Friday, October 14, 2011

Idli Recipe - How to make soft idlis (Homemade Idli Dosa Batter)

Idli Recipe
Idli is our south indian staple mostly made for breakfast so we usually stock up with the idli dosa batter which is very handy.I surely must have not thought of making a post for idli dosa batter, if I havent had a reader request for it.I am sure the method is easy and sure will help beginners.
Idli Recipe
We prefer making idli dosa batter at home as I dont prefer the store bought ones as to me, its a big compromise. Even attimes of busy schedule, I would rather choose upma, chapathi etc to idli, dosas using store bought batter. I love idlis best with idly podi.Check out kaima idli which is my fav. Tiffin sambar is the best combo! Hotel idli ratio is different from homemade ones. Will surely add a recipe for hotel style idli sometime later.
This ratio is from the handwritten book from amma and it works perfectly. I use my measuring cups for most of the recipes mentioned in this space. Amma uses the traditional ulaku, veesam with the same measurements. I converted it to the measuring cups for ease and convenience :)
Homemade Idli Dosa Batter Measurements

Idli, Dosa Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 10 hrs | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Main | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Idli rice - 3 cups (700 gms)
Whole urad dal / Ulundhu(no skin variety) - 1/2 cup (110 gms)
Fenugreek seeds/Vendhayam - 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed
Salt - to taste

Method:

  1. Measure each ingredient as per the above measurement and keep seperately. Soak rice, urad dal with fenugreek seeds in water each seperately for atleast 2 to 3 hours.
    How to make idli - Step1
  2. Then drain water from urad dhal+fenugreek seeds and add it to the grinder. While adding urad dhal take care the grinder doesnt get stuck. Sprinkle water then and there and grind it for 40mins in total. Its always better to stand near atleast during the final stage of till the proper consistency is reached. Keep sprinkling water in between at regular intervals. The batter should be light and nice fluffy.
    How to make idli - Step2
  3. Collect the urad dhal batter in a container(big enough to hold the fermented batter). Now drain water from rice and add it to the grinder, sprinkle little water and start grinding.Grind it for 30mins on the whole, keep adding water in between. Grind it smoothly with a slight coarse texture. The rice batter should be slightly thicker than urad dhal batter.
    How to make idli - Step3
  4. Now take the rice batter and urad dhal batter, add salt and mix well. Keep aside in a warm place to ferment well for atleast 10 - 12 hours. Can you see the fermented batter with a porous look? If you see the batter would have raised well and now your idli dosa batter is ready to use.
    How to make idli - Step4
  5. Take a laddle full and add it to the idly pan and steam it for 10-12mins. Sprinkle little water and carefully slide around the edges to take the idlis.
    How to make idli - Step5
Hot soft idlis ready to be served.I have tried my best to explain the making of idli, dosa batter. Have included the tips I got from amma too, do feel free to mail me your queries if you have any.
How to make soft idli
For dosas :First see whether the batter is in pouring consistency, if not add little water and mix well. Then take a laddle full of idli dosa batter and add it to the dosa tawa and keep spreading in circular motion outwards. When the dosa gets slightly browned turn over to other side. Crispy dosas ready.

For dosa video check here
Crispy Roast Dosa

Crispy Roast Dosa

My Notes:

  • The texture of the batter depends purely on the quality of urad dhal. Also the volume varies each time when I get urad dhal from a different store.
  • You can add soak 2 tbsp  poha  for 10mins and add it while grinding along with rice and urad dal.
  • The water quantity I've given is approximate and may vary depending on the quality of rice and urad dhal.
  • Also while making idlis you can place a cloth before pouring the batter which gives even more soft idlis. I rarely use it. :)
  • Idlies taste best when the batter is fresh, so after a week we use it for dosas and kuzhipaniyaram
Idli Recipe

Written by: SHARMILEE J

131 comments:

  1. Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!! Your idli's tempt me a lot!! That mild golden colored dosa is lovely!!!!

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  2. wow so tempting sharmilee .... both are yummy (idlis and dosas ) .......

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  3. I m feeling really really hungry now..Dsa is tempting me even more...so crispy!!

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  4. It is very good sharmi. Can u also tell me how to make soft idlies using mixie? As I dont have grinder, It is diffult for me sometimes to get soft idlies. ;-(

    Cheers,
    Uma

    My Kitchen Experiments

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  5. my all time fav breakfast...looks soft nd yummy..

