Buttermilk Idlis
Takka Idli translates to Buttermilk Idli. Its a sweet and sour Idli paired up with a spicy side - sweet tooth's delight and a perfect breakfast for all.
1 cup white rice
1 cup poha
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup jaggery, finely grated
1/2 cup yogurt, preferrably homemade buttermilk
1/4 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
2 cardamom pods, powdered
few raisin and cashew halves for decor
Soak rice along with methi seeds for 2 hours. Grind coconut into a smooth paste. Add jaggery and continue to grind till well incorporated. In the meanwhile, soak poha till its soft, squeeze and add the batter, continue to grind. Rinse rice well and add to the batter. Add the buttermilk as needed to facilitate grinding. Grind till the rice is broken into tiny pieces like soji rava. Adjust salt. Let the batter ferment and raise upto 8 hrs. Mix in the cardamom powder. Pour the batter into greased Idli moulds. Decorate with raisins and cashews. Steam the idlis till a tooth pick inserted comes out clear approx 10-14mins.
Serve with maple syrup or sambar or pickle.
How does fermentation work?
Have you ever wondered how does Idli and Dosa batters ferment? Whats the science, chemistry or biology behind the sticky lentil and rice batter turning into fluffy batter next day? Well, I was quite intrigued by this phenomenon a few years back and did quite a lot of research on the net.
All the batters need some kind of leavening agent to turn the batter into spongy or fluffy texture. In pancakes you use buttermilk and baking soda. See..Baking soda is alkaline and needs some acidic agent to work with. Hence combined with buttermilk! On the other hand use baking powder. Its a mixture of acidic and basic agents, hence works all by itself.
Yeast is another way to get the leavening, usually used in breads. Yeast ferments the sugar in the batter releasing carbon dioxide, therefore causing the batter to rise.
But we don't explicitly add either of these in our Idli/Dosa batters, Do we? Looks like our ancestors had found natural ways to tackle these ingredients. After a lot of research all my questions were answered here .
The urad dal and/or the fenugreek seeds used in the batters capture the wild yeast from the air and facilitate in the fermentation. Spring water contains some wild yeast too. But the changing lifestyle with air filters and chlorinated water have made it tough for the natural process to work. An alternative is to use some store bought natural yeast in the recipes.
Regional Cusines of India - A blog event
Takka Idli is my contribution to the Regional Cusines of India - Karnataka, a blog event hosted this month by Asha of Foodies Hope.