Idlis, we know ‘em. We love ‘em. But can they be better? Some would say no, but we’re here to tell you there’s actually a way to make these steamed treats even more delicious. Barley is the secret to the magic and the most nutritious idlis you’ve ever experienced.
Grains are one of the most underrated superfoods. Mainly because they’re so common and there are so many varieties, we sometimes forget what they can do. Grains and cereals have a lot more to offer than you might think. For example, barley is a cereal grain that can be used in bread, drinks, stews and much much more to provide healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Although it’s not gluten-free like so many coveted grains these days, Barley does have its own spectrum of benefits. The nutrients found in barley include Vitamin B, iron, calcium and many more. When consumed regularly, barley can help keep many diseases at bay.
Also Read: The Gradual Rise And Use Of Ancient Grains
Combine the magic of barley with the beloved staple of the south – idlis – and you have an unbeatable combination. Although they are a staple part of an Indian diet, food historian K.T Achaya has some sad news. It might not be Indian at all. According to his research, idlis may have come over to the Indian subcontinent from what we now know as Indonesia around 800-1200 CE.
But even though we may not be able to claim them historically, India definitely claims them through sheer power of love and here is a healthy way to get your idli fix.
- 2 cups Pearl Barley
- 1 cup Idli Rice
- 1 cup Urad Dal
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- Salt to taste
- Water For soaking, grinding as required
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- Measure and add Pearl barley and rice into a vessel.
- Wash and rinse the ingredients a couple of times until the water is clear. Drain all the water, and soak well until the ingredients are fully submerged for at least 4 hours.
- In another bowl, measure and add whole urad dal along with methi seeds. Soak them for at least 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, Drain all the soaked water, rinse and add the urad dal in the mixer grinder jar.
- Grind the urad dal into a smooth paste using some water. The consistency should be thick so use ice cubes instead of water in case the mixer grinder jar heats up.
- Once Urad dal is ground, add the soaked and drained barley and rice. Grind it to a smooth paste using water.
- Mix both batters using your hands. It provides some warmth and aids in good fermentation.
- Cover and Ferment the batter for at least 8 hours. Once it’s fermented, add salt, mix gently and either make idlis immediately or store the batter in the refrigerator for use later.
- Prepare the steamer, grease the idli plates with oil and pour a ladle of the batter. Steam the idli for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly before removing it from the mould.
- Serve the Barley Idli with the accompaniments of your choice.