Buckwheat Masala Idli

I came across this recipe a couple of months ago and have been dying to try it out. The idlies looked perfect, beautifully soft and spongy and as a bonus, they are even healthier than rice idlies. I feel justified in overeating! We also had some leftover carrot raita, so I figured this would be a great way to use up the raita.

I doubled the recipe and substituted zucchini for the raita. I also added a few extra herbs and spices for some zing.Here’s my version of the recipe:

You will need:

  • 2 cups buckwheat – soaked in hot water for about an hour
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cooked rice
  • 1 ½ cups yogurt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ENO
  • Pinch of citric acid
  • 2 green chillies – sliced finely
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted red chili powder
  • Fresh coriander – chopped finely
  • Salt to taste

For the tadka (tempering): (I skipped this step as I used the raita)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves – chopped small
1 clove grated garlic
1 inch grated ginger
Pinch of hing

1 cup grated vegetable of your choiceMethod:

For the batter: drain buckwheat, and rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Grind into a fine paste with ginger and cooked rice. You may need to add a little water if the mixture gets stuck.For the tempering, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, once seeds pop, add all the other ingredients, stir well until vegetables are cooked through. Add to the buckwheat paste.

Stir through all the other ingredients (except ENO) until a thick batter is formed.
In batches, add ENO to the batter mix with a couple of drops of water. The ENO will bubble, stir well and watch as the batter foams and lightens up. Spoon into idli trays and steam.
I usually line my idli trays with wet kitchen paper towels. You  can oil the trays if you prefer. Steam the idlies for 10-15 minutes. Poke a knife or stick into the centre of the idli, if it comes out clean, the idlies are ready. Remove the tray from your steamer and let cool for a few minutes. Once the idlies cool a little, pop them out of the trays. If you serve the idlies piping hot, they will be mushy and sticky. They firm up very nicely as they cool and remain firm if you reheat them later.

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