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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 par-boiled rice and thick beaten rice 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 par-boiled 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 spoonfuls of the batter into each of the greased idli moulds.
  7. Steam in an idli steamer for 10 to 12 minutes or till they are cooked.
  8. Once the idlis are cooked, cool them slightly. Dip a spoon in the water and using this spoon loosen the sides of idli and demould them. Keep aside.
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter to make more idlis.
  10. Serve hot with sambhar, coconut chutney and malgapodi.

Coconut Chutney ( Idlis and Dosas) 
Coriander Onion Chutney 
Mysore Chutney, South Indian Mysore Chutney 
Sambar ( Sambhar, Idlis and Dosas) 

Nutrient values per idli
Energy9 cal
Protein0.4 g
Carbohydrates1.7 g
Fiber0.2 g
Fat0 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Vitamin A0.6 mcg
Vitamin B10 mg
Vitamin B20 mg
Vitamin B30.1 mg
Vitamin C0 mg
Folic Acid2.1 mcg
Calcium2.5 mg
Iron0.1 mg
Magnesium0 mg
Phosphorus0 mg
Sodium0.6 mg
Potassium12.7 mg
Zinc0.1 mg

RECIPE SOURCE : Idlis & DosasBuy this cookbook

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 on 13 Apr 18 10:30 PM

mam what is par boiled rice (ukda chawal ) pls explain
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Priti, Parboiled rice is rice that has been boiled in the husk. Parboiling makes rice easier to process by hand, improves its nutritional profile, and changes its texture.
14 Apr 18 03:03 PM
 on 11 Mar 18 01:02 PM

mam i used same ingreditnts,as menrioned in ur above receipe but it was not successful.Batter is so loose that it was u cooked after 10-12 their any solution or my batter will be wasted.pls suggest.
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Tarla Dalal    Hi, I think the water is added more by you.. 1 cup measure that we have mentioned here is approx 200ml.. not more than this. The best way to use this batter is now to make dosas out of it..
12 Mar 18 09:08 AM
 on 25 Feb 18 03:38 PM

Hi, the recipe has helped me well. Thanks for writing up on this. But, it also falls under the category of Punjabi Breakfast, which I feel is a misleading information.
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Tarla Dalal    You have a point but this update came from several Punjabi ladies itself on our Facebook platform and they said that even we have Idlis for breakfast .
26 Feb 18 09:58 AM
 on 16 Dec 17 07:47 PM

After trying lots of idli receipes this has given me the best idlies..they were very soft.. also the tips given in the video are also very useful..
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Tarla Dalal    Thanks for your feedback for the recipe. Please keep posting your comments on recipes you have tried and loved. Happy Cooking.
18 Dec 17 12:44 PM
 on 25 Sep 17 04:21 PM

Very nice recipe, I would like to try this recipe but just 1 question we have to use black lentil then what about the skin of the black lentil .. can we not use white urad Dal Thank you
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Sunita, You have to use the white urad dal only....
25 Sep 17 05:17 PM
 on 25 Sep 17 01:11 PM

 on 26 Jul 17 09:14 PM

I want to try this recipe, just had a few questions. 1. What is parbaoiled rice? Does it mean half cooked rice? 2. I have read other recipes of idle, where they add soda/ yeast for fermenting? Is this required? 3. The leftover batter can it be stored in the refrigerator,if yes then for how many days? 4. By adding fenugreek seeds wont the idli taste bitter?
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Delcy, Parboiled rice is not half cooked rice.. it is a kind of rice which is available in the market.It is also known as ukda chawal in hindi, the colour will be slightly yellowish, slightly transparent and fat in size. There is no requirement to add any soda or yeast, we have kept this batter for 12 hours to ferment in a warm place, which takes place naturally. Yes the leftover batter can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. Do try the recipe and give us your feedback.. Happy Cooking!!
27 Jul 17 08:53 AM
 on 04 Oct 16 03:42 PM

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Tarla Dalal    Thanks.
06 Dec 16 04:37 PM
 on 23 Sep 16 01:54 AM

Is there requirement of soda ... And how to reduce cost of idli per piece for commercial purpose
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Anil, No need to add soda. We are not sure about commercial usage as we are not into it.
23 Sep 16 02:45 PM
 on 13 Aug 16 02:18 PM

Need to know if I can use regular basmati rice - what I have in house ?
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Tarla Dalal    Hi Mamta, Sorry we have not tried this recipe with basmati rice.
13 Aug 16 04:48 PM
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