How to make Idli batter - Step by Step pictorial
I grew up to the smell of idlis, fresh out of the pressure cooker/steamer, when I woke up in the morning. These Steamed Rice cakes are classic and traditional for breakfast in many South Indian households. Starting out the day munching these soft, fluffy and pillowy cakes dipped in spiced chutney powder and onion chutney (or tomato chutney or coconut chutney or sambar or ALL OF THE THEM(yummo)) was a norm - a regular day to day affair. If you noticed and raised your eyebrows at the word "was", then I have recount the story of how it became "was" to how it has become an "is" currently.
How to make Idli batter - Step by Step pictorial
After marriage, with full gusto, I tried to make these goodies for breakfast. But it was a total disaster. I was stunned. I had made idlis so many times with my mom (and how can I even forget the cleaning of that huge wet grinder that fell on my list of chores to do!), the recipe is ridiculously simple - so how can it be even messed up!? I wondered if I had a sheer talent of being probably the only one South Indian in the entire universe to have messed up something like Idlis. A quick internet search and a frantic call home ("Moooom! I am losing it! I made a boo boo with idlis!! Don't disown me plsssssss") revealed astounding details that I never thought twice (or took granted) back home).
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 8+ people
  • Yields: Makes around 32-40 idlis depending on the Idli mold
Ingredients
  • 3 cups par boiled rice/Idli Rice/puzhungal arisi (see Tips)
  • 1 cup Urad dal (whole skinned black lentils)**
  • Salt to taste, see Tips
  • about a fistful of cooked rice see Tips
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds (optional), see Tips
Tips
1. Rice: My mother used to make with 3 cups and now she has changed it to 4 cups for 1 cup lentils. Some recipes even use up to 5 cups of rice to 1 cup of lentils. I assume that 3 cups was used by the elders when they hand ground the batter. Now with modern appliances (and may be the quality of ingredients) this proportion has been adjusted. Few other recipes use a combo of regular medium grained rice with parboiled rice with a few tsp. of fenugreek seeds. Instead of idli rice, you can use regular medium grained rice as well (Ponni Raw Rice).Experiment with the proportions since the weather and quality of ingredients will play a huge part in the end result.

2. Cooked Rice: Instead of cooked rice, you can use Rice Flakes (Poha in Hindi or Aval in Tamil) soaked in water.

3. Fenugreek Seeds: If you live in a place with less humidity/cold climate, I would suggest using fenugreek seeds. I use 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds for 1:4 proportion of lentils: regular rice.

4.Salt: As a guideline, use 1 tsp salt for every cup of lentil rice mixture. So if using 1 cup lentils for 4 cups rice, you would need to add about 5 tsp of salt. You might need to add more or little less depending on your sodium intake.
Method
1. Soak the lentil and par boiled rice separately for at least 6-8 hrs. If using fenugreek seeds, soak it along with rice. I have used Wet grinder to make my batter but you can do the same with your food processor. First add the rice in your grinder and grind it well. The batter will not be smooth but little coarse-grained.
2. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. In the same grinder ( you don't have to wash/clean) add the lentil along with cooked rice.
3. Grind it once again. This takes longer and the more you grind, better the idlis. You need to keep adding little water now and then. You will notice that the batter doubles up in volume when ground. When the batter is smooth ( feels like satin), remove and pour it along with rice batter.
4. Add salt, mix well and set aside
5. The next day, after fermenting, stir the batter well. I have a non stick Idli plate
6. You can use small bowls if you don't have these plates to make them too.Pour out the batter in each of the plates.
7. Place it in a pressure cooker (no weights reqd.) with little water underneath ( take care since lots of water will make the idlis in the last plate soggy and too little water will burn the bottom of the cooker!) or if you dont own a pressure cooker,use a steamer. Cook for 10 in high flame and then lower it to min for last 5.
8. They are done when a little stick/spoon pricked in the middle comes out clean.
Cool them for 1-2 minutes and then serve warm with suggested accompaniments. have you tried them with some Ghee and sugar? I know its kiddie combo but I still love it :)
How to make Idli batter - Step by Step pictorial

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8 Member Reviews

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By Rajkumar on Aug 17, 2012

1 cup urad daal soaked for 4 hours....4 cup Idli rawa soaked and drained. then grind dal and transfer to the soaked idli rawa. Now let it fermant over night. Next day it will be fermanted . you can make Idli in a idli maker or in a big container to make big idly..keep it in pressure cooker without Whisle   for 10 minutes. Let it cool for 2 minutes...Idlis big in a container....or small in the idly maker are ready

By Deepika on May 8, 2012

I make the batter and put it in the airing cupboard(boiler room) it ferments as in India. sometimes it just needs few hours to ferment

Read All 8 Reviews →

123 Comments

By 10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas | Great For Your Life on Jun 22, 2015

[…] 3. Idlis: Made from fermented rice and urad dal (black lentils), these fluffy, savory South Indian cakes are often served for breakfast with chutney or sambar. For recipes, see Mahanandi and Chef In You. […]

