Idli is a popular and healthy South Indian morning food. These are steamed round cakes that are delicate, light, and fluffy, prepared with crushed, fermented rice and lentil batter. This recipe includes step-by-step directions to assist you in making the greatest idli, especially on World Idli Day on March 30.
Idli or idly is a savory rice cake native to the Indian subcontinent that is popular as a morning meal in Southern India and Sri Lanka. The cakes are steamed from a batter of fermented lentils and rice. Fermentation degrades the carbohydrates, making them more easily digested by the body.
Idli comes in a variety of varieties, one of which is rava idli, which is produced from semolina. The sanna of Konkan is a regional variety.
Idli is a customary South Indian breakfast prepared in every home. Idli is famous not just in India but also internationally.
It is inherently vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free and makes an excellent breakfast when paired with Sambar and Coconut Chutney.
To begin, there are two fundamental methods for making idli. The first is the traditional technique, which involves soaking the ingredients, grinding them into a batter, and fermenting.
Of course, you may add spices, herbs, and vegetables to the basic batter, but the fundamental, simple fermented batter is prepared with rice or idli rava and urad dal.
Traditionally, the idli batter is made from idli rice and urad dal. Idli rice is parboiled rice that is used only for idli and dosa preparation.
Additionally, urad dal is referred to as black gram, urad bean, or black matpe bean. Due to their black husks, these lentils seem black. When the husks are removed, they have a creamish ivory tint, known as white lentils.
A second, simpler method is to combine idli rava with urad dal. Idli rava is coarsely crushed idli rice that is widely accessible in stores and on the internet. Rice and urad dal are cleaned many times with fresh water and steeped separately for 4 to 5 hours to make simple classic idli.
Ensure that both rice and urad dal are consumed within their shelf life. Always use fresh urad dal that is still within its expiration date. Aged urad dal does not ferment properly and imparts a thick texture to the idli.
The lentils (urad dal) and rice are ground to a light, fluffy batter and semi-fine consistency. Both batters are combined and set aside to ferment.
The batters may be ground in either a tabletop, wet grinder, or mixer-grinder. Most South Indian households rely on a desktop stone grinder to get fluffy idli batter.
Grinding with a stone grinder is advantageous when producing a big batch of idli batter. The benefit of grinding with a stone grinder is that the urad dal batter is finely ground, which results in an excellent fermentation of the idli batter.
A stone grinder requires more water than a mixer grinder does.
Add about 1 cup water to a ½ cup soaked urad dal. While grinding urad dal, gradually add water. Also, add around 1.5 to 2 cups of water to 2 cups of soaked rice.
Additionally, lentils are ground easily in a mixer-grinder or a heavy-duty blender such as a Vitamix. A mixer-grinder or blender works well for lesser volumes.
Both the ground lentil and rice batters are well combined. Fermentation is very temperature and environment-dependent. A warm temperature promotes proper fermentation of the batter. The batter is then kept to ferment overnight or for another 8 to 9 hours or until it increases in volume and has a lovely sour scent.
To steam the idli, special pans are utilized. These pans are available for purchase online. This idli pan has been lightly dusted or coated with oil. Once you pour the batter into the pan, it is steamed.
Steaming time is between 12 and 15 minutes. Idli should never be over-steamed since they become thick and dry.
Fermentation is critical for creating tender, light, and fluffy idli. A warm temperature is ideal for the fermentation of idli batter.
Warmth: Maintain a warm environment for the idli batter bowl, such as near a heater or in a warm area of your kitchen.
Oven: Additionally, you may preheat your oven for around 10 to 15 minutes at a low temperature (80 to 90 degrees Celsius). After that, switch off the oven and leave the batter dish inside.
Lights in the oven: Alternatively, if your oven has lights, turn them on and set the batter inside.
Sugar: A pinch of sugar aids in the fermentation of the batter.
Salt: Avoid adding salt to the idli batter during the winter months since salt slows the fermentation process. It is preferable to use rock or sea salt.
