Idli Recipe (Idli Batter Recipe with Pro Tips)
Idli Recipe, Learn how to make soft Idli Batter using rice or rava. Making soft and fluffiest Idlis at home is really an art which you can easily master with my step by step recipe guide. In this post I share 2 ways to make healthiest and softest Idli at home. The first one is using rice and the other is using idly rava, which is also known as rice rava in some parts of the world. Both the methods will give you soft idlis.
Making Idli using rava is a breeze, we don’t need to grind the rice to make the batter. The texture of the idly made using rava also turn out very soft and nice.
Idli is a soft & fluffy steamed cake made with fermented rice & lentil batter. These are one of the healthiest protein packed Breakfasts from South Indian cuisine. Idli are easily digestible as the rice & lentils known as DAL are soaked, ground, fermented & then prepared by steaming the batter. These are served with a chutney and or with a tiffin sambar.
Is idli healthy? Idli is considered to be the healthiest food due to the unique method of preparation which enhances the bioavailability of the nutrients in urad dal and rice.
Soaking the lentils, blending to batter and fermenting enhances the nutrients and they are still preserved as idli are steam cooked for a short time.
This is what makes idly suitable to all including babies to people on diet and even to the aged, who generally have poor digestion.
If you are wondering what is idli made of ? Idli is made with urad dal ( skinned black gram) and rice. Urad dal is high in protein and calcium. It is absorbed by the body better in the form of idly as it is made from soaked & fermented batter.
How to make healthy idli? Restaurants & Hotels use a ratio of almost 1:4 (dal : rava or rice, as rice is cheaper & more profitable for them). So I suppose we must favor more dal as it is high in protein and less rice or rava specially for home cooking. Since the cost doesn’t matter for home cooked foods as long as they are healthy, tasty and nutritious.
My Idli Recipe
This Idli Recipe does not need too much of rice or rava, yet you can make super white, soft, light and fluffy idlis every time.
When it comes to fermenting, dal contributes more towards the fermentation rather than the rice. So using lesser rava or rice too you can make super soft idly. To make them healthier use lesser rice and more dal.
My Idli Recipe doesn’t call for using cooked rice. So it is the same traditional recipe which has been followed for generations in South India – to soak the grains, blend, and then ferment the batter. Lastly steam cook for health benefits.
Process of Making Idli Batter
There are 2 ways idli batter can be made
1. The first method uses idli rava which is made of a special kind of parboiled rice. This method is very popular in the south Indian states where the idli rava is available. Making idlis using this method is super quick as the rice need not be ground.
2. The second method is a traditional one which uses idli rice or parboiled rice. However they can be made with most kinds of rice including sona masuri, ponni or parmal rice.
How is Idli Batter Ground?
Traditionally idli batter was ground in a stone mortar pestle to make the urad dal batter very light and fluffy. This light fluffy batter is the key to soft, fluffy and pillowy idlis.
In the current days, it is made either in a wet grinder or blender. Wet grinder works as good as a stone mortar in grinding the urad dal to a smooth and fluffy texture. If it is made in wet grinder then ingredients like poha or methi seeds can be skipped.
Most people prefer making batter in a blender as it is easy to handle. If the batter is made in blender then poha or methi seeds will be helpful to make fluffy idlis.
Blender vs Wet Grinder for Batter
As per my experience both yield the same results if good quality dal is used & blended following the correct method. I do have a wet grinder & blender.
I use the wet grinder only when I have guests home from India. During other times I use the regular blender. Making idli batter in wet grinder is good for larger families – like 5 or more. Otherwise it is quite easy to manage with a blender.
4 Important Factors to Make Soft Idli Batter
(Based on my experience), no matter whether you use a wet grinder or a blender.
1. Age of the dal: Urad dal from the current year’s harvest is best suitable to make soft idli. But how do we identify? The current year’s yield will be white in color with no pale yellow shades on it.
