Raw rice - 4 cups (if the quality of black gram is not fluffy enough use 3 cups rice)
Black gram (urad dhal/ uzhunnu) - 1 cup (without skin)
Fenugreek seeds (methi/uluva/vendayam) - 1 teaspoon (5 gms)
Gingelly oil (sesame oil/nallennai) - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Cooked rice - a handful (optional)
Grind the black gram adding water little by little into a smooth fluffy paste. You can use the wet grinder blade of a mixer or the wet grinder for this. Grind the rice likewise and add to the bleack gram paste. Add salt to taste along with the gingelly oil. Blend everything together very well and allow to ferment overnight.
PS: Adding the right quantity of water is key to the quality of the batter. For idlis the batter should be of a thicker consistency. To make dosas with the same batter just add a little more water.
NOTES: I've had reader queries regarding alternatives to raw rice. Here they are:
- Parboiled rice
- Idly rice (this looks like par boiled rice and has teh same texture but is sold for a higher price in my part of the world)
- Basmati rice (during our stay at Lebanon this was the only type available in the neighbourhood supermarket, they work well too)