Idly (soft & spongy) recipe with simple tips !!!!!


  Idly, is a steamed cake made from rice and black lentils originating from Southern India. Idly is one of the most popular & healthiest breakfast. Mom usually prepare batter every Saturday and kept it for a week in refrigerator. We usually prepare idly for first day after fermentation (this gives best result of making soft & spongy idly). On the second day we use to prepare dosa with the same batter by adding little water (consistency should be slightly thin then idly batter). Making soft idly is easy & simple. Don’t forget to read my hints.

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Soaking time: 8 hours
Fermenting time: atleast 10 hours/ overnight
Recipe cuisine: South India
Steaming time: 10 – 15 minutes

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Parboiled rice – 2 cups 
Sonamasori rice – 1 cup 
Urad dal (broken & skinned ) – 1 cup 
Fenugreek seeds/ methi – 1 tsp



  • Soak the rice in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl soak urad dal & methi seeds.
  • Soaking could take place atleast for 5 hours (overnight soaking gives best result).


  • First rinse the urad dal and rice.
  • After rinsing start to grind urad dal & methi seeds mixture separately by adding generous amount of water until it smooth and fluffy (it helps to ferment the batter nicely). Pour the urad dal mixture in a separate deep vessel.
  • After that, grind the rice by adding little by little water until smooth paste and pour the mixture to the same vessel (into urad dal mixture).
  • Now add salt to the batter and mixed it thoroughly with hand (heat from our hand helps the batter to ferment well).
  • Cover the batter with tight lid and keep it in warm place for fermenting. (usually I switch on my oven’s light and keep the batter for overnight).


  • After fermenting, the batter looks double in size, now mix the batter slowly with spatula. ( don’t break the air bubble).
  • Greased the idly mold with oil and pour the batter evenly.
  • Add some water for steaming in the idly cooker and keep the mold inside & cover it with tight lid.
  • After 15 minutes, open the lid and bring to cool down the mold for 2 minutes by sprinkle some cold water on it.
  • Serve it hot and enjoy it with chutney, sambar & any non veg curries.


Hint :

  • First choose the right quality of rice and black gram / urad dal / black lentils.
  • And make sure the soaking & fermenting time must be enough for at least 6-7 hours (overnight soaking gives best result).
  • Rinse urad dal & methi not more than two times (fermentation process depends on wild yeast present in the urad dal).
  • Temperature for idly batter is 32 degree Celsius.
  • Methi / fenugreek seeds helps to give brown color in dosa.
  • Air bubbles in the batter helps to raise evenly, while steaming and make soft & spongy idly.
  • Use wet tooth pick and insert in idly if it comes out clean, then the idly is ready to serve.
  • After steaming, the resting time and sprinkling water helps to removes the idly easily from the mold.


  • Standardizing a recipes for several times, its helps to get good result.
  • I used 2:1 ratio (parboiled rice : whole urad dal) for idly & dosa, came out well.
  • If u use borken urad dal, the ratio is 3:1 (rice:urad dal) for best result.
  • Once I used sona masoori for dosa, I didn get the perfect colour. So for better result use 1:1 ratio of sona masoori and parboiled. From my opinion don’t use sona masoori alone.
  • I tried with Blue Ribbon Parboiled rice (brought from Costco) two days before, I got soft idly & crispy dosa. This parboiled rice is affordable who lives in United States, when we compare Indian brand parboiled rice.



3 Comments Add yours

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