Idly Recipe or Idli Recipe

idli recipe
There are many different variations in preparing idly. I will share my mother’s basic Idly recipe.
idli recipe

Ingredients for Idly or Idli

  1. Idly Rice/Parboiled Rice/Long Grain Rice 4 cups
  2. Urad dal 1 cup
  3. Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp (optional)
  4. Salt to taste

Soak rice and ural dal separately over night. Soak fenugreek with rice. You can soak rice over night and ural dal for 1 to 2 hours for fluffy idly batter. Grind first ural dal and then grind rice because ural dal batter will be sticky and cleaning will be easy if you grind rice after ural dal. Some people will add cooked rice while grinding rice or soaked rice flakes to make idly soft. If you are using idly rice you don’t need to add them, idly will be soft. But adding them is up to you.Mix both batters with your hand don’t do with spoon . It has to be done that way.

Tip: My grandmother says if you don’t add salt idly batter will remain fresh for couple of days. Add salt just before making idli. If you add salt to idli batter it will become sour after 2 days.

I don’t add cooked rice or rice flakes but my idly is soft.For fermenting idly batter temperature is very important. If it is cold in your home preheat the oven for 200F and keep idly batter in oven overnight or for 6-8 hours with oven switched off. Or you can keep the batter in tight container and wrap the container with some clothes. Whatever you do keep the batter warm.To get fluffy idli, batter should ferment properly.

My mom adds baking soda a pinch into water mixes well and pours it into idli batter. I do the same. Nut I have seen many others who skip adding baking soda and they get perfect idli. its up to you.

Now take idli cooker and add water and boil the water.

Grease idli plates just before adding idli batter.

idli recipe greasing plates

Now pour idli batter into the greased idli plates.

idli recipe pouring idli batter


idli recipe pouring idli batter


Now check if the water is boiling in idli cooker. If the water is boiling drop slowly the idli plates stand into the cooker.Cook for about 15 minutes or till idli is done. My mom says you can smell idli if it is done.

Serve with your favorite chutney or gun powder or sambar.

idli recipe with palli chutney

My family loves to eat with chicken curry or mutton curry or shrimp curry.

idli recipe with shrimp curry


idli recipe with shrimp curry

Now for Variations in Idly or Idli batter. You can go for 3 : 1 (rice to ural dal )ratio instead of 4:1 ratio . Or you can substitute 2 cups of oats for 2 cups of rice. I normally soak oats just before grinding dal.It depends on your oats type whether it is crushed or quick cooking oats. Be judgmental.

For Indian Gestational Diet : I was gestational diabetic with my second one. Dietician suggests to eat only 1 Idly for 1 serving. I normally would eat 5 Idlies 🙂 . It was hard for me to eat only one Idly. I found a solution for this. Use 1 cup rice to 1 cup urad dal and increase fenugreek to 2 times you normally add. Fenugreek controls blood sugar levels. I used to eat 2-3 idlies with peanut chutney or sambar and my blood sugar levels never gone up. Yippe 🙂

Idli or Idly Varieties : There are many different Idli varieties.

  1. Kanchipuram Idli
  2. Curd Idli
  3. Ragi Idli
  4. Jonna Idli or Jowar Idly
  5. Carrot Idli
  6. Beetroot Idli
  7. Spinach Idli
  8. Masala Idli
  9. Colorful Idly
  10. Stuffed Idli

and many more. I have blogged many of these idli recipes. I will capture pictures and post them when I get a chance.

With left over idlies you can make upma idli or masala idli or spicy tava idli


Idly Recipe

Learn how to make Idly
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Author Sravanthi


  • Rice 4 Cups ( Regular Rice or Long Grain Rice or Idly Rice or Brown Rice)
  • Urad Dal 1 Cup
  • Fenugreek 1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Soda a Pinch


  1. Soak rice , urad dal and fenugreek separately overnight.
  2. Or Soak Rice overnight and urad dal for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Grind urad dal and fenugreek first in your grinder or blender or mixie to a fine paste.
  4. It makes cleaning easy after grinding.
  5. Grind rice to fine or rawa like consistency. Rawa like consistency idly batter will be like rawa idly.
  6. Now mix rice batter and urad dal batter together.
  7. Add salt and allow to ferment overnight.
  8. After Idly batter is fermented add a pinch of soda and mix with water first and then add to batter.Mix.
  9. Grease idly molds with little oil add pour batter.
  10. First boil water in idly cooker or any big vessel which can hold idly plates.
  11. Once Water is hot and boiling now slowly put idly mold stand into idly cooker.
  12. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes on high flame.Make sure there is enough water in idly cooker.
  13. You can switch off the stove after 15 minutes or when you can smell idly.
  14. Allow idly to cool for 3-4 min and then remove idly from molds.
  15. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or sambar.Enjoy!
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