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  6. super soft idlis...with sambar and chutney..really tempting...

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  7. I am thinking for a long time to do idly batter and homemade ghee post..just postponing cos a laziness to do an elaborate post..
    This post is worth the effect, sharmi! I love those idlies!
    P.S- I have started missing you in every new post of mine if you dont pop up within the first 10 comments (geeee) missed you tons in the evening after a day long shopping in the bazzar when i scrolled the c0mment box until i left for swimming 2 hours back. the first thing was searching for you back home and you were there :) :)
    hugs!!! :)

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  8. Soft and spongy idlis. The picture says it all. I use the ratio 1:4 normally. Will try your ratio the next time I make idlis.

    Vardhini
    Event: Halloween Fiesta

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  9. They look amazing, I have got to try this ratio of rice and dal.

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  10. My ratio is slightly different, I have to try your ratio. Looks awesome soft.

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  11. soft and spongy idlis...lovely post n clicks are amazing !!!

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  12. Both idli and dosa looks so good...loved the slight golden dosa more..:).. Lovely clicks..

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  13. This is my fav too...my kids totally love ghee idili..looks super soft Sharmi...but I dont have this typical grinding machine, I usually do it in my food processor..and it comes out nice too..
    Lovely post.

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  14. wonderful post with great tips, idlis look super soft dear..

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  15. They looks wonderful dear,your clicks makes me hungry

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  16. I was thinking to post this for long:),your idlis are really soft and fluffy...

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  17. i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it's for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.

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  18. well.. i have been looking for this one sharmi :)
    i hv been varying proportions for quite a long time but couldnt get the perfect one.. as u said, proper idli rice and urad dhaal makes a lot of difference to the proportions.. will try urs soon

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  19. good post for newbies..nice pics

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  20. Superb clicks, amazing method and mouthwatering dishes. Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. hi sharmi, planned for the idli- dosa weekend and your pics made it more tempting to go for it.
    keep up your work kudos !

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  22. Idlis and dosai both looking perfect...It is a great task for me weekly but once done,can be relaxxed for 3-4 days in the morning ;)

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  23. Beautiful post for beginners,beautiful clicks..

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  24. Those idlies look so soft and delicious!I already have your Idly Pody recipe,noted it some time back.
    Thank you for sharing so many lovely recipes with us.:-)

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  25. OMG.. .they are sooo much spongy... Wish you were my neighbour Sharmilee.....

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  26. nice pics...and good post for dosa-idli lovers like me :)

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  27. sharmi
    I love your passion .
    u r kind enough to consider a reader's request and make such a simple post on idli/dosa batter.
    hats off to u.
    No wonder sharmi's passions is growing day by day.
    u r my favourite blogger!!
    by the way idli poo mathiri irukke.

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  28. @Mitha : Thats so sweet, and thank u so much! :) Though late, I try to fulfill most of the readers request as only becos of them the site keeps going and growing.....:)

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  29. i made idli batter out of powdered pachai arisi/ idly rice and used the proportion 4 cups of powdered rice and 1 cup of soaked urad dhal for 3 hrs..i grinded urad dhal in mixie and added to the powdered idly rice with water and salt...my batter consistency looked alright but the idlies were palatable but hard...since i dont have grinder, i did this...what is the ratio if i use powdered rice with whole urad dhal mixture

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  30. @Anonymous : I havent used powdered idli rice but usually mixie dosent give fluffy batter so that might be the problem. And sorry am not sure on the proportion with powdered idli rice

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  31. Thanks for you're recipe, I dont know what I am doing wrong, can you guide me as my idli's always come out hard, here in Australia. When in India they used to come out very soft. I do however use a food processor nowadays. Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Your urad dhal should of good quality and am not sure of the outcome of usng foodprocessor for idli batter, is the mixie grinder difference? am not really sure. I havent used food processor so coudnt give you a clear note on it

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  32. lovelyyyyyyyyyyyyyy i am soooooo tankful to u

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  33. We at Dasaprakash have appreciated your recipe.

    We have posted it on our face Book Page.

    http://www.facebook.com/DasaprakashGroup

    Keep it up!

    Dasaprakash Managment
    http://www.Dasaprakash.net

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  34. My idlis dont ferment (Batter doesnt rise but color changes to yellow) . I am in Boston. What to do?

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  35. @Anon : It all depends on weather too...may be you can try keeping in warm water for sometime and see...

