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How to make Soft Idli Recipe

by | Feb 22, 2015 | 524 comments

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-so-soft

NOTE
I have shared the tips and tricks for soft idli batter here below. This article also has answers for a lot of frequently asked questions. Please refer to this article and I am sure most of your doubts will be answered.
Tips and Tricks for a better idli.

If you are planning to grind idli batter using mixie, please refer to this recipe.
Here is recipe for making idli in mixie. (The ingredients are slightly different)

VIDEO OF MAKING IDLI BATTER IN WET GRINDER

Idli has to be the top most comfort food for all South Indians. The texture of the idli is what makes it sublime. This recipe is a very basic recipe which uses only four ingredients namely Urad dal, Idly rice, fenugreek seeds and Salt. Its the technique that makes this the best batter ever. I use a wet grinder for grinding the batter. The stones in the grinder fluffs up the urad dal without making it hot. And the wet grinder method cannot be beat. A mixie or a food processor can be used but it wont be near close to the wet grinder. Also, you may need a heavy-duty mixer grinder so that the batter doesn’t get overheated. Each and every ingredient is ground separately. All the ingredients are soaked for a minimum of 3-4 hours and then ground. Wash all the ingredients in the beginning and then soak it in water. Wash the rice 3-4 times so the idli will be really white later.

Soak Fenugreek Seeds, Urad Dal and Idly Rice for a minimum of 3-4 hours. Soak everything separately in lots of water.

Lets start with grinding of the fenugreek seeds.
I need to be honest with you here. This is an optional ingredient. But I love the flavor that fenugreek imparts in the idli or dosa. Thats the flavor that reminds me of childhood. Its healthy and it also aids in fermentation. But if you use a lot, your idli is going to be bitter.

Note: If you are using the recipe for the first time, Use only a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds. Gradually increase if you like the flavour.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-seeds

Usually people soak fenugreek seeds and urad dal together. I picked up this trick from my friend Neeraja in California that grinding fenugreek seeds separately contributed for a lot of fluffiness. I was excited the first time when I saw the fenugreek seeds fluff up so much when ground. Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds with half a cup – 1 cup of water for 3-4 minutes until they are finely ground and have fluffed up.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-methi

Now is the time for lentils.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-whole-urad

There are a lot of variety of urad dal available that people use for idli batter.
Whole White Urad Dal – This is what I use. I use unpolished whole white Urad Dal. I prefer this dal for the sake of convenience.
Split Black Urad Dal – People used this as the primary dal for idly batter till 20 years back and many people use it today too. Purists will use this dal only. Black urad dal still has the skin intact and that means less processing during manufacture. The theory for not using white urad dal being that some heat is generated in the process of removing the skin during manufacture which might kill some of the good bacteria. I buy the theory. But black dal – its a lot of work. The soaked dal needs to be rubbed between hands and washed 8-10 times to remove the skin. If you have the time, go for it. Its more healthier too.
So if you have the time, use this dal. Its the best dal for idly batter.
Split White Urad Dal – I do not use this and will not recommend this.

Add the soaked and drained urad dal to the wet grinder. Remember the ground fenugreek is still lying in the grinder. Just dump the dal on top of it and add half a cup of water. The tip in grinding urad dal is to add the water slowly. If you add all of the water at once, it wont fluff up well.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-urad-dal-grind

The dal should fluff up and fill the grinder. It should have increased about 2-3 times of its original volume. Grind for atleast 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, transfer the dal mixture into a bowl and set aside.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-fluffy

Now comes the rice.

We use Idly Rice for making idly batter. Its a short grain fat par boiled rice. Par boiled rice is the only way to go for idli. Its also called as Salem Rice in Tamilnadu. Its an unique short fat grained rice. I have seen many people using Idly Rava. I personally do not use Idly rava. Most of the households in Tamilnadu use Idly Rice only. So its got to be idly rice for me. Grind the soaked and drained rice for 30 minutes until smooth. Add just enough water while grinding. Once ground, transfer the batter to the dal mixture bowl and mix well. Let there be lot of space for the batter to expand while fermenting. Do not fill up to the brim.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-rice

