Idli is a type of savoury rice cake, popular as breakfast foods throughout India and northern 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.

Idli have several variations, including rava idli, which are made from semolina.

It is normally served with Sambar and with cocunut chutney.

  Recipe Servings: 30 idlis
  Cooking time: 30 Minutes


  • Parboiled Rice (ukda chawal) - 1 cup
  • Regular Rice - 1 cup
  • Urad Dal (Split Black Lentils) – 1/2 cup
  • Thick Poha - 1/4 cup
  • Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - to apply on Idli moulds
  • Water - for soaking and grinding Rice
  • Water - for soaking and grinding Dal
  • Water - for steaming idlis


  • Take Parboiled rice and regular rice in a bowl and rinse them a couple of times.

  • Rinse the poha and add it to the rice.

  • Add approximately 2 cups of water into it. Mix well and sock for 4-5 hours.

  • In another bowl add urad dal (Split Black Lentils) and fenugreek seeds and rinse them a couple of times.

  • Soak urad dal (Split Black Lentils) and fenugreek seeds in approximately 1 cup of water for 4-5 hours.

To make Idli Batter:

  • Drain the soaked urad dal (Split Black Lentils) and fenugreek seeds and reserve the water.

  • Grind it in a mixer or a blender with 1/4th cup of reserved water for few seconds. Then add the  remaining 1/4th cup of water and grind it till you get a smooth and fluffy batter.

  • Keep the urad dal (Split Black Lentils) in a separate bowl and keep aside.

  • Add the already soaked rice in a mixer or a blender and blend it to a slightly coarse paste. Use water as per the requirement.

  • Mix both the batters together in a large bowl. Add salt into it as per your taste and mix well.

  • Cover the batter with a lid and keep aside to ferment in a warm place for 8-9 hours or more if required.

  • Once the fermentation process is over, the idli batter will become double in its quantity and rise. Mix the batter well once again.

Steaming Idlis:

  • Grease the idli moulds with oil.

  • Pour spoonfuls of the batter into each of the greased idli moulds.

  • Take a pressure cooker and remove the vent weight (whistle). Fill it with a cup of water.

  • Place the idli trays in the pressure cooker and cover it with the lid and cook. Steam the idlis for about 12 minutes. Remove the idli trays from the pot, let it cool down for a couple of minutes.

  • Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

  • Serve and enjoy the hot idlis with sambar and chutney.