Moving on to Day 3 of the blogging marathon with some mini idlis. A miniature version of anything is cute and attracts kids be it a mini dosa or a mini chapati and so on. So mini idlis are no exception and my kids love it especially when they have been soaking in yummy sambar. I was a big fan of mini idlis and it was the only thing I would order when we go to Saravana Bhavan. I am sure many of you would agree that their “14 idli sambar” combo is always the best.If you have fermented batter, then idli is done in a matter of minutes. So it is normally easy, but since I have to come up with interesting and sometimes time-consuming side dishes to make the idlis more appealing to K it can get a little complicated. Given that K loves dosai and I love idlis we draw the line where the first day it is idli and the second day is dosai. Enough of my rambling .. so let’s move on to the recipe
Ingredients – Batter
1 cup urad dal
4 cups idli rice
Salt to taste
Ingredients – Sambar
1 tsp oil
4-5 tsp Bisibelabath/Sambar powder
To make the batter we need to soak the rice and urad dal separately for 5-6 hours. They are normally ground separately, but I usually grind the urad dal for 20 minutes and then add the rice to it and grind for another 12-15 minutes. Learnt this tip from my mom.
The batter is ready. This has to be kept in a warm place to ferment. See tips at the bottom for the methods I use to help fermentation in cold weather. Make sure that the batter is slightly on the coarser side for idlis.
Fermented and all set to go.
Get the cute mini idli stand out and start pouring the batter using a spoon.
Place in a idli cooker or a pressure cooker. If using pressure cooker do not use the weight valve. Steam for say 10-12 minutes. Open the pressure pan and look at those beauties all puffed up and spongy. Wet the fingers with water and touch the idlis after opening the pressure cooker. If nothing sticks to the fingers then the idlis are done. This is an useful tip which I learnt from my mother in law when she visited us.
Another look at the spongy idlis.
Now let us get started on the sambar. Multitasking really helps in this case. Season with mustard seeds. Add onion and when the onions are cooked add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes turn mushy.
Add around 2 cups of water followed by bisibelabath powder, turmeric and salt. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for say 10 minutes. Then add the tamarind juice and let it boil for few minutes. Finally add the cooked toor dal.
We are almost there. Turn off the stove after a couple of minutes. Sambar is ready and is waiting for the idlis.
Now all we have to do is to pour ladles of sambar over the mini idlis and let it sit for 10 minutes so that it soaks up the sambar. Melt-in-the-mouth idlis ready. Addition of coconut chutney as another side dish takes this dish to a much higher level.
The first picture was updated on 4/29/2013.
1. To ferment the batter in really cold weather I place it in the oven with just the oven light on. It ferments with no problems.
2. Other tips I read here and there and which I follow are to add salt to batter and mix with clean hands and then let it stand for fermenting.
3. Wash and soak the dal and rice. Using this soaked water for grinding will aid fermentation.
4. Grinding rice in a mixie can be hard at times. So instead of rice we can use idli rava. For this method wash the idli rava and let it sit for atleast 30 minutes. Then grind the urad dal and mix it with soaked idli rava. The ratio of dal : idli rava is 1:3.
5. I normally keep this sambar simple with just onion and tomatoes but feel free to add vegetables as needed.
50 Responses to Mini Idlis and Sambar
very soft and spongy idli dear lovely post and nice tips
reminds me of Saravana Bhavan!!!!!!!!!!looks too good
looks delicious and pictures are wonderful ……
I love speedy great food! A+++++ Thanks for sharing!
Love that combo anytime!..picture looks very inviting..sending for sending it for the event..
love the bowl of mini Idlis.. Normally I also make these for my kid, and so happy to see them disappear in a jiffy ! guess finger foods is what they crave most
Cute lovely idlies looks so soft and tempting.Nice pictures.
Wow…Mini idlies dunked in sambar…Hmmmm..BLISS
We love this mini idili soaked in sambar. Lil one prefers just the plain ones coated with ghee. Your pics are really tempting me now..
No comments, just pass that bowl please.
My fav Idly sambar..Mouthwatering..
You described well..
Ooh.. your idli bowl clearly reminds of saravana bhavan 14 idlies as you said… Cant stop drooling..
I can happily have this anytime of the day, looks very yummy.
I can finish that bowl in no time,my sons fav too.Looks delicious.
I just love to have these with loads of ghee… Ur idlis have puffed very well… Yummy combo
So nice.. These idlis are always a hit.!!
Hey very tempting one….Nice cute idli and they are a great brkfast…yummy combo
Really nice.. Cld you pls pass that bowl with Idli and sambhar now?!!
I think I do need to get this mini idli mould as my kids would love it and I adore it too. The bowl of mini idlis and sambar looks divine, I am so tempted to grab it
Mouth watering idlis….i love mini idlis….who wont ?? Nice presentation too!!
Idlis came out very soft and puffy! My favorite whenever we go Sarvana Bhavan here in NY is masala paper dosa
Love that cute bowl with that delicious Idli and sambar. A sure kid pleaser.
Wow wow wow …. Who can say no to this bowl of soaking delicacies:) Loved every bit of it..
these small idlis look so puffed and cute. nothing can match this combo..
Thanks for the wonderful words in my blog. Glad to follow you
My kids love he mini idlis too
Looks mouthwatering and nice step by step pics.
Love it, makes me very hungry…
அட்டகாசமான மினி இட்லி,அப்படியே எடுத்து சாப்பிடனும்போல் இருக்கு!!
wow i love that…cute little idlis in sambhar…love the idli maker u have dear
Those little button idlis look so cute and paired with sambar must be sooooo yumm..
Using belebhath powder for sambar is such a nice quirk! I guess you could add a wee bit of jaggery too. Idlis all puffed up and just right. YOu have inspird me to soak my dal- rice for batter.
Guess what, I have the same mini idli mold! Idli and sambar is our favorite breakfast dish. Especially love mini idlis
Yum ..I can have that bowl…
My fav breakfast, looks inviting.
my all time fav breakfast !! loved those cute idlis !!
wow… Looks yummmm… My son's favourite…..
Tho im not fond of regular idlis, I can have a whole big bowl of these mini idlis with tangy, spicy sambhar!!
I love this timeless classic…It looks truly tempting and I'd love to devour them…
idli sambar ..wow!!anytime!!
Wow…mini idlies looks so soft n spongy…n also I like your sambar recipe so simple n super…on the whole looks more tempting,u made me hungry now:)
Sarvana Bhavan 14 Idlis are my fav…Your bowl looks mouthwatering…
its everyones favourite..nice step by step illustration..
Wow..My all time fav breakfast!!!
Cant take my eyes from that bowl of sambar mini idli, soooo tempting…i dont bother to have for my breakfast rite now..
My fav. Smabhar is so simple to make.will try.
This is my favorite..I used to have this atleast one in two weeks
Wow, it looks so inviting.. perfect for breakfast..
Your Idli Sambhar pictures are so appetizing, i could do with a bowl right now!
My fav breakfast!!! Idlis look so soft and spongy. I wanna drop by and eat it