ADDITIONAL TIP

If you are going to store the batter for more than two days and if you want extra soft idlies even when the batter gets old, soak 1/2 Cup Avalakki  in 1 cup of water (Aval or Poha) for 5 minutes in water. Grind in a mixie and add to the batter. Aval makes for softest idlis. Try it if you live in cold climate or your idlis are always hard. (Aval – Thick or Thin – The size doesn’t matter)

kanchipuram-idli-recipe-tamilnadu-aval

SALT

When to add salt? There are two schools of thought. Whether to add salt while fermenting or to add it later. There is no right or wrong thing when it comes to adding salt. Its just a matter of choice. Salt inhibits fermentation and interferes with good bacteria to a certain extent. So one might want to add the salt after fermentation. At the same time, if you live in a hot and humid place then salt might be your friend because your batter will not be over fermented and will not turn sour soon. So when do I add salt? I add salt to the batter before fermenting in summers and add it after fermenting in winters. Hope this information was helpful.

I added salt to the batter before fermenting this time as we are seeing more sunnier days here. If you live in a very cold place leave your batter in some place warm. Leaving your batter inside your oven with the pilot light on works great if you live abroad and your place is cold.

Usually the batter needs to ferment for 8-12 hours.
Once the time is up, the batter should have increased in volume. Take a ladle and mix it well. Your batter is ready.
If you did not add salt before, now is the right time.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-fermented

Lets make idli.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-bake

Put some water in an idly vessel and put it on medium flame. Oil the idli plate and gently fill the rounds with the batter. Put it inside the idly vessel and let it steam for 6-7 minutes.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-steam

The key to good idlis – Do not allow it to over cook. It might become hard and dry. Just keep an eye and remove the idlis after 6-7 minutes. Do not remove the idlis immediately. It might stick. Leave it undisturbed for 4-5 minutes and then spoon it out. Serve hot with your favorite chutney and sambar.

A good idly must be soft and tender.

The one common comment I get from a lot of readers is that, their idlies did not rise and the idlies were flat. The main reason is watery or runny batter. Watery batter will not rise and the idlies will be hard and flat. So use caution while grinding and do not add too much water while grinding. The batter will thin out a little after fermentation. So a BIG CAUTION on using water. Please use correct measurements as mentioned in the recipe.

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter

how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-idly

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how-to-make-Soft-idli-batter-recipe-so-soft

How to make Soft Idli Recipe / Idly Batter

Fool proof recipe for making batter from scratch that will produce the softest idlis. Recipe for idly dosa batter.

  • Total Time: 12 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 40 idlies 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Cup Urad Dal
  • 4 Cups Idly Rice (1 liter)
  • 2 tablespoon Fenugreek seeds (Vendhayam)
  • 2 tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Aval or Poha (Optional)

Instructions

  1. All the ingredients are soaked for a minimum of 3-4 hours and then ground. Wash all the ingredients in the beginning and then soak it in water. Wash the rice 3-4 times so the idli will be really white later.
  2. Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds in water for 3-4 minutes until the are finely ground and have fluffed up.
  3. Add the soaked and drained urad dal to the wet grinder. Remember the ground fenugreek is still lying in the grinder. Just dump the dal on top of it and add half a cup of water. The tip in grinding urad dal is to add the water slowly. If you add all of the water at once, it wont fluff up well. The dal should fluff up and fill the grinder. It should have increased about 8-10 times of its original volume. Grind for atleast 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, transfer the dal mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Grind the soaked and drained rice for 30 minutes until smooth. Add just enough water while grinding. Once ground, transfer the batter to the dal mixture bowl and mix well.
  5. I add salt to the batter before fermenting in summers and add it after fermenting in winters.
  6. Usually the batter needs to ferment for 8-12 hours.
  7. Once the time is up, the batter should have increased in volume. Take a ladle and mix it well. Your batter is ready.
  8. For the idlies : Put some water in an idly vessel and put it on medium flame. Oil the idli plate and gently fill the rounds with the batter. Put it inside the idly vessel and let it steam for 6-7 minutes. The key to good idlis – Do not allow it to over cook. It might become hard and dry. Just keep an eye and remove the idlis after 6-7 minutes. Do not remove the idlis immediately. It might stick. Leave it undisturbed for 4-5 minutes and then spoon it out. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or sambar.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Basics
  • Cuisine: South Indian

idli-gri

524 Comments

  1. brandjoyful39

    your content is very beautiful. it is very useful.
    This is a great move for innovation especially when everything’s going digital already
    I like the valuable info in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I” ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Reply
  2. Jatin

    I love Idli. Thanks for this awesome reciepe

    Reply
  3. Malini

    Hi looks nice when to add the aval ? Does that needs to soak too ?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      soak 1/2 Cup Avalakki in 1 cup of water (Aval or Poha) for 5 minutes in water. Grind in a mixie and add to the batter.

