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  • Dumplings are humble and homey. They make people smile. I have loved them since childhood, and this site focuses on cooking and finding the tastiest morsels. It's also the companion to my cookbook, Asian Dumplings.

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« Indian Coconut and Cilantro Green Chutney Recipe (Lili Chatni) | Main | Banana Leaf Basics »

07/08/2009

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Comments

Diane

I've made these a few times with indifferent luck, but never using the idli mix - just from rice/dal and fermenting it. I seem to have poor luck with idli batter from scratch and it never rises enough. Clearly I need to buy the mix, as these look wonderful, and cooked perfectly!

Andrea Nguyen

Diane, You're my kind of woman. However, you'll be amazed with the instant mix. It's got baking soda in it, I believe, so rising it never a problem. It's hard and tricky to ferment the rice and dal. If you lived in hot, humid southern India, it's likely a lot easier to get things growing.

At the Indian Cash & Carry market, I noticed fresh idli batter in the refrigerated case. But I wanted to stick to what Shiyam does. He's the kind of curious chef/scholar who's examined lots of angles before concluding that fermenting batter from scratch isn't quite worth the time. Plus, you only need about 2 cups of batter so the instant mix works well.

Diane

Yes, I've heard the pre-made idli batter you can buy at Indian stores is in fact pretty good - I'm just stubborn and like to do stuff from scratch. But I have to face the fact it's just not warm enough here - at least in my house - for idlis to work well fermenting from ground zero scratch. It's always been a bust - and I'm a decent Indian cook. Everyone I know recommends the idli mix, so I'm going to take the plunge and go for this recipe this weekend. Pictures are an inspiration!

Robyn

This pan would also make an excellent Thai kanom krok, I think, or its Cambodian variation.

Andrea Nguyen

Why Robyn, you read my mind. I'm fooling around with Takoyaki right now and mayo is good on a dumpling. The, I'll work my way down to Southeast Asia with my little puff pan. I love kanom krok.

Diane

Robyn/Andrea - kanom krok are the other thing I use these little pans for. I've actually never used them to make aebilskiver (sp?), just kanom krok and Indian vadas. They are deeper than traditional kanok krok pans, but still work fine.

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I get the rice part, i.e. the idli mix, but where is the lentil in all of this?

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That's really thinking out of the box. Tnakhs!

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