I had eaten idlis in Bombay from restaurants (which arent very fresh and tasty) I was very biased to Sannas. So 1 afternoon when my ex-colleague Stella brought some homemade idlis I couldn’t stop raving about how soft they were.

So Stella gave me her family recipe which I took home and perfected. For those who don’t know about idlis it’s a rice cake served from breakfast to dinner with a variety of Chutneys and sambars. To finish it off a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Without much ado let’s jump to the recipe.

Ingredients for the idlis: (A)

  • Raw idli rice 1c (washed and soaked separately for 4-6 hours)
  • Urad dal 1/2 c (washed and soaked separately for 4-6 hours)
  • Cooked rice 1/4 cup (to be ground)
  • Water (as required) (I had used a little more than 2 1/2 cups of water for the total batter)
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • Oil for greasing the trays
  • Idli cooker with trays or vatis

Method: After the requisite time has passed grind the rice in batches adding little water in the mixer. Remove and keep in a separate bowl.

Now grind the urad dal adding little water. Remove in a separate bowl and keep aside. Finally take a little batter of the rice, dal and the cooked rice. Grind again adding little water.

Remove into a bowl and keep aside. Keep repeating the process till the entire raw rice, cooked rice and dal have been ground and mixed. Wash the mixer with a little water and add to the bowl. Stir and cover. Keep it in a warm place to ferment. I had kept it on my kitchen counter overnight. In the morning you will see that the batter has fermented (bubbles have formed) and increased in volume. Add salt and stir well.

Now in an idli cooker fill water to 3/4 it’s capacity. Close the cover and let it heat up. In the meanwhile oil the trays or containers in which you intend to steam your idlis. Now open your idli cooker and when you see the water is boiling you are ready to steam your idlis.

In the meanwhile let’s prepare the chutney

Ingredients for chutney (B)

  • 1/2 a coconut grated
  • 3 green chillies (increase or decrease as per taste)
  • Water 1/4 c

Ingredients for sauteeing:

  • 2 tbs Oil ( Use coconut oil for a more authentic taste)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 round button red chillies
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Non-stick pan for sauteeing

Method : Grind the coconut, green chillies and add a little water at a time. (2 tbs). Open the mixer and add a little more water into the cup. Push down the masala well with your hands. Grind twice or thrice with a little water. Keep the mixer aside.

Now in a non-stick pan add the oil. Let it become very hot. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the button red chillies. Let it fry for a few minutes in the oil. Now pour the coconut chutney from the mixer into the pan. Add a little water into the mixer and add this water into the pan. Stir and cover the pan. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Last add the curry leaves and add salt. Let it cook for a minute. Stir and taste the chutney. Switch off this gas.

Continuing (A)
After nicely oiling the trays pour spoonfuls of it into the tray. I pour the batter till each portion is 2/3 full. Keep to steam for 15 minutes for the 1st batch. Latter batches can be done in 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.😋

Notes : 1. The time for soaking and fermentation will be much lesser in summers.

2. Urad dal is called split black gram.


2 thoughts on “Idlis

    1. The local restaurants in our area weren’t serving very fresh idlis. I love freshly steamed idlis, coconut chutney and hot Sambhar too. The best idlis I’ve eaten were at Chalakudy railway station. It was a melt in the mouth. Yum.😋


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