      Reply
      • Malini

        Ok thanks a lot
        This time I have tried without it but will let you know how it turns out

        Reply
  4. Purvi D

    Have u added water just before making idlis (after fermenrtation) ?
    In the last pic of the batter the right picture looks a little liquid.

    Can we add water later or proper water has to be added at first only before fermentation?






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      In general, the batter will become little watery after fermentation. So always have a thick batter and You can always add little water and dilute the batter if required.

      Reply
  5. Rahul Rathore

    After reading your post, Now I am also thinking that I can make a recipe like yours. but that does not matter if I can make it like you or not but definitely, I will try at my home.

    Reply
  6. Divya Dixit

    Hi Suguna,
    I followed your recipe and idli’s turned out nice and soft. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Reply
  7. Bipin

    Miss Suguna hello,
    I will try this one and let you know.
    I have a Question :-
    If we use 1 cup urud dal and 6 cups of idli rice, will the idlies be more soft? Please do reply.
    Thanks






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      No. Changing the ratio is not advisable. 1:5 is ok but 1:6 may not give good results.

      Reply
  8. Fashion Jewellery

    Hi Mam ×3 scale mentioned here is for 3kg batter? How many idlys and dosas can be made from 3kg batter approx. Please. Thank you

    Reply
  9. Rupika

    I followed your recipe & the idli’s were perfect. Thank you so much for the detailed video with instructions.






    Reply
  10. R

    Do you leave the rice little coarse compared to Dosa batter for Idli batter?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      I make one batter for both idli and dosa. I grind it smooth. If you are making for idli alone, make it ever so slightly grainy.

      Reply
  11. richa shah

    hello mam,
    i make idli using your recipe. everytime the batter turns out perfect, but this time batter fermented very well but it was little bitter.
    is it due to methi seeds?
    and even after 1st fermentation when i put batter in fridge it fermented again and again ….
    i dont know what could be the reason. could you help me for the same.

    Reply
  12. MDA

    Best article for those students who are long from mother, they can make easily

    Reply
  13. Smitha

    I’m having cylindrical stone grinder always my idlies are not coming fluffy.is that because of this stone??

    Reply
    • Malini

      I also noticed that after moving to a cylindrical kind of grinder ULTRA Brand my perfect idlis stop turning out perfect
      Dosas are fine though

      Reply
  14. Richa Shah

    mam your recipe is perfect. after so many attempts i ground the perfect batter. The tips you have mentioned work really well. specially the whole urad dal and methi seeds.
    i never used methi before in my idli thinking the batter would be bitter because of methi, but this time i tried grinding methi first, this tip helped me a lot. The difference i saw in the batter was that batter fermented in 5 hours.
    The texture, taste of idli was perfect.
    Thank you so much for a detailed explaination of idli dosa batter.






    Reply
  15. Richa

    I made idlis in the method u said. Specialy to grind methi seeds before grinding urad dal…… Batter fermented really well within 5 hours

    Reply
  16. Saranya

    Hi, it’s been 14 hours and my batter is still not fermented. What should I do ?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Can you give a little bit more info on the recipe grinding process, ingredient used , temperature, etc..
      You can make dosas. Idlis might not come 🙁

      Reply
  17. Shankar

    Well explained with perfect measurements and Nutrition Facts. I love it. Thank you

    Reply
  18. helpline

    before reading your recipe I don’t like to eat idly but after read your recipe i love to eat soft idly thanks a lot

    Reply
  19. homezall

    I love idly and once in a month idly made in my house by my mom, after reading you article we make idly..and its really soft amazing.. tnx for this recipe






    Reply
  20. Lara Hayden

    Thanks! for giving such good information. We hope to continue to find such good blogs.Thanks! For this informative article.

    Reply
  21. Mansi

    Hi,

    You’ve mentioned that the consistency of the batter is key. Could you specify the quantity of water to be added during grinding? The above recipe doesn’t mention the quantity of water to be added.

