9799692b348 Nivedhanam: Idli

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Idli is a very popular breakfast from TamilNadu. It is best when served hot with chutney and sambar. You can also serve idli with gothsu, milagai podi. Recipes of all these will follow (hopefully soon). I was browsing through my blog posts and realized one thing that my blog has very few (very very few) Tamil recipes. I immediately decided to make this idli post and publish it. I think the reason for not having many Tamil recipes is that I do not take pictures of everyday food or food that are common to our house… And the reason for that is that I do not write down the recipes of these everyday food nor do I bookmark them.. But now I have decided to take pictures of everyday food also that are common in my house also and post the recipes that are tested and rectified and approved in my house ‘n’ number of times… Now this will help my blog have a variety of dishes and cuisines!!! On to the recipe!!
Idli Rice / Parboiled Rice - 4 cups
Ulutham Parupu / Urad Dal - 1 1/2 cups
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Oil - 1 tea spoon (preferably sesame oil or gingerly oil)
Salt - 1 3/4 tea spoons
Water - to soak and grind

Wash well and soak the dal (with fenugreek seeds) and rice separately in water for around 6 hours or overnight
With the help of a grinder, grind the urad dal first and then the rice into smooth paste
Add salt and mix both these batters well and keep them covered in a vessel and allow it to ferment for around 4 to 8 hours
Make sure you have filled the container only half as the dough may (WILL) rise while fermenting
Refrigerate the batter until use
When going to make the idlis, grease the idli molds with few drops of oil and pour the idli batter
Steam the idlis until done. Should take around 12 - 18 minutes.


Couple of things that can help in making the idlis best are:
1. Just before pouring the batter into the mold, make sure that the water inside the steamer or cooker is hot
2. Do not overfill the mold
3. Check if done with toothpick method (insert a toothpick / wooden skewer or the backside of a spoon to test doneness). It should not stick
4. After the stove is switched off, leave it for sometime before opening it
5. After opening it from the steamer or cooker, allow the idli plates to rest on the counter for 2 to 3 minutes before scooping them out
6. You can also show the idli plates through running water just before scooping them out
7. Do not make the batter too thick before fermenting, the batter needs to be correct consistency to ferment better
8. People living in colder areas - you will need to ferment for longer time. You will know that the batter is ferment when it has lot of pores and also increased quite a bit in volume. You need to keep in a warmer place for better fermentation. Places I used are oven with the light on, near a warm area or closet in the house. Sandhya has mentioned that she keeps it in a warm closet in her dining room

9. Please add more points if you know and I will update the post accordingly..

Sending this to SIC#3, Anu's page, Quick and Easy, Favourite Rice Recipes, Siri’s Anniversary Event, CWS - Urad Dal, Priya's page,
Giveaway Time horizontal final


  1. Do you use a grinder or a mixer?I have amixer.So then willit be the same proportion?The idlis look so soft and yummy.And yes it will be good idea to post your daily cooking.I will definitely be waiting.Thanks.

    1. I use grinder... I have never grinded them in a mixie,, Heard from people, if using mixie then we need to increase the amount of urad dal.. Not sure of it as I have not tried it personally... Also mixie generates a lot of heat when grinded vs. grinder.. If you do in mixie, let me know how it turns out!! And thanks for your words on daily food!!

  2. Our staple food. Ur idly looks spongy & soft.. Love d ur gosthu too :)

  3. Nice clicks Sowmya ! Just a couple of things I would like to add...if using whole urad dal, i am thinking 4:1 should work well. Also, do specify that people living in colder areas might need to ferment it for longer time in a warmer spot. I have a warm closet in my dining area where i leave the idli batter and curd to ferment. It generally takes me around 18 hrs to ferment the batter and overnight for yogurt.


    1. Thanks for your inputs Sandhya, I have now added them. Also regarding the ratio - It depends on the quality of the dal also. Some dals need 1:3, some need 1:4, But I have had luck with 11/2:4 for most of the urad dals I have used.. So I feel 11/2:4 is a safe bet.


  4. Spongy idlis, wish to start my day with this beautiful platter.

  5. They look inviting... Thanks for adding it to the event..

    Ammaji Recipes
    Event -Quick & Easy Recipes

  6. Soft Idlis looking good.

    My ongoing event- http://madhusindianrecipes.blogspot.com/2012/11/announcing-lunch-box-ideas-event.html

  7. Soft perfectly made idly's.. Very useful for beginners..


Dear Friends,
Thank you for reading my blog post. Your comments and feedback is very valuable and I appreciate it very much. Please leave your valuable comments and feedback for this post. Thanks Sowmya

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