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  36. Thanks Sharmilee... Why use fenugreek seeds?

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  37. @Anon : Fenugreek seeds gives a gumminess to the batter which in turn will make idlis fluffy and soft.

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  38. Hi sharmilee !! thanks for the recipe ... i have a small question ... does your idlis come in white color after steaming ... does using fenugreek seeds make it creamish ?? i dont know whats wrong with my batter but i get creamish idlis ,i tought that is bcz of fenugreek seeds... and how do u gring ur urad dal ?? does it turn white after grinding for 40 min or does it remains pale yellow or creamish ?? please respond ...

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  39. @Anon : The color depends on the quality of urad dhal and how well it ferments. While grinding urad dhal separately, it does look sligtly cream in color but when mixed with rice batter and steamed as idlis, it is white as shown in the pics. Hope this helps!

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  40. thank you sharmilee!!! sooo you mean to say the color of idli's not effected by fenu greek seeds right??thank u so much the reply !!!

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  41. Yes I have the same question. I stopped using fenugreek seeds as my idlis turned slightly red. What brand of urad dal do you use Sharmilee? And it will be helpful if you tell your brand of idli rice and fenugreek sees too...

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  42. It is always Nilgiris brand for most of my groceries...

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  43. very informative article... i'm a new cook, so trying to find ways... how can i do the batter in a prithi mixer?

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  44. @Rafeeda : You can proceed the same procedure in mixie too...but sure it will not give soft idlis like how we get like the ones in grinder.

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  45. wwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww kay idali hai yar.............

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  46. hiii i hv seen ur reciepe n try it ....its awesme ..thnks for sharing with us for wonderful n useful reciepe ...

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  47. how many idlies one can make with this measurement ?

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  48. @raji : It is difficult to tell as we use the same batter for dosa and other mixes too.

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  49. hi Sharmilee, Could you pls let me know the combination of rice n Urad dal in grams/ weight?

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  50. @Muhamed : Will measure and update it here....

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  51. I get fluffy idlis but they are not white they are a bit creamish what should i do to get it white my proportion is 1: 4(idli rice) soak it for 6 to 7 hours I get exactly between 55 to 60 idlis(medium size i.e. not very big nor very small) per kg of idli batter

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  52. @Veena : Please check the comment I have already written reg the color for the idlis

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  53. Hi sharmi..
    I am planning to buy a new wet grinder. can u please suggest on the brand? Also is it better to go for a three stone grinder?

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  54. @Sevvanthi : I use a old one...But heard from friends that ultra is good..

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  55. Hi
    Can you please tell which brand of urad dal and idly rice you use?

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  56. very good explanation with pictures....tq so much...i'll bookmark this

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  57. Hi
    Iam a fan of indian food. your posts really a great help!....tq so so much

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  58. thank u very much for ur recepy sis ... appreciated !!!

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  59. thank u very much for ur recepy sis ... so much appreciated !!!

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  60. awesome recipe! Thank you! I'm making this for my 6 mo old baby

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  61. Hey I tried this out..... simply brilliant. A big thank you for sharing this .....

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  62. This looks amazing! Is there some way to make the batter without the grinder? I have a powerful mixer (vitamix) can I use it instead?

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  63. @Mistie : I am not sure whether it will turn out this soft but you can give a try with a small amount and see....May be half the ingredients and try

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  64. Hi, first of all thanks a lot for a lovely sharing but the problem with mine is, i am using the same ratio and the dosas are excellent but idli's are very hard and it really makes me depressed..plz help me out.!! any extra tip to get extra soft idli??if then plz do share

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  65. @Jananee : I dont have any extra tip have jotted down everything in my notes section....cudnt guess where it goes wrong for u....

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  66. Hi ,
    I am a recent visitor of your site and was very impressed.

    I live in the uk and wanted to prepare idli at home instead going to hotel. As you know you wont get the authentic taste. I prepared the batter as per my moms advice. She uses 4:1 ratio and never soaks urad dal for more than half an hour. But my idli didnt come out good as hers. so when i searched in your site i found this. Am going to
    ry yours and hope it comes good. But if you have any tips and advIce pls write it to me as am new to cooking. Longing to eat a delicious idli.

    Regards,
    Sony

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  67. Everytime i ask people i know who make dosa and idli at home...they give me different proportions of rice and urad dal to be soaked. So, does it make a huge difference if we change the proportions of dal and rice?