By alagaratnam on Nov 25, 2014

THANKS I have taken notes of your recipe we will try it out and come back to you...... alage.... Sri lanka

By Nehal on Oct 3, 2014

Hi, I tried your Idli recipe. I don't have wet grinder, so I took 4:1 ratio for rice and urad daal. I did get fermented batter, and it did have some sour smell to it. The batter was also very bubbly. But my Idlis turned out a bit tough/chewy. What may be the cause for this? I was very excited when I saw the fermented batter, but didn't like the end result. By the way, my idlis look just like yours...with tiny holes/pores in it. Thanks. Nehal

By asha on Aug 26, 2014

I can never make nice idli . :(

By VP on Aug 26, 2014

Loved your step by step recipe with pics..Awesome..Will post after using this recipe. Appreciate your efforts :)

By Deepa on Jul 10, 2014

I used to do follow same method n my ildis always comes out very well... only problen i have with chutney.. tomato chutney.. can u tell the recipe pls for the same in ur pic...

By Mother's Day Recipes by the Part Time Cook on May 11, 2014

[...] Recipe: Here [...]

By Madhu on Apr 7, 2014

I used skinned lentils (Urad daal with Chhilka) for this. The batter and idlis turned brown. But the taste was same as white idlis. Added lil more nutrition to it! :)

By pooja on Jan 21, 2014

Hi.can you please tell me how to make the chutney that is shown in the picture with idli.

By amita on Dec 18, 2013

hey can u tell me which grinder u use?

By Surajit Banerjee on Dec 6, 2013

I make idli today, first in my life. I had no idea how to make it. but as per colour & taste it was awesome. Thanks chef in you.

I am glad to hear it Surajit :) --DK

By Chefs on Nov 22, 2013

Where are you buying the Puzhungal Arisi ?

By madhu on Oct 8, 2013

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

By madhu on Oct 8, 2013

i try your recipe and the result was just wow thanks a lot

By Siri on Oct 4, 2013

Hi, Nice blog with pictures. We always follow your recipes. I have a recipe to prepare idly without idly mould. Please see if you like it. :) regards, Siri

By govil on Aug 5, 2013

add a bit of soda bi carb to the batter and you will get a well fermented batter

By Lakshmi on May 22, 2013

Getting the right consistency for idlies is every south indians dream...I am glad your dream has come true ! :)

By Sudha on Apr 30, 2013

You have not answered my quarry about idlys being off white.please give some tip.

By Sudha on Apr 2, 2013

My idles do not turn out white as in the picture.They are rather cream coloured. Pl.. suggest what should be done to get feather white idles.

By Sayeda G. Khaleque on Mar 9, 2013

I have used this recipe and would admit that this is the "best" recipe I have ever tried!Thanks a million :) <3

By Pepper on Feb 14, 2013

Lovely and detailed post DK! love it!!

By Amanullah on Feb 4, 2013

The barter should be thick and add a teaspoon of ENO fruit salt. Stir well and and fill up the moulds. Have enough barter and once ENO is mixed you must use up all immediately. A few tablespoon of powdered beaten rice gives better texture to idly. Add a few dehusked castor seeds if available along with blackgram for better fluffiness.

By Sharmila on Jan 10, 2013

Hey Nasifa,am so sorry abt the mixup with ur name. Won't happen again :-D About the rest of the batter u have in ur hand,just add water to it & make dosas with it. Because once the batter ferments it is good for idlis just the first day,very rarely the 2nd day. With regards to finding idli rice,where do u live in US? Don't u have an Indian grocery nearby? I have tried using the long grain parboiled rice(I got mine from Costco) with idli rice & dal(2:2:1) but never with basmati. I think the basmati might not be a good idea to add here. But then just the parboiled would not work either.Hmmm,let me ask my friends abt it & get back to u on this. And BTW,I'm no expert in this.Am still a rookie trying to help out another rookie :wink: Take care & don't lose heart.V'll master this somehow :lol: God bless u.

By jaykris on Jan 10, 2013

After placing it in the pressure cooker without weight what to do next? I mean how long it has to be cooked? When to remove the PC from the stove?

By Nasifa on Jan 10, 2013

Hi Sharmi :) , thank u and happy to see ur reply. noted ur points. at the same time my batter is not runny and its thick same like as the other idli batter, how we used to have in our back home (ofcourse here as well :wink: ). Also i have my rest of the batter with me, can u give me any ideas or tips that how can & what can i do with this batter? And my small correction, my name is NASIFA and not Nafisa. Dont mistake me, just for fun and it used to happen with some other people here around me, that they used to call me sometimes by getting confused as Nafisa :-P . Dont worry i wont mind that :) . Take care. Thank u once again. May God bless u. Waiting to get tips from expert.. :)

By Sharmila on Jan 9, 2013

Hey Nafisa,try equal proportion of parboiled & basmati rice.It might be better.The reason your batter was too soft was because it was a bit runny because of too much parboiled rice. If this ratio doesn't work use idli rava instead.Soak idli rava in water & lentils & fenugreek seeds in water separately. Grind the lentils w/fenugreek seeds well & add the rava at the end & grind it a bit. Now let it ferment overnight. The idlis may not be as great as the ones we make with idli rice but its still not too bad.

