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idli recipe how to make soft idlis (step by

step idli recipe)

By dassana amit on June 25th, 2014

this very popular idli recipe post has a lot of tips on making idli batter and step by step
photos for making soft idlis at home. so take your time to read this detailed guide on
making soft idlis at home and enjoy the pics
after a lot of requests, i am finally writing a detailed post on how to make fluffy and soft
idlis at home. i dont know what took me so long to write a post on idli. it is something
i make home regularly.
idlis. one food that i grew up having. idli was a regular breakfast at our home. come
sunday, and there would be idlis & dosas for breakfast as well as lunch.

i would see the way my mom would soak the rice, dal and then grind it and then leave it to
ferment. this was a regular saturday ritual in my house and i knew that on sunday we would
get steaming hot idlis with chutney for breakfast. for lunch it would be dosa with sambar and
a veggie.
i never knew that when i would start making idlis, i would run into problem the very first
time i make these. i had seen countless times idli preparation in my home. i was least
expecting, that the idlis i made for the first time for my mom-in-law would become
an embarrassment for me. i was working hard to make the idlis soft
the idlis were not soft and fluffy at all. i had done everything so perfectly and yet the idlis
became a little hard. i know the aroma of the batter when they are being ground and mixed
i know the slightly sour aroma of the fermented batter.
when i had seen this batter, i knew that the batter had not fermented well in the cold winters
of delhi. still i made idlis from the batter and all of us had not so soft idlis. much to my
embarrassment.. but now i am good in making idlis. the hubby just loves the idlis i
make at home.

having a food science background i also know how fermentation is important to get the best
results in certain food products like wines, cheese, yogurt, breads etc. idlis and dosas also
fall in the fermented food category.
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what contributes to fermentation is the optimum temperature conducive for that specific food
to get fermented and to give desired results. in the case of idli batter, the temperature is very
important. generally the warmer indian temperatures are the best for making idlis. the ideal
temperature is between 30 to 32 degrees C.
the wild air borne yeast causes the fermentation process and it is drawn from air by the urad
dal & fenugreek seeds. at home we would never add fenugreek seeds. idlis were just made
with rice and urad dal. still they would be soft and fluffy.
when i make idlis, i do add fenugreek seeds, as i add split urad dal and not whole urad
dal as i dont get them here. the wild yeast on the whole urad dal aids in the fermentation
process. a point to note is that it is not only yeast, but some anaerobic bacteria also that also
help in the fermentation process.

so remember temperature and wild yeast are your best friends while making idli. this is
also the case with breads. temperature and bakers yeast are my best friends when i make
breads. luckily i have not had a single disaster when making breads at home.
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now we come to the type of rice that is used for idli. from my personal experience i have used
basmati rice, sona masoori rice, kolam rice in various combinations, for making idlis and
never had any problem. i also make idlis using half-half of basmati rice and parboiled rice.
they have also come out well.
when i was working for a project one & a half year ago, we had a cook who would make very
soft idlis. i asked her once how her idlis were so soft. she told me that she adds some
poha/flattened rice or cooked rice to the idlis just a handful and these would make the idlis

my mother would never add poha or cooked rice to the idlis and her idlis also used to be
soft. but my mom would put damp muslin cloth on the idli mould and then steam the idlis. as
a result the softness of the idlis would be more pronounced.
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the recipe posted here is what i follow now after listening to our cooks advice. for this recipe
i have used basmati rice and goan red parboiled rice. i do not get idli rice here. so i make
idlis with the goan red parboiled rice along with regular rice.

this is my standard recipe for making both idlis and dosa now. i have also added methi
seeds along with urad dal and some poha. the proportion of rice and urad dal is always a
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matter of controversy. so i suggest experiment with different types of rice and come to your
own standard measurements which will give you perfect idlis.

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the day the batter was fermented i made idlis. i served the idlis with moms recipe
of kerala sambar and coconut chutney. the next day i made masala dosa with the same idli
batter. the dosas became crisp and got a nice golden color due to the addition of poha. dont
believe me. take a look at the pic below.

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this is a step by step recipe for making soft idlis at home:
1: pick and rinse the urad dal & rice. soak the urad dal with fenugreek seeds in a separate
bowl or pan. soak the rice with the poha separately. soak for atleast 4-5 hours.

