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Fluffy as cotton balls, white as the moon’ - every South Indian remembers those fond descriptions of Idli that mom used to convince them to eat breakfast when they were kids.

Indeed, that is how the perfect Idli must be too. Grinding of batter and the preparation of Idli is an almost daily affair in South Indian homes. Being a safe, tasty and wholesome breakfast, it is preferred by people all over the world now.

Choose good quality par-boiled rice (ask for idli rice, which is small and stout) and urad for making idlis, as the colour and softness of the end product depends on it.

The amount of water to be added when grinding the urad changes according to the quality of the dal, so keep adding little by little till the batter is soft and fluffy, and do not make it watery.

After making the required idlis store the remaining batter in the fridge. It remains good for almost a week, and can be used to make Sada Dosa Uttapa and dainty appe as well.

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Idli recipe - How to make Idli

Soaking time:  4 hours   Preparation Time:    Fermenting Time:  12 hours   Cooking Time:    Total Time:     Makes 50 idlis
Show me for idlis

  1. Combine the urad dal and fenugreek seeds, and enough water in a deep bowl and mix well. Cover with a lid and keep aside to soak for 4 hours.
  2. Combine the parboiled rice and thick rice flakes, and enough water in a deep bowl and mix well. Cover with a lid and keep aside to soak for 4 hours.
  3. Wash and drain the urad dal and fenugreek seeds and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste using approx. 1 cup of water. Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl and keep aside.
  4. Wash and drain the parboiled rice and thick rice flakes and blend in a mixer to a slightly coarse paste using approx. 1½ cups of water. Add this mixture to the urad dal- fenugreek seeds mixture, add the salt and mix very well.
  5. Cover it with a lid and keep aside to ferment in a warm place for 12 hours.
  6. After fermentation, mix the batter well once again and pour spoonfulls of the batter into greased idli moulds.
  7. Steam in an idli steamer for 10 to 12 minutes or till they are cooked.
  8. Repeat with the remaining batter to make more idlis.
  9. Serve hot with sambhar, coconut chutney and Malgapodi.

RECIPE SOURCE : Idlis & DosasBuy this cookbook
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 on 15 Jun 16 04:48 PM

Can I use normal rice instead of boiled rice?
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Kavita, The rice we have used here.. is Parboiled rice.. not boiled rice.. which is readily available in the market.. also known as ukda chawal.. Do check in grocery store.. you will get it..and also try the recipe..
16 Jun 16 02:00 PM
 on 31 May 16 01:06 PM

what is praboiled rice..??
 on 13 May 16 09:27 AM

Recipe is awesome Didi con we use rice flour instead of rice
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Seema, No you should use rice and not rice flour. Follow the exact recipe to get best idlis.
16 May 16 04:40 PM
 on 21 Feb 16 10:39 AM

Excellent idlis. I loved this recipe.
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Tarla Dalal    Hi, That''s great to know you have liked the recipe.. Do keep trying more recipes and give us your feedback..?
10 May 16 04:12 PM
 on 31 Aug 15 04:01 PM

The proportions mentioned here are perfect. I make idlis, dosas and uttapams with the same batter and it works like magic. This recipes saves me so much effort in making breakfasts on weekdays. I make the batter once and I am sorted for a couple of days!
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Tarla Dalal    Thanks Srujan. We actually worked very hard to get the perfect idli recipe. Please keep trying and provide us your feedback. Also try
01 Sep 15 09:31 AM
 on 09 Jul 15 02:22 PM

These idlis are sooo fluffy and soft, they just melt in the mouth. I enjoy them with a bowl of hot sambhar..
 on 22 Apr 15 04:55 PM

The ever best soft and spongy idlis... the flavor of the fenugreeks is so good. These idlis are soft even when cold. I have loved this recipe, which i was searching por so long. A must try for all the idli lovers.
 on 14 Apr 11 02:05 PM

nice n spongy without usin fruit salt. loved it..
 on 24 Nov 10 10:06 PM

proportion of dal and rice is perfect. My idlis came out quite good