Fermentation duration in cold winters: In cold winters, allow the batter to ferment for an extended period, like 14 to 24 hours or more. Bear in mind that even if the batter does not seem to have doubled or tripled, you should notice little bubbles in it. Additionally, the idli batter should have a mild sour fermented fragrance.
Instant Yeast: You may add 14–12 teaspoon instant yeast (dissolved in 2–3 teaspoons of water) 30–45 minutes before steaming the idli. However, use this approach if the batter has not fermented enough. The disadvantage of this procedure is that you must utilize the whole batch of batter at once. If the batter is refrigerated, it becomes overly yeasty and sour.
Baking Soda: In cold seasons, you may also add 14 to 12 teaspoons of baking soda and then ferment the mixture.
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds): Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) aid in fermentation as well.
Urad dal batter standardization: Urad dal must be very finely crushed. The urad dal batter must be light, airy, and fluffy. As a result, we recommend grinding urad dal and rice separately to get soft and fluffy idli. Additionally, a finely ground urad dal batter aids in fermentation.
Amount of water: Additionally, keep in mind to add the necessary quantity of water to the batter. If there is insufficient water, the idli will turn thick.
- 1 cup regular rice + 1 cup parboiled rice or 2 cups idli rice or 2 cups parboiled rice
- ½ cup whole or split urad dal – 120 grams full or split urad dal (husked black gram)
- ¼ cup thick poha – 20 grams (flattened rice)
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
- 2 cups water – for soaking rice
- 1 cup water – for soaking urad dal
- ½ cup water – for grinding urad dal or add as needed
- ¾ to 1 cup water – for grinding rice or add as needed
- One teaspoon rock salt (edible and food grade) or sea salt
- oil – as needed to apply to the idli molds
- 2 to 2.5 cups water – for steaming idli
1. Combine 1 cup parboiled rice and 1 cup ordinary rice in a bowl or pan.
Alternatively, you may use 2 cups of idli rice OR 2 cups of parboiled rice in place of this amount.
2. Pick and then rinse both rice kinds in freshwater several times. Drain the water thoroughly and place it aside.
3. In a dish, combine ¼ cups thick poha (flattened rice or parched rice). Poha contributes to the idli’s delicate and fluffy texture. If you do not have poha, omit it.
4. Rinse the poha with fresh water once or twice.
5. Finally, incorporate the poha into the rice. 2 cups water Combine together and set aside covered for 4 to 5 hours to soak.
6. Separately, combine ½ cups of urad dal (husked black gram) and ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds in a separate basin.
If you do not have fenugreek seeds, omit them.
7. Rinse several times with fresh water.
8. Stir with 1 cup water. Wrap in a towel and soak for 4 to 5 hours.
9. Drain the water from the urad dal before grinding but do not discard the water. Reserve the soaking water for grinding, or you may use fresh water.
10. Place the urad dal in a wet grinder jar. To begin, add ¼ cups of reserved or freshwater.
11. Then, for a few seconds, mill the urad dal. Then, while grinding, add ¼ cups of the saved soaking water or new water. When thoroughly ground, the batter should be light and fluffy.
12: Transfer the urad dal batter to a large saucepan or basin.
13: Drain the rice and poha. Combine them in the jar of a wet grinder or a strong blender.
You may grind in two to three batches, depending on the capacity of your mixer-grinder or blender. If the mixie becomes too hot when grinding, pause and let it cool. Then resume grinding.
14: Grind the rice and poha with the reserved urad dal strained water or ordinary freshwater. Partially add water and grind.
In the batter, the rice might have a fine rava-like consistency. A smooth batter is acceptable as well.
Rice batter should be neither too thick nor too thin.
Add between ¾ and 1 cup of water, depending on the quality of the rice.
15: Pour the rice batter into the basin previously used for the urad dal batter.
16. Stir in 1 teaspoon of rock salt. Combine well with a spoon or spatula. If you reside in a chilly or cold climate, avoid adding salt. After fermentation is complete, add salt.
If you live in a hot or warm region, add salt to prevent the batter from over fermenting over the 6- to 8-hour time period.
Keep in mind that salt slows the fermentation process.
