This Idli recipe will guide you to make Soft Idlis, the classic South Indian Breakfast, made of fermented rice and Black Gram/ Urad Dal batter. This world renowned small savoury cakes are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. The fermentation process ensures the bioavailability of proteins and enhances Vitamin B content. Idli is considered as super healthy breakfast, and has no fat content as it is steamed. Idlis are easily digestible and tastes delicious with all sorts of chutneys, coconut chutney, Onion Tomato chutney, Mint Chutney, Spicy Red chutney and Sambar. Add one Vada to the combo and Yum! just enjoy the wonderful food!

I am sure you are going to love this Dosa/ Idli recipe to make soft Idlis and crispy Dosas. It has been a long time, since I wanted to post this Idli recipe, as I have got many compliments for the same. Well, when I started making Idlis, it was normal idlis, semi hard, nothing much to admire and I used to envy mummy (my MIL), who would make soft Idlis that everyone would rave about. First, I thought it had to do with rice, but over the years, I have perfected the art of making Soft Idlis, and has got many good comments like my Appam, Neer Dosasoft Matta Rice Puttu, Vattayappam,. Poori Bhaji, Rava Poori recipes.

I have added the tips to make perfect soft Idli; follow those steps to make soft Idlis at home. It is advisable to use Idli rice as it makes the Idli tastier and softer. You steam Idlis in Idli steamer, which comes in Aluminium, Steel and plastic models. The controversies over cooking in Aluminium vessels and the arguments about whether the aluminium content absorbed is quite harmful are still under research and detailed study. But since Aluminium is a good conductor of heat, Idlis are cooked perfectly in very less time. Plastic is a strict NO and stainless steel steamers are better. Well, I leave it to your discretion to choose the vessel.

Do check the yummy, flavorful Chettinad style Onion Tomato Chutney recipe, which goes very well with Idli and Dosas. You might also like my recipes for left over Idlis like Chilli Idli and Fried Idli in Curd/ Idli Chaat. Please go through the method of preparing Idli batter and the measurements carefully to get the perfect Soft Idlis. You can prepare Crispy yummy Dosas also with the same batter. The measures will make around 60 Idlis/ Dosas. So, adjust the measures according to your need. Enjoy!


Idli Rice : 2 cup
Dosa Rice/ Pachari/ Raw rice: 1/3 cup.
Urad Dal/ Black gram: ¾ cup (split or whole)
Uluva/ Fenugreek seeds: ½ tsp
Cooked Rice: ½ cup
Water: As required


  1. Wash and soak Idli rice and Raw rice with ½ tsp Uluva in water for 4 – 5 hours.
  2. Soak the Urad Dal/ Uzhunnu (wash well) just an hour before grinding. (If you are using Idli grinder, use little less measure of Urad Dal).
  3. Grind the soaked Urad Dal and cooked rice with enough water. Make sure you don’t grind it extra smooth. Transfer to a wide vessel.
  4. Next grind the soaked rice and grind with enough cold water till you get a slightly grainy batter. (Smooth batter will spoil the texture). Pour this batter to the vessel.
  5. Mix the batter well with a long ladle till you get a thick but easy flowing batter. Add more water if you think the batter is too thick.
  6. The consistency should be correct so that it is ideal for Dosas and Idlis. Not too loose or too thick!
  7. Earlier, I have heard people say Idli batter is thicker and for Dosas it should be little thinner, but I make perfect Dosas and Soft Idlis with the same batter and have never failed.
  8. Cover and keep for fermenting overnight (8-10 hours).
  9. Once it rises well, add salt and mix well.
  10. Heat the steamer with enough water and grease the steamer plates with coconut oil.
  11. Pour enough batter and steam for 5-7 minutes on full heat. Do not reduce the heat while cooking.
  12. Allow it to cool for few minutes and take out the idlis using a spatula/ spoon.
  13. Enjoy the perfect soft Idlis.

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  • This Idli Batter is ideal for both Idlis and Dosas.
  • Fenugreek makes it extra tasty and also aids in fermentation.
  • Cooked rice and Urad Dal should be grinded together.
  • If you are using an Idli Grinder, always use less measure of Urad Dal. Take out 1 – 2 tbsp from the given measure.
  • Care should be taken not to grind the batter extra smooth. Small grainy batter works best.
  • The Batter should be thick and free flowing at the same time. Not too runny, and too thick.
  • The same batter should be used for Dosas. Don’t add extra water. It will give you perfect crispy Dosas.
  • Grease the Idli steamer plates with oil. If you are using steel steamer, wash with water and apply oil when slightly moist. Do not wipe the plates dry.
  • Keep the flame on high when you put the batter for steaming and keep it on medium flame after two minutes. Make sure you have sufficient water for steaming.
  • Always steam only for 7-10 minutes.

Please try this recipe, and if you like, do put in your comments or share with your friends with the help of buttons on the side. It would definitely encourage me!! God Bless!

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