Idli, a staple of south indian food is enjoyed by many. I have never been a fan of traditional idli and always found excuses to opt for something else. But, the only time I make an exception is when there is a right combination to go with it.
Recently, I came across a recipe which used Oats and Semolina that changed my opinion about Idlis. I tried out that recipe and it turned out to be soft and pretty good that I started recommending that recipe to friends and family. I wanted to try using Oats with cracked wheat as its similar in texture to the Semolina but a lot more healthier than its lighter counterpart. Being the healthy food that Oats is, it makes it all the more appetizing because of its soft texture when making these Idlis. One of the best things about this recipe is that you can make it instantly and store the leftover idli mix for later use.
2 cups instant oats
1 cup cracked wheat, powdered to semolina (sooji) consistency
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
Plain yogurt, depending on the quantity of the idli mixture (typically, 1:1 ratio)
Oil, for greasing the idli plates
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp chana dhal (split chickpea lentil)
1 tsp urad dhal (split black gram lentil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
4-5 green chillies, finely chopped
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp grated ginger
Powder the cracked wheat to semolina consistency and set aside.
In a pan on medium heat, dry roast the instant oats until it turns light brown. Cool the oats for few minutes. After it cools down, in a blender or food processor, grind the oats coarsely (as oats grinds quickly, make sure you don't grind it too fine).
In a large bowl, mix the powdered cracked wheat and the powdered oats together. Add salt and baking soda and mix well.
In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dhal and chana dhal. When the mustard seeds splutters and the dhals turn slightly brown, add the green chillies, curry leaves and grated ginger.
Now, add the seasoning to the dry idli powder and mix well. In a mixing bowl, add the required quantity of the dry mix and plain yogurt (1:1 ratio) and mix well. Prepare the idli-yogurt batter just before steaming as it tends to thicken.
Pour the batter on the greased idli plates and place them in the pressure cooker and steam (do not use the weight) for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool the idlis for 1-2 minutes and serve the idlis with sambar and/or chutney.
For this recipe, I used 2 cups of the dry mix and 2 cups of plain yogurt which yields 16 idlis.
Makes 16 idlis.