Monday, December 8, 2008

Instant Oats Idli

Generally speaking the word idli evokes images of steamed savory rice and lentil cakes that are a staple to south Indian homes. These idlis have universal appeal and are favored by most mothers since it tends to be non spicy and a great source of protein especially for vegetarians. The traditional method of making this includes soaking the lentils and rice for several hours, then to stone grind (or machine grind ) this into a smooth batter and then fermenting this batter for about 8 to 10 hours before it is ready to be steamed.

This labor intensive process used to be even more arduous in the days before food processors and machines. I remember seeing my mother grind this on a stone "grinder". I use the term grinder loosely here since all the efforts would be of the person grinding. It was a solid stone container with a large rim and a deep hole in the center to contain the batter that looked like an inverted hat and another large pear shaped stone which would be used to grind the rice and lentils into batter. The soaked lentils/ rice needed to be placed in the center of the stone in the deep hole and place the pear shaped stone over that lentils / rice and crush it and keep rotating the pear shaped stone to make batter.The stone container was so heavy that it could not even be lifted and had to be rolled from its usual resting position to the center of the room to use and rolled back to its usual rest later on. As I watched my mother make batter in this way I used to marvel at how she managed to make this difficult process look really simple . Of course after all that trouble the end product used to be so soft, tender and fluffy. Nowadays though, the stone grinder of the past has almost become extinct and has been replaced by a lot of machine versions that do the same job at a touch of a button.

As with any other type of dish idli's also have instant versions that are quick and flavorful and that do not need grinding and fermenting. One such version is the rava idli that refers to steamed cake made with semolina and yogurt and spices for flavor. This really quick method to make idlis is a life saver on days when time is short.

Using the basic idea of rava idli, I have been substituting it with oats to make for a healthier idli. This was something I tried as yet another way to include the all important oats in our diet. But I loved the soft idlis made with oats so much that I now only make these type of oat idlis whenever I make instant idlis. The oats is so well blended in this dish that you do not miss the semolina, in addition when flavored correctly the addition of oats is not obvious making this an excellent way to sneak oats in with picky eaters :-) So give this a try when you are in the mood for some quick and healthy dish and all you need is some chutney or sambar to make this a complete meal.

 photo c51e8cf9-d7e4-43c1-8b70-64e4b475526b_zps42e4d61f.jpg

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Instant Oats Idli
3 cups oats (1 minute quick cooking oats)
1 1/2 cups fine semolina (rava)
5-6 green chillies cut very fine (the small thai variety) ( or according to taste)
2 tsp split chick pea lentil (chana dhal)
6 tsp broken cashew nuts
2 tsp salt ( or according to taste)
1 tsp baking soda
handful cilantro cut fine
2 tbsp olive oil (or any other oil)
plain yogurt (about 4 1/2 cups for the entire quantity of oats idli powder)

Dry roast the one minute oats in a heavy bottomed pan on medium to medium high heat stirring continuously until it turns creamy/light brown. Keep aside to cool for a few minutes.

In the meanwhile dry roast the semolina on medium to medium high heat for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously, then remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

When the oats is cooler, grind coarsely in a spice grinder in batches. Take care to process these in short bursts as they grind very quickly and they only need to be ground to a coarse consistency.

Mix the cooled semolina and coarsely ground oats together.

Add to this mixture salt to taste and baking soda and mix well.

Heat oil, add mustard seeds to it, when mustard seeds begin to splutter add split chick pea lentil (chana dhal) and cashews to it and saute for a few seconds.

When the lentil and cashews begin to turn brownish, add cut green chillies to it and saute for about a minute until the green chillies start to change color.

Pour this oil + lentil + green chillies mixture on the dry mixture of oats and semolina. Mix very well.

Take out the required amount of this mixture and mix with equal parts of plain yogurt. Add cut cilantro and mix well.

Grease idli moulds and place spoonfuls of this mixture into each mould and steam for about 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, cool for about a minute, remove each idli and serve with sambar or chutney of choice.

For about 1 1/2 cups of this mixture the yield was approximately 12 medium sized idli's

Notes:
The unused portion of the oats idli powder can be refrigerated and will stay fine for about a week to 10 days.

