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People from different cultures rely on rice as their daily food staple. It can be served as a main course, side dish, or ground into rice flour, while others use this as a component in their recipes.
In Ceylon and Southern India, one of the healthiest and most popular rice breakfast dishes is called idli. These steamed circular cakes are soft and light in texture, prepared with a batter of crushed, fermented idli rice and lentils. But do you know what idli rice is and how to cook it?
Continue reading this article to discover more about idli rice and how to make it.
Idli rice comes from crops cultivated in Tamil Nadu. The harvest of these crops happens twice annually, during March and September. Producers sell high-quality idli rice for large-scale distribution and restaurant service since customers prefer these because they are good quality and reasonably priced.
Rice that has been parboiled in its indigestible hollow shell is called idli rice. There are three steps to the parboiling process: the rice is soaked, steamed, and finally dried in its husk. It takes place soon after harvesting but before milling. The result is a slight yellowing of the rice.
Idli rice, also known as parboiled rice, is used for making idlis. Idli rice is a short-grain fat parboiled rice that is less expensive than normal grains. Idli rice is pre-processed to shorten soaking time before grinding and contains gelatinized starch for additional texture.
Parboiled rice is a staple in the southern parts of India. It’s more digestible and nutritionally superior to raw rice, so it’s the go-to for dishes like idlis and dosas and drinks like kanji for babies and older people. You can buy parboiled rice in bulk or individual packages.
If idli rice is unavailable, you may substitute basmati or raw rice or use risotto rice such as arborio. These are also effective for making idlis. But since these are not parboiled, they must soak for hours longer, depending on the type of grains used.
There is a significant difference between idli rice and basmati rice. Idli rice is cooked after the husk has been removed and dried, whereas basmati rice is milled to remove the husk, bran, and germ and then polished.
Idli rice does not have a fragrant aroma like basmati rice. Basmati rice grains separate after cooking, whereas idli rice grains are slightly sticky. Nonetheless, idli rice can be prepared in the same method as basmati rice.
Idli rice and dosa rice are types of rice that are traditionally used to create a variety of fermented rice cakes in India. Idli rice is a short-grain, parboiled rice typically used to create steamed, fermented rice cakes served with sambar and chutney. Before being steamed, the rice is steeped in water for several hours, ground into a fine batter, and then fermented for several hours.
Dosa rice, on the other hand, is typically used to prepare dosas, which are thin, crispy fermented rice crepes. To prepare dosas, soak rice and blend urad dal or black gram lentils to form a batter. The fermented batter is then distributed into a crepe-like shape on a hot grill pan or tawa.
Although both types of rice are used to create fermented dishes, there are notable differences in the grain shape, cooking method, and resulting texture.
Idli rice is not the same as raw rice. Their differences are distinct. Idli rice is nothing but partially boiled rice while it is still inside its husk. Idli rice has a slightly yellow color, and it is also easier to cook because it is less sticky than raw rice. There are several variations of idli rice across the Indian subcontinent, depending on the rice and lentils used.
Compared to raw rice’s structure, idli rice looks fat, roundish, and often in yellow or light orange tones because it is steamed with the rice husk. So choosing this rice is simple because you can easily assess its quality. You can identify high-quality idli rice by its color and smell.
Raw rice, on the other hand, is polished white rice with the husk, bran, and germ removed. Raw rice varieties include basmati rice, sticky rice, and jasmine rice. This rice contains less fiber and vitamins because the wheat and germ layers have been removed.
Now, let’s learn the traditional south-Indian method for cooking soft idlis, and you can make them in no time.
We hope this article has helped you discover more about idli rice and how to cook it. At first, it is challenging to differentiate between different types of rice, but when trying new recipes like soft idlis, you may need to utilize idli rice to taste and try one of the healthiest and most popular breakfast dishes from the other side of the world.