While the yield from the previous years, will be pale yellow in color. Or sometimes pale yellow spots on the dal. Using the new dal will surely result in good fermentation.
This gives you super soft idly provided you take care of the other 3 factors. For those who are not accessible to fresh stock, other ingredients like fenugreek seeds or poha are used to aid the fermentation.
2. Non-iodized salt: always use enough non iodized salt, avoid iodized salts since it do not favor the fermentation process.
3. Temperature to ferment batter: Cold climates do not favor fermentation process. So keep your batter in a warm place. If you live in cold countries, use a preheated oven for fermenting it. Or turn on the light in the oven.
You can also use the fermentation or yogurt making option in your oven, electric cooker or Instant pot.
4. Lastly consistency of idli batter (the amount of water to use): For good fermentation, the batter must be of the right consistency. If you make it runny or thin, it will not rise. But the fermentation will be ok, though not perfect. The result will be wet and flat idly.
But again, if your batter is too thick batter, it will not ferment. I understand this as “the organisms need enough moisture for a healthy cultivation”. So blending it to a right consistency is important. So the soft idli batter must be of a thick but pouring consistency.
Tips to Ferment Batter
Temperature: Warm temperatures between 25 to 32 C (80 to 90F) are ideal for fermentation & it takes about 8 to 12 hours. A higher temperature is just fine and will ferment the idli batter much faster. So you need to watch and move it to the refrigerator once it doubles & before it turns too sour.
Soaking time: Batter won’t ferment quickly at lower temperatures. So basically you need to play with the soaking and fermentation times to check what works during winter and summers. Longer soaking time helps in activation of wild yeast. So soak the rice and dal for longer during cold days.
Dechlorinated water: Avoid chlorinated water to soak and even to blend. Chlorinated water kills the yeast and hinders fermentation process. So use dechlorinated water. Use google search to find ways to dechlorinate water easily.
Fermentation During Winters
Avoid over rinsing soaked rice and dal as it removes the wild yeast completely. We need this wild yeast to assist fermentation.
For better fermentation use the same water in which you soaked your urad dal. But avoid during summer as it leaves a wired & sour smell in the batter.
Speaking of the idli dosa batter, when to add salt – before fermentation or after fermentation is one of the most debated topic. So try and check out what works for you. I add salt before fermentation throughout the year. My mom always adds powdered rock salt after fermentation during summers and before fermentation during winters.
What kind of salt to use? Avoid using table salt or any salt that has added iodine and anticaking agents as they both hinder the fermentation. You can use sea salt, rock salt or pink Himalayan salt that do not have any anticaking agents added to them.
Create a warm atmosphere for the batter
If using microwave convection oven, use your yogurt settings. You can also use Instant pot with the yogurt settings ON (low). I have more details below.
For OTG, Preheat the oven to lowest such as 60 to 80 C or 140 to 175F for 10 mins. Wait for 5 to 7 mins so the temperature comes down a bit. Then place the idli batter inside.
Avoid keeping batter in a very hot oven, this will kill the existing yeast in the batter and won’t ferment. For regular traditional/gas oven, turn on the light.
You may like other South Indian recipes,
How to Make Soft Idli (Stepwise Photos)
1. Prepare the following:
- Add ½ cup dal to a bowl and wash few times until water is clear. Pour fresh water and soak for about 6 hours
- If using fenugreek seeds, soak ½ tsp teaspoon seeds with dal. or soak 2 tablespoons poha, 30 mins before blending.
- Add 1 cup idli rice or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons idly rava to another large bowl. Rinse a few times until water runs clear. Drain the water and soak it. If using rava, nicely squeeze the rava and rinse to get rid of the unwanted stuff.
2. After 6 hours, drain off the water from the dal and add it to the blender along with salt. If you live in a hot place, then skip adding salt now and add it after fermentation, just before making idli. Add 3/4 cup cold water & blend it to smooth. Using cold water prevents the blender or grinder from turning hot. If the batter turns up hot, idli may turn hard.
