Diet & Nutrition 5 MIN READ 122 VIEWS August 11, 2022

Easy Idli Recipe for You to Try

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Idli Recipe

One of the most well-known South Indian breakfast foods, idli is made from a batter of crushed, fermented rice and lentils. This tender, fluffy, and steam-cooked savoury cake is frequently served with chutneys and sambar. Every South Indian home makes idli for breakfast. There are many different types of idli; some examples include rice idli, rice rava idli, poha idli (aval idli), instant rava idli, ragi idli, oats idli, etc. Idli is especially loved for its milky white hue and soft, spongy texture – both of which depend largely on how the batter is made. Idli is recognized worldwide as a wholesome and nutritious breakfast option. Here’s an easy idli recipe you’d love to try!

Recipe NameIdli
Place of OriginSouth India
Total Time Taken20 minutes
Preparation Time5 minutes


  1. 1/2 cup Whole Urad Dal or split Urad Dal
  2. 1 cup Parboiled Rice 
  3. 1 cup Basmati Rice 
  4. 1/4 cup Poha (flattened rice)
  5. 1/2 tablespoon Fenugreek Seeds 
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil for greasing


  1. Rinse the fenugreek seeds and urad dal in water two to three times.
  2. Combine urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and poha (flattened rice) in one cup of water and soak for four to five hours. (After soaking, the size and volume of the dal would nearly double.)
  3. Rinse both the parboiled and basmati rice in water 3-4 times. (Place both types of rice in a big mixing bowl and cover with water to the 3/4th height. Water will get hazy if you rub rice grains between your fingers. Drain the water and repeat the process 3-4 times to thoroughly rinse them. Soak them in 2 cups of water for around 4-5 hours.
  4. Drain excess water from soaked urad dal and set it aside for use in the grinding process in the following step. Fill a big jar with drained dal and fenugreek seeds in a mixer grinder or wet grinder.
  5. Add 1/2 cup water (saved in step 4) and blend until smooth. Gradually add more water (as needed) and grind until the texture is smooth and fluffy. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cup water to grind 1/2 cup urad dal. The amount of water needed is dependent on the quality of the urad dal; therefore, add water gradually and just as needed. The ground dal mixture should be light and fluffy, and neither too thin nor too thick.
  6. Place it in a big container.
  7. Remove any extra water from the rice. In the same mixer-grinder or wet grinder jar, add the drained rice.
  8. Add water in little quantities as needed (about 1/2 a cup works) and process until the texture is slightly coarse.
  9. Place the ground rice mixture in the same container as the urad dal mixture.
  10. Mix in the salt thoroughly. The batter should not be too thick or too thin. Idlis will become hard if the batter is too thick, and flat if the batter is too thin. Cover it with a plate and place it in a warm area for 8-10 hours (at room temperature in summer and warm place in winter). 
  11. The size and volume of the batter will grow as it ferments.
  12.  Using a clean ladle or a large spoon, stir the fermented batter. There should be little air bubbles in the batter. These little air bubbles are essential for idlis to be soft and spongy.
  13. Check the batter for salt and, if necessary, add additional salt while stirring. Fill the steamer with 1-2 glasses of water and place it on the stove to heat over medium heat. Grease the idli moulds with oil and pour the batter into them.
  14. Put the moulds in the steamer. Cover the steamer and steam the idlis for 10 minutes over medium heat. Insert a knife or a toothpick into the centre of idli to see if it is cooked or not. If it comes out clean, the idli is done; if it doesn’t, the idli isn’t done yet; steam it for another 3-4 minutes and check again.
  15. Remove the idli moulds from the steamer and set aside for a few minutes to cool. Take the idlis with a moist spoon; this will make it easier to remove them from the mould.
  16. Transfer to a platter or dish and cover with a lid to keep warm. In the morning, serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney for breakfast.

Tips to Enhance the Taste

  1. Rinsing rice in water removes dust, which makes idli white; remember to rinse the rice 3-4 times.
  2. If the batter hasn’t fermented properly, throw in a pinch of baking soda before pouring it into idli moulds.
  3. Grease the moulds generously with oil before pouring the batter, and allow them to cool for a few minutes before removing.
  4. Use of iodized salt will prevent the batter from fermenting correctly in this recipe, so avoid using it.
  5. Never place it close to the grinder’s hot motor because doing so will result in hard idlis and a change in colour.
  6. Always use adequate water during grinding. Even if you add water to the batter to thin it out after fermentation, you won’t get soft idlis if the batter is thick.

Serving Ideas

Idlis can be served for breakfast with vegetable sambar, red, green, or white coconut chutney, or tea.

Nutritional Content in Idli Dish

Calories81 kcal

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are my idlis hard rather than fluffy and soft?

Idlis typically get hard if the batter is overly thick, not properly fermented, or has not risen. Another factor that contributes to the idlis’ hard texture is oversteaming.

Q. How can runny idli batter be fixed?

Here are some remedies for the runny batter:

  1. Add the additionally drained and soaked poha or idli rava.
  2. Alternately, you might add rice flour or ground leftover boiled rice and add it to the batter.
  3. Last but not least, you can create dosa with the watery batter and even grated vegetables. It is not advisable to make idli with runny batter since the idli would be flat.

Q. Can I ferment the idli batter in the cold without an oven or an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can still ferment the batter by producing warm temperatures with a warm blanket, a table light, and a portable room heater. Keep the batter warm and wrap a warm blanket around it. To keep the idli batter container warm, keep the heater and bulb on.

Q. How long should we cook idli?

Idlis are steamed for 10 to 15 minutes. A lot of steaming will dry them out. After ten minutes, insert a knife. Your idlis are prepared if the test results are clean.

Q. What makes soft idlis so special?

Use idli rice or parboiled rice, sometimes referred to as ukda chawal, to make fluffy idlis. Use short or medium grain rice for the batter if that isn’t an option. It is typically not advised to use long-grain rice if you want fluffy idlis that stay soft even after they are chilled.

Q. Is it healthy to eat idli?

Fermented foods enhance mineral and vitamin breakdown in our bodies, which promotes digestion. The lactic acid found in fermented foods changes the pH levels in the intestines, which is linked to excellent digestive health and longevity.

Q. Is idli suitable for breakfast?

When one thinks of South Indian cuisine, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is idli. This is not without reason: this easy-to-digest and healthy dish is ideal for breakfast, evening snacks, or dinner.

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