Do remember that once the idli powder is mixed with yogurt it needs to be steamed immediately otherwise it will not rise well so only mix required quantities of mixture with yogurt.

The fine semolina can be substituted with coarse semolina ( I used fine because I like the softness and texture from the fine semolina )

You can very easily double or half this recipe to make quantities that you require. Just maintain the proportion of 2: 1 for oats to semolina

This turned out to be very mild with the number of green chillies I used so if you like your idli's really spicy then you may want to increase the number of green chillies in this recipe

If you do not have an idli mould you could very easily place the mixture in a greased curved stainless steel plate, steam until done and cut into squares before serving.

Related Recipes
Oats dosai ( Savory Oat Crepes)

78 comments :

Purva Desai said...

Oats idli sounds healthy and unique...they look fluffy and soft..

Enjoy festivities by participating in Christmas Feast Event.
http://purvasdaawat.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-feast.html

Vaishali said...

Usha, what an inspired recipe! I love the idea of quick idlis using oats- how healthy AND delicious that sounds. And they look gorgeous too!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

excellent.. i have always wished there was some recipe for instant idli. bookmarking this one.

anudivya said...

Hey Usha, never knew that oats idli could look so good! I last time I tried to create oats idli I ended up with a blocks of stone!
This is almost like rava idli with oats! yum!

Bharti said...

What a nutritious version.

Uma said...

oats idli sounds healthy and yummy Usha! the idlis look so soft and fluffy too.

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely Usha,never thght of such a healthy idea.Lovely pic.Will try this weekend.I have also bght barley yesterday for the barley cutlets.

Viki Xavier. said...

Enjoyed each and every line about the description of a manual grinder:)
Bookmarked the Oats idlis . Thanks a lot for this wonderful instant idli.

Varsha Vipins said...

Awesome recipe Usha..your dishes r always so nutritous..:)

sowmya said...

thats a beautiful idea of adding oats in rava idli..never thought of this healthy addition..they look wonderful...

Gita's Kitchen said...

The idlis look so sogt, a healthy option for breakfast :)

Navita said...

I am a health freak too...will give this a try..! I am more of a dosa person though.
Thanks for stopping by! n Yes I too belong to the choco-holics club ;p

Vidhya said...

wow never tried this one before. Looks fluffy too. Will try this soon.

Cham said...

I made wheat idli so why i never thought of oats?
Excellent recipe, healthy way to eat the oats!

Jaishree said...

This is new to me..never knew that oats idli could look so good!idli sounds healthy and unique...they look fluffy and soft..

Ramya said...

Brilliant one!!!

Shama Nagarajan said...

hai idli looks perfect,soft and fluffy

Laavanya said...

They look so plump & perfect - nice recipe Usha.

Malar Gandhi said...

Sounds interesting and healthy...

Premyscakes said...

Usha, thanks for stopping by. Even me amazed of your blog, I just luv all your oats creations. And really oats idli looks so soft like normal idlis.
catch u later.

Happy cook said...

Wow really clever and thsoe idlies look yummy fluyffy.

Sophie said...

This is such a unique dish, it looks really lovely too. I like how healthy it is :). I'd like to include it on our blog, please let me know if you are interested.

Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger
sophie@keyingredient.com

raaji said...

hey usha that sounds real timesaver for me...especially i dont have anything for bfast...love the idea of oats in the idlis.....looks soft and fluffy

Priyanka said...

You have such a great collection of healthy and yummy recipes....i am just amazed and your dosas are just perfect...i am not even half as good when it comes to making dosas:(

notyet100 said...

will try this soon,..looks so yum,..nd healthy,..:-)

Priya said...

Brilliant idea of preparing instant oats idli dear...looks delicious, also healthy...

Adlak's tiny world said...

Very nice idli and brilliant idea... U have something new and spl waiting in my blog...

Shreya said...

Amazing and healthy recipe. So innovative. I sure hope to try this soon! And instant too with just yoghut to add:-) Please collect award for you at my blog.

Red Chillies said...

Is this cool or what? Neat idea Usha. I will surely sneak in this the next time I make Idli.

srikars kitchen said...

wow.. nice idea... thxs for sharing.. looks perfect..

Chandani said...

healthy, fluffy and delicious!!

Sharmila said...

