Soft And Fluffy Idli Recipe

Soft And Fluffy Idli Recipe

Posted on 19 अग॰ 2023

Explore The South In Your Kitchen: Your Perfect Idli Recipe

Idli is among the most popular and healthiest South Indian dishes. These bites of deliciousness are made using lentil batter and fermented rice. The lentil batter is also made using urad beans or black gram. 

Idli is a great vegetarian food that you can enjoy on a fresh morning with coconut chutney and sambar. Generally, the common idli recipe includes creating soft and pillowy white idlis. Still, you can make the more traditional South Indian ones such as rava idli, Kanchipuram idli, or even ragi idli! No matter which one you choose to make for your morning enjoyment, all of these have a similar recipe, but only with a few extra ingredients. 

Step 1: Creating the Idli Batter

Making the idli batter is one of the most significant parts. And the first thing you must do to create ultimate yumminess is soak the rice and lentils. But before you start soaking anything, you must know the required ingredients. To make the perfect idli batter, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of regular and parboiled rice each
  • ¼ cup of thick poha (parched or flattened rice)
  • ½ cup of urad dal or black gram
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

You can start rinsing and soaking the above ingredients. Skip fenugreek seeds if you do not have them while making the recipe.

After your ingredients have been thoroughly soaked for 4 to 5 hours, you need to blend or grind the lentils and rice. To grind your ingredients, you must follow the below steps:

  • Add urad dal in a mixer-grinder and add around ¼ cup of fresh water. 
  • Once the lentils have ground for some seconds, add ¼ cup more water and continue grinding. After grounding, the batter should have a light consistency. 
  • Pour the ground lentils into a bowl, and then add the poha and rice in a mixer-grinder. 
  • To grind the rice and poha, you will need ¾ cup of water, and your batter should not be too thin or thick while you grind the ingredients. 
  • Pour the rice batter into the same bowl that has the lentil batter. Mix the batter with a spatula or spoon after adding a teaspoon of rock salt. 

Pro Tip: Do not add salt to the batter at this stage if you live in a cold climate. You can add it after the fermentation is completed. However, if you live in a hot climate, you can add salt to the batter to prevent it from over-fermenting. 

Step 2: Idli Batter’s Fermentation Process

Once you have prepared the idli batter, you can start with the fermentation process. But, you must put the batter in a warm place and cover it with a lid, bowl, or container to ensure the fermentation process. The batter needs to be left alone for 8-9 hours. But, if you live in a colder climate, the fermentation will take around 12-24 hours. 

After the batter has fermented, it will increase in volume the next morning. The idli batter will also release a sour aroma, with the batter having many tiny air pockets. 

Step 3: Steam Your Soft Idli’s Using Rice or Rava

After fermentation, you can steam idli using an idli mould or steamer. Hence, to make some of the most mouth-watering idlis, you must follow the below steps:

  • Grease your idli mould with some oil. Lightly and gently swirl your batter before pouring portions into the moulds. 
  • Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water to your steamer, and heat the liquid until it comes to a light boil. After the boil, put the idli mould in the steamer and let the batter steam for around 12-15 minutes. 

The time the idlis takes to be ready depends on the equipment you use. If you are using a pressure cooker, you need to cover the cooker with the lid. You will also need to remove the vent from the lid for some time. The time a pressure cooker takes will differ from that of a steamer. 

Once the time for steaming is up, you need to check the doneness of the idli using a knife or bamboo skewer. If your idli is not coming out clean, let it steam for 5 to 7 minutes more. But remember not to overcook the idlis. Since overcooking them will make them dry to eat. 

Remove your idlis, place them in a casserole, and serve them hot with coconut chutney and sambar. And now you can enjoy the best homemade idlis ever made!


Idlis are one dish that does not take long to cook, but how you prepare its batter and ferment it influences what it will taste like. And ideally, idlis are served with sambar and coconut chutney, but you can even serve it with gunpowder or idli podi. Other kinds of chutneys, such as peanut chutney, ginger chutney, tomato chutney, and others, can be served with idlis. 

Furthermore, you can have different variations of idli batter and make rice idli or use a rava idli recipe to have some taste disparity. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Which kind of rice is the best for making idlis?

You can make idlis using basmati rice or parboiled rice. But you can make idlis using short-grain parboiled rice as well. 

  1. How long should I steam idlis?

You can steam idlis for around 12 to 15 minutes. But it also depends on the utensil you are using. The pressure cooker might take a little longer, whereas a steamer will take the precise time. Likewise, the time for idlis to cook in an instant pot will differ. 

  1. What should I do if the idli batter does not ferment?

If the batter has fermented only halfway through, you can give it a few more hours. If it does not ferment even after 18-24 hours, you may need to make a fresh batch of the batter. The batter might become mouldy if you try to ferment longer than this. However, if you use the recipe exactly how it is given, there will be no chance of it not fermenting. 

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