Basic Idli recipe

Presenting below the basic Idli recipe with step by step pictures.

Idli Recipe

When I was a kid, my mother used to make Idli once in a month, usually on weekend as it required lot of pre processing. I always loved my mother’s home made Idlis, the way of making them was learned from a Tamil family living in our neighbor. Idli is one of my all time favorite meal and I can have it three times a day. Presenting below Idli recipe that I follow, with pictures of most of the steps. Do try ūüôā

Idli Recipe Ingredients:

4 cups of parboiled Rice (also known as Idli Rice)

Note: For this Idli Recipe, You can use any other rice as well in same proportion, but if you are using other rice then add extra 1/4th cup of thick “flattened Rice” (Poha) while soaking the rice.

1 cup of Black Gram skinned and split (Dhuli Urad) or whole Black Gram skinned ( Sabut Dhuli Urad )

4 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana)

1 and half tablespoon of Rock Salt (you can also used regular Salt as well)

Idli Recipe Method:

1. Idli Rice is basically parboiled rice and one can get it very easily in any super market or big retail store outlets in anywhere in India. They are¬†preferred choice for making Idlis, but if you are not able to find it you can easily replace with any other rice. If you are using other rice then add extra 1/4th cup of thick “flattened Rice” (Poha) while soaking the rice.¬†Idli rice is known to enhance softness in Idli.


2. I have used Black Gram skinned and split ( Dhuli Urad) for Idli batter preparation, however it is generally advisable to used whole Black Gram skinned ( Sabut Dhuli Urad ) as the head generated to split the lentils make it not suitable for fermenting and Idli and Dosa Batter. However it is very difficult to get whole Black Gram skinned (Sabut Dhuli Urad ) in our locality, so I mostly used Black Gram skinned and split ( Dhuli Urad) for Idli and Dosa batter and generally both comes out very good. The key here is to use the most fresh Urad daal as its grounded paste will be more fluffy and smooth, which will result in better Idlis.

Wash Black Gram skinned and split (Dhuli Urad) and Idli Rice (Parboiled Rice / Salem Rice) separately four times and soak both of them in sufficient or high amount of water which will give them enough space for breathing and swelling up. Soak both of them in different containers for at least 5 hours. Also, wash and soak Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana) separately for 5 hours.


3. Now comes the tricky part, grinding the Black Gram skinned and split ( Dhuli Urad) and Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana) in a Mixer and Grinder (Mixie). In South, people use large wet grinding machines ( known as Idli and Dosa batter grinder machine) that slowly grind lentils using a stone and total process takes around 40 minutes to an hour. But not every one owns such machines, especially in Northern India. Therefor, I use wet Grinder of my Mixie to do the job. The trick is,  you need to grind both Urad daal and Methi dal together on medium to slow speed, stopping and starting grinding processes multiple times so that minimum heat is generated during the process. Also, one more important thing is that you need to add small amount of water in batches while grinding, this will allow the mixture to be more fluffy and soft. Grind the mixture as mentioned above till the texture of the batter is very silky and smooth. Put this thick and super smooth mixture into a large pot.


4. Now drain the soaked Idli Rice and put it in the Grinder and, once again start grinding the Idli Rice by slowly adding the water so that Idli Rice grains are grounded with minimum amount of water. Continue to grind till all rice mixture has turned into a thick paste with grainy texture. There is no need to to make a fine and smooth rice paste, a slightly grainy texture will also work. pour Rice paste into the same pot having Black Gram skinned and split ( Dhuli Urad) and Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana) paste.

Now add rock salt into it and mix the mixture well so that all things get mixed homogeneously. Step to add salt also depends on the season in which you are making Idli. Since, Salt act as a deterrent in fermentation process, it should be added only in Summers or if the place where you live is having hot and humid weather. Other wise skip the step of adding the salt, you can add it later when your batter has fermented and is ready to be used.


5. Ensure also that your pot is only half filled with the mixture, this is important as fermentation will make the mixture rise. Now cover the mixture with a lid and keep it aside for about 8-12 hours for fermentation. If you are making this batter in winter or living in cold place, then place the pot having Idli mixture at warm area. It can be the place which is well heated or you can use Oven also. If you are using Oven then preheat the Oven temperature to lowest possible temperature and place the mixture, after twenty minutes switch off the Oven and let the batter stay in Oven, overnight or for six to eight hours.


6. The fermentation time can range from 8-12 hours and depends on the climate you are living in. To check whether your batter is fermented, the batter should have risen to top and should be of double the size as shown in picture below.


7. Now gently mix the mixture (Add rock salt if not added previously). Now your Idli batter is ready. Prepare soft and fluffy Idlis from the batter. If you think you have made the better in excess amount, juts pop it in the fridge and use it for later. You can very well store this batter for 2-3 days to prepare yummy Idlis, Dosas and Uthappams.


8. Prepare Idli moulds by greasing them and pour the the fermented mixture into them and steam them for 8-9 minutes on medium flame. Before pouring the batter into Idli moulds, you can place damped Muslin cloth over the moulds, which will make the Idlis more soft.


9. Switch off the flame when done. Wait for a minute and take off the lid.


10. Remove Idli moulds from the steamer and allow them to cool for a minute.


11. Scoop out really soft, texture rich and super healthy Idlis from the moulds using a spoon or knife.


Super soft, delicious and yummy Idlis are ready to be served.

Idli Recipe

If you tear the Idli, you can see how fluffy and textured the Idli is. You can have them in breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Idli Recipe

Serve these yummy Idli with Sambar and Chutney and enjoy its wholesome flavors.

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