    Reply
  22. Jasmeet kaur

    Hi Kannamma

    A big big fan of yours
    A punjabi by birth, but love southern food and it’s always from your recipes
    Am thinking of purchasing a small wet grinder… would you recommend it and if yes, then pls which brand
    I have a Sujatha mixie which works well






    Reply
  23. Victor

    I read your recipes and try it out..

    Reply
  24. usha

    If adding aval, when should we add it while grinding? Should we grind it with the rice? Thanks

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Grind separately and add it to rice or add it along with rice.

      Reply
  25. Shruti

    Your recipes are very easy to understand & xtremely helpful. Thank you. Please keep posting.

    Reply
  26. Varun Sharma

    I love south Indian food. Idli is one of my favorite dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
  27. arnav sharma

    Well explained. For me, 1cup dal,5 cups rice, little poha, little pacharisi (for red dosa) these ratios working well.

    Reply
  28. Gayathri

    Hi suguna,

    I love your recipes and loved the mutton sukka and mutton curry and my family loved it !
    I have a doubt about the fenugreek in this recipe ? Do I need to add 6 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds for the 3x ratio ? Please let me know. Thanks in advance !!

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      If you are trying the recipe for the first time, go with 1 tablespoon fenugreek for 1x recipe. For 3x, 3 tablespoon will do.

      Reply
      • Gayathri

        Thanks for the response. Will try as you advised. 😊

        Reply
  29. Jayasree Nithianandan

    Hi,

    I would love to try your idli recipe. Can i use lakshmy diabetic rice ? Please let me know. Me and my husband are both diabetic.

    Thanks
    Jayasree

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      I have never tried this rice. So not able to comment.

      Reply
  30. Ankur

    I’ve followed all the steps still my idlis are not market like soft and smooth😪😑😭😭

    Plssss help me plssss

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      hope you are using correct rice and unpolished dal. Its very important.

      Reply
  31. Sima

    Why are the proportions different for mixie grinding method ?

    Reply
  32. Aruna

    Hi Suguna,

    Thank you for these detailed tips! I had a question.

    Can the idli become hard and the dosa batter not spread properly if the batter is too cold? I tried putting the batter out an hour before cooking and it was still cold.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      No. the batter temperature you are referring is ok. Adjust the batter consistency. By what you are saying, if the batter is too thick, you will not be able to spread the dosa.

      Reply
      • Aruna

        Hi Suguna,

        Thanks for your prompt reply! Yes, the batter was thick so I diluted it a little. I had another doubt if you could kindly assist. To get that crispy dosa bottom, should I heat the pan to high and then reduce it to low when pouring? Also, I use Futura’s non-stick dosa tawa. A

        Reply
        • Suguna Vinodh

          For best dosas with a golden brown crispy bottom, cast iron is what I recommend.
          Non stick just doesnt cut it.

          Reply
          • Aruna

            Thank you, Suguna. Can I clarify a few more doubts, if you don’t mind?

            1. Is 3:1 an acceptable ratio at all?

            2. What can one do if it is hard to find good quality urad dal?

            3. My idli turned out gooey even after 10 mins. What could I be doing wrong?

            Thank you so much!

          • Suguna Vinodh

            1 3:1 is not ok.
            2 You will be able to get good dal in amazon.
            3 Please use Idli rice and not other rice.

        • Aruna

          Dear Suguna,

          Thank you again for your help!
          I use Lakshmi idli rice that we get here in the US. Is there a brand of urad dal that you recommend? I have heard 24 Mantra is supposed to be of good quality.

          Could the idli become gooey if it is undercooked? Thanks again!

          Reply
          • Suguna Vinodh

            I am not sure of US brands.

  33. Krish Srinivasan

    Perfect recipe – after googling many sites for idli batter recipe, I found this to be the one with the most rational tips as to where things could go wrong and how to solve those issues. On my very first try, the idlis came out fantastic – totally soft, much much better than store bought batter and I could guarantee the quality of ingredients as well as much cheaper to make.
    Ulta Dura+ wet grinder, idly rice, whole urad, rock salt, instapot yoghurt setting, aval, fenugreek seeds






    Reply
  34. Florence Vasanta

    Thank you so much for this thesis!
    I saw some time ago this sentence on a post about idlis which would be suitable for yours“ and with all this if it doesn’t work, pray God”!!!

