How cute are these Idli Waffles??!!
I really wish this was another quick and easy weeknight dinner option, but it just wasn’t as quick as I like my usual recipes to be! But it is worth testing out for the change in textures you get with these idli waffles! It falls somewhere in between a crispy dosa and a super soft and fluffy idli. You get a crisp outer surface from the waffle iron but the inside of the waffle is still very fluffy! And I still make these on a weeknight when I have a little extra energy and time, so it’s definitely worth a try!
I employed as many shortcuts as I could though to cut down on the time. I used ready-made batter. You know the kind that you can buy in tubs from your local Indian grocery store! This batter is actually pretty amazing! No fermenting time, no wait time! Just pop open one of these tubs, add a little water to get to a consistency you like. My trick is also to add a teaspoon of Eno to every 1 cup of batter I use. I find it helps to amp up the fluff factor! Stir it up and get your waffle iron ready!
Another trick I learned about making idli waffles is that you have to allow for the batter to set even after its poured into the griddle. So pour the batter and keep the waffle iron open for about 2 minutes. If you don’t do this, the idli batter expands too quickly and burns right on to the iron (yikes!). Once you’re able to close it, cook for another 2 minutes and they should be able to pop right now!
Instant Pot Sambar
For the sambar, I tried to make it as quickly as possible without one of those pre-made mixes (you know one of those just add water mixtures!). So I used my ever-trusty Instant Pot!! In order to get a nice texture on the sambar, I did have to break it up as a two-part recipe though. If you throw all of the ingredients for the sambar in at once (dal, veggies, seasonings). You will be end up with a lumpy sambar. I prefer a nice smooth dal as the base, with the perfectly cooked veggies still intact.
So I cooked the dal first in the Instant Pot. Once the dal is cooked, blend it with an immersion blender and set aside.
For the veggies, set the Instant Pot to saute and start adding the cut up veggies you are planning on using. For me, I just so with the simplest of veggies: onions, tomatoes, tomatoes, and that’s about it! I know you can add a whole garden full of other vegetables to your sambar, but I like to keep the textures simple because the seasonings is pretty complex!
Here’s the another shortcut with the sambar, just buy a sambar seasoning masala! Add a couple of tablespoons of this and some salt and that may be the only seasoning you will need to add, well that and the tamarind water.
Then just combine the seasoned veggies with the dal and the tamarind water.
Quick Coconut Chutney
The easiest part of this meal is this amazing coconut chutney. I know most recipes for coconut chutney call for (or sometimes even demand!) freshly grated coconut which I’m positive will give you a nice flavor boost. But when you’re trying to get an amazing chutney done in 5 minutes, you will have no problem using the frozen grated coconut!
Like I do with my chutney’s, just get out your blender and add your ingredients! For this one, add frozen grated coconut, ginger, green chili, yogurt, water, salt. Blend. The trick to making this chutney really shine is the seasoned oil drizzle (tarka/vaghra). The simple technique of frying whole spices in heated oil allow for the flavor the spices to bloom intensely. But adding this seasoned oil to the chutney, it really takes the flavor to another level!
I know it seems like a lot, but most of the steps you can do simultaneously and with little attention, after all the sambar is coming together in the instant pot and the idli waffles are crisping up in the waffle iron!