2: drain the urad dal, but dont throw away the water. reserve the water.
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3: in a wet grinder, add the urad dal.
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4: add 1 or 2 tbsp of the reserved water and grind the urad dal. keep on adding a few tbsps of
water in between grinding. the batter should be light and fluffy when completely ground.
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5: pour the urad dal batter in a deep pan or bowl.
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6: drain the rice & poha. this pic is before i drained the rice and poha.
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7: add them in the wet grinder.
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8: use the urad dal strained water to grind the rice and poha too. keep on adding a few tbsp
while grinding. the rice should be completely ground. when you feel the batter with your
finger tips, the batter should not feel grainy. it should be smooth and paste like. don t add too
much water in the beginning. keep on adding little water in between. remember that batter
should not be thick or thin. i hope all the pics give you an idea about the consistency of the
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9: now add the rice batter to the urad dal batter and mix well.
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10: add salt and mix it with the rest of the batter.
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11: mix the batter well. cover the bowl or container with a lid and keep the batter in a warm
place. it should be left undisturbed for 8- 9 hours. dont use an air-tight lid.
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12: next morning you will see this. the batter will rise and double up and might even throw
away the lid as it happened with this idli batter. you can see the fermented batter bursting
from the edges. my calculations of the batter versus the pan went wrong
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13: time for making idlis now :-) take your idli steamer or pressure cooker. add some water
and keep it on the stove with the fire on. grease the idli mould with oil. gently and lightly
swirl the batter. dont over do. now with a spoon pour portions of the batter in the greased idli
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14: keep the idli mould in the steamer or pressure cooker. if using a pressure cooker, then
cover the pressure cooker with its lid. remove the vent weight/whistle from the lid. steam the
idlis for approx 10-12 minutes.
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15: check for doneness by inserting a tooth pick. if it does not come out clean, then keep
again for a few more minutes. when done remove the idli mould from the cooker. remove the
idlis. they come out easily. dont overcook as then they become dry.
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16: serve hot idlis with sambar and coconut chutney.
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if you are looking for similar recipes then do check idli recipe with idli rava, idli chaat, rava
dosa with video, idli dosa faq and making idli in microwave.
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soft idli recipe details below:
4.7 from 38 reviews
idli recipe - how to make soft idlis

Save Print
Prep time
9 hours
Cook time
25 mins
Total time
9 hours 25 mins

idli is a popular breakfast recipe in south india but now getting popular in other parts of india
Author: dassana
Recipe type: breakfast, snacks
Cuisine: south indian
Serves: 18-20 medium sized idlis or 9-10 medium sized idlis & 4-5 dosas
Ingredients (american measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
1 cup basmati rice or sona masoori rice or regular rice
1 cup parboiled rice
cup urad dal/black gram, skinned whole or skinned spilt
cup poha/flattened rice
tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds
water as required
oil to apply to the idli moulds
1. pick and wash both the rice and urad dal.
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2. soak the rice and poha in water for 4-5 hours.
3. soak the urad dal with methi seeds separately for 4-5 hours.
4. drain the soaked urad dal. reserve the water.
5. grind the urad dal, methi seed with some of the reserved water till you get a smooth
and fluffy batter.
6. grind the rice to make a smooth batter.
7. mix both the batters together in a large bowl or pan. add salt and mix well.
8. cover and let the batter ferment for 8-9 hours.
9. after the fermentation process is over, the batter will become double in size and rise.
10. gently mix the batter.
11. grease the idli moulds.
12. pour the batter in the moulds steam the idlis in a pressure cooker or steamer.
13. if using pressure cooker remove the vent weight.whistle.
14. steam for 10-12 mins or until the idlis are done.
15. remaining batter can be stored in the refrigerator.
16. serve the steaming hot idlis with coconut chutney and sambar.

