Idli – Kerala style

Prepration time: 6 Hour
Persons served: 4 Persons
Cuisine: Kerala


  • Lentils / black gram dhal (Uzhunnuparippu) - 1 cup,
  • Rice (Ponni Rice) - 3 cups,
  • Fenugreek seeds (Uluva) - 1 tea spoon,
  • Water - As required,
  • Salt - As required

Idlis is traditionally a wonderful south Indian breakfast. When they are served with Sambar and Chutney, they make a full meal and can be enjoyed at any time of the day! Idlis are steamed food making them very healthy and very light. Making Iddli is a process that takes a couple of days, but at the end of it, it’s absolutely worth the effort!

Preparation of the Idli batter

  • Wash the black gram Dhal until the water runs clear and then add the Fenugreek seeds and additional water and soak for 4-6 hours together.
  • Drain the water from the Dhal and grind it with about one cup of water to a smooth consistency.
  • Soak Ponni rice separately for four hours.
  • Wash and grind the gram Dhal, Fenugreek and rice separately.
  • Add one tea spoon of salt or to taste.
  • Mix and whip up the batter with your hands until everything is blended well.
  • Cover and allow the batter to ferment in a warm place overnight or about 8-12 hours  until it ferments.

How to make idlis?

  • Once the batter has fermented, it will rise.
  • Mix well and add in water, slowly, till the batter is of dropping consistency.
  • Check salt (add if needed).
  • Add some oil to the idli stand.
  • Spoon a ladle full of batter into the Idli stand.
  • Stack up the idli plates in alternates, avoid one directly over the other giving the idli space to rise.
  • In a stock-pot or a pressure cooker, add about an inch of water and allow it to come to a boil.
  • Place the Idli stand in the boiling water and close.
  • Make sure there is a vent for the steam to escape.
  • Once the cover is closed, set timer for fifteen minutes.
  •  After fifteen minutes, take out the stand and spoon out the Iddlis from the iddli plates.
  • Serve them with Sambar and Coconut Chutney.


  • Store the Idlis in an insulated box until ready to serve.
Reeja Mytheenkunju

How would you rate this recipe?

115 votes, 3.95 / 5.00 (78%)
  • M

    Simple and yummy recipe. I am drooling here… 🙂

  • J

    Cool recipe. I am from punjab and this was my first experiment with a south Indian recipe. I really loved it and will try all other recipes in your site. …Cheers….

  • S

    Hi I am Shoba Can u tell me if the rice is Raw ponni rice or idly rice : )

    • says:

      Hi Shobha, Its not ponni rice. Its raw rice (commonly called pachari in kerala).

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