Cucumber Chana Dal Idli
recipe for cucumber idli
Come summer and cucumber recipes are very much in demand. Ingredients like yogurt, mint, lemons, raw mangoes add freshness and cooling to the summer months. While eating sliced cucumbers with a pinch of salt or chaat masala is a given, it is nice to incorporate this summer treat of a vegetable in more recipes. In most Indian homes, cucumber raita is a staple dish round the year, and even more so in the summers. Yogurt and cucumber are quite the culinary match. You must try the Maharashtrian Khamang Kakdi, which is my all time favourite and I hail this to be the mother of all cucumber salads. And this savoury Cucumber-Mint Lassi is my saviour every summer.
While the Spanish like to add cucumber to their Gazpachos, I love it in my green smoothies. Cucumbers cut into sticks and pickled in vinegar and spices, make a crunchy accompaniment to meals, or inside sandwiches.
Cucumber idlis are popular in Konkani cuisine. They are also added to dosas in Mangalorean and Udupi cuisine, which can be both sweet and savoury. These recipes use the Mangalorean Cucumber or Southekai.
These Cucumber and Chana Dal Idlis are my attempt to incorporate extra protein, fibre and vegetables in my kid's lunch box. It makes a hearty summer lunch with a tall glass of chilled buttermilk.
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Health Benefits of Cucumber:
You may wonder if this salad filler has any health benefits at all! It does.
At just about 20 calories per 100 g and zero fats, this fruit is a calorie counter's best friend. The crunch while biting into a cucumber also gives the feeling of having eaten something substantial. It is also one of the vegetables a diabetic can have with without worrying about his/her blood sugar. Cucumber pulp applied on the skin relieves swollen eyes and sunburn. Two compounds in cucumbers, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied on the skin help in relieving puffiness. It is also a natural diuretic, thereby reducing water retention.
Get the recipe of Cucumber and chana Dal Idli below:
- Wash and soak the chana dal in sufficient water overnight.
- In a bowl, mix the udad dal flour and rice flour. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well to make a thick batter. Cover and ferment overnight.
- Drain the soaked chana dal and grind along with grated ginger to a coarse paste using 1/4 cup water.
- Add the fermented rice-udad dal batter and the chana dal paste to a bowl. Add turmeric powder. Grate the cucumber (with skin) and carrot into this. Season with salt. Mix in 1 teaspoon of oil and the lemon juice.
- Grease the idli plates with 1 tsp oil. Place 1-2 cups of water inside the pressure cooker / idli steamer and cover. Let the water come to a boil, and the steam to build up.
- Meanwhile, add Eno fruit salt to the batter, top with 2-3 tbsp of hot water and mix it up well to get a fluffy batter. Pour ladleful of the batter in each idli mould.
- Open the lid of the steamer, place the idli stand and steam for 8-9 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes, before unmolding the idlis with a sharp edged spoon.
- Serve with chutney / molaga podi and with a glass of Buttermilk.
You can add green chilli-ginger paste to the batter for a spicer taste. I usually sprinkle the idlis with sesame seeds to make them more nutritious.
Another way to serve these cucumber idlis is to heat some oil, temper with mustard and sesame seeds, toss in halved idlis and allow to turn slightly crisp and golden brown. They are even more delicious this way.