3. Pour 2 to 4 tbsps more water if needed and blend till you get frothy thick smooth batter. Do not make it very runny.
4. Transfer this batter to a large pot or bowl.
5. If using rice refer method 2 with detailed step by step photos below. A short description is here as well. Add rice and water to the blender and grind coarsely. Pour it to the batter and mix well. Follow from step 6.
If using idly rava: Squeeze off the water by taking rava in between your palms and with pressure try to remove excess water. Transfer this to a plate. Squeeze again any excess water.
6. Next transfer it to the batter. If you are some one who do not like the slight coarse texture of rava, then you can also blend it well. Then add to the urad batter.
Ferment Idli Batter
7. Mix well with your hands. Keep it aside for fermenting in a warm place for 6 to 12 hours, depending on the climate. It may take up to 18 to 20 hours too sometimes. Do not use air tight jars or containers for fermentation.
If you live in a cold country, you can place it in the oven with the light bulb ON. Or preheat the oven to 120 F or 50 C for 10 to 12 mins. Keep the loosely covered batter bowl inside.
Or If you have a instant pot or microwave (with yogurt function), then you can also turn it ON with the yogurt setting (low) for 6 to 12 hours or until the batter doubles. You have to experiment to know the exact fermentation time.
8. After fermentation the batter has to double and turn light, fluffy and bubbly. This time when I made this I had to ferment for about 18 hours as the climate was windy and cold.
9. Gently mix the batter, very lightly to make it uniform. Sometimes after steaming, idlis will rise and collapse due to the aeration in the batter. So it is ideal to give a gentle stir once. This will also bring the batter to a uniform consistency. I prefer to stir gently only 1 to 2 times. It may shrink when we do this.
10. Bring water to boil in a steamer or pressure cooker without weight on a medium high flame. Grease the idly plates. If needed sprinkle little water. The batter should be of thick pouring consistency. Pour it in the molds.
11. When the water begins to bubble up rapidly, place the idly stand in the steamer. Steam it for 10 minutes. Remember you need to be a bit tricky to adjust the flame. If the flame is very high, the water may bounce to the idly plates. If it is to low, they may not get steamed enough. So the flame should be on a medium high. Off the stove after 10 minutes. Leave it for 2 minutes. Remove the plates from the steamer and allow them to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Loosen the idli from the plates with the help of a spoon and then remove them to a plate. Add some ghee and serve with coriander coconut chutney or peanut chutney. You can also find a collection of 33 South Indian Style chutney recipes.
What to Serve With Idli?
Idly is mostly eaten with a variety of chutneys & a variety of sambar. Here are some popular chutneys that are served
We also eat Idli for a meal sometimes, most often it is for dinner. Then I prepare some kind of sambar along with some mini idlis for my kids. Here are some sambar options you may like to check.
Idli sambar or tiffin sambar
Method 2 – Idli Using Rice
The step by step photos shown below were made with half cup urad dal and 1 cup rice with 2 tbsp poha using recipe 1
1. Blend soaked dal,salt and poha adding water as needed until thick and frothy.
2. Grind rice until smooth or coarse to suit your liking. Add water as needed. Batter must be neither too thick nor too thin.
3. Next transfer to a pot. Set aside until fermented. The time it takes depends on the climate. I doubled the recipe 1 and made this. So I had to transfer the idli batter to 2 bowls.
4. After 14 hours, the batter fermented, doubled in volume and had a bubbly texture. Give a gentle stir only twice.
5. Lastly I greased the plates and poured the it in the plates. Steamed for exactly 6 to 7 minutes in the bubbling steamer. Since i made mini idli steamed for just 6 to 7 minutes else they has to be steamed for 10 minutes. Mini idli go well with idli sambar.
Idli rice is the best to make soft idlis. However you may also use parboiled rice or basmati rice. During the lockdown I had made them with different kinds of rice. Aged short grain parboiled rice, raw rice & basmati rice (not parboiled rice) also worked well.
