Soft and spongy Idlis- Easy Breakfast recipes- how to make idli batter

      Well, I know many of you think that this is too simple a recipe to be included in a blog. You might have seen scores of idli recipes in atleast a thousand blogs. But then, am sure there are atleast a few like me who dont get perfect idlis all the time. Yes, no matter how many times I have changed the proportion of varieties of rice and lentils ,no matter the batter fermented beautifully unlike many, the idlis always turned into a heavy mass, of course edible, but could not be eaten with a grace. Then a friend of mine gave me some tips on making idlis and thanks to her, the idlis turned out just the way it has to- soft , light and spongy.I have also tried in mixie and it works great too!! See some tips at the notes below the page!

Print Recipe
Soft and spongy Idlis- Easy Breakfast recipes- how to make idli batter Yum
Course breakfast

south indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
  • 4 cups rice / parboiled rice rice Idli parboiled boiled
  • 1 cup dal Udid
  • 1 cup rice / poha Cooked - (have tried number of times,always works great!!)
Course breakfast
Cuisine south indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
  • 4 cups rice / parboiled rice rice Idli parboiled boiled
  • 1 cup dal Udid
  • 1 cup rice / poha Cooked - (have tried number of times,always works great!!)
  1. Fenugreek seeds- 1tbsp(gives nice aroma too)
  2. Salt -2-3tsp
  3. Sesame oil as required
  4. Wash and soak the rice and udid dal in seperate vessels for around 4-5 hours. Soak the poha(if using)10 minutes before grinding.Add the fenugreek seeds in udid dal during soaking.
  5. Grind the udid dal in a wet grinder to a very fine paste adding around a glass of water. Remove from the grinder.
  6. Then grind the rice to a slightly coarse paste(fine suji consistency). Also add poha/cooked rice and fenugreek seeds. Add water while grinding rice.)about 2 glasses accordingly)
  7. The grinding process for each of them takes around 25 minutes. Now mix both the batter to a uniform mixture. Add salt and allow it to ferment overnight atleast for 8 hours.
  8. Store the batter in a air tight container(tupperware) in a fridge.
  9. Keep the required amount of batter required to make idlis at room temperature before steaming them. Pour the batter in the idli moulds greased with sesame oil. Place them in a idli cooker or normal pressure cooker(minus the weight). Steam for around 10-15 minutes till the idlis are done. Let it be in the steamer for 5 more minutes. Scoop it out with a help of a wet spoon.
  10. Serve hot with sambar, chutney or milagai podi. Drizzle some sesame oil on the idlis before you serve. tastes great.
  11. Notes-
  12. You should add enough water while grinding to ensure you get softer idlis. It's not going to work when you add water after grinding and fermentation. You can use soaked beaten/flaked rice /aval/poha instead of cooked rice.
  13. Fenugreek seeds aids in fermentation process. But its totally optional.
  14. You can use your hands while mixing the batter to ensure uniform mixing.
  15. Read here to help you understand about the batter fermentation.
  16. In case you want to use the same batter for making dosa, dilute it with some water to a pourable consistency. It is ideal to make idlis first and then can use the remaining batter for dosas.
  17. (Some use the rice lentil ratio of 3:1, but in my case 4:1 worked well. Try adjusting if you are still not satisfied with your idlis.)
  18. If you are still unsatisfied, try adding a tbsp of soaked sago/sabudana while grinding the rice. Has worked fine with me.
  19. +++ If you are using mixie, use chilled water while grinding rice. This will prevent from the blades getting heated. Sometimes it gets heated and mixie stops running. Chilled water prevents from the blades getting heated.
  20. You can use a little more udid dal while grinding in the mixie, but the same proportion works just fine for me.
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  1. Taste of Mysore

    There is a big difference in the quality of idlis and dosas which are blended in wet grinder and mixer grinder. Wet grinder all time yields best idlis and dosas. Idlis look spongy and slurrppp..