Preparation time: 8 hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes

1 cup whole skinned urad dal
3 cups idli rice*
Salt as needed (see notes)

1. Soak the rice and dal separately for 3 hours
2. Grind dal first into a smooth consistency adding enough water
3. Grind rice into a smooth batter by adding just enough water to get it going
4. Combine the two, add salt, and let it ferment in a large enough bowl lightly covered,
for about 6-8 hours in a warm place
5. * You can increase rice to four cups if using good quality urad dal but it takes
experience and practice to tell if that's the case so go with these proportions as you
start out

4 cups of fermented dosa batter
1-1.5 cups of water
4 tbsp of gingelly oil (Indian sesame oil like Idhayam)


1. Add enough water to the fermented batter until you have a smooth, pouring consistency.
Make sure the batter is not too watery though, it should be thick-ish but fall off your spoon

2. Heat a tawa or iron griddle and grease with the oil lightly. Pour about 1/2 cup batter to the
centre of the tawa.

3. Using the back of your ladle, gently spread the batter with a circular motion from the
centre towards the sides of the tawa.

This requires some practice but is not hard at all. As you can see, I have made dosas enough
times to actually do a decent job with my left hand while taking pictures with my right. Ok,
I'll stop showing off now.

Since we are not making very crispy dosas, don't spread it too thin. The dosa should be more
or less evenly thick.

4. Drizzle about 1 tsp of oil around the edges of the dosa and add a few sprinkles on the top
as well.

5. If your tawa is greased adequately and is not sticky, the edge of the dosa will start to come
off the pan in about 1 minute or so. Use a spatula to gently lift the dosa

and flip it over. Cook the other side for another 40 seconds or so and remove from pan.

Serve with dosa podi, chutney, sambar, tiffin sambar, or anything that takes your fancy. I can
eat dosa with pretty much anything!

dhokla ------- step1 ----- to 1cup of besan add a pinch of turmeric, 2tbs curd,3tsp oil,1\2 piece
lime juice,salt to taste (1\2tsp)& with hot water make a smooth batter.pour this into a greased
glass bowl & microwave it at 80power for 8min.----just before pouring into a greased bowl
atlast add soda & mix. step2 ------ Now make tadka with oil ,mustard seeds & 2 green
chilles.pour this tadka over the dhokla pieces. step3 ----- prepare lime water with the
remaining lime,1 glass water,2 1\2tsp sugar & a pinch of salt.pour with a spoon on the dhokla
pieces. garnish it with coriander leaves.

Basically a Khaman Dhokla is a savory steamed cake made from fermented batter of
seasoned chickpea flour,steamed into a spongy cake, then drizzled over with a spicy
tempering mixture .This can be had as a snack ,or for breakfast .You can have it as such or
with chutneys .The best thing about it is steamed and hence, is healthy and low calorie.
So heres the Dhokla recipe which i have finally zeroed on :

For Batter
Besan / Bengal Gram Flour -1 Glass
Rava / Semolina - 2 tablespoon
Buttermilk / Curd + water mix - 3/4 Glass
Baking Soda - 1 pinch
To be mixed to the batter before steaming
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Green Chili - 4-5 nos
Ginger -1 inch / 1 tsp grated
Salt as per taste
Sugar -1 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Eno fruit salt -1 1/2 tbsp + some for dusting
For tempering
Mustard Seeds
Hing / Asafetida-a pinch
Curry leaves
Chopped Coriander leaves
Grated coconut (optional )

Method :
In a big bowl, add the besan, rava,buttermilk,salt and cooking soda and mix well to
get a lump less batter, the consistency should be of idli batter, more of dropping not
pouring consistency.

Cover it and leave aside to ferment for 2-5 hours in some warm place.
After 3-4 hours, you will notice that the batter has got fermented.
Next,keep a pressure cooker / steamer for heating with enough water in the bottom.
To the batter add oil, salt, sugar, green chili paste,ginger paste,lemon juice and
turmeric powder. Mix well.

Grease a deep,flat and wide container with oil (I used the cooker container ).Also dust
it little with Eno.

When the water in the steamer starts boiling, add the eno to the batter and mix gently,
you will see bubbles coming out.

Then immediately pour the batter to the plate until it is 2/3 full. Remember after the
dhoklas are steamed they will puff up.Place the plate carefully inside the steamer and
cover with lid.

Steam for about 15 minutes with lid covered (but without the weight/whistle).
After 15 minutes, turn off heat.Remove the lid and prick it using toothpick or knife. If
the knife comes out clean and does not have any batter sticking, then Dhoklas are
done.Allow it to rest for 5 minutes in the cooker itself with lid opened.
Take it out and keep aside.

