Idli/Dosa is a favorite and popular not just in India, but the rest of the world too. Dosa might be the favoite of most people, but for me Idli is just as much my favorite as Dosa :-) My parents used to tell that "Idli is the safest food to have when you are travelling to another State in India as it doesnt contain any oil which can cause stomach trouble" .
After coming to US I didnt have the luxury of having good Idli's except once in a blue moon when we visit an Indian restaurant. When I see Idli's once in a while (or for that matter any favorite food), I cant stop myself from hogging, I just ignore the stares I might get from doing this :-D So we usually go for buffets where the serving is unlimited :-D
Here is the recipe:
Urad dal : 1 cup
Idli rice: 2 cups
Methi seeds or Methi powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Water to soak the dal and rice
Salt as per taste
Pressure cooker or steamer for steaming the idlis
Make the fermented batter as described here in my dosa recipe. The batter for idli should be thicker than dosa. So reduce the amount of water you add to the batter the day you plan to make idli's.
Apply a little oil on each of the idli mould of the idli stand to make it easier to scoop out the idlis from the edges when it is done cooking. Pour idli batter in each of the mould so that its not completly filled as the batter would start overflowing if it is completly filled. Steam the idli's without using the whistle in a steamer or pressure cooker for around 5-10 minutes during which a steady steam of water passes through the vent. Lower the heat to medium and let it cook for another two-three minutes. Remove the lid and scoop out the idlis on plates. Serve along with chutney, sambar, potato curry, or pickle :) I also roast left over idli's , its yummy too :)
Update: Dear friends, I felt that I had to write this after I saw your comments. The idli's look very soft, but let me tell you, they were quiet hard in the middle when they cooled down. Any idea why? If its my proportion, I welcome all suggestion based on the fact that I am using a US blender and not Indian mixie or wet grinder. I would also love to know what proportion you use while using a wet grinder and mixie. The dosas come out well though. I use the batter here for both Idli/Dosa batter. I make the batter, let it ferment and on the day I plan to make idli/dosa, I keep away some batter for making Idli's , add a little water to make the batter a little less thick than the original batter. For dosas, I make it less thicker than idli batter. I appreciate your suggestions, so please do write back more of it :)