How To Make Soft Idlis Every Time

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Traditional South Indian steamed cakes made of rice and lentil powder, called Idlis, are an all time favourite food in Indian homes. Ideal for breakfast, brunch or even snacks, the dish is very healthy apart from being super delicious and easy to make.

Paired with coconut chutney and a hot bowl of sambhar, its also low on calories and makes for a great meal for those wanting to shed those extra kilos! But preparing soft and fluffy idlis always felt like rocket science. Trust us, its not so. Follow the simple steps below and you’ll know why.



Another great thing about making idlis is the minimal ingredients needed.

  • 2 cups of rice (idli rice/ short grain rice)
  • 1 cup of urad dal
  • ¼ cup of flatter rice/poha

Soft Idli Recipe

Part 1: Preparing the batter

Soak rice in water for 4 to 5 hours. Wash poha and urad dal thoroughly and soak them separately for a same amount of time. Now grind urad dal as well as rice & poha, separately. Dal should be ground into a smooth batter and mixed with rice.

Keep the mixture aside for fermentation in a warm place for 8-10 hours, preferable overnight, so prepare ahead of time. Take note that proper fermentation of the batter is must for cooking soft idli you wanted. The poha that you added will also help with this process.


Part 2: Steaming the idlis

After proper fermentation add a little salt and pour the batter idli in greased idli maker and steam it for 10-15 minutes. Take out only when it cools down. Your soft idlis are completely ready to eat.


Bonus Recipe: Rawa Idlis

And there’s more. Beside rice idlis you can also cook soft idlis by other method by using rawa or samolina.

In rawa idli we add one portion of curd to one portion of rawa and soak it for 10 minutes, and then add water to adjust consistency. This is the basic rawa idli batter.

Now to make the idlis more nutritious, you can add oats, spinach, dal powder or ragi atta.

Further, you can also add tempering to spice it up a bit. To prepare this, in hot oil add mustard seeds, ¼ tsp channa dal, ¼ tsp urad dal, curry leaves and one finely chopped green chilli. Once the batter is prepared and ready to use add 1 tbsp of fruit salt (a.k.a. Eno) to it.

Quickly mix it and pour into idli maker to steam it for 10-15 mins. Take out idlis as they cool, and serve with sambhar and coconut chutney.



Featured Image Courtesy: Living Foods

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