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How to make Soft Idli Recipe / Idly Batter

  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Total Time: 12 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 40 idlies 1x


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


  • 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)


  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.
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Basics
  • Cuisine: South Indian