• Parboiled Rice – 3 cups
  • Raw Rice – 1 cup
  • Urad Dhal – 1 cup
  • Salt – 2 teaspoon


  1. Soak both the rice and dhal separately in water for about 6 to 8 hours. Wash and grind rice and dhal separately to a fine paste. Mix together with salt and make a thick batter. Leave it for atleast 8 hours to ferment.
  2. Boil water in the idli cooker. Grease the idli plates. Mix the batter thoroughly. Pour the batter in the idli plate and put it inside the cooker. Steam it for 7 to 10 minutes. (If you are using pressure cooker, do not put the weight. Allow the steam to come out.)
  3. Take out the plates from the cooker and leave it outside for one to two minutes. Remove the idli using a sharp spoon.
  4. Serve with chutney/sambar/milagai podi or with anything you like.
  5. Tips: If you are living in cold country, the batter will not ferment properly. You can keep the batter inside the cake oven and switch on the oven light. Or, you can keep the batter near heater vent.
  6. One of our Readers Mr Ramaswamy sent the following tips for Fermentation of Idli batter:
  7. The fermentation is caused by air-born wild yeast. Urad and Fenugreek seeds draw the wild yeast from air. So keep the washing to the minimum.
  8. The tap water in US and Canada is almost always has Chlorine and/or Fluorine. The common table salt is iodized. These halogens (Chlorine, Fluorine and Iodine) kill the wild yeast. Use non-iodized salt such as ‘Kosher salt’ and Use spring water, boiled or filtered tap water to avoid Chlorine/Fluorine.
  9. I use an electric hand blender to infuse air and make it frothy to accelerate the fermentation process, before keeping it in the oven.
  10. The ideal temperature for fermentation is 30 to 32.2⁰C. If the temperature is below 30⁰C, it will take longer to achieve acceptable level of fermentation. If the temperature is higher than 32⁰C, the batter may become sour. Acceptable level of fermentation is when the batter has doubled in volume
  11. Keeping the batter inside the oven and switch on the oven light (40 w bulb is ideal) and keep it over night.


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