Idli rice is a kind of short grain fat parboiled rice that is cheaper than the regular parboiled rice.
Steam them exactly for 10 minutes on a moderately high flame. I do it on the highest heat. Place the idli stand in the pot only when the water comes to a rolling boil. Cover immediately and then start the 10 mins timer. The timing is the same irrespective of the size of your steaming pot.
They can turn hard if the batter hasn’t fermented well. Make idlis only with well fermented batter that looks well aerated & has risen. Also avoid over cooking them as it makes them hard.
If the batter has fermented partially, then you may wait for few more hours. But if it has not fermented at all even after 18 to 24 hours, then it is good to quit the trial and use it to make dosa, dibba rotti or punugulu. Trying to ferment the batter longer may grow mould over the batter. Read my full post & try it again.
Can You Refrigerate Idli Batter?
Yes. It can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. After grinding, it must be transferred to separate containers. Then fermented separately. Next refrigerated after fermentation without disturbing it.
I usually make the idli batter good enough for 2 days. Then transfer it to 2 different containers and ferment them separately.
Use up one the next morning and refrigerate the other as it is without stirring it. For the second day, I use a glass or ceramic bowl. Plastic or steel containers may make it sour. My idli turns out soft with no sour smell even on the subsequent days.
On the third day, I am left with some batter that is not enough for all of us. So I mix up ragi flour in luke warm water and add it to the left over batter. I allow it to rest for 30 mins out of the fridge. Even these turn out good.
How to Make Idli in Instant Pot
For fermentation, place a trivet inside the steel insert of your Instant pot. Then keep the idli batter bowl on the trivet and cover the IP with a plate and not with the lid. Ensure your pot is not too hot from your earlier cooking otherwise your batter will have the flavour of cooked urad dal.
Press the yogurt button (set to low) and the timer to 8 to 16 hours depending on your weather conditions.
To steam the idlis in your IP, pour 1.5 cups water to your steel insert and bring the water to a rolling boil on a saute mode. Meanwhile, fill the idli moulds. When the water begins to boil, place the stand in the IP. Cover it with the lid and position the steam vent to venting mode. Press the steam button and steam them for 10 mins.
This Idli Recipe was first Published in January 2013, Updated in February 2023.
Idli Recipe (Idli Batter Recipe with Pro Tips)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup urad dal or skinned black gram
- 1 cup idli rice (or parboiled rice) or (1 cup + 2 tbsp idli rava)
- 2 tablespoon thick poha Or ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- ½ teaspoon Non-iodized salt (rock salt or pink salt)
- ¾ to 1 cup chilled water (for grinding dal)
- ½ cup water (for grinding rice)
- ½ cup urad dal
- 1½ cups idli rice (or parboiled rice)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- 2 tablespoons thick poha (flattened rice) (substitute with ¼ tsp methi)
- ¾ to 1 cup chilled water (for grinding dal)
- ¾ cup water (for grinding rice)
- Add urad dal & methi seeds to a bowl. Add rice or idli rava to another bowl.
- Wash them very well separately until water runs clear. Soak them separately in lot of water for at least 6 hrs.
- Rinse and soak poha with ¼ cup water for about 30 mins before blending.
How to Make Idli Batter
- After 6 hours, drain the water from both the bowls.
- Add dal, methi, soaked poha, salt & ¾ cup water to a blender jar or a wet grinder. You may need another 2 to 4 tbsps water while blending.
- If you live in a hot climate then skip adding salt now and add it just before making idli otherwise the batter turns sour. You will have to experiment with salt to know what works well for you.
- Blend all of them till thick, smooth, bubbly & frothy. The idli batter should not turn hot or even warm as it makes dense idli.
- Transfer urad dal batter to a large bowl.