Seasoning / Tadka
Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds,hing and curry leaves.
Let the mustard seeds crackle.
Slowly add the water, sugar and lemon juice to the prepared seasoning.
water+lemon juice+sugar+seasoning mixture
Using a small spoon pour it evenly over the steamed and cooled dhokla. Let it rest for
a little while.This will keep them soft.

Cut them into desired shapes square or diamond and garnish with coriander leaves
and coconut before serving.

Serve it hot or at room temperature with Green chutney ,Sweet chutney or tomato

Bread Tikki/
Quick Bread Tikki for Chats/
Kids Special/
Quick Bread Cutlets

Hi Friends,
Today i am here with a very easy peasy recipe
which hardly takes 15 minutes to make. Bread Tikki. sounds
different. Right? You can use leftover bread or fresh one to
make these tikki. I used brown bread for this which i was
having in my hand. You can use any flavorless bread like
white bread, brown bread or even multi grain bread for this. It
will get cooked very fast. You can have it as it is with any
sauce or chatni or make chats with it or simply dunk in some
curd and enjoy like dahi bhalla. Have it any way it will not
disappoint you. Its very handy too. You don't need
elaborated ingredients for it use whatever floats on your boat.

This is a quick snack fix. You can make it for unwanted
guests to impress with tempting chats or on a lazy evening to
go with tea/coffee or for parties also. You can also make them
one day ahead follow the process till shaping the tikkies and
keep them in airtight container in fridge. Deep fry
or shallow fry next day for a quick snack.

Bread (any but not sweet)- 4 pieces
Onion - 1 tbsp Finally chopped (optional)

Chat Masala - 1 tsp
Red chilly pdr- 1 tsp
Salt-as per your taste
Oil for frying or shallow frying

Grab your ingredients

Take water in a bowl

dip bread in water for few seconds

squeeze out water

do same with all bread and keep in a plate

Now add chopped onion

throw in all spices

now need it and make a dough

Grease you hand with oil and
take small portion of dough

shape it like tikki


Now heat a griddle and grease it with one tsp

place all tikkies on it

Bake them from both sides

Within minutes tikkies are ready to serve

Hmmm yum yum


Hi Friends,
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Especially in monsoon.
Please do not expect that I have enjoyed it that's why i
am asking this. My weekend is always hectic. I badly need
a leisurely monsoon weekend, which I am missing since few
(phewwwwww) years. I want to wake up at 9-10am on a
rainy Sunday and laying in front of TV and watching songs,
movies with my cup of coffee and this kind of warm and
delicious cake. Making some very quick and easy breakfast, a
very lazy lunch and going out for a dinner,
wooooooooow.(dreams are endless). I hope someday i will
enjoy my weekend. Till then I enjoy baking and cooking
all seven days.

Few days back i baked this mango cake. I always wanted to
bake a mango cake, but always confused that how to make
mango puree without grinder, But i was determined to make
this cake and i just grated mango pieces and mashed with my
ladle for a uniform puree for cake. and result is-

So my main problem is solved and i baked this cake. Color
of batter was so inviting that i just licked it and taste was not
bad. hehehehe. after baking the taste was so inviting, as
pictures do not justice with the real taste of the cake. I think if
i have been baked it less 5 min then the color of cake would
be more bright. Will try next time. Please try this cake on a
rainy morning or evening and eat hot with a cup of tea/coffee
or with ice cream or chocolate sauce, whatever you like. I am
drooling right now, so straight to the recipe.