By Nasifa on Jan 8, 2013

Hi,thank u for ur tips and ur idli photos :) looks good. And i need ur help/advice here, I made idlis by using 2cups long grain parboiled and 1cup basmati rice along with 1 cup urad dal and 1 tblsp fenugreek seeds. since am in northeast USA and i cant find any idli rice near. So i tried this way. My idlis are tasty but its tooo soft. i thought i didnt mix the batter well, so i mixed and tried again. But it didnt work. its not like urs(in the pics), its like it has lot of air in it and didnt puff up. please reply, waiting for ur advice. Thank u. Nasifa

By Donna on Jan 6, 2013

This receipe works.. Its really nice. I used 2 1/2 of rice instead of 3. But came very nice. Thanks you very much

By saranya on Dec 29, 2012

hi! I'm saranya. I'm srilankan Tamil.P om England.I love south Indian food.I wel come ur recipe .and u must try write in Tamil.nanry

By The pressure’s on! | A day in my gluten-free life… on Dec 17, 2012

[...] the night I discovered the pressure cooker.  The class instructor used her pressure cooker to make idli and I was mesmerized.  I had to have one.  It cooks food in no time!  My wonderful parents gave [...]

By TREVO MOTHA on Dec 2, 2012

YOU HAVE GIVEN THE RIGHT RECIPE WITH RICE AND LENTILS AND FENUGREEK SEEDS - WHY NOT THE READERS FOLLOW THAT RECIPE AND NOT KEEP ASKING FUNNY QUESTIONS - THE RECIPE YOU HAVE POSTED IS GOOD FOR SOFT IDLIS ON THE FIRST DAY AND THEN YOU CAN MAKE DOSAS OUT OF IT. IDLI IS A HEALTHY BREAKFAST ITEM.

By Lynette on Nov 27, 2012

Thank you for the recipe. The idlis I prepare always turn out slightly hard and creamish in colur. I use 2cups of idli rice to 1cup of urad dal. I also make sure it has fermented. Could you please guide me as to where I am going wrong?

By annu... on Nov 26, 2012

hi..divya..just want to know...while doing the batter can we mix both and then grind in mixer....and that batter has to be smooth cause i have heard..if batter is smooth idlis become flat...so please let me know...also..after completing the bater then we have to add poha..or else while grindin we add poha..kindly help..especially the batter part...

By arvinda on Nov 8, 2012

Hi...........thanks for your recipe,i have bundles of questions on thies. im useing my new wet grinder. 3:1ratio parboiled rice and lentils and doing the same process still idly does not form atall its like a paste aftr cooking long time alsoand its color is also dim what could be the rson im fed up of trying i can u plz help me where i'm i doing rong what is the soft paste im getting it does th new grinder makes any impact?

It seems your idlis are uncooked. It could be cos your batter did not ferment. Proper fermentation is essential. Also make sure to place your idlis after letting the water in the pressure cooker comes to a boil.--DK

By raghuram on Oct 28, 2012

:wink: Yes, We've been preparing it since ages. I really feel good about your sharing ideas.

By Viji on Oct 26, 2012

I usually add a spoon of old fermented idly batter to the new one and it ferments good without the oven like we do for preparing home made yogurt.

Ohhh! That sounds like an excellent idea...will try it out next time. Thanks for the tip Viji --DK

By South Indian Idlis (Steamed Rice Cakes) « 60spunk on Sep 28, 2012

[...] 60spunk in Uncategorized Tags: food, vegetarian Loads of tip here [...]

By Bharathi on Sep 23, 2012

Dk, I enjoy reading most of your recipes, my favorite is rajma-paneer paratha, very ingenious and quick. I use idli rice these days from Indian stores and idlies come out great!. Also, during winter, I leave the oven light on while leaving the batter in the oven overnight. This helps to ferment perfectly. Like one of your readers put it, adding 1/2 cup or rice flour really enhances the texture of idli and makes the batter a bit thick.

