Make ahead Oats Idli mix
This oats idli recipe is my new favourite. On my last visit to India I found ready made flavoured oats idli mixes in the markets but found them unnecessary and too small in quantity. I wanted to stock a plain oats idli flour that I could customise with different nuts and vegetables.
So I made an oats mix that I stored in bottles for use anytime. If you don’t want to make this mix ahead, you can make the idlis from scratch. In the pictures you see plain oats idli without any tempering. Instructions for a tempering are also included in this recipe.
2 cups Oats (any kind)
1 cup of Rava/Sooji
salt to taste
2 tbsp Sour Yogurt
1 tsp baking powder
For the Tempering (Optional)
2-3 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped cashews
1 tsp Chana dal
1 tsp white urad dal
2 tbsp shredded carrots or any vegetable finely chopped (optional)
For the basic oats idli flour:
Dry roast the oats in a pan till you can smell a toasty aroma. Once the oats are done, lay them in a wide tray to cool down. Once they cool down, process them to a coarse powder in a mixie grinder or a food processor. For the make ahead oats idli flour mix, just store a mix of equal amounts of roasted oats powder and rava sooji (semolina) in glass jar.
For making idlis from scratch we just need a cup of the roasted oats powder.
Idlis from scratch:
Combine 1 cup of roasted oats powder with another cup of rava. Add salt and sour yogurt and mix well. Now add some water and mix.
Add more water till the mix comes to a batter consistency, not too runny and not too thick. It can get a little thicker once the mix sits as the rava/sooji takes some time to absorb more water. You may see that the mix needs a little more water in 5 minutes.
You can now prepare the tempering now. This is optional. Heat oil in a small pan. Once heated add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add chana dal, urad dal and the cashews. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium low heat and watch the tempering so it doesn’t burn. Add curry leaves next followed by any vegetables of your choice like shredded carrots or finely chopped spinach or even beans. Just make sure that the amount of vegetables is not too much. Too many vegetables in your batter will not lead to very fluffy idlis. Once the vegetables are lightly fried, take off from heat and add the mix to the batter. Mix well.
Add water in the Idli maker vessel and put on medium high heat. Grease the idli moulds while water boils in the idli maker container.
Add the baking soda to the batter and mix lightly. Try not whipping or mixing the batter too much. This applies to store bought idli batter as well. However, it’s okay to mix a dosa batter well. If you mix the batter too much, most of the air bubbles escape and the idlis does not rise as much.
Back to the recipe!
Don’t let the batter rest now and transfer spoonfuls of batter to the greased idli moulds. Stack the moulds and transfer to the container. Put on the lid on the Idli maker vessel and let it steam for 10 minutes.
After ten minutes, carefully open the steamer and take out the idli moulds. You can let it rest (so that they are not too sticky) for 5 minutes and then run the edge of a spoon or a table knife to take out the idlis.
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