    Now my question I am a Parisian health food nut and love idlis I have the wet grinder (which I bought in Paris a fortune!) Because I wanted to make organic semi brown rice idlis… but I was never satisfied with the result…not soft, alter,I tried aval that made them sticky..) and finally left the machine under the sink not to use it anymore… I can get the fresh batter In the infian area but it is made with white rice and urad which are not organic but after reading your post I feel like trying it again , I love the tip about removing the husk of the split black urad but my wish for organic semi brown idlis seems to be the quest of the graal!Any idea?? Maybe ingredients available in England?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Yes. you can use brown rice. Instead of aval, try adding tapioca pearls ( 3 tablespoon for the above recipe) (soak in water for couple of hours – grind in blender and add. Somehow it doesnt get ground in the wet grinder because of its shape. ) Sometimes tapioca works better than aval.
      Regarding the rice – its a hit or miss. Some variety of brown rice tends to be better for idlis while some turns gummy.
      Try in small quantities until you find a suitable variety.
      Check this
      https://www.kannammacooks.com/brown-rice-idli-recipe/
      https://www.kannammacooks.com/red-rice-idli-recipe/

      Reply
  35. Jinny

    Hi….would like to know if poha can be added to the wet grinder while grinding rice? Instead of grinding separately in mixie?

    The idlis look awesome.
    Thank.you






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Somehow, poha doesnt grind well if added directly.

      Reply
  36. Shali

    Dear Kannamma,
    Thanks for the post as it is very helpful. I made idli for the first time by following above instructions but faced below problems:
    1) Idli came out flat
    2) idli was heavy
    Can you pl help and provide suggestions. I have clicked pictures also.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  37. Deepa

    Amazing tips and tricks. I made idli for the first time with a wet grinder and it was really good (for the first time attempt).

    Only feeling I had was that the rice was a bit coarse with the water as per your suggestions (I used idly rice). I might add a bit more water to the rice next time.






    Reply
  38. PUNITHA A/ P NARAYANAN

    Dear Madam,
    Thank you for this detailed information. I’ve watched the video as well and I would like to know .., after I have stirred the fermented idli batter , what is the method of scooping up the batter?
    Do I sccop from the bottom or from the top without disturbing the bottom batter? My last batch of idli always turn hard compared to first few batches. Thank you madam

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      You can mix the batter. No problem. Make sure not to dilute the batter a lot.

      Reply
  39. Sita iyer

    Please advice how much water should be added for idli batter.

    How much water is required for grinding urad dal and how much water required for grinding idli rice.

    I m using the same quantity of urad dal and idly rice. But my urad dal doesn’t got fluffy or got half filled the grinder.

    Please advice. Waiting for a favourable reply from ur side.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Please watch the video. Detailed procedure has been given.

      Reply
  40. Dr. Chandini

    Hi, can you please elaborate about the rough amount of water for grinding in the wet grinder. I am not sure how much should be added. I stumbled on your page during the lockdown , and have been really enjoying the idlis and dosas from your page. It is a wonderful page with sooo much detailed information. Thank you soo much. Your recipes have made my family sooo happy!!!!!

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Given the exact measurements in the video. do watch.

      Reply
  41. Riju shrivastava

    Very useful tips. I use all the ingridents but how and when to place them exactly is a good info. What if I don’t get whole white urad daal?

    Reply
  42. Raji

    Hi Kannamma,

    Inspired by this post, I got myself the same model grinder, followed your instructions (except adding a little more water to restart the grinder when it became stuck a few mins into grinding the rice and skipping poha, which I didn’t have), but the idlis didn’t turn out as light and airy as yours. They were kind of plump and dense. Where did I go wrong? This is my first time with a grinder but it’s been pathetic with mixie too. Would appreciate any tips to improve.

    How do you distinguish between polished and unpolished urad dal? I live in Kerala where we don’t get the branded variety.

    When do you know the rice is done? Is there a hack to get this right? I know you said to check for grainy texture, but how do I make sure it’s not under/overdone?

