Idli /ɪdliː/) 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 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.

One can never miss Idli and Dosa at a South Indian’s home! Idli and Dosa are our staple breakfast recipes. There may even appear in the dinner menu too. Growing up I never liked idli! I loved to eat Dosa (rice flour crepes). My love for this fluffy beauties arose when I started to cook! This is one of the easiest yet wholesome breakfast recipe that one could make in a jiffy! These days I do make idlis more often. While they get cooked, which would be 15-18 minutes, I would finish making the side dish (chutney/sambar). On the whole all I would spend is just 15-20 minutes in the kitchen! Awesome rite?

Each family would have their own idli recipe. Its basically the proportion in which rice and dal are used that decides the softness of the idlis.


  • Idly rice 2 cups
  • Whole Urad dal 1 cup (WIth out Skin)
  • Cooked white rice 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Directions for Idli Batter

  1. Wash and clean Urad dal and rice
  2. Soak Urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water and rice separately; For about  5-6 hrs.
  3. Grind the , Urad dal and fenugreek seeds (with the water used for soaking it) into fine paste. It should be frothy and thick.
  4. Transfer it to a vessel.
  5. Now grind soaked rice along with the cooked white rice.
  6. Add water as necessary.
  7. The batter should not very thick and not too watery.
  8. Mix it with ground urad dal.
  9. Allow it to ferment for 10-12 hrs. (This duration may vary depending on the climatic conditions)
  10. The Batter would have raised, nicely, if it has fermented well.
  11. Add salt and mix thoroughly after fermentation.
  12. If you are not going to use immediately refrigerate the batter

Directions for Soft Idli

  1. Grease the idli mould with little cooking oil
  2. Pour the batter in the mould and cook it for 15-18 minutes.
  3. Do not cook the idlis for more than 18 minutes, else they would turn hard.

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