- A. If using rice : Add rice to the blender with water (mentioned in the ingredients). Grind to a little coarse batter (semolina texture). Pour this to the dal batter. Mix both of them well with your clean hands. The batter must be thick yet of pouring consistency. B. If using idli rava : Drain off the water thoroughly from the rava. Squeeze excess water from the rava with the help of both your palms. Rava must not look soggy. It must absolutely have no water in it, else the batter will become runny.
- Transfer this to the urad dal batter and mix well.
- Now mix everything well. Use your hand to mix as it helps to ferment faster and better. If needed can add little water, if the batter is too thick.
Fermenting Idli Batter
- Set the batter aside in a warm place for at least 8 to 14 hrs. The batter ferments and rises well to double the quantity. Sometimes it may take up to 18 hours depending on the weather and temperature.
- If you live in a cold country, keep it in the oven with the light bulb ON. Or preheat the oven to 120 F or 50 C for 10 to 12 mins. Keep the loosely covered batter bowl inside. If you have a instant pot or microwave (with yogurt function), then you can also turn it ON with the yogurt setting (low) for 6 to 12 hours or until the batter doubles.
- A well fermented batter will yield good soft idli. The batter must rise and look fluffy but not turn sour. You will need to experiment to know the fermentation time.
How to Make Idli
- On a high flame, bring water to a boil in an idly steamer or a pressure cooker. If using instant pot, pour 1½ cups water to your inner pot. Press the saute button and bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Meanwhile grease your idly plates lightly. Mix the idli batter gently 1 to 2 times only. Do not over do as the aerated batter will turn flat. Fill the molds with batter.
- When the water begins to bubble and steam up, place the stand in the steamer. Cover and steam for exactly 10 mins on a high flame. If using Instant pot, when the water begins to boil, press CANCEL button. Keep the idli stand in the IP. Cover with the lid & position the steam release handle to venting . Then press STEAM button. Use an external timer to monitor & steam for 10 to 12 mins.
- Once done turn off and wait for 2 mins. Remove the idly stand. Set aside to cool down for 2 to 3 mins. When cooled, the idli must not be wet on top.
- With the help of a spoon remove the idlis to a plate. Serve idli with a chutney or sambar.
- Do not use air tight jars for fermenting.
- Use stainless steel or ceramic containers for fermenting.
- Avoid plastic jars. Never let your batter warm up while grinding, as it will make the idly harder.
- If using wet grinder, you can use 1½ cups rice for recipe one.
- For Recipe two you can use 2 cups rice.
- Use more water proportionately.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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These were wonderful idli! They were light and fluffy and absolutely delicious. I refrigerated the extra batter and it made awesone idli. Even leftover, heated in the microwave for 1 minute they were still fabulous. Thank you.
That’s Awesome Marie! Happy to know! Thank you so much for your time.
Hello Swasthi, you mentioned in the recipe that the ideal temperature of fermentation is like 25-32C. I have a food dehydrator and the minimum temperature setting on that is 41C. It is still cold here in the northern United States. I want to try using the food dehydrator this time for fermentation. I am wondering if I use 41C setting, is it too high for the fermentation of the batter? Love to hear your input on this. I have been using the oven with light on. It is doing ok job but the batter is not really bubbly and frothy. Thanks in advance.
Hello Rom garu,
I don’t have experience with dehydrator but I know a lot of people prove their bread/pizza dough in it. If it works for dough it should work for idli batter too. Also heating the oven at 50 C for 5 to 7 mins (not 15 mins) & then using the pilot light overnight works better during colder seasons. I do this when I’m in Bangalore during the winters. Fermenting the batter in very warm temperature rises the batter well but the idlis may collapse after steaming. This is my experience. If you want bubbly and airy batter, try soaking the idli rava longer. Also thick poha helps to achieve that. Not sure which of these will help. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Swasthi, thanks for your detailed response. I will adopt the suggestions you mentioned in your response and try again.
Big fan of your recipes, and thank you for all your contributions!
