Wash and soak the dal and the rice separately in three cups of water each for four to six hours. Drain and grind the dal to a smooth paste and the rice to a coarse paste. Mix them thoroughly. Leave it aside for four or five hours to ferment.
Grind the red chillies and tamarind to a fine paste. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt and red chilli-tamarind paste to the batter and mix well.
Dissolve jaggery in a little water and add to the batter and mix well.
Heat a little water in the steam pot.
Grease the idli moulds. Pour the batter into the moulds, sprinkle the onions on top and steam for about fifteen minutes or till done.
Serve hot with chutney of your choice.
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