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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, Gluten free and Guilt free as well.

We had these idli(s) with Chutney and Podi. Recipes link for Podi⇒ Hemp Seeds – Chutney 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-before fermentation, 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 up to 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 don’t 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 them 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 – Chutney Powder and Peanut Chutney / Palli Pachchadi
    Podi-Idli(s) rolled over Karappodi and smeared with ghee/butter

    Idli(s) served with Peanut chutney and Karappodi, smeared with ghee/butter

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