By HoneyOc's Photographic Gastronomy! - Page 118 on Sep 21, 2012

[...] 290 Diet: SW/WWHeight: 5ft7inStart Date: 05/11/09Goal Weight: 9st7lbBMI Information: Newbee89 I bought my mungbeans from a health food shop. I don't think you could get them in mainstream supermarkets... Maybe a really large Tesco, I hear they have a pretty impressive ethnic range. You would get them easily in Asian (Indian) food shops though! You can either make the batter and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and cook as you need it or make all the wraps at once and put them in the fridge and reheat as you need. Either way they do get a bit drier the longer you keep, even the batter produces drier wraps around days 4 - 5. So eat em up quick! I usually soak 1 cup of mungbeans at a time which gives me 4 - 5 wraps. Oh my baby's due in January (7th tentatively ) it's going to be a boy! I already have an 18 month old daughter so it's perfect really, especially as I only wanted 2 children. Yay! And my accent's kind of all over the place, everyone thinks I'm American except Americans, who think I'm Canadian LOL! I like to throw in a few Aussie and English slang words into conversations to confuse people further :P I think on the slimming eats website the lasagne is called Yummy beef lasagne, here's a link to it Yummy Beef Lasagne | Slimming Eats - Slimming World Recipes Happy Holiday, it's funny how so many traditional dishes from different parts of the world overlap! We ate it lots as well in India, and the Nigerian and Indian recipes are very similar in that they both need to be fermented etc however the Nigerian version doesn't contain any beans (urad dhaal). I haven't made these cakes in a long long time so I'll need to experiment a bit to get the recipe right and SW friendly. But in the meantime here are links to both versions. It's been so hard finding a good Nigerian recipe online so I'm not too confident this one's a good one. May have to call my mom on this... Nigerian PHOTOS: Hausa Masa Recipe - Popular Nigerian Food - Basmati Rice | SpiceBaby.com Indian South Indian Idli Recipe | Healthy Indian Breakfast Recipes | Chef In You [...]

By srimantastha on Sep 15, 2012

:mrgreen:

By monica on Sep 3, 2012

i was confused in rice and dal that how much cups of rice and dal i have to give but i am now 100% sure about the cups.thanks to this recipe

By jessica on Jun 20, 2012

My secret to proper fermentation is to make the idly batter just prior to a crockpot dinner, so while I am making homemade veggie soup on low for 8 hours, I also lean my idli batter (in a metal bowl) up against the outside of the crockpot! :-P

By Cheryl on Jun 2, 2012

Wow! I can cook a lot of Indian food but have been wondering about idli for a long time since they require two pieces of equipment I have been able to get by without so far (the wet grinder and pressure cooker). Do you offer any classes on how to make south Indian food, particularly how to use this equipment? If yes, I want to sign up!! I am in Seattle, too. Thanks!

By sathya on May 23, 2012

:oops: :!: super idly,i like it very much

By Kajal on May 19, 2012

Hey I just logged onto this website cause every time I made idlis they come out OK yet I still wanted to learn how the South Indians made their idlis so soft and yummy!! I normally use ready made Idli rava and soak it with fresh home made yogurt (dahi). And I always add a little oil, kind of how gujarati's make their Idla. The yogurt aids in the fermentation process or so I believe!! :lol: But I learnt something new today and I thought I'd share it with you!! After grinding the batter to a fine paste add some rice flour, and leave in a warm place. My gosh, the batter overflowed and the idlis were perfect!! Also never forget to add methi seeds, cause they seem conected to the fermentation process!! :-D

By mohan on May 17, 2012

I did not understand when/why to used cooked rice or poha. I have eaten idlis for many many yrs, but never heard of cooked rice. Comment. Mohan

By Nisha on May 7, 2012

Thanks a looottttttttt!!!!!! The oven method works great for me..

By sandeep on May 5, 2012

I love the recipe buti have tried many time but after steam Idlis are not dry or not swallow (khili hue ya phulti nahi hai in hindi). please advise ans also suggest can we grind in mixi machine or not ?

By Chetan Pandya on May 4, 2012

The batter has come out well. I used only two parts of rice to one part of Urad dal as I was a little apprehansive about three parts of rice. Plese can you assure me of this so when I make it again I can use three parts of rice. Also please could you provide us with good and simple recipe for Samhar, corriender chutney and tomato chutney? Many thanks.

By Chetan Pandya on May 2, 2012

Very clear and detailed instructions and explanation for making Idli for a layman like me. I am going to make idili this week-end and let you know the result. Thank you.

By Bhawna on May 1, 2012

Csn we use Basmsti rice or not? Do we need to soak more? Do we need to boil it?

By Neelam on May 1, 2012

Have you ever tried making idlis in chinese style? If not and interested in the recipe, visit my website/blog.

By Celine on Apr 28, 2012

Thanks so much for this recipe! It was truly, extremely useful :lol:

By nid on Apr 24, 2012

Hi - thanks for the recipe. What is par boiled rice? I have regular medium grain rice - will that work?

Its available in Indian stores--DK

By gail on Apr 23, 2012

im confused about rice and lentils .i rinse rice then soalk 30 mi then put fresh water to cook about 30 min with lid until water is gone and rice is fluffy....lentils usually follow same procesd so are we just soaking rice then draining to grind not boiling? and are lentils just dry put into grinder?i have an oriental bamboo steamer and small ramikins bowls will that work or i also have arice cooker that is also a steamer will that work? is there no sugar in this? thanks gail roberts

By natasha on Apr 19, 2012

hi. i didn't understand in the tips section you wrote instead of cooked rice you can add rice flakes as well..so my question is can rice be replaced with poha..will it nt make any diference in the tatse of the recipe? ...looking forward for ur reply..TIA

By Divya on Mar 30, 2012

Hi Divya, Could you let me know where can I buy the non-stick idli plates? Thanks.

