The truth about Idlies.

First, Sorry to all of you, for the sudden disapperance. It was my mother’s 60th birthday celebrations and I was quite busy. Now, all that is done, I am here to bug you all.

To begin the bugging, here is the Truth about Soft Idlies. πŸ™‚ Β So many of you had asked for this during my two posts on Idly – here and here. Β Here it is guys, so go ahead and do the idlies – totally soft.

To soak :

1.5 cups of raw rice (not basmati – the regular cooking rice)

3.5 cups of boiled rice (the specially available idly rice)

Mix both the rice and Wash the rice 2 to 3 times. Soak it.

Exactly after 1 hour of soaking the rice :

1.25 cups of whole urid dhal (if you get it with the skin, its all the more good for health – of course, the idlies might not be in white color… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ )

Wash the urid dhal 3 to 4 times well and soak if for 45 minutes.

Soaking Urid Dhal

Now, after that 45 minutes of soaking Urid Dhal, its time for the Grinder’s job to begin.

Start with the Urid dhal.

Urid dhal in the grinder

Remember :

– Dont add too much water in the beginning.

– Add little by little when required.

– Use a spatula or your hand to push the whole dhals, which stay on the edges, so that you get a smooth batter.

– Dont grind the dhal for more than 20 minutes, its fluffiness will reduce.

– The batter should be fluffy like this

The Fluffy urid dhal batter

Now, its the turn to grind the rice. Add enough water, while putting the rice into the grinder. Otherwise, the rice will get stuck beneath the grinding stones and they’ll stop moving. Β The rice will take about 30 minutes to grind.

The rice needs to be done till its soft, but you shld be able to feel some coarseness, when u rub the batter against your fingers. You get the point ???

The perfect rice batter

Now, add salt and the urid dhal batter, to the rice batter. Mix them well using your hand. Its best to use your hand, if you believe in the thought that the hand that cooks food, adds to some flavor in the food. And also, the heat from our body, will help the batter to ferment well.

Mix both the batter

And leave it to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.

The fermented batter will rise and look like this.

The fermented batter

Mix well, but not too much – the air should stay inside the batter. Ladle the batter into the Idly plates, after greasing the Idly plates with oil.

The Idlies waiting to be steamed

Now, keep the Cooker on the stove and let the water inside come to a boil, before you put in the Idly plates. Β And have a timer and steam exactly for 5 minutes only. Β Dont cover the Cooker lid tightly – actually you can avoid using the gasket. Or if its a Hawkins kind, just keep the lid on top. Remember not to use to Cooker weight – this is only steaming.

Idlies in the cooker

The end result is fluffy, white Idlies. The best combo is with Sambar and Milagai Podi….hhhmmmmm…..yummm…… πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

The Fluffy Idlies with the perfect accompaniment

To the many souls who wanted the truth about idlies, in my previous posts : Β I hope this post made you happy, either to drool or to make some on your own. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

So, are you trying it out today ???? Come on, what are you waiting for Β ??? Tell me, how soft were the idlies which you prepared. πŸ™‚


70 Replies to “The truth about Idlies.”

  1. Uma, you are out to torture me 😦 I do all this but my batter refuses to ferment unless it feels like it 😦 So now I have given up on eating yummy idlies until I go home next time. These idlies of yours are making me droooool!


    1. But why its not fermenting ??? Is it becos of the centralised A/C in homes ????

      A tip – try keeping the batter inside the oven, when its warm (after you run it for a minute either in micro or convection) !!! πŸ˜› Just try this one more time and tell me if it works. πŸ™‚


  2. But why you cant have them ???? Just make them and eat it…thats why the detailed recipe….I’ve been taking pics from yday evng, to do this post… πŸ™‚ Try it out.


  3. Belated birthday wishes to your mom! You are now visually tempting us ..adding all the photos πŸ™‚
    I can never make them – I don’t have a grinder, I don’t have idli thattu/idli cooker πŸ™‚


    1. Ok…looks like u guys are trying to make this a foodie blog…LOL…. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜›

      Ok, Saks, for the love of milagai podi, I’ll put up the recipe soon. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

      Brat, then I hope u like the idlies with milagai podi spread on them and packed for lunch in a banana leaf !!!! If there is heaven on earth, its the feeling we get while eating such a lunch. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›


  4. I have totally given up on making Idly from scratch. I buy the batter from a store and just pour it into any vessel in whatever shape according to my mood.

