Who does not like hot, fluffy idlis in the morning? My kids love idlis. But how much time do you need to make idlis? Are there any shortcuts to reduce the standard time? Is the dhokla maker faster in making idlis than a traditional idli maker?
Wait a minute!! This calls for a…..Time Study (me – rushing, delightedly to find my stopwatch, you – Eyeroll, I know, I know!!)
Idlis are about 40 calories each. Even 4 idlis with a sizeable amount of chutney would limit your breakfast calories to 300 calories or less. Compare it to a sandwich where each bread slice coming in between 90-120 calories, you can eat 3 idlis instead of 1 slice of bread and feel fuller. The water content of the dish plays a huge role in this as well.
Breakfast process breakdown
Step 1 – Applying oil and loading the batter takes roughly about a minute.
Step 2 – Steam the batter for about 10 minutes. The timing may vary from 7 – 15 minutes depending on the size of your idlis. About 10 minutes is the average
Step 3 – Rest the idlis for 3 minutes. This is an important step. If you don’t rest them, they will become very gooey and not hold their shape very well.
Step 4 – Unloading the idlis are very easy, once you get the hang of it. A good tip, is to have a cup of water near you. Dunking a spoon in the water before scooping out the idlis each time get the idlis out in one clean swoop.
Results of Idli Time Studies
|Process||Using Idli maker||Using Dokla maker|
|Oiling the plates and loading the batter||1:06min||56 sec|
|Steaming||10 min||10 min|
|Resting the hot product||3 min||3 min|
|Unloading the product||2 min||3 min|
|Total time||16 min 06 sec||16 min 56 sec|
Want Breakfast @ 8:00? – Start step 1 at 7:35 a.m.
You could use the above time studies to plan your breakfast preparation time. Given that, each batch of cooking idlis takes about 16 min, a double batch for a family of four will take about 35 min (throw in 3 min buffer time) start to finish time.
Another important tip!! – You could use the bulk of the inactive time of 13 minutes (while idlis are steaming + resting) to prepare your side dishes for the idlis. So, set the idlis in the cooker and then start prepping for chutneys. Rest assured most chutneys take less than 10 minutes to prepare.
Does using a dhokla maker cut down your time?
I was hoping that the batch process of dhokla maker would be faster than the idli maker. However, given the time taken to cut the product into squares and then unload them, the dhokla maker took about 50 sec longer than the idli maker. I also have to add that there is a hidden preference in all of us for the ‘tried and tested’. Idlis seem to make more sense if they are concave shaped discs.
I hope you will be encouraged to try idlis on a weekday morning. Just 16 minutes, start to finish, for a batch. Idlis also make for a great lunch box idea. You can dip idlis in anything – spicy sauces or chutneys for adults, peanut butter or chocolate sauces for kids. However, since idlis are very low in fat, you are likely to get hungry quickly unless you round out the meal with healthy fat and fiber combination.
Do you love idlis? Holler your thoughts!!
I can give few additional tips. 1.boil the water before you put in idli plates filled with batter. This will make them soft. 2. After removing them, store them in hotpack with a white cloth wrapped around. It will absorb the condensed water. 3.you can add finely cut carrot, sweet corn sauteed in butter or oil to make it interesting. Or season mustard, hang, finely chopped green chillies, ginger curry leaves, cilantro, carrot, peas. 3. If you don’t mind, add a tablespoon of gingelly oil in the batter and mix well. It will soften the idlis
Wonderful tips!! Thanks for sharing!!
Try the traditional muslin cloth to line your idli plates as opposed to oiling the plates. The idlis will stay softer and are healthier. The oil on the plates tend to dry out the part of the idlis that touches the plate. I have one of those custom idli plates that my mother got made at tirunelveli. They make slightly flatter idlis but tend to be really soft. I will try and share a picture one of these days. The history of food is fascinating.
I would love to see a picture of the custom idli plates you mentioned!! Thank you for sharing your ideas.