My mom got it for me before I came to US in Chennai. So no idea where to find this in the US --DK

By Sathya on Mar 24, 2012

Thank you for your recipe! :-D

By neena mahen on Mar 13, 2012

:-D hi thanks for this lovely recipe .

By Bombay Choupati and my Dollard des Ormeaux Dosa Fix | Multiculturiosity on Feb 24, 2012

[...] other traditional south Indian dishes are idli and vadai, which are fairly similar. Both fermented dishes of rice and/or lentils. The vadai are [...]

By rookshana on Feb 16, 2012

Hi, I was wondering, why do my idli's always come hard, I do exactly as you do, except my idli's come out hard.

There are multiple reasons - Grinding in a wet grinder adds more air into the batter thereby helping it to make it soft. Proper fermentation is extremely crucial for soft idlis. And last but not the least is the time you cook the idlis. Ideally you would need to steam them for about 10-12 minutes in a regular idli steamer. Overcooking also makes them hard. --DK

By Manki on Feb 10, 2012

Hi: I love the recipe. It is very thorough. I will be trying it this weekend. I am completely alien to south indian cooking so I had a really silly question. The cooked rice used in this recipe ..are they the regular everyday basmati rice cooked? Or is it cooked idli rice? I will appreciate your response

Its regular rice not parboiled/idli rice. I use raw rice not the basmati variety, but cooked basmati should work too --DK

By Thamarai on Feb 1, 2012

Hi DK, What about those making it in their mixie? I bought a Premier mixie in the US. I do not have a grinder. Would you be a dear and tell us how to do it with a mixie? :) Am going to try your carrot celery soup tonight!

The recipe is same Thamarai. What you would additionally need is loads of patience. Make sure while grinding the Urad to stop at regular intervals to avoid over heating your mixie. Otherwise, the same grinding process :)

By vidya on Jan 26, 2012

Do you store the batter in the fridge or outside? i stay in bangalore and a will be making idlis for the first time. want it soft n fluffy

By Lawanya on Jan 17, 2012

:wink: i usually make this with 2 cups rice and 1 cup Ulundu. and i grind them with coconut water and add a wee bit of baking powder. its quite nice and everybody loves it... once i even added 1/4 cup of mung dhal+3/4 cups ulundu... that was delicious as well. and in Sri Lanka there is a sweet delicacy named "Wandu Appa" made in the same way but only with rice and sugar or honey to taste... :-P i love ur recipes as well as the blog :lol: :)

By Vani on Jan 13, 2012

Hi, I used parboiled rice last time and the idli / dosa was too sticky and soft. it looked uncooked even after steaming. The rice batter itself was sticky. Is something wrong with the rice, or can i change the proportion to avoid this?

By Priya on Jan 12, 2012

Hi, i never get soft cotton like idlis. I tried with idli rava and latest with idli rice too. Can you plz tell me where i am going wrong and also do u use poha while grinding dal or rice??Plz plz help me on this. I follow the same procedure u do.

By Nishana on Dec 20, 2011

Please give me the recipe of the chutney also which u posted along the idli. I am trying your idli ..it's in the fermentation stage..we let you know after it.

By divya on Dec 18, 2011

hiiiiii, i made this. its very nice.. can you please tell me the type of metal plates we should use for making this :?: and wat is the purpose of using cloth on plates while cooking? :?:

By divya on Dec 18, 2011

hiiiiii, i made this. its very nice.. can you please the type of metal plates we should use for making this :?: and wat is the purpose of using cloth on plates while cooking? :?:

By Sonia on Dec 16, 2011

I used to have iddlis when I lived in Dubai. I used to say that I could kill for a few iddlies ! Now, back in Italy i cannot even find Indian spices let alone iddlis ! I wish I bought an iddly mould when I was there as Graham and I have indian meal at least one a week ( I guess not bad for an italian and English "gora" people !!!!). ... and when the spices we got from Dubai will run out ?... I don't want even think about it !!!! Sonia

By Keerthana on Dec 5, 2011

Hi, whenever I make idlis, it turns out awesome the first time. But when i use it after refrigeration(i add some water to the flour), the idlis are so hard and thick. After a couple of failures, I started making soft kal-dosa's with the flour and not idlis, once the flour goes into the fridge. Any solutions?

By Anna on Nov 21, 2011

Thank you very much. I have been trying for several years to prepare home made soft idlies. This time around I had great success!!! :lol: My whole family enjoyed extremly soft idlies. I do not have a wet grinder but have a Indian blender and it worked perfect. Thanks again.

By Anna on Nov 19, 2011

Is it like, more the fermentation more the softness?

