Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Idli (Steamed rice dumplings)

 The most popular South indian Breakfast savory- Idli is a steamed rice dumpling or fluffy smooth  lentil and rice cake. It is an all time favorite for everyone. Generally these Idlies are  served with spicy Idly podi (mixture of blended dry spices) served with melted Ghee or gingely oil, mildly spiced coconut chutney and Sambar (vegetable lentil soup).
 Black gram and Idly(boiled rice) rawa(powdered rice) is used to make the Idli. However, in some parts of south India, Idly(steamed) rice is used instead of Idly(boiled) rice rawa. The rice is soaked in water beforehand and ground well. I have used the Idly(boiled rice) rawa in my recipe for making Idlies.
 Black gram usually has a black colored skin. The de-skinned variety of black gram is available in the market which is white in color. I have used this "white" black gram for making Idlies- i.e white lentils.

  1. White lentils (Udad dal,Chaya mina pappu)    1  glasss(150g)
  2. Idly Rawa (Idly (Boiled) rice rawa)                 2 glasses(300g)
  3. Salt                                                                       according taste(around 1 tea spoon)
  4. Water                                                                 1 small cup

  1. Wash the white lentils in running water. Take in a wide bowl, add water( around 3 glasses of water) and soak for 6 to 7 hours.
  2. After 7 hours, remove the water from the soaked white lentils. Wash them again in running water.  Blend them well in a wet grinder or blender. Add little water to make a smooth and thick batter.(We should not add too much water while blending). Pour this batter into a big, wide bowl.
  3. Take the Idly rawa in a separate bowl. Clean it in water to remove impurities. Now add 4 glasses of water to the rawa and Keep aside for few min.
  4. Remove the water from Idly rawa using a strainer. Add this rawa into the batter. Mix well and add salt. Mix well and cover the batter with a lid. Keep it to ferment for 6 hours in a warm place.(Its good to keep this idly batter in a big wide bowl, otherwise the batter rises after fermentation and overflows).
  5. After 6 hours, check the consistency of the idly batter. If the batter is too thick, add little water and mix well. If batter is too thin we can not make Idlies, so be careful not to add too much water in the previous steps. When you scoop and lift the batter with a laddle, the batter should be of medium consistency.
  6. Grease the idli plates with ghee or vegetable oil.
  7. Pour the Idly batter into these plates, arrange them in Idli stand.
  8. Pour 2 small glasses of water into the idli cooker. Place the idli stand into the cooker and cook on medium flame for 7 to 8 min.(The water in the cooker creates the steam to cook the Idlies)
  9. Now turn the flame into medium heat and check whether the idlies are cooked or not. To do this, insert a fork into an Idly. Only when the batter does not stick to the fork, the Idlies are cooked properly. A nice aroma comes from the steam.
  10. Turn off the flame. Carefully remove the idli stand from the Idly cooker using a cloth or an oven cloth. Wait for 2 min.(Care to be taken not to burn the hands in the steam.)
  11. Now carefully scoop out the idlies from the idli plate using a wide spoon.
  12. Serve these hot fluffy smooth Idlies with Idly podi, coconut chutney and Sambar.

White lentils (chaya minapappu,Udad dal,Ulandu parippu)

White lentils soaked in water

Boiled rice rawa

The batter of white lentil and Boiled rice rawa

After fermenting the batter balloons up like this

Remove lid and mix well with laddle

Now the batter is ready for making Idlies

This is the Idly stand

The Idly cooker

Idly batter filled in plated

The idli plates placed back on the idly stand

Idly stand inside the Idli cooker

The Idli cooker placed on flame

The cooked idlies

Ready to serve

Idlies served with Idly podi

In my next post, I will publish how to make Idly podi, Idly coconut chutney(Mildly spiced coconut chutney) and Sambar.


  1. Lovely step by step recipe of a often made, well loved dish at our home - Great post dear :)

  2. Light and jasmine like idlies.lovely.

  3. Wow..looks yummy and soft....

  4. Soft and pluffy idly love it.

  5. Que original receta. Debe estar deliciosa.

  6. Super soft and fluffy idlies..

  7. they looks soft and perfect!...can i have that plate!
    Smitha's Spicy Flavors

  8. Thanks for the step by step procedure. idly looks perfect

  9. Soft n fluffy idlis. Great pictorials too !!

    US Masala

  10. DEAR RANI ...this or a similar recipe I saw it on the blog of Swathi .. if I remember correctly. lentils is very curious to try it .. .. I will try it like hugs .MARIMI

  11. This must be lovely. I wish I could try it!



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