Idli – Step by Step Recipe

Idli is a traditional breakfast item eaten in South India. It is made by steaming the batter made by fermenting udad and rice. The fermentation process breaks down the starches so that they are more readily metabolized by the body.

One of the rituals we go through every week is to make the batter for Idi and Dosas. This would mean that the breakfast menu for the next three days would be set. First day, idli, second day, dosa and third day, uttapham.

Idli is comforting and healthy and completely yummy. Once the batter is ready, making the idlis is a breeze.


There are two ways of grinding the rice and udad for the batter. One is using the grinder and the other is with the electric mixer. The batter made with the grinder is always soft and yummy. So if you will be regularly making idlis or dosas, then a grinder is a worthwhile investment. When making the batter using a mixer, care has to be taken not to overheat the batter otherwise the idlies won’t be as soft.

I will be outlining the way to make idli batter using a grinder.


  • 4 heaped cups idly rice
  • 1 cup udad
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek
  • water
  • 1 tbsp rock salt


  • Grinder


  • Idli Steamer



Soak the rice in water for 6 hours. Soak the udad and the fenugreek together in water for 6 hours. I add the fenugreek as it gives additional flavour.

Udad and Fenugreek in cup
Udad and Fenugreek in cup
Idli rice in cup











Start the grinder and slowly over 10 minutes put in the soaked udad and fenugreek along with a bit of water.

Grind for 10 more minutes.
Then stop the grinder and remove the batter.


Start the grinder again and slowly put in the soaked rice along with a bit of water. Grind for 15 minutes.
Put the udad batter and 1 tbsp rock salt in and grind for another minute or so.


The batter should have smooth consistency.

Place the batter for fermenting until it rises in volume to about double or more. Typically overnight in cool climate.

Take some water in the idli steamer and heat it. Stir the batter well so that everything is mixed properly, otherwise the idlies will not turn out good.


Lightly oil the idli moulds and then pour in the batter in the moulds. Steam for 5 – 7 minutes.

Let it cool for 5  Scoop out of the moulds using spoon.

Serve with Chutney and Sambar.



One thought on “Idli – Step by Step Recipe

  1. Pingback: Dosa - Amm Yum Yum

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