Idly is a steamed cake made from rice and black lentils originating from Southern India. Idly’s are made in a specialized mold and eaten with chutney, vegetable stew or other flavorful toppings for breakfast or as a snack. These small treats are good for you and, as a bonus, convenient for those on the go. To make your diet a bit healthier, swap a donut or muffin for an idly.It is a fermented food, and fermentation increases bioavailability of minerals in food, helping the body assimilate more nutrition. The bio availability of proteins and vitamin-B content in the food increases.
A precursor of the modern idly is mentioned in several ancient Indian works. Vaddaradhane, a 920 CE Kannada language work by Shivakotiacharya mentions "iddalige", prepared only from a black gram batter. Chavundaraya II, the author of the earliest available Kannada encyclopedia, Lokopakara (c. 1025 CE), describes the preparation of this food by soaking black gram in buttermilk, ground to a fine paste, and mixed with the clear water of curd and spices.The Western Chalukya king and scholar Someshwara III, reigning in the area now called Karnataka, included an idly recipe in his encyclopedia, Manasollasa (1130 CE). This Sanskrit-language work describes the food as iḍḍarika. In Karnataka, the Idly in 1235 CE is described as 'light, like coins of high value', which is not suggestive of a rice base. The food prepared using this recipe is now called uddina idly in Karnataka. The recipe mentioned in these ancient Indian works leaves out three key aspects of the modern idly recipe: the use of rice (not just black gram), the long fermentation of the mix, and the steaming for fluffiness. The references to the modern recipe appear in the Indian works only after 1250 CE. Food historian K. T. Achaya speculates that the modern idly recipe might have originated in present-day Indonesia, which has a long tradition of fermented food. According to him, the cooks employed by the Hindu kings of the Indianized kingdoms might have invented the steamed idly there and brought the recipe back to India during 800-1200 CE. Achaya mentioned an Indonesian dish called "kedli", which according to him, was like an idly. However, Janaki Lenin was unable to find any recipe for an Indonesian dish by this name.
Rice, Urad dal, Black lentils (de-husked), rice, Fenugreek Seeds (methi dana).
Rice and urad dahl in idly’s complement each other, making it a complete protein pair. The fermentation process involved in the making of idly breaks down the starch, so that they are readily metabolized by the body. idly’s contain no fat, no saturated fat and no cholesterol. One idly contains 1 milligram of iron(app), and trace amounts of calcium, folate, potassium and vitamin A and is highly rich in protein content.