Idli / Ittali

Preparation : 1 Day
Cooking : 20~30 mins

Idli a traditional Southern Indian break faster, is a white round, fluffy bread roughly eight centimetres in diameter; good to take with sambar or chutney.


4 cup rice

1 cup Lentel (white Urad Dal)

1 tea spoon fenugreek seeds

Salt 2 table spoons

water 1~2 cups


Though Idli is made in streamer/pressure cooker.. to make it fluffy and soft needs special treatment as below


Soak the rice and fenu greek seeds. Make sure to add enough water that all rice can submerge. Wait for about 6~8 hours until almost all water is suckled by the rice.
Soak the Lentel (Dal) for about 15~20 minutes.If you soak for longer quantity of paste will be lesser

(using a Grinder/Blender)

Grind the rice for 25 minutes until it is a smooth paste slowly add 1/2 cup of water in batches from time to time till the paste becomes very smooth. (blow gently on the rice paste if it moves then it is almost ready)

Add the lentel to the grinder (try not adding water) and allow to grind for another 15 minutes. When the paste is ready add salt and mix it

(using a Food processor/Mixer)

Put the rice into the mixer with 1/2 cup water grind for 5~6 minutes until it is a smooth paste (Mixers cannot achieve the same stmoothness as that of the grinder. ) Pour the rice paste into spearate bowl.

Now grind the dal. The dal needs to be ground while slowly adding more water in 1.5 minute intervals. When grounded, the dal fluffs up, continue grinding for 5 minutes.(The dal should double in quantity after grinding, while the quantity of rice would have remained unchanged.)

Now mix both the pastes together inside the mixer, add the salt and grind for another 3 minutes so that the pastes mix well with eachother

Pour the paste in a larger vessel and leave it for about 8 hours in a warm place

DO NOT place the paste in cold place – that will spoil the duogh formation and Dosa’s taste in trun will be spoiled

DO NOT choose a small vessel – once fermetation starts the volume occupied by the paste increases, hence the paste may overflow out of the vessel


Use pressure cooker or stream cooker with Idli cooking pans.
spread 2 or 3 drops of oil on the idli shaped pans (this is to make sure when you remove it they come out without getting stuck to the pan – also adds to the taste)
Fills the idli pans with dough up to brim. Align the idli pans that are now filled with dough. Rotate the lids so stream can spread into pans equally
Pour 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker or stream cooker. Close the lid of the cooker, Put it on stove for 12~15 minutes. (if its pressure cooker you can wait for 2 or 3 whistles) .
Wait for 5 minutes and then open the lid (so stream does not hurt you). You will see that the dough had re-born into a rice cake (Idli) .
Use a curved spoon and remove them from the idli cooking pan.
Side dishes for eating Idli can be several – the famous ones are with chutney ; sambar ; kuzhambu ; mulagai podi etc.

2 Responses to “Idli / Ittali”


  1. Alexander7
  2. JOHN

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