Idli | Soft, Fluffy, and Delicious: How to Make the Perfect Idli Recipe

Idli Recipe

What is Idli?

Idli is a type of savory, steamed cake or dumpling that is a popular breakfast item in South India. It is made by grinding a mixture of rice and urad dal (a type of lentil) into a smooth batter and then allowing the batter to ferment for several hours. The fermented batter is then poured into special molds and steamed until cooked.

Our easy-to-follow idli recipe will guide you through the process of making these delicious rice cakes at home. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can create perfectly fluffy and steamed idlis that are sure to impress your family and friends. Our recipe includes tips for fermenting the batter, suggestions for serving and garnishing your idlis, and even ideas for using leftover batter. So why not try making idlis at home today and enjoy the delicious and nutritious flavors of this classic South Indian dish!

Idlis are typically small, round, or oval-shaped, and have a soft and fluffy texture. They are low in fat and calories and are a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Idlis are often served with chutney, sambar (a vegetable and lentil soup), or other accompaniments. They are also popular street food and can be found in many parts of India and other countries where Indian cuisine is popular.

The texture of idli is spongy and airy, and it has a mild, slightly tangy flavor that is often described as nutty or earthy. The fermentation process gives idli its characteristic sourness and makes it easier to digest.

Idlis are a healthy food choice, as they are low in fat and calories and are a good source of protein and carbohydrates. They are also gluten-free and vegan, making them a popular choice among people with dietary restrictions.

Read More: Poha Recipe

Idli Recipe

Here is some quick and easy method to make Idli at Home:

Idli is a popular South Indian breakfast item that is made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. Here's a simple recipe to make idli at home:


  • 1 cup idli rice (parboiled rice)
  • 1/2 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

The stepwise process to make Idli:

  • Wash the rice and urad dal separately, and soak them in enough water for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  • If using fenugreek seeds, soak them along with the dal.
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and grind it to a smooth batter in a wet grinder or blender. Add water as needed to make a smooth and thick batter. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  • Next, grind the soaked urad dal (and fenugreek seeds if using) to a smooth and fluffy batter using a wet grinder or blender. Add water as needed to make a smooth and fluffy batter.
  • Add the urad dal batter to the rice batter and mix well using your hand. Add salt to taste and mix again. The batter should be thick and smooth in consistency.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or a clean cloth and let the batter ferment in a warm place for 8-10 hours, or overnight.
  • Once the batter has fermented, give it a good mix and adjust the consistency by adding water if needed.
  • Grease the idli molds with oil and pour the batter into the molds, filling them about 3/4th full.
  • Steam the idlis in a steamer for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Once the idlis are cooked, remove the molds from the steamer and let them cool for a minute. Then, gently remove the idlis from the molds using a spoon or a knife.
  • Serve hot with sambar, chutney, or any other side dish of your choice.

Note: You can also add grated carrots, chopped onions, or other vegetables to the batter to make vegetable idlis.

Idli Recipe

The Best way to make Idli soft & fluffy:

Here are some tips to make soft and fluffy idlis:

·         Use the right proportion of rice and urad dal: The ideal ratio of rice to urad dal is 4:1. Too much urad dal can make the idlis sticky and too little can make them hard.

·         Soak the ingredients properly: Soak the rice and urad dal separately for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. Soaking helps in easy grinding and fermentation.

·         Grind the batter well: Grind the rice and urad dal separately to a fine and smooth consistency. Mix them well and grind again for a few minutes. Use the chilled water to grind the batter, especially during summer.

·         Ferment the batter properly: After mixing the rice and dal batter, let it ferment for 8-10 hours or overnight. Make sure the batter is kept in a warm place that is free from any disturbances. The batter should be airy and bubbly after fermentation.

·         Add salt before steaming: Just before steaming, add salt to the batter and mix well. This will prevent the idlis from turning sour.

·         Use the right consistency: The consistency of the batter should be thick, but not too thick or too thin. It should be easy to pour and spread in the idli plates.

·         Steam the idlis correctly: Use an idli steamer to steam the idlis. Apply oil to the idli plates and pour the batter into them. Do not overfill the plates. Steam the idlis for 10-15 minutes or until done. Do not open the lid while steaming.

Idli Recipe


What is the main ingredient of idli?

The main ingredients of idli are rice and urad dal (a type of lentil). These two ingredients are soaked, ground, and mixed together to make a batter. The batter is then allowed to ferment overnight or for several hours, which gives idlis their characteristic texture and flavor. Other ingredients, such as salt and water, are also added to the batter before steaming.

Why ENO is used in idli?

ENO is a brand of antacid that is sometimes used in making idlis to help them rise and become fluffy. When added to the idli batter, ENO reacts with the acidic ingredients (like curd or lemon juice) and produces carbon dioxide gas, which causes the idlis to rise and become light and fluffy. This is particularly useful if the batter has not fermented properly or if the climate is not warm enough for proper fermentation.

Which idli batter is best?

The best idli batter is one that is made with a combination of good quality rice and urad dal, and that has been allowed to ferment properly. The ideal proportion of rice to urad dal is 4:1, although this can vary depending on individual preferences. The rice used should be of good quality and should be parboiled or idli rice, which is specially grown and processed for making idlis. The urad dal should be whole and without skin.

Is Idli healthier than roti?

Both idli and roti can be healthy options when consumed as part of a balanced diet, as they are both low in fat and high in carbohydrates. However, there are some differences in their nutritional profiles. In terms of overall health benefits, both idli and roti can be part of a healthy diet, depending on individual preferences and dietary needs. It is important to balance the consumption of carbohydrates with other nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.

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