Ashwani R, December 6, 2015

Idli is a traditional breakfast in South Indian households. Idli is a savoury cake that is popular throughout India and neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka. The cakes are usually two to three inches in diameter and are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice. The fermentation process breaks down the starches so that they are more readily metabolized by the body.

Ingredients of Idly

Idli Rice : 4 Cups
Urad Dal: 1 cup
Poha : 1 fistful
Salt:As per requirement
Water: As per requirement


-Some prepration adds  fresh and finely cut ginger, onions and green chilly in the batter  before steaming for a different taste.

-In few places banana leaves are kept in the idli pan so that it gets a better taste.

-In another preparation finely and thinly sliced carrots, onions green chilies and coriander leaves are kept in the idly pan before pouring the batter so that idly will have wonderful design

Directions to prepare Idly

  1. Soak Idli rice, Urad Dal and poha for 6 – 8 hours.
  2. Drain and water and mix all the ingradients and gind(add water in between) till the batter is thick and texture is smooth.
  3. Keep it outside for 8-10 hours to ferment.
  4. Once ready grease the idily pan with little oil.
  5. Pour 3/4 the ladle of idli batter to the idli plates and steam it for 8-9 minutes.
  6. Idly is ready. Keep aside the idly pan from the boiling vessel.
  7. Remove from idly pan after 2-3 minutes( else it will stick)


  1. Idly is best with Sambar, Tomato chutney and Coconut chutney.
  2. The proper aeration should be there and the batter should be light and fluffy after fermentation.
  3. If making dosa just add few tablespoon of water and make crispy dosas.
  4. If you stay in a cold place just keep the batter inside a cup board or microwave oven(switched off) to get good fermentation.
  5. Always transfer the ground batter to a big container as the quantity will double after fermentation.
  6. Instead of poha some people may add cooked rice too, but somehow my mom and mil will not agree to it as they do not eat left over cooked rice.
  7. Do not add more poha as it will result in flat idlis.
  8. If you get super good quality of urad dal then skip adding poha and follow the same procedure.
  9. Keeping the soaked rice urad dal and poha mix in the refrigerator for an hour before grinding and use the cold water for grinding. this will help to reduce the motor heat. (Notes from jeyasriskitchen)
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