Could you help me solve this problem please? Fantastic idli batter, with super soft idlis the first day. Once the batter is refrigerated, despite leaving it to thaw the next day, idlis come out dense. Any solutions?
Second question: does adding curd to a naturally fermented urad-rice idli batter affect the quality of idlis?
Third question :-): Batter rises to double the size, well aerated but hardly any sourness. Any thoughts..?
Many thanks in advance 🙂
Thank you so much! Ferment the batter for the second day in a separate container. Disturbing the fermented batter like stirring often leads to a collapse of the air bubbles and makes the idlis dense. Why would you want to add curd to already fermented batter? I don’t think you should add dairy to idli batter, especially with urad dal. For the third question – leave the fermented batter on the counter with the lid ajar for a few hours. It naturally turns sour. IMO no one likes sour idlis. Don’t experiment unless you really like that kind of sour idlis.
My family loves these idlis with your sambar. We are idli lovers and have made all kind of idlis from your website. Do you have a tried and tested recipe for Mangalorean sana idli? Please I love to try it. Thank you
Thank you for trying the recipes. Yes I do have one which I haven’t published yet. You may give it a try.
1½ cups idli rice
¼ cup urad dal
½ cup thick poha
½ teaspoon yeast. If you want you may use little coconut milk to grind. Sanna/ idlis are usually steamed in bowls so they need longer steaming like 15 mins or so depending on the size of your bowl and batter. Hope you enjoy this recipe.
Made your idli with the idli rava I have which I want to finish. The recipe came out well nice and soft.
I used the bread proofing oven setting for fermentation. Thank you for trying recipes and posting them for us so we can just try them.
Thanks for trying Shanthini. Glad the idlis came out soft.
Hi Swasthi, thank you for your detailed recipe. My batter turned to be a little runny. How can I fix it?
Runny before fermentation or after? If it is before you can add more idli rava or ground rice. You don’t need to soak them. Simply rinse, pat dry in a cloth and grind if using rice. But if the batter is very very runny you can simply add some rice flour and use it for making dosas. Hope this helps.
Swasthi, Thank you for the amazing recipes you post. You are my go-to for South Indian cooking. I live in warmer region and my idli batter turns sour even before rising. To let rise well I keep it longer and my idlis turn out sour but fluffy and light. Please help how do I rectify this.
Thanks for following Tanuja. Try soaking the idli rice for lesser time. Also give a separate try by soaking both rice and dal just for 4 hours. I too live in a warm country (Singapore) & there is a fast constant fluctuation of weather conditions. So I really have a hard time fermenting and the batter won’t rise but easily goes sour. It is not only the warm temperature but also the natural yeast in the air that impacts the batter fermentation. If you live on higher floors it is again a different thing. For consistent results I use the oven with the pilot light ON or Instant pot. This is the only thing that works well for me & requires lesser attention. Experiment and see what works for you. Hope this helps
I tried making dosa with the same batter but it did not spread easily. Any tips and tricks for using the same batter for dosa next day?
Which recipe did you try? There are 2 recipes in this post. I can help you based on that.
Used the one with idly rava and the idly came out great but it would not spread when making dosa
That recipe makes good idli but not tasty dosas. Try adding little water but the taste won’t be like regular dosa. I suggest you try out the second recipe in this dosa post for 2-in-1 idli dosa batter (recipe 2 in the post). The idlis will be somewhat close to the one you tried. Hope this helps
Hi, loved this recipe. I got fluffy idly at home for the first time!! Can I freeze the batter?
Hi Ekta, Store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 to 4 days.
It is for the first time I am making idlis. Used your recipe and they came out so soft and pillowy that I said I have to thank you for this recipe.
The idli rice was a bit old but that didn’t make any difference to the soft textured idlis. Thank you so much.
So glad to know! Thank you so much for sharing back how they turned out. Yes old rice won’t affect the texture.
Thank you!!! I got the softest idlis with idli rice.