    Much thanks in advance,
    Raji

    Reply
  43. Raji

    Hi Kannamma,

    Inspired by this post, I got myself the same model grinder, followed your instructions (except adding a little more water to restart the grinder when it became stuck a few mins into grinding the rice and skipping poha, which I didn’t have), but the idlis didn’t turn out as light and airy as yours. They were kind of plump and dense. Where did I go wrong? This is my first time with a mixer grinder but it’s been pathetic with mixie too. Would appreciate any tips to improve.

    How do you distinguish between polished and unpolished urad dal? I live in Kerala where we don’t get the branded variety.

    When do you know the rice is done? Is there a hack to get this right? I know you said to check for grainy texture, but how do I make sure it’s not under/overdone?

    Much thanks in advance,
    Raji

    Reply
  44. Reshma Kalifullah

    This is awesome. I used your method, and now it’s our staple for making idli at home. Very well explained and the pictures were great! Super super pleased.

    Reply
  45. tkjm

    I’ve been using your traditional recipe (washing the skin, away from the dal – but leaving some for texture).

    Do you have any recommendations for using the leftover dal-skins in other recipes?

    Reply
  46. Sangeetha

    I followed up with the recipe and god the idly is soft spongy and porous. Thank you so much






    Reply
  47. Joan Rajadas

    Idlis came out well even on the fourth day! Never happened before.
    One question: is it ok to leave the idlis in the idli cooker, after they are done? For say, 15 minutes? Just so that they might stay hot.






    Reply
  48. Stella Joseph

    What type of wet grinder do you use? Thinking of buying one – in USA.

    Reply
  49. Nirmala Devi

    What about adding cooked rice when grind ?

    Reply
  50. Regith Lingesh

    Hi, I have followed your recipe and the idlis come out really well. But the dosas do not come out great. The dosas are brittle and they break. Also, they do not turn uniformly brown at the bottom. Do you know why?

    Thanks,
    Regith.






    Reply
  51. Brahma Reddy

    Super article. Keep rocking and expecting more and more articles like this.






    Reply
  52. Sharada

    Hi
    Very nice video. How much time should I grind dal and rice.. individually.?

    Sharada

    Reply
    • Priya

      Hi I made the batter today. However we soaker the Fenugreek and dal together. The better was grinding almost for an hour but it Just dint seem to increase 8 to 10 times of the original volume.
      It was however soft and fluffy when transferring

      Reply
  53. Trevor

    Can you tell us total quantity of water used while grinding the batter in a mixie?
    Regards






    Reply
    • Prashanth Eyyala

      Hi Suguna,
      I was looking up for a idli batter recipe during the lockdown. I came across your recipe. It came out so well, I have never seen urad rising so nicely. Today morning we made the idli and it was one of the best homemade idli.
      I need to make the qty half because the urad dal started coming out of my 2 ltr grinder.

      Thanks for helping me make my most favourite dish at home

      Thanks
      Prashanth Eyyala






      Reply
  54. Karthi

    Hi,

    I am Karthi.
    I am writting my question here looking forward to your answer..
    I separately grinded my daal and rice for abt 5-6 minutes only. I had a feeling its grinded well. I thought each grinder is different so i took it out.. idli became HARD, is it because i didnt spend 30 mins to grind it as your article says? Plus i didnt have poha so i added 1/2 of soaked Sago.

    My doubts are:
    1) is it really must i grind them for 30 minutes or else it becomes hard?

    2) my idli became harder and harder time passby. Is that also because of the grinding time or should i be transferred my idli to hotbox as soon as i took it out?

    I am a beginner to cooking.. I would really appreciate if you answer my questions.

    Reply
  55. Shweta

    Hey can I add the poha grind after fermentation?

    Reply
  56. Nagma

    What if I forgot to use fenugreek???

    Reply
  57. Sanmuga

    Thanks a lot. Shall try it and update you on the outcome. 😛

    Reply
  58. ABIRAMI

    Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed recipe but skin from black urad dal is very healthy and no need to remove the skin. This is what I heard from many.could you please tell will there be any issue with skin.

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      If you do not mind the color, sure you can use the skin. There is no issue.

      Reply
  59. Nandhini

    Batter does not increase in volume next day. Why?

    Reply
  60. Pauline

    Hi, could you share the brand of your grinder please? I have not seen one that has a stone grinder before!