    I can’t make it bcoz for one I don’t have a freaking grinder. Even if I had one, I am sure with the height of clumsiness I posses, I might as well grind a couple of my fingers along with the rice πŸ˜₯

    Man am hungry now 😑


    1. Seriously if I show this post to my wife she will hate Uma… she is like Saxy a lazy woman who just buys batter from Big Bazaar… !! and actually they are quite soft when ready !!! πŸ˜›

      would you believe it… !! I am actually eating Idli’s for breakfast typing this … !!! I so loved this food post, atleast it doest have me jealous !!!! πŸ˜›


    2. Saks, Hitch, Monu – Guys, I’ve never bought idly batter from the shop. Its surprising how easily we switch to cooking easily…but that pack u buy will only be enough for bfast, right ???

      For the proportion I grind, my batter will last one week and I can make a variety of dishes – Idly, Idly upma, Dosa, Masala Dosa and finally when the batter is a little sour, convert it to uthappam… howzaat ???? I feel handicapped to cook, when I dont have the batter in the fridge. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚


  5. Belated Happy Birthday to your mum πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    Thank you for sharing your secret recipe, now I just need to smuggle the grinder (or else I’ll push my food processor to it’s limits πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ ) and need to figure out where to get those special rice from πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


    1. Thank you for the wishes, CB !!! πŸ™‚

      I think you get that rice there…so many Indians are out there….try it out in the food processor and let me know the results. πŸ™‚


  6. Happy birthday to your Mom! πŸ™‚

    I’m sure your idlis are fab. Wish I could taste them!

    I’ll let you in on a secret? Since there’s only the two of us at home – we get ours from the local kirana – home made idlis @ Rs10 for 5. And homemade (in my home of course) sambhar and podi! No one will realize we’re Goans!

    PS: Could I have your podi recipe please. I’m so in to podis – tried out one today that rocks. But nothing like getting it from the expert – you πŸ™‚


    1. WOW !!! Thats simple and cool – Rs 10 for 5 !!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you Corinne for the wishes, will sure tell her. πŸ™‚

      Of course, of course, the podi recipe is coming soon. πŸ˜‰


  7. I buy the readymade batter that’s available at most shops nowdays. Cuts the hassle, but I am never satisfied with the outcome completely. Next time I will follow your tutorial to get the right proportion. Thanks πŸ™‚


    1. Welcome G…. πŸ™‚ Gud to see u here. πŸ™‚

      Just let me know the results of ur idly experiment… πŸ™‚ Finally someone agreed that the ready made one is not satisfactory. πŸ˜‰


    1. “Soft Iddly” truth finally revealed – i remember people adding “vendhiyam” too; as a guy I will never know why!

      Anyway It’s our time now to verify this, Ha…haaaaaaaa !!!

      I thought there are many other varieties of iddlies – kanchipuram iddly, kadamba iddly etc. I will never be able to elaborate on this any further!

      BTW our wishes to your mother for sashtiabdhapoorthi.


  8. Such a well detailed post Uma, very useful. After couple of years of initial struggles, I am settled to a proportion of 4 idly rice + 1 urad dhal for past 6-7 years. I look forward to more such posts here.


    1. Good – just follow the combo that works for you. πŸ™‚

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ Of course, looks like many ppl are interested in converting this into a food blog, asking for this recipe or that…. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› which I am ready to do… πŸ™‚


  9. My bestest wishes to aunty Ums πŸ™‚ may she have a wonderful life now and always πŸ™‚
    Thatz exactly what Mom told me abt the rice too when she taught me to make Idli batter πŸ˜€ The li’l coarseness u cn feel πŸ™‚

    Luvvvv the pic of the urad inside the grinder. Sooooooooooperrrrrrrrrr :mrgreen:


    1. See, hi-5 from my mom to your mom !!! πŸ™‚ We shld meet with family, I think. πŸ™‚ I’ll pass on ur wishes, sure. πŸ™‚

      Yay to ME, the photographer…you shld’ve seen me with the grinder on, camera in hand…total madness… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰


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