For the Idli Batter:

  • 2 cups idli rice (parboiled rice) or regular rice
  • 1 cup whole urad dal (black gram)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • Water for soaking
  • Salt to taste

For Steaming:

  • Idli steamer or an idli maker
  • Oil or ghee for greasing the idli molds


Preparing the Idli Batter:

  1. Rinse the rice and urad dal separately in cold water a few times until the water runs clear. Then, soak them in separate bowls with enough water. Add fenugreek seeds to the urad dal while soaking.
  2. Let the rice and urad dal soak for about 6-8 hours or overnight.
  3. After soaking, drain the water from both the rice and urad dal.
  4. Grind the urad dal with some water to make a smooth and fluffy batter. It may take about 15-20 minutes of grinding. The batter should be thick and aerated.
  5. Similarly, grind the rice with some water to a slightly coarse, grainy texture. The rice batter should be finer than semolina but coarser than all-purpose flour.
  6. Combine the urad dal batter and rice batter in a large bowl. Mix them well, adding salt to taste.
  7. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let the batter ferment in a warm place for about 8-10 hours or overnight. During fermentation, the batter will rise and become slightly fluffy.

Making Idlis:

  1. Grease the idli molds with a little oil or ghee.
  2. Pour the idli batter into the greased molds, filling them about 3/4 full, as the idlis will expand while steaming.
  3. Steam the idlis in an idli steamer or idli maker for about 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into an idli comes out clean.
  4. Remove the idlis from the molds using a knife or spoon. They should easily come out.
  5. Serve the idlis hot with your choice of chutney, sambar, or any other accompaniment you prefer.

Enjoy your homemade soft and fluffy idlis, a South Indian breakfast classic!