    Reply
  61. Uma Vinod

    Please please let me know the measurement in grams for ml, as you said 1cup = 240ml. That’s confusing

    Reply
  62. Uma Vinod

    Hi I’m Uma, a huge fan of your non veg recipes. Checked this recipe of yours. I have a major problem, my batter turns out yellowish. What could be the reason… kindly advice. The idli turned turned but the color is the issue.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      If you want a pure white idli, omit the fenugreek.

      Reply
  63. Deepali pawade

    Hello man,plz tell me what is the measurement of idli batter for 45 persons,plz tell me soon

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      This recipe will make about 40 small size idlies. You can adjust the recipe depending on how many idlies you are planning to make / how many idlies you are planning to serve a person etc…

      Reply
  64. Nirupa

    Thank you for sharing a detailed recipe for idlis. But to my disappointment,my idlis turned out very hard in the centre and soft at the corners. Few idlis had holes on top.. I don’t know where I went wrong. ..Could u pls guide me on this.. I have taken a pic of the idlis, but unable to attach it here…

    Reply
    • Sindhuja Prasad

      That’s bcz the batter was not mixed well.

      Reply
  65. Tom Cownan

    One more question on Idli. When I was kid, I used to visit my uncle in Viriyur. The idli I ate there had a “distinct aroma”. The aroma is in my mouth, but can’t explain it.

    Are you able to articulate this aroma and what is needed to create this aroma?






    Reply
  66. Tom Cownan

    Hi Suguna – i followed your YouTube Idli instruction to a T. Used “Aval” as well. The batter was stored in the oven with the “oven light” on for about 14 hours. Result: The batter fermented (rose) well. The idli was “soft” and “fluffy”.

    However, it did not “sour”. What could I be doing wrong?






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Hi Tom, Good idlis should not taste sour. By your description, you have made the perfect idlis. . As the batter ages, by about day 2 or day 3 your idlis / dosas should start becoming sour. Once the batter is sour, we make dosas as the sour taste is more desirable in dosas. Once fermented, it is advisable to store the batter in the refrigerator and use it when required. Thank you.
      Regarding the aroma in idlis, I am not sure as to what it might be.

      Reply
  67. Anjana kalra

    Hi Suguna Vinodh,
    The Article on How to Make Soft idli Recipe is amazing. Thanks for Sharing Such an amazing information.






    Reply
  68. Anonymous

    Mam .what is the water ratio for urad dal and rice while grinding. U haven’t mentioned anywhere in the post. I remember when I referred the post last time for making idli batter I found the water:dal ratio. But now it is not found anywhere in the post. Please update it accordingly.

    Reply
  69. Anshika Kaushik

    I have used this recipe so many times. I also have a print out of it in my kitchen and today I just want to thank you for the detailed explanation and simplifying the process. I make idlis and dosa like a pro thanks to you. 😀 my husband says thanks too, he is a mad fan of Dosa!!






    Reply
  70. Honest

    Where is the water quantity for rice and dhaal updated ? It is nowhere !! you are just replying to all posts saying .. watch the video .. and that you have updated the post ! But I do not see it anywhere in the post.

    NOTE: water quantity for fenogreek and poha is there. It is NOT there for rice and dhaal.

    Why not give out that details clearly ?

    Reply
  71. Rajeswari Shanmugam

    Hi Suguna,
    I am using ultra perfect wet grinder. But it is not grinding dal very smooth. Even after 35 minutes grinding some whole dal is visible. Why?
    How could I overcome this problem? Help me.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Surekha

      Hello,
      Sharing my experience as I use the same brand wet grinder.
      I soak the urad dal, fenugreek and rice in separate bowls for 6 hours and add the drained dal in the running grinder adding one handful of dal every 2 secs. I sprinkle water every five minutes and totally grind the dal for about 30 mins.
      This gives me excellent fluffy 10 times increased dal batter.
      Note: Three more reasons it may result without fluffing up is
      * the dal variety you use. It should be a new one
      * washing the dal thrice and soak in cold water. Use the same water to sprinkle while grinding the batter
      * if the grinder gets hot, the batter or idlies doesn’t fluff

      Hope this helps !

      Reply
    • Avanti

      I am based in UK. Could anyone please recommend the wet grinder for making idly/dosa batter. I do have a normal wet grinder (mixer), but I am looking out for the authentic ones with stone .