Yes, better the fermentation better the sponginess and softness

By deepsrecipes on Oct 31, 2011

Fluffy white idli..Really good presentation and description..

By Sri on Oct 25, 2011

Hi There! Good to see your tips. Came over your website while browsing through the raagi recipes. Good stuff you have posted there.. I try the same oven trick too for fermentation but in a different way. I adjust the temperature to be a little higher than the room temperature and leave the idli batter for a couple of hours and then turn it off, leaving the batter stay in oven. There is one more tip of adding baking soda to the batter and that helps it ferment too. I never used this tip but may help too..

By oma on Oct 19, 2011

Hi, I have been trying to make idli batter in upstate NY repeatedly, and every time my batter develops a hard crust on top. When i pull that aside, the batter underneath is bubbly and fermented, but I don't understand why the batter develops this crust. Any ideas? Thanks!

By FARHA on Sep 15, 2011

can i take basmati rice to make idli..plzzz reply soon...i soaked i cup dal n 3 cups basmati rice...... :(

By rajashree on Aug 28, 2011

hi can i use basmati rice instead of parboiled rice for making idli batter

By padma on Aug 24, 2011

Hi,thans for ur valuable info.....canu clarify that what exactly is the boiled rice?u told dat we can use both boiled nd raw rice........boiled means ...,shal i need to cook rice?

Its "par boiled" rice. Also known as Idli rice or in Tamil as "puzhungal Arisi". Its available by these names in any Indian store.

By Vijayan on Aug 24, 2011

if ready made powder is available or not ?

It depends on where you live

By Sana on Aug 23, 2011

Hello dk I made this idli with the idli rava i had at hime, mine were crumbly, not smooth like yours. Please tell me what i can do to fix that. I really want to try it again. Thanks

A slightly different process is involved when making with Idli Rava. Will do a post on it the next time I make idlis

By Venkat on Aug 18, 2011

:) Hi DK, May i say that along with your mouth-watering recipes, which are promising enough to be a hit, Your sense of humour in describing all the rigmarole, you went through in getting it right is simply both resplendent and Hilarious. Hats off to your creativity and oh! yes did i mention, you've got an impeccable command on the English language and a very witty sense of idiom usage. Please post more such traditional South Indian recipes as they do help (new to kitchen) people like me in several ways. Thanks again! Regards :-P

Thank you :)

By bharath on Aug 11, 2011

can we use electric rice cooker to cook idlis, if so how?

Yes you can. You need to have a idli stand that fits into the cooker and steam the regular way. I am assuming your cooker has a steam option on it. I posed this question for you in my Facebook Page (chefinyou). The members have given very useful and elaborate answers. Here is the link to it for details.https://www.facebook.com/ChefInYou/posts/10150759209450297. Hope u find that useful

By sujatha on Jun 8, 2011

Hi, what is the alternative if there is no oven?

By Sweet Artichoke on Mar 26, 2011

Idlis are so good!! I could eat them every day, for any meal :-) Thanks for sharing the great tip about the oven!

By Niv Mani on Mar 25, 2011

:-D YUMS!! I can almost smell the sesame from the molaga podi! I go for the oven light method, but there is a major component in the urad that you get in the US.. Some stores sell urad that really WHIPS up after 1/2 hr in the stone grinder, while some just don't ( result flat chested idli) It also helps when you mix the 2 batters by hand ... maybe tiny yeast colony seeds lurking? dunno!

By tasneem on Mar 14, 2011

thanks! Does the amount of water one uses during grinding make a difference. If so can you tell me the amt ou use for 3 cups of rice and 1 cup or urud dhal.

By ShaShe on Mar 3, 2011

Hi, Thanks for the recipe. When do you put the poha/rice? Do you grind it with the rice?

You can add it with rice or when you are grinding the lentils. I usually add it when I am griding the lentils. Thanks for the pointing this out - I have updated the recipe with the details.

By Rani on Feb 23, 2011

Hi, What brand of par boiled rice did you use. I used Uncle Bens here and it was very sticky and the idillis were flat. I will try your recipe this week. Thanks Rani

By sonal on Feb 1, 2011

Hi, i am trying this recipe out and will let you know how it goes. Btw where do you buy the stone grinder shown in the photos? and what kind is the best to buy? i see some butterfly stone grinders on the internet made of granite, any idea if they are better than the regular ones ..

Mine is from India called Sowbagya - Counter top grinders..

By swathi on Aug 5, 2010

hi i just want to know is there any other option whr in we can use urad flour & idli rava..so that there's no need to use a grinder/blender..??as it can make the work easy..i am really tired of trying idli's as they dont comeout well..problem is after i steam also they look raw..i mean the batter wont be cooked..i even tried changing urad dal & idli rava...but the same prob continues.. will appreciate if any1 can suggest on this..