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  68. @Jyotika : Yes the proportion makes a difference...though grinding it in the correct consistency and fermenting also plays a vital role...

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  69. Dear Sharmi,i prepared idli as per your recipe.it came out wonderful.idli was very soft.everyone at home liked it.Thankyou Sharmi....

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  70. u have given the quantity of whole urad dal...what would be the proportion if it is split urad dal?

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  71. dosa kandittu kothiyavanu.....

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  72. hi Sharmiee,

    I need your help. actually i can get soft idilies in the upper plates only, second plate or under plate idlies are fully covered with water. why n what is the reason? Help me....

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  73. I appreciate your dedication, patience and creativity towards the post. Hats Off!!!

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  74. thank u for sharing....
    actually i have same doubt and problem as malini & kanchana has...

    u have given the quantity of whole urad dal...what would be the proportion if it is split urad dal?

    i am getting soft idilies in the upper plate only, second plate or under plate idlies are fully covered with water. why n what is the reason? Help me....

    awaiting for reply...

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    Replies
    1. I am really not sure as we always use whole urad dal only. Just pour little water so that the last idli plate doesnt immerse in...

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  75. My dosas are always white though i add methi.. can u tell me what the reason is..

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    Replies
    1. The color depends on the dosa pan and even the way you make dosas...Try this way : Once the dosa pan is heated up well just sprinkle little water on the tawa, wipe it off then pour the dosa batter this way it will brown evenly.

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    2. Hi
      Your blog is very tempting n so r the recipes ;)
      Once I had idli chilly fry many years back in Goa it s superb
      do yuo have ne idea as to how 2 make it?

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    3. No havent tried it so far....will surely post if I come across that recipe

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  76. Well I have always used 3:1 ratio. Would your ratio give a different taste/ texture?

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    Replies
    1. Yes please give it a try and let me know....

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  77. which wet grinder do you use??? is premier wonder grinder good or ultra??

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    Replies
    1. Mine is a very old table top wet grinder :)

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  78. hi Sharmi,

    I am a regular follower of your blog.

    I have a question. Does adding salt before fermenting or after fermenting makes any difference to the time the batter stays good?

    I used to get readymade batter but then it will never have salt and i will add salt and a just a hint of soda before pouring the batter in idli moulds. Those idlis were good enough.

    But now with a kid, i want to make the idli batter from scratch at home since you cant be sure how hygenic the store bought batter will be plus i dont trust the dates printed for freshness of batter. Especially here in pune. in Banglore it might be a different story.

    I always hear from people that batter with salt in it, can turn bad faster than the one with doesnt have it. Is it true? if kept in refridgerator, how long can i keep using the idli batter?

    For myself i wouldnt worry much as i had been digesting all sorts well! :) But I hear too much fermented items can give food poisoning to babies so worried.


    Awaiting your reply.

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    Replies
    1. Yes you have to add salt before fermenting and it helps in fermenting.We dont use soda for idli batter....I use the batter for almost 2 weeks...For the first few days I use it for idli and later make dosa,uthapam,paniyaram etc. No not at all...idli is the best and safest solid food that can be given to kids...Infact I started solids with only idli and rice for my daughter...So dont worry and start making your homemade batter and am sure you will not regret :)

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  79. I find this blog very informative especially. I think I will be frequenting here to read more about your great posts. The content is amazing, keep posting friend it will be very helpful for everyone.

    Restaurant India

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  80. This recipe was amazing. It was my first time making idlis from scratch and it was a success! Thank you so much for your tips!!

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  81. This recipe was amazing! This was the first time I made idlis from scratch and they turned out super soft. Thank you so much for your helpful tips - especially regarding how to make the batter ferment in cooler USA temperatures. BEST RECIPE EVER!

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  82. You are maintaining a creative and inspiring blog, thank you! Question: How did you season your dosa pan to make it non-stick? Is the vessel made of metal?

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    Replies
    1. The dosa pan is cast iron...I usually add some rock salt and wipe it off with a slice of onion when the dosa pan sticks....

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  83. awesome recipe..definitely a must try recipe...i just found ur blog sharmis..thank you for the recipes..i was just wondering, the measurement of the recipe above can make how many idlis?

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  84. Hi thanx for ur easy recipes.. I want to know is the rice batter should be very fine paste. And while grinding if batter get hot is it ok...or is it will make idli

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    Replies
    1. No that will not be a problem, timing and consistency check is important.