17. Set the batter in a warm place and cover the bowl or container with a lid. Avoid using an airtight cover. It should be left alone for at least 8 to 9 hours. Keep the batter for a longer period of time – between 12 and 24 hours – if you live in a colder region.
18. The next morning, the batter. It will ferment and grow in size. A properly fermented idli batter will have a pleasant sour scent and will have several small air pockets.
Once the batter has fermented, you may begin steaming the idli immediately or store the batter in the refrigerator if preparing later.
If you leave the fermented batter at room temperature, it will continue to ferment and turn quite sour over time.
19. Oil the idli mold. Swirl the batter gently and softly. Avoid overdoing it. Now, using a spoon, spoon batter into the buttered idli molds.
20. Take out your idli steamer, pressure cooker, electric pressure cooker, or Instant Pot. Place the idli mold in the steamer or pressure cooker for 12 to 15 minutes in the steamer. Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water and bring to a gentle boil.
Timing will vary according to the kind of equipment utilized. If using a pressure cooker, cover it with its lid. Remove the lid’s vent weight/whistle. Idlis should be steamed for around 12 to 15 minutes.
21. Insert a bamboo skewer or knife gently to test for doneness. If it does not come out clean, hold it for a few further minutes.
Once finished, carefully remove the idli mold from the cooker. Avoid overcooking them, as they will turn dry. Slide a spoon or butter knife through the idlis after dipping them in water. Remove the idlis and set them in a heated dish, like a casserole.
22. Serve with sambar as well as coconut chutney, if desired.
Idli is eaten immersed in sambar. Idlis are accompanied by coconut chutney and sambar. Several sambars and coconut chutney recipes may be made to accompany idli. Additionally, idlis may be served with onion chutney, tomato chutney, peanut chutney, or ginger chutney.
Idli podi, or gunpowder, is also offered with idli. Idli podi is a lentil and spice condiment powder. If you don’t have time to prepare sambar, serve idli with coconut chutney and idli podi. Idli may also be eaten with spiced and tempered curd.
Several variants may be made with a simple idli batter. You may also include legumes such as moong dal and produce moong dal idlis.
Additionally, millets or flattened rice (poha) may be used in the batter. Additionally, oats may be added. Experiment with different quantities until you find the one that produces the best idli in terms of texture and flavor.
- Calories 38
- Fat 1g2%
- Saturated Fat 1g6%
- Sodium 81mg4%
- Potassium 9mg0%
- Carbohydrates 8g3%
- Fiber 1g4%
- Sugar 1g1%
- Protein 1g2%
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
- Vitamin B6 1mg50%
- Vitamin C 1mg1%
- Vitamin E 1mg7%
- Calcium 5mg1%
- Vitamin B9 (Folate) 1µg0%
- Iron 1mg6%
- Magnesium 2mg1%
- Phosphorus 9mg1%
- Zinc 1mg
Is idli good for health?
Fermented foods assist in the breakdown of minerals and vitamins in our bodies, which is beneficial for digestion. The lactic acid in fermented foods affects the pH of the intestines, which is related to excellent health and longevity.
Can I eat idli every day?
Yes, besides being delightful, idli is one of the healthiest Indian snacks available and may even help you lose a pound or two. Ensure that you include idlis into your regular diet and pair them with nutritious accompaniments.
Can I eat idli after a workout?
Because exercise makes individuals very hungry, a nourishing meal such as idli and chutney for dosa and sambar is great because it will satiate your desire while also aiding in your recovery from weariness.
How many calories does one idli have?
Despite its little size, Idli delivers a powerful punch of protein, fiber, and carbs. It has just 39 calories per idli.
How much time should I cook the idlis?
Bring out your idli steamer, pressure cooker, electric pressure cooker, or Instant Pot. Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water and bring to a gentle boil. In the steamer or pressure cooker, place the idli mold—12 to 15 minutes in the steamer.
Idli is one of the most popular and loved foods pan-India. We hope you enjoy making this dish with our comprehensive recipe. For more information about popular recipes, keep reading Seema.