Have you tried with this recipe? I am surprised at your result of raw taste. Try it and lemme know. As for doing this with Idli Rava yes it can be done..will post a recipe soon

By Neha on Jul 28, 2010

Awitng ur Sambar recipie.. 8-O

By Neha on Jul 28, 2010

Thanks a ton for this recipie.. I made the idlis and Coconut chutney by ur recipie.. .. Its come out sooooo well.. Truely it was my dream to make such soft idlis.. I dont know what did it- whether it was the recipie, measurement or the fermentation in Seattle trick.. :).. BUT I GOT SOFT IDLIS..hurray!! being a north Indian I didt know the tricks.. but thanks to u I got it.. Also , I didnt have a regular Idli Stand.. I had the idli stand- that's for microwave use.. So I was really sceptical- how it will come out.. but I lowered the power to 80, and kept 3 bowls full of water w/ idli stand in m/w while cooking (3 min).. and voila!! Also, I wonder if its ok if the idlis leave the edges at the end of the cycle.. thanks again

By Deepa on May 19, 2010

You are amazing! My idlis came out so good, so soft. I did add some poha instead of cooked rice. But the proportion, was just perfect. Cant thank you enough!

By Rashi Aggarwal on Mar 6, 2010

My idlis don;t become soft & fluffy, please tell me the reason

The main reason for softness, I think, is fermentation.Is your batter fermenting well? The airiness where the surface of the batter looks like its filled with little bubbles is caused the yeast and these helps to achieve the softness --DK

By Kalpakam on Feb 24, 2010

Wow Dk ! , you managed to ship the wet grinder to Seattle . That's some commitment to get the best of Idlis,dosas & adais. I tend not to go through your blog before lunch . Your photos are so good that my hunger pangs get over active when I see them. :roll:

By cake loverq on Feb 16, 2010

hai i saw ur recipie it was very nice and easy i made my idly with 3 cups parboiled rice and 1 cup of basmati rice 8tbsp sago soaked for 2 hrs 1 cup of urad dhal soaked for 45 mins the batter came out well but when i cook idly some of them are soft but some of them are harder will u plz let me know the reason for hard idlies while some of them are very soft like melting in a mouth plz let me know iam desperate to know the reason

By manisha sheth on Dec 10, 2009

hi, i tried idli batter with the recipe posted on my cook blog. recipe4cooking.blogspot.com/2009/12/idli.html . my question is, my idlis when i removed it from the idli mould were slightly sticking to the mould. is it because i added little bit more urad dal? my idlis were nice ravedar. i want to perfect my idlis. pls help and comment on my recipe if possible. thanks. manisha

Hi Manisha, I am really not sure about this. If the Idli by itself was ravedar, then it shouldnt be a problem. Usually its advisable to let the idlis sit for few minutes when done. When you remove them imm. they might feel little bit sticky. Did u grease the idli plate well? That should help to avoid the stickiness too. If the idli by itself was done and cooked well, then the only thing I can think of is to let the idlis sit in the pan for 2-3 minutes after removing them from the steamer. See if this helps -- DK

By sharda on Nov 4, 2009

I love your recipes and the through explanation of every step with pictures.For this particular recipe I have to ask one question.Every thing turns out to be perfect ,the batter rises in double and the idlis are very fluffy and soft,so I guess they ferment very well.The only I thing I miss is that it dosent have that tangy sour taste which idlis should have .what can I do to make the idlis taste more sour.I tried soaking urad daal for longer time according to some one 's suggestion but that did not work either.The idlis just dont taste sour at all.

Hi Sharda, thanks for your wonderful comments :). Well I think the lack of sourness is dependent on the weather. For example, here in the US where I stay, inspite of perfect fermentation, my idli batter turns only sour say after 1-2 weeks after i make it. Whereas back home in India, it always is sour overnight. I think it has something to do with humidity in the air. Though I haven't tried it personally, I feel that placing the batter outside the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight might work to get that distinct sour taste.I will update you in case I get more info on this.

By DK on Feb 10, 2009

Hi Vidya, I used Ravi brand for par boiled rice which is available in the local Indian stores. Havent tried with American brands yet. I also used our regular cooked rice ( short grained Sona Masuri rice) again Ravi brand to add it along with the batter.

Let me know if this works..otherwise I can always enquire more for you and let you know :)

By Vidya on Feb 10, 2009

Hi,
I came across your website when searching for making Idli using Parboiled rice. I have tried making Idli with the American band parboiled rice but it didnt come out well. Can you let me know which rice you used ? Do you add any other rice (like long grain,sona masoori)

Thanks
Vidya

By Srivalli on Feb 5, 2009

Thats such a lovely picture Dhivi...all time favorite!

By Curry Leaf on Jan 29, 2009

I too agree with Cham and Madhu.Also I am the one in my house.
The idlis looks fluffy and slurp
Did I tell you that I am not an Idly person? ;)

By DK on Jan 28, 2009



Thank you all for your wonderful tips and tricks. I am sure to use some of these next time :) although Cham and Mashu's MIL are welcome to do it for me anytime! I would I not do, to sit and relax and have someone lovingly make fluffy idlis! aaaah! bliss! hehehehe!

