Idlis are traditionally a breakfast item but the fact that when served with Sambar and Chutney, they are a full meal and can be enjoyed at any time of the day! Idlis are steamed making them very healthy and very light. You’ll be amazed how many you can eat but then who’s counting? Making Idlis is a process that takes a couple of days but at the end of it, it’s absolutely worth the effort!

Soak time: 6 hrs
Prep time: 20 min
Ferment time: 8-12 hrs
Cook time: 15 min
Makes 25-30 idlis


Idli Rava/Cream of Rice – 2 cups (approx 350gms)
Urad Daal – 1 cup (approx 200gms)
Cooked Rice – 1/2 cup (approx 60 gms)
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
Water – 1.25 cups (for grinding)


To Make the Batter:
1. Wash the Urad Daal till the water runs clear and then add the Fenugreek seeds and additional water and soak for 4-6 hrs.
2. Wash the Idli Rava and soak in additional water for 4-6 hrs.
3. Drain the water from the Urad Daal and grind it with about 1 cup of water to a smooth consistency.
4. Pour it out into a pot big enough for it to have room for the batter to ferment and rise.
5. Add the cooked Rice to the blender and add in a couple of handfuls of Idli Rava with the water squeezed out. Grind with approximately 1/4 cup of water till it is smooth.
6. Pour and add it to the Urad Daal batter.
7. Squeeze out the water from the balance of the Idli Rava and add to the Urad Daal batter.
8. Add 1 tsp of Salt or to taste.
9. Mix and whip up the batter with your hands till everything is blended well.
10. Cover and allow the batter to ferment in a warm place overnight or about 8-12 hours.

To Make the Idlis:
1. Once the batter has fermented, it will rise.
2. Mix well and add in water, slowly, till the batter is of dropping consistency.
3. Check Salt.
4. Grease the idli stand.
5. Spoon a ladle full of batter into the Idli stand.
6. Stack up the idli plates in alternates, avoid one directly over the other giving the idli space to rise.
7. In a stock-pot or a pressure cooker, add about an inch of water and allow it to come to a boil.
8. Place the Idli stand in the boiing water and close.
9. Make sure there is a vent for the steam to escape.
10. Once the cover is closed, set timer for 15mins.
11. After 15 minutes, take out the stand and spoon out the idlis from the idli plates.
12. Serve with Sambar and Coconut Chutney.

1. Idli batter and Idlis freeze very well.
2. Ferment the Idli batter in the oven – 180 degrees F, turn off the heat and place the batter in there overnight or ferment the Batter in an electric blanket.
3. Store the Idlis in an insulated box till ready to serve.

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0 thoughts on “Idli

  1. Hi!
    Here is a idli recipe which is very soft and fluffy.
    Ponni Boiled rice – 3 cups
    urad daal – 1 cup
    methi seeds – 1 tsp.
    poha thick- 1/2 cup

    Soak the rice and poha together and urad daal and methi seeds together for 5 hours. Later grind the urad daal into a nice batter and the volume doubles and this is the right consistency to remove from the blender/grinder then later grind the rice and poha into a fine paste and later mix both the batters adding salt and let it ferment.
    next day add the batter to idli molds and steam it for 10 to 15 minutes. The idli turns out extra soft and also remains soft even after few hours.

  2. Hi Hetal, Anuja,

    I’ve recently bought a premier idli maker/steamer. My problem is after putting the idli stand in with the mixture the lid pops. This happens anywhere from 4-5 mins sometimes even more. I always add an inch of water and put it on high then close the lid. The cooker steams and pops on it’s own. Sometimes the idlis are cooked and most times they are soft and uncooked in the middle. Can you please tell me how it is used?



  3. Hi Anuja and Hetal,

    I have a Oster Blender which is good for making smoothies, but not very good with idli or dry spices. Can you please suggest me a good blender or if there is any accessory from Oster that can fit my blender and be good for indian food?


    1. Hi Raju,

      The batter stays fresh in the refrigerator for about one week. You can freeze the batter or just make the idlis and freeze them. They thaw beautifully!

  4. Hi,
    Can you please advice how to make idlis using ground rice powder . Are we to add water to it for making the mixture thick before adding to the urad dal mix or can it be directly added to the urad dal mix. and how many cups of the ground rice is to be taken.

  5. Thank you for this recipe! I usually use regular (not parboiled) white basmati rice to make dosas and I soak it for 12-24 hours. Is it OK to substitute the cooked rice and idli rava for soaked white basmati?

    1. Hi Viola,

      Parboiled rice produces a texture that is different from regular raw rice. Many people still use it, but if you the authentic idli, you would have to use the parboiled rice.

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