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Recipe Cooked, Photographed and Written by Praveena

PrepTime:17-20hrs  CookTime:15 mins   Cuisine:Indian

There wouldn’t be any South Indian family without having Idli(s) atleast once in a week.

There are many varieties of Idli batter recipes and in the same way there are many number of recipes for making them too. In Telugu cuisine, I never saw/heard my Mom or my MIL using Idli rice for making these. They always used Idli rava. But, now as we live in a place where Idli rava is not being sold, I had to start using it, for the sake of our love for Idli(s). 

Since a decade, I got used to this below mentioned recipe. I have given all the tips which I follow for making these cotton spongy patties.

This recipe is completely Vegan, Glutenfree and Guitfree as well.

We had these idli(s) with Chutney and Podi. Recipes link for Podi⇒ Hemp Seeds – Indian Spice Powder  and Chutney⇒ Peanut Chutney / Palli Pachchadi

My Chutney recipes collection here⇒ Chutney / Pachchadi / Dip

My Breakfast recipes collection here  Breakfast / Tiffin

Before starting to cook, don’t forget to see the Tips  mentioned at the end.

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  • Whole Urad dal/ MinapaGundlu – ½ cup
  • Idli Rice/ Parboiled Rice – 1 cup
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Atukulu/ Pressed Rice/ Poha – ½ cup
  • Water – for soaking
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Cooking oil – to grease the plates

Special Ingredients:

  • Atukulu/ Pressed Rice/ Poha

Procedure for making ‘IDLI’:

  • Take the Urad Dal/Minapagundlu, Rice and IdliRice/ Parboiled Rice into a large bowl.
  • Wash them thoroughly for 2-3 times.
  • Add the Poha/ Flattened Rice to the same bowl and then add double the amount of water. 
  • Leave the bowl on kitchen platform for 6 to 7 hours. Let them soak. 
  • Later, grind all of them together (in a grinder/mixie) into a smooth batter just like in the pic.

    Idli batter set for fermentation on kitchen platform
  • Add the required amount of salt and mix everything thoroughly for upto 5 minutes using a firm ladle or your hands.
  • Keep the bowl/vessel on a warm place for upto 10 to 12 hours, for fermentation.

    Idli batter overflowing, after fermentation
  • After fermentation, again mix the batter thoroughly for up to 3 to 4 mins, using a firm ladle or your hands.
  • For Steaming, take a wide bottomed vessel (suitable to fit the idli steamer plates) or the idli steamer or pressure cooker.
  • Pour 2-3 cups of water and put it on stove top under low flame. 
  • Parallely, pour 2 drops of cooking oil over each slot of the idli plates and grease them throughout.
  • Pour a ladle full of fermented batter onto each slot and put the plates into the steamer/vessel on stove top.

    Idli batter poured into Idli plates for steaming
  • Close it with lid, change the flame to high and let them steam for about 10 to 12 mins.
  • Later, switch the flame off and leave them for about 5 mins.
  • Take the plates out of the vessel, sprinkle little of water over them.

    After steaming, Idli plates taken out of the steamer
  • Use a sharp edged spoon, that’s dipped in water, to remove the idli(s) out of the plates. Done!!


  • Whatever, might be the size of the cup, the measurement ratios are the same.
  • Remember, the duration of time taken for soaking and fermenting is different for summers and winters.
  • For soaking, in summer: 4 to 5 hours and in winter:6 to 7 hours.
  • For soaking the grains, you can leave the vessel/ bowl  in a dry place at room temperature.
  • Don’t drain out the soaked water, save it to use it while grinding.
  • For fermentation, in summer: 6 to 8 hours and in winter: 10 to 12 hours.
  • I generally leave the vessel with batter, for fermentation, on the kitchen platform (near the stove) for about 10 to 12 hrs , and in extreme winters for about 14 hrs too.
  • In case, this doesn’t work, you can put the vessel inside the microwave with door closed. No operation needed.
  • Or you can put the vessel inside a oven, after pre-heating it for about 5-10 mins. (Switch off the oven after 5-10 mins).
  • I tried both the above options for fermentation and it worked for me.
  • Don’t bother even if you have given more (than the mentioned) time for soaking and fermenting.
  • I dont have a idli steamer, so I generally use my pressure cooker.
  • If you are using a pressure cooker for steaming, remember NOT to put the whistle.
  • To remove idli(s), dip a sharp edged spoon into water and then take the idli out of slot. Agian dip the spoon in water to take the next idli out of the slot.
  • By doing so, the idli(s) will not stick to the plates and come out in perfect shape.
  • To store the leftover batter, put the same vessel (covered with lid) in the refrigerator, and use the batter whenever needed.
  • This batter stays good upto a week when put in fridge.
  • Steamed idli(s) can also be put in refrigerator and be served after warming them in microwave.


  • The texture of these, idli, are ultimately soft like cotton.
  • The taste of just the idli is obviously not delicious enough, so the ideal way of relishing tthem is by smearing generous amount of homemade ghee/butter and with spicy powders, sambar and chutneys as side. 
  • We had them along with Hemp Seeds – Indian Spice Powder and Peanut Chutney / Palli Pachchadi
    Idli(s) served with Peanut chutney and Karappodi, smeared with ghee/butter

    Podi-Idli(s) rolled over Karappodi and smeared with ghee/butter

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