APF Flour - 1 and 1/4 cup (maida)
Sugar - 3/4 cup (powdered)
Mango puree - 1 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup
Oil - 3/4 cup
Baking pdr - 1 tsp
Bakign Soda - 1/4 tsp
Chocolate chips (optional)


Take your ingredients

Take milk, suger, puree and oil

In a bowl add mango puree and suger mix well

Add oil and milk and mix well

Now sift Flour, Baking Pdr and soda

(start heating your cooker oven)

Now mix sifted flour mix with mango puree

Pour in baking pan
(i used a loaf pan and covered it with foil)

Sprinkle some chocolate chips on it
(Pari did it)

Put in your pre-heated cooker oven

Check after 20 min ( i baked 25 min)

Let it cool completely

Step by step recipe for Restaurant style Kadai Paneer
1) Dry roast the coriander seeds and dried chilies on medium heat. Keep stirring and as it
toasted you will get nice aroma of coriander seeds and chillies will get darker in color.
remove it to a plate or bowl and let it cool completely. NOTE: I have broke the chilies and
removed the seeds to reduce the spice level. And seeds and stems of the chilies are not good
for your body (my MIL says that).
2) Once cooled, grind into a powder using spice grinder or coffee grinder.

3) In the same pan heat the oil on medium heat. Once hot add chopped onions and sprinkle
some salt to speed up the process.
4) Cook them till it gets translucent but not brown.

5) Add garlic paste. Alternately you use freshly grated garlic.
6) Mix and cook for 35-40 seconds or till the raw smell goes away.

7) Add ground spice powder.
8) Stir and saute for a minute.

9) Add chopped tomatoes and remaining salt.
10) Mix well and let it cook.

11) It will start to leave its water and will get soften. Keep mashing the soften tomatoes with
back of the spatula.
12) As it cooks, all the moisture will evaporates and it starts to leave the sides of the pan.

13) Then add pureed tomato.
14) Mix it well. Instead you can use 2 tablespoons of store bought tomato puree for brighter

15) stir in garam masala and kasoori methi.
16) Cook till again it leave the sides. And oil should ooze out.

17) Add 1 cup of water or as required to make gravy consistency. Add capsicums. Cook for
4-5 minutes, so it gets cooked.
18) Add paneer and stir gently so paneer cubes does not break.

19) Finally add cream.
20) Stir well and let comes a boil. Then turn of the gas heat. If you like sprinkle some
chopped cilantro. (I did not because I forgot. oops..)

Make this restaurant style Kadai Paneer gravy in your kitchen and let me know your
thoughts in the comments below. Happy Cooking!!!
For Kofta's
1 Bottle gourd (Lauki/ghiya)
2-3 tbsp of gram flour (besan)
1 tbsp of rice flour
1 green chilli finely chopped (or to taste)
1 tsp of ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
1 tsp of dry mango powder (Amchur)
1/4 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp of finely chopped coriander
Oil for deep frying

For Curry:
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of cumin seeds (zeera)
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tbsp of tomato paste (or 1 cup of tomato puree)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
1/4 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
1/4 cup of cream
salt to taste
few finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp of Oil for cooking


For making Lauki Kofta's:

Peel & cut the bottle gourd into half & then grate it or you could make small pieces of
it & add those to the food processor to get the grated like consistency. Once you
grate/chop it finely using a food processor, bottle gourd will start leaving water. So
take small portions of this grated bottle gourd & press between palms to remove the
excess water. Keep in a separate bowl. Continue this process with the remaining
grated bottle gourd.

Mix all ingredients in to a bowl except oil & combine well. Make small-medium sized
round balls.

Deep fry these kofta's till they turn nice & golden brown in color. Strain & remove on
absorbent paper to soak any excess oil. Keep aside.
Add more gram flour if you are unable to make balls with the combined
mixture. Bottle gourd has a tendency to leave water so work quickly to make balls
& fry once the mixture is mixed.

For making Curry:

Heat oil in a pan & once hot add the bay leaf followed by cumin seeds. Once the
cumin seeds start spluttering add onions & saute till they turn translucent. Then add
the ginger garlic paste & saute till raw garlic smell disappears. Now add the tomato
paste & mix well. Then add the turmeric, red chilli, coriander,cumin seeds powder &
salt. Mix well.

Add 1 & 1/2 cup of water & allow to come to a boil. Then add the garam masala
followed by cream & mix. Simmer for 5 mins then add the coriander leaves. (Adjust
the curry consistency if required by adding 1/2 cup of water at a time.)

That's it our gravy is ready. Just before serving add the Kofta's to the curry & bring to
a quick boil or simmer for 5 mins so that the gravy gets absorbed into the
Kofta's. Don't mix the Kofta's with the gravy for a long time as they will turn soggy &
start breaking. Garnish with some coriander & cream & serve.