We had our Sunday brunch in South Indian style after a long time. And I made instant Idlis with oats, semolina, celery and cilantro, there was no need of fermenting the batter. I got this recipe from one of the Indian food blogs : and they turned out so delicious! I made a slight change by using just yoghurt with water and no buttermilk. Also used more cilantro to give a nice green colour.
While the Idlis were steaming I made two colourful and tongue tingling chutneys as accompaniments….. 1. A hot, sweet and tangy roasted peanut and red bell pepper chutney 2. A mild cilantro coconut chutney with a hint of ginger and green chilli to give the zing. I was too lazy to make sambar (which is a must with a Idli/Dosa South Indian breakfast) so enjoyed them with just the chutneys.
I always pull out my favourite stainless steel plates and tumblers whenever I make South Indian dishes. Its so much fun eating in these plates with different sections for your curries and chutneys so we could enjoy and relish every distinct flavour separately.
If you do not have an Idli steamer, never mind. You could use cups, silicone cake moulds etc and steam them in instant pot.
1 cup oats (coarsely ground)
1 cup semolina
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups yoghurt
1/2 cup of water
3 stalks of celery
1 cup of cilantro
1 small green chilli
For the seasoning
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 crushed dried red chilli
a few fresh curry leaves
a few cashew nuts halved
1 tsp ghee or vegetable oil
1. Mix together the coarsely ground oats and semolina. Heat a tsp of vegetable oil in a small tempering pan. when the oil is hot splutter the mustard seeds, then add the dried red chilli followed by the cashew nuts and curry leaves. When the leaves are crisp, switch off the stove, remove the cashews quickly and pour the seasoning into the oats semolina mixture. Crush the red chilli and curry leaves well and mix everything together with a wooden spatula.
2. Grind together the celery, cilantro, ginger and green chilli into a fine paste.
3. Whisk the yoghurt with the baking soda and water, then add it to the seasoned oats semolina mixture followed by the ground celery mix to make a batter with flowing consistency.
4. Grease the idli moulds with ghee, place one cashew half in the centre of the idli mould, then pour the batter in the moulds as shown in the picture above.
5. Place the idli plates after filling them up with the batter in the idli steamer. When you place the idli plates in the slots one above the other, you should rotate the top plate and place it in such a way that the 3 holes in the top idli plate are above the idli batter in the plate below. This prevents the idlis from sticking to the plate above when they puff up. Steam for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes lower the heat to medium.
6. Let them rest for 5 minutes then with a butter knife, slowly slide them off the moulds. Serve hot with sambar, dry chutney powder (called gun powder coz it is very spicy) with ghee and chutneys of your choice. The red and green chutneys I made not only looked colourful but were so delicious. Enjoy!