Wow Usha! Oats idli! Am going to make them this weekend. :-)

Sharmi said...

the idlis looks so good and healthy, do they come out soft. want to try out sometime.

sumathi said...

Hi Usha.. Really tasty creation... The moment i saw this on yur blog , tried it out for dinner.. It turned out really good.. the whole family enjoyed it..Thanks for a healthy idli..

Kalai said...

Brilliant idea!! Boorkmarked. :)

Pearlsofeast said...

Awesome and fantastic recipe Usha. So creative and lovely dish.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

hey i tried this usha, it came out great.. we both liked it a lot. thanks dear for such a nice recipe.

Madhuram said...

Very interesting recipe Usha. Will be trying this definitely, since we all are oats fans at our place.

cooker said...

Usha...This was a brainwave of a recipe. Just too good. I made it today & so far no one has been able to guess that it has oats in it :-)
Just one thought though... I think it would do fine even without the soda. We make regular rava semia idlis this way, without soda & they turn out fine (we add ginger bits too). I read somewhere that cooking with soda kills the vitamin B or C or something like that. Maybe you could research that ? I will too. But thanks for a really fantastic recipe. My promised blog is still in "Never land" because of my neck problem :-(

Madhuram said...

Hi Usha, made these idlis for dinner today and it tasted very good. Especially my husband liked it very much. The only change I made was adding fine cracked wheat instead of rava. I think that may be the reason for not so fluffy idlis, but anyway we liked it and will be making this quite often. Thank you very much for the recipe.

Usha said...

Thanks Purva, will check out your event soon :-)

Vaishali, Mahimaa, Divya, Bharti and Uma, thanks for dropping by...

Usha said...

Curry leaf, hope you enjoy these idlis and the barley cutlets too:-)


Thanks so much Viki :-)


Hey Varsha, thanks for visiting, so nice to "see" you here :-)

Usha said...

Sowmya, Gita ,Navita, Vidhya and Cham thanks for visiting and for your comments :-)


Jaishree, Ramya , Shama , Laavanya and Malar thanks so much for dropping by....

Usha said...

Premyscakes, Happycook, Raaji , Priyanka ,notyet100 and Priya thanks so much for visiting !


Hema, thanks so much for your award I am so touched !

Usha said...

Shreya, thanks for the award I am so touched !


Red Chillies, Sripriya and Chandani, thanks !

Usha said...

Hey Sharmila, do let me know when you try these :-)


Sharmi, these turned out incredibly soft, I thought they were even more soft than rava idli, do try them !

Sumathi, I am so glad you tried this and that you and your family loved it....

Usha said...

Kalai and Pearls of East, thanks for visiting :-)


Mahimaa, I am so glad you tried and liked this....

Madhuram, thanks !

Usha said...

Hey Cooker, I am so glad you all liked it,yes I agree unless you tell someone they are having oats idli it is difficult to make out...I have never heard about the baking soda thing, will try and research this, you let me know if you find anything in this regard:-)

Usha said...

Madhuram, I am so glad you tried and liked this, the idea of using cracked wheat in it never struck me...seems like a great idea will give it a try myself the next time!

Anonymous said...

Hi Usha,

Thanks a lot for the recipe. I made it today and the idlis turned out very tasty. Although my idlis did not look as white as idlis in the picture and also were not round as the ones in the picture, still they were delicious. Do you think you know what I might have done wrong?

Thanks
Regards
Rashima Khanna

Usha said...

Hi Rashima, Nice to "meet" you, I am so glad that you tried these idlis and liked them. Regarding the shape of the idlis the only thing I can think of is that the yogurt you used may have been a bit thicker than the one I used resulting in a thicker batter, if your yogurt is very thick maybe you could dilute it very slightly or add very little water directly to the batter to make the consistency right. The batter should be of dropping consistency....regarding the color maybe you roasted it a little longer than I did, try roasting for just a minute or two, oats roasts very quickly so that might have made a difference to the color....hope this answers your questions, do get back to me if you have any more doubts and I would love to hear back from you to know if your next attempt turned out better :-)

jahnu said...

Hi Usha,
I am new to this site. I saw this recipe and tempted to try immediately. My idli's came out so nice and was delicious. before filling the batter, i put grated carrots on the mould and filled the batter in the idli mould. SO it was so coloureful. I tried little of fruits idli. Instead of seasoning green chilli, i added cashew, coconut, raisins slightly roasted in ghee. Wow , children loved it. Thanks a ton for the very healthy, easy recipe.
sami

Uma Chandrika said...

