How to keep your batter rising even in the rainy & cold season

Fermented batter for idli or dosa
Fermented batter for idli or dosa. Photo: Shutterstock/Cam_Art

Making batter rise during the rainy season or in cold weather can be challenging because yeast and bacteria (used in fermenting batters) prefer warm temperatures to grow and produce the gas that makes the batter rise. Here are some tips to help you achieve better fermentation:

• Add a small amount of sugar to the batter. Sugar feeds the yeast, helping it to ferment more actively.

• Use warm water or milk (not hot) when mixing your batter.

• If using yeast, slightly increase the amount.

• Use a portion of well-fermented batter from a previous batch as a starter.

• Fill a larger bowl with warm water and place the bowl of batter in it. Change the water if it cools down too much.

Appam batter
Risen and puffed up fermented appam batter. Photo: Shutterstock/Trending Now

• Place the batter in the oven with the light on. The light generates enough warmth to aid fermentation.

• Place the bowl of batter on a heating pad set to low. Make sure the temperature is not too high.

• Wrap the batter bowl with a thick towel or blanket to retain heat.

• Place the bowl in an insulated cooler or thermal bag to keep it warm.

• Heat a cup of water in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then place the batter bowl in the microwave with the hot water and close the door.

Making idli
Filling white batter in round idli mould. Photo: Shutterstock/DEEP SANJEEV NAHAR

• Cover the batter with a lid, plastic wrap, or a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out and to retain warmth.

• Cold weather means slower fermentation. Be patient and allow extra time for the batter to rise.

Idli/dosa batter

For idli or dosa batter, use a bit of fenugreek seeds while grinding the rice and lentils, as it enhances fermentation. Also, keeping the batter in a preheated oven (turned off) can help.

By using these methods, you can create a conducive environment for fermentation, even during the cold or rainy season. Adjust the techniques according to what works best in your kitchen environment.

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