      Is there any south indian / Sri Lankan shop in london or any other area which sells similar appliances / product.

      Kindly advise.

      Thank you !!!

      Avanti .






      Reply
  72. Parimala

    The idlis came out very soft. But I use cloth when steaming idlis. The idlis stick to the cloth and does not come out fully. What can be done for that. Can you help

    Reply
  73. Kvee

    Can’t we soak dal n rice together ?

    Reply
  74. Dominic Savio

    Thanks.
    The best part is adding technical stuff into make the end as expected. It will be very rare seeing these details.
    God Bless you and your family.
    Nandri.






    Reply
  75. Schmetterling

    Dearest kannamma… thank you so much for posting such a detailed post on idli /dosa batter..it is indeed fool proof… the idlies turned out soft and fluffy… the measurements are perfect… i made it with and without the poha…both gave me good results… i live in a cold country and the 2 tbsp fenugreek helped a lot in fermentation. I have tried many other recipes but this one is a keeper… thank you once again.






    Reply
  76. Sudha

    Can I grind aval along with rice in the grinder itself? Instead of grinding seperately in the mixie
    Thanks

    Reply
  77. Anand

    Useless recipe. The idly did not rise on steaming.

    Reply
  78. Jyothsna

    Hi,
    We also follow the same measurements and same variety of urad dhal and rice.
    I loved the way how detailed your post is. Explaining each and everything. It’s almost like holding the hand and you doing it on behalf of us.

    Well, I now have a quick doubt. How to rectify if urad dhal becomes a lil watery than being fluffy? I know something are irreversible but just wondering if you have a solution.
    Thank you






    Reply
  79. Sana Diana

    Should I keep the idli batter out or in the fridge after grinding the mixture.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      For fermentation, yes at room temp. For the first 8-12 hours, it needs to be out. AFter fermentation, you need to store in the fridge.

      Reply
  80. RICHA SHAH

    hi, i just had a query…. the above recipe its mentioned that u can add aval if u keep batter for 2 days.. can v add aval in the above batter though v are not keeping it for 2 days…






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Sure. You can. Aval makes for softest texture of idlies.

      Reply
  81. Snehal Prabhu

    Awesome. how many servings

    Reply
  82. vineela

    I am glad that i found your site.. so amazing tips and detailed explainations,concepts on the traditions that we follow for rasam,atta and other recipes..very happy ..i tried your pachadi it came out awesome firsttime. Can you please post recipe for puri ,urad dal dosa..please






    Reply
  83. Daya Kannan

    Thanks for the clear instructions. The idlis came out fluffy 🙂

    I have a question about the heat generated during grinding.

    I have the same grinder as you and I followed the instructions to a T – the grinder got really really hot when I left it to grind the batter for 30 min and 20 min (I used to do it for 10-15 min and it never got hot and I and got okay results). Should I add cold water while grinding? Will that help?

    I used only half of the quantity you are using, so is a lesser amount of ingredients a reason for the (really significant – like 60°C) heat?

    Thanks 🙂






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      wow. thats really hot Daya. Stop the grinder in between, give a 10 min rest and go again. That will help.

      Reply
  84. Monica

    I use the measurementsin the ratio 3:2:1 i.e.idly rice,normal ponni rice and rad dhal….my mom suggested 2 tbls soya beans and 1 tbls fenugreek…..i let the batter to get fermented overnight.whrm i used the first batterfor idly….though the idliws seemed to be fluufy but it’s texture and appearance was not spongy and was sticky ….please do suggest any solution ????






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      This is not my recipe.
      Please ask the person who suggested this.

      Reply
  85. Monica

    My mom suggested idly rice,half boiled rice and uraddhal in the ratio 3:2:1. We add 2,tbls soya bean and1 tbls fenugreek.today morning i prepared idly with the first batter.though my idly looked fluffy but texture was not spongy and was sticky too.i let the batter to get fermented overnight…..please do suggest some solution??? We always use the same measurement






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      This is not my recipe.
      Please ask the person who suggested this.

      Reply
  86. Mrithi

    Hi Suguna ..
    I’m preparing the idly batter for the first time.
    Could you let me know what would be the total water quantity needed separately for both the dal and the rice while grinding?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Given the exact measurements in the video. do watch.

      Reply