Glad to know Meghana. Thank you
Thank you Swasthi, this recipe of yours and your instructions are spot on. I am very pleased with the results. Hubby loves it..so going to be making it again and again. So easy and simple.
Happy to know Rashmi. Thanks for sharing back how they turned out.
I am going to try this recipe but would any other lentils work
Linda, yes you can use skinned split mung lentils (skinned petite yellow lentils). But the texture won’t be the same. You can try making a small batch.
hello what , chutney is on the picture with the idlis , thank you for all these great recipes
Hi, That’s a Onion tomato chutney. It is the second recipe in this post – Tomato chutney.
I have been trying to reduce carbs so stayed away from idli for 2 years. But I was surprised to see this idli recipe has so little rice and gave it a try with parboiled brown rice. They turned out very good and delicious but a bit dense. Do you have any idea of how to make them more softer? Any inputs?
Thanks for trying Neena. Double the quantity of poha or use both fenugreek and poha.
Hi there! Thank you for this amazing idli recipe that gives me softest idlis every time. I recently bought a wet grinder and plan to make the batter once a month. Please guide how to store the batter. Is it good to ferment first and then freeze or freeze and then ferment later. Is this going to change the texture of idlis? Any help is much appreciated.
That’s nice to know! You don’t need to freeze the batter. Pour the batter to separate air tight glass or ceramic containers and refrigerate after grinding. Every time you need keep one of them out and ferment. This chilled batter takes much longer to ferment depending on your indoor conditions. If you live in a hot region, it is likely that the last container may begin to ferment in the fridge in 3 to 4 weeks. The texture will be the same if you follow this method. Hope this helps.
If this was the ONLY time I was going to make them, I didn’t want to have to find space for an idli steamer.
So I used my water bath canner. I tied a bunch of canning jar rings together, wet and oiled a clean new floursack towel and wrapped it around the rings, and set them in the wire basket that holds jars away from direct contact with the canning pot. I brought two inches of water to a boil in the pot, scooped idli batter into the depressions where the fabric sagged in the middle of each jar ring, put the basket in the “up” position with handles hooked over the pot lid, and put the pot cover on.
Thanks to these very detailed instructions explaining the purpose of every part and ingredient, I was able to use this tossed-together equipment to turn out lovely idli.
I just love the way you made idli. That’s really an amazing way to steam the idli batter. In India a lot of people use muslin cloth to line the steamer plates just like the way you used a floursack towel. But then your whole setup is so interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your unique and mind-blowing technique. This is going to help a lot of people wanting to try out idli but don’t have the idli plates. Appreciate your time.
No problem! That said, an idli steamer (or maybe just trays and stand to fit in my canner) is definitely on my list now, because I am lazy and to not like having to scrub out the oily and sticky towel… and because I want to be able to make more than 10 idli at a shot!
Yes scrubbing the clothes is painful. You may try steaming in a large greased steel bowl. I have seen many people steam & then cut it like cake. I have shown that method in this dhokla recipe. You may refer for pics. But you need to experiment the timings. Even cleaning idli plates take a lot of time so this one bowl idea is easier for cleanup.
Do you know why idli batter gets stuck to the Instant pot insert?
If your instant pot was already hot from the previous cooking it can happen. Instead try a pot in pot or oven is better. I have the instructions in the post.
Tried this recipe with brown rice. Turned out so good. Thanks for the recipe
Wow! That’s good. Thank you Kokila
This idli recipe is my favorite and have been following it for many years. This time I am out of whole urad dal and have only split. Do you think they will work?
Yes you can use. Whole lentils make a fluffy batter so we prefer them. But you can try. There will be a slight change in the texture.
Hi Swasthi, Thank you for your recipes. Whenever I have to try something new I always check your site. I have been making idlis regularly as per your recipe and each time they have turned up perfect. Have tried several other recipes as well. Thanks once again.
So nice to know! That makes me very happy! Thanks for trying the recipes.