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  85. Hi.. Many a time some amount of batter is left after preparing the idlis, which i store in the fridge and use for preparing dosas. If i have to prepare idlis with the remaining batter after couple of days, then will the idlis turn out soft and fluffy. Do you have any tips for using this batter to prepare idlis again?

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    Replies
    1. Usually fresh batter is used for idli and after that we make dosas till we end up with the current batch of batter.

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  86. thanks a lot for the guidance Sharmilee J on behalf of my wife Razikha Khan

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  87. thanks a lot Sharmilee J your guidance is very helpful and use full Razikha Khan from kuwait

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  88. I don't have a grinder, can I use a blender instead?

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    Replies
    1. You can but am really not sure of the outcome....guess it will affect the texture of the idlis.May be you can try for a smaller quantity and check...

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  89. Hi Sharmilee, I like ur blog very much. I like ur clicks (photos). I know, everytime u put lot of effort to do this. Thank u so much Sharmilee. I am in US. Everyday i used to take a look ur blog to get idea for cooking. Everything is very nice. Me and my friends are always here to support you.

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  90. Hi sharmilee
    I m from Bangladesh. I really like dosa & want to try it at home. But which dal is 'urad dal' or 'urad dal' is available in BD or not i m confused. Can u tell some other name of this dal specially any bengali name?

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    Replies
    1. It is urad dal without skin variety. Googled to find that Kalai er Dal is the bengali name , not very sure please reconfirm it.

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  91. Hi Sharmilee

    I generally use the ratio 4:1 for the raw rice/urad dhal, havent tried your ratio.. Also i generally soal urad dhal and rice together and grind it, rather than doing it seperately, Will that matter ?

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    Replies
    1. I am really not sure as I havent tried soaking and grinding rice, urad dal together....

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  92. I have been using this recipe but my idlis were not very soft. I think its because I am grinding in the mixer and not grinder. Adding Poha makes it softer for the first two days. then after that it is only good for dosa. Could u suggest any other options to make it softer when we grind using a mixer??

    Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. I am really not sure as I havent tried grinding idli dosa batter in mixer, may be if I find an alternate will sure share it soon.

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  93. Hi Sharmilee....u recipe looks excellent! Thanks for sharing it. What type / variety of rice do you use? Is there a brand name for it?

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    Replies
    1. There is no brand as such I either get idli rice from Nilgiris or from a supermarket

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  94. I have noticed that my idlis stick to the mould inspite of oiling the mould well and I cannot take them off easily with a spoon without breaking. Is there a way of not letting it stuck to the mould and getting neat idlis.

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    Replies
    1. Try greasing the idli moulds with a drop of oil in each hole...then after steaming dont take it out immediately sprinkle very little water set aside for 2mins then try to scoop it out am sure it will give you clean demoulding of idlis

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  95. Hi sharmilee's recipe so good.Thanks.

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  96. Tried ur version n got good results.thanks.question: can u tell me the brand of idly pot u r using..it looks good.i want to buy a one as mine is very.old aluminum pot. If possible please post a pic of Yours.

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    Replies
    1. Hi sharmi...waiting for your reply on the above query.thanks

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    2. I dont know the brand its a old one, actually got as a gift. Now I am using a brand named amarjothi, will post the pic of it soon.You can try butterfly too.

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  97. Hi Sharmi, do you rinse the urad and rice 2-3 times before soaking or just soak without rinsing ? i read somewhere that wild yeast on the urad helps the batter rise so the dal should not be rinsed too much

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    Replies
    1. I rinse it once or twice before adding it to grind.....It depends on the quality of the dal

      Delete
  98. Sharmi, do you have any idea how I can make an idli without an idli stand?? They are way too expensive in the states :( I don't want to have to buy one from here and am not going to India anytime soon.

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    Replies
    1. I am not really sure, I use the idli pot which has the idli mould inside...Not sure of substitutes sorry

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  99. Do I have to keep the batter separately or do I need mix them together.

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    Replies
    1. You have to mix both urad dal and rice batter together then let it to ferment....

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  100. Thanks I used rice flour and urad dal flour it ddnt ferment what should I do

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried with rice and urad dal flour so not really sure....sorry couldnt help u in this regard

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  101. Hi..
    Can u please tell the measurements in ulaku..
    That is in veesam padi..
    How much rice n urad deal??

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    Replies
    1. I measured the alaku my gave me and it exactly measures my 1 cup(250ml)

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