  2. Idlis surely look soft and spongy!…only when they are soft, I can eat a ton!:)Smitha

  3. Savitha Ganesan

    adding cooked rice is very new to me.let me try and tell u..happy blogging

  4. Idlis look perfect! Somehow we are not used to using Idly rice/parboiled rice..we use Idli Rava instead and I use whole urad (the black dal with the skin) and perfect idlis all the time!! 2 rava:1 urad is the ratio I use.

  5. I want that whole platter….with the chutney and sambar.

  6. Sowmya Madhavan

    @LG- wet grinder does creates a huge [email protected] yes it was new to me..but it works..try it [email protected] yes , i think people in Andhra use idli rava for idlis, but in tamil nadu, we mostly use the parboiled rice…

  7. platter is making me hungryi have to still learn to prepare idli, idlis are always hard

  8. In my side we add cooked rice for appam , looks good and soft!

  9. Even it is a simple recipe, always be a healthier one & adding cooked rice will sure add extra spongy to the idly. Me too will always change the variation to get different texture & taste in idly….love your click very tempting…

  10. Gayathri's Cook Spot

    Very soft idlis. Looks so inviting..

  11. Idlis looks yummy.. Its very good to know that it can be prepared using poha and cooked rice..I ll definitely try this out..Nice click..

  12. Idlis are all time fav comfort food and definitely worth blogging about :))The idlis are looking so soft and spongy…Thanks for sharing the recipeBest WishesRujuta

  13. Simple or not idlis are always favoured..and for some it is the most tough dish to make..:)..looks very soft indeed..

  14. jeyashrisuresh

    when i came here to singapore i didnt get spongy idlis(may be becoz of the quality of urad dhal)after a long experimentation nowa days i am getting soft and spongy idllis.I add poha to that.Useful recipe for everyone

  15. Priya Suresh

    I dont bother to have these soft idlies daily for my breakfast,looks awesome..

  16. BangaloreBaker

    Those idlies look soft and soooo white.

  17. Priya Srinivasan

    A Delicious Breakfast!!!! I m always for this anytime anyday!!!!!

  18. The cooked rice surely aids in making the idli soft but this batter can’t be stored for long.FOODELICIOUS

  19. HiLovely Idli’s. the softness comes thru in the pic

  20. veena krishnakumar

    oooh. they look soo soo soft

  21. Idlis definitely look soft and spongy 🙂 As a side note, in colder weathers the batter takes almost 12-24hrs to ferment. Never left the batter out for 30 minutes before making, may be that is why they don’t turn out as soft, will make sure to follow this tip the next time. Thanks for the tips.

  22. Santosh Bangar

    simple and soft idlies perfect for breakfast

  23. rekhas kitchen

    Idlis looks so soft I think making idli is an art.healthy and favorite break fast my fav. too..

  24. Delicious tempting platter you have there..idlis look PERFECT!!US Masala

  25. Hamaree Rasoi

    Hi Sowmya Idlis look so yummy and soft. Ideal breakfast.Deepa Hamaree Rasoi

  26. perfect and softy idli’s…

  27. my all time fav bf item…superb dear…

  28. Shama Nagarajan

    tempting dear…

  29. i am feeling hungry again by looking at those yummy does looks so soft and spongy

  30. Gayathri Anand

    anytime comfort …looks so soft …

  31. Ahhaaa,..missing this now…loove it

  32. Torviewtoronto

    spong and looks delicious

  33. Very inviting idlis.AS you said, its only thro trials, we get the ratio correct. The quality of rice and urad dal too matters. Anytime, wet grinders are the best to get softest idlis.

  34. looks very soft.My idlis never come out soft and spongy. If I dont have idli rice can use regular basmati rice? will make a difference?

  35. Oh! those idlis are soft and nice.

  36. Priya Sreeram

    loved the addition of cooked rice; good one 🙂


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