@Pragyan : Kai vaagu can be used to denote couple of meanings. Some meanit to say - the charm of hands which make things happen while in this context it is also used to mean the heat of the hand. Better the heat, better to put your hand in the batter to give it a good stir with salt which in turns helps to ferment the batter well!

@Asha - mine is not premier Asha - I used it to show the grinder. Mine is Sowbagya table top grinder. I bought it along with me when I came from India about 3 yrs ago - it has served me well.

By Mishmash ! on Jan 28, 2009

LOL....the one about black idlis was a classic one.....:))I probably might have done the same thing had I not watched my mother doing the same.....:P

By karuna on Jan 27, 2009

idlis look super fluffy. loved the name u gave them. i just made them the other day, but with store bought batter. idlis for breakfst.....yummooo

By Sukanya Ramkumar on Jan 27, 2009

This is my all time fav. Looks so good. So appetizing picture. YUM! YUM!

By Gita's Kitchen on Jan 27, 2009

The soft idlis with podis look so inviting. I never make idlis for brekafast on weekdays...may be I should starting making these fluffy pillows for breakfast instead of cerals. nice click :)

By Gita's Kitchen on Jan 27, 2009

The soft idlis with podis look so inviting. I never make idlis for brekafast on weekdays...may be I should starting making these fluffy pillows for breakfast instead of cerals. nice click :)

By Trupti on Jan 27, 2009

Those are some good looking Idlis! I used have a BIG problem with them fermenting so now I just put it on top of the fireplace, works like a charm...and lately, I've been using Cream of Rice for Idlis, its been giving me some good, fluffy idlis....!
I'm going to try out your Onion chutney...

trupti
the spice who loved me

By Asha on Jan 27, 2009

My idli batter ferments most of the time in the wrm oven, but sometimes they are rock hard!! I hate it when that happens. Your's look fluffy.

I always wanted to buy that stone electric grinder but couldn't decide which one. Looking at your Premier, I am almost there. Would you recommend this to me, works well?

By Madhu on Jan 26, 2009

soft fluffy ildlies I can have every day..
I had hard time getting soft idlies using blender, once i switched to indian 'preeti mixie' now its so easy, I get soft idles wihout a fail.

By Pragyan on Jan 26, 2009

This was such an informative post! btw, what is kai vaagu?

By Cham on Jan 26, 2009

Madhu is absolutely right, usually in India they say those who have heat body when they mix the batter will overflow (I am the lucky person in my house) The mixing job always come to my hand and next day my mom clean the countertop. Beeing for many years in East (snowing condition- my batter will be always ready for next day. I really don't use any pilot light just in countertop. Thank God for my hands secrets!

By bee on Jan 26, 2009

i think that grinder makes all the differences in some place between whether it ferments or not. it incorporates a lot more air.

By Rathna on Jan 26, 2009

Hi DK,

I mix salt in my batter before fermenting and leave it the oven overnight. It ferments really well. Another tip my mom suggested is to put a whole red chilli on top of the batter, this again helps in fermenting. Try it next time. Hope it helps.

Your idlis looks soft and fluffy. Yumm ! Hey, BTW I've started an event, if you are interested please participate.

By Maya on Jan 26, 2009

Indeed a filling and yummy breakfast dish.Wow, you have a wet grinder too, that makes it even better :)..

By A. I. on Jan 26, 2009

:)I served my bro in law flat hard idlis when he visited us in Delhi 14 years ago. It was his first visit, my first winter and my first attempt at making idlis when the temperature all around was 5 degrees C. So well...he looked at them and went " Idu ennadu?".

Luckily Pune has better, moderate-er weather.

One trick if you want fluffly idlis and the batter hasn't really risen is to add 'eno' fruit salt to the batter. It really helps and isn't harmful to the tummy.


Cheers!

By DK on Jan 26, 2009

Thanks Indhu :) :)

By DK on Jan 26, 2009

Kai Vaagu is right Madhu!I feel it too...I was not aware of the tip of running the grinder first..i will do it next time i grind the idli batter

By Indhu on Jan 26, 2009

lovely fluffy idlis :)
makes me hungry!

By Madhuram on Jan 26, 2009

The fermentation also depends on the "kai vaagu" DK. Mine is ok. When my mother in law mixes the salt and keeps the batter it overflows. Last time when she was here, she mixed it and I kept it inside the oven, without heating/lights on etc, inspite of that the batter had overflowed and my oven was a mess. She was telling me sorry, I told her it's not a problem at all because "idhu madhiri edhavadhu aana dhaan naan oven clean pannuven"

Another tip she gave me for fluffy good idlis, to grind the urad daal first. Also switch on the grinder, let it run, add around 1/2 cup of water first and then add the urad daal. This really works, the daal grinds very smoothly and also the idlis come out very soft and fluffy.