Quick And Easy Tips To Make Perfect Idlis This Winter
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Idli is undoubtedly one of the most popular South Indian dishes. The light, soft, and fluffy idlis make for a wholesome meal at any point of the day. Besides dunking it in a wholesome and comforting sambar, you can pair it with coconut chutney or another condiment of your choice, or simply enjoy the plain idlis as they are. 

Idli is a versatile dish. However, as much as we love to devour idlis, making soft, fluffy, and delicious idlis at home, especially during winter, can be a tough task. The fermentation process is easier and faster during summer. In winter, though, due to the cold temperature, it takes a longer time than usual. And sometimes, keeping it overnight is not enough. Due to which the consistency of the batter gets affected. So, if you are planning to make idlis at home this season, we’ve got some useful tips for you to follow. Here they are: 

1. Be mindful of the soaking process

It is always suggested to soak and grind the rice and dal separately. While doing it together may save you time, it can adversely affect the idli batter. Grinding rice and dal separately not only increases the volume, but also aids in fermentation. Soak the rice in water overnight (preferably, for 8-10 hours). Adding poha (flattened rice) or cooked rice while grinding also helps in quick fermentation. 

2. Add salt to the batter before fermentation

Not adding enough salt to the batter after it is ground can also be a reason for poor fermentation. Add 1 tsp of salt for every 1 cup of dry ingredients for idli. Preferably, use non-iodized salt or rock salt.

3. Maintain warm temperature 

Temperature is the primary difference in fermentation, in different weather conditions. The ideal temperature for fermentation ranges from 25°C to 28°C (77°F-82.4°F). In case of lower temperature, try remedies to increase temperature. 

4. Ensure the consistency of the batter is correct 

Too little or too much water can slow down the process of fermentation. It is also recommended that using your hands to mix the batter makes it better due to the warmth of our body. You can also use an oven to warm the batter. Turn on the light in the oven, and use that to keep the batter warm or pre-heated oven in 90°C for 10 minutes and switch off the oven. You can also wrap a blanket around the container to keep it warmer. Keep the container at a warm place.  

5. Avoid adding fermentation retarders

Ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, and yoghurt may slow down or hinder the process of fermentation, as they inhibit the growth of wild yeast. You can add ¼ tsp of baking soda or baking powder to the fermented batter.