Your Oats Idly recipe caught my attention. It sounds very healthy...and the best part about it is that its instant! Will surely try it out! Thanks! Keep up the great work!

Rekha said...

Wow, this is really healhty, never knew we can make indian dishes with oats, book marked!

Anisheetu said...

Wow.. this is really unique idea.. and healthy too... thanks for sharing... do collect your award from the award section of my blog...

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

A new twist in making iddlies..will try them this weekend...creative recipe da

Anushruti said...

That looks healthy and delicious!

Gita said...

Usha, I would love to try the recipe, but usually I only keep old fashioned oats at home not the 1 minute quick cooking. Do you think the substitution would be okay. Your thoughts are appreciated. Will let you know the results. Thanks for the great work.

Usha said...

Sami, I am glad you tried and liked this idli. Loved the variations you made to them, must have made the idli more colorful and appealing to kids!


Thanks for visiting Uma Chandrika, do let me know if you try it, hope to see you here again :-)

Usha said...

Thanks Rekha...


Anisheetu, thanks for sharing your award with me !

Saraswathy and Anushruti, thanks for visiting and your comments, hope to see you here more often:-)

Usha said...

Hi Gita, thanks for your visit. I think old fashioned oats should work too, you may have to roast it a little longer and powder it more fine probably to get the texture of medium rawa.Also you may need a little more yogurt....Do let me know if you try it that way and it works out well.

Rachana Kothari said...

Hey Usha,

You have an awesome blog!!!

I am a hard care "Oat" fan, I often use them in my cooking, but have never made oat idli's... Wowww

Thanks for sharing this recipe:)

Krithika said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This has become a regular in my home. Tastes delicious !

Sharmilee! :) said...

I tried ur oats idly, just luved it....healthy and tasty idlis. Here it is:
http://www.sharmispassions.com/2010/07/instant-oats-idlyedit-recipe.html

nivedita said...

Hi
One of the softest idlis I have ever tasted! that too instant.
Thanks for such a lovely recipe.

Sirisha said...

i tired this recipe and idlis cam out well..we liked it.
we had some left over batter and i tried to make Dosa.Dosa was awesome..it came out like rava Dosa and super tasty

Aparna S Mallya said...

I tried this yesterday. Posted it on my blog too. Turned out good. Thanks fr the recipe.

One question, is it necessary to roast the oats at all? Can't we directly powder them?

Veena said...

Hi, u hv a neat blog with nice pictures. Have u tried these idlis without the cooking soda? I am hoping to try something with ur recipe as inspiration. do visit my blog when u get to...http://tastefullyveggie.blogspot.com

Usha said...

Thanks Rachana !

Thanks Krithika. I am so glad that you like it so much :-)

Usha said...

Thanks Sharmilee, I am so glad you tried and liked this :-)

Thanks Nivedita !

Usha said...

Thanks Sirisha ! Really cool that you tried making dosa with the leftover batter. Good to know that it worked out well, will keep in mind for the next time I have some leftover batter :-)

Usha said...

Aparna, I am glad you liked this idli! Regarding roasting you can definitely powder oats without roasting but I think it may have a somewhat raw taste to it, that is why I roast the oats. Do let me know if you try this without roasting how it turns out......

Usha said...

Thanks Veena ! I haven't tried this idli without soda, I am not sure how that will work out. Do let me know if you try it without soda how it turns out :-)

LISA said...

Hi, Usha. I tried these oat idli. They are my new favorite. I love that you create these healthy innovative dishes based on traditional foods. That is what cuisine is all about. Here is a link to my blogpost where I discuss these idli. http://projectparatha.blogspot.com/2010/10/abondanza.html

Usha said...

Lisa, I am so glad that you tried and liked this idli ! I will surely check out your post soon....

Anindita said...

Usha, this is an amazing recipe...turned out great!! Thanks.

Singaravelu said...

easy 2 cook and tasty and healthy to eat . tanx dear

Jyoti Verma said...

wowww... sound good..would definitely try it !! Thks for the awesome recipe :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails