Idli (savoury rice and lentil cake)

Idli (savoury rice and lentil cake) is one of the most popular, healthy and nutritious breakfasts from India. It is one of my all time favorite breakfast and I can never get bored of eating it. I have fond memories of eating home made idlis by my mother.During college days, when staying away from home and with room mates, we were  lucky to buy fresh idlis from a lady who made it every day. She used to wrap it in a banana leaf with some fresh coconut chutney.It tasted heavenly and it was almost a daily routine.These days, it is a regular food at home .Idli batter is also easily available in Indian grocery stores and so for those who are busy to make the batter , it is a great option.

Idli is regarded as a healthy food as it is steamed and made with soaked, ground and fermented rice and split black gram . It has a great combination of carbohydrates and protein .The fermentation process increases the availability of nutrients and this in turn helps in  easy assimilation.It is traditionally a breakfast item , but with combination of sambar (spicy and tangy lentil soup) or chutney made with coconut and green chillies to go with it , it can be a meal by itself. You need  a special idli cooker to make idlis .Traditionally, the cooker is like a steamer with little circular compartments to steam idlis. Nowadays, we also have microwaveable idli cookers for convenience. The overall process of soaking, grinding, fermenting and steaming idlis , serving and of course relishing it,  is a truly satisfying experience!

5 from 3 votes
Idli steamed rice and lentil cake

Steamed rice and lentil cake made with fermented batter and perfect for breakfast or any meal.

  • 6 cups Idli rice soaked in water overnight
  • 2 cups split black gram (urad dal ) soaked in water overnight
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 31/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  1. Soak and immerse the rice, split black gram (urad dal )and fenugreek seeds in water overnight

  2. Grind the rice to a fine paste with a little water in a wet grinder 

  3. Pour the batter into a container 

  4. Next grind the split black gram (urad dal ), fenugreek and cooked rice to a fine paste

  5. Pour this batter into the same container containing the rice batter 

  6. Add salt and mix well

  7. Keep it covered in a humid or warm place for fermenting

  8. After about 6 to 8 hours the batter will ferment and rise up

  9. Fill water in the idli cooker and bring it to a boil.

  10. Add the batter to the circular compartments  coated with a little oil in the  idli steaming plates .

  11. Arrange the idli stand with  the batter in the steaming plates  , close the lid and steam.

  12. The steam starts giving out a whistling sound as it is getting cooked.After about 15 to 20 minutes the idlis will be cooked.

  13. Let it cool down for about 10 minutes. Take out the idli plates from the steamer.Gently scoop out the idlis with a spoon and transfer into a serving bowl.

  14. Serve with coconut or tomato chutney , sambar or chutney powder. 

Idli steamed rice cake

Idli a delicious breakfast for the soul

Idli steamed rice cake

Idli can be accompanied with variety of side dishes most popular being chutney and sambar

Idli rice cake

Idlis are a very healthy and delicious which make a satisfying breakfast or meal .

Idli steamed rice and lentil cake

Soft and fluffy idli close-up!


Idli out in steaming plates and in serving bowl and coconut chutney

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  • Reply
    May 31, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    5 stars
    So awesome recipe!! I have to try it when my mum will leave 💕💕
    Going to print out! Cool function 💙💙
    U could cut the “comment-form” in dashboard cuz each time writing email can be disturbing for some ppl lol

    • Reply
      May 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Thank you for the comments Ray, I think you will definitely like it! The comment-form came as a result of the wordpress upgrade for the GDPR fixes. I believe once the check box is checked for “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment” , it shouldn’t ask the next time unless cache is cleared and hope that works!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Soul food.. one thing which I will never get bored off ! Your idli looks super soft.

    • Reply
      May 31, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      Thank you so much , appreciate the comments!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    5 stars
    Wonderful! These look so fluffy and soft!💖

    • Reply
      May 31, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you very much, they were indeed soft and fluffy!

  • Reply
    Divya Deepak Rao
    May 31, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    5 stars
    Looks absolutely perfect & utterly delicious! This is my favourite food!

    • Reply
      May 31, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you so much dear , it’s my favorite as well!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Idlis are mine favourite too….like you said you never get bored of eating them am I….my first choice for breakfast …. lovely share Nisha

    • Reply
      June 1, 2018 at 1:25 am

      That’s wonderful to hear .Thank you so much for the lovely comment!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Such fluffy and soft idlis !! Wondeful share Nisha !

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    These are amazing!!!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Such a super shots of idli💯

  • Reply
    August 30, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    My favourite … looks delicious ❤️

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