How to make soft idlis – Tips and tricks

How to make soft idlis – Tips and tricks

How to make soft idlis?

I am sure Idli is one of the most common and healthiest breakfast item all over south india. It is a regular breakfast item in our household. Hence, idli batter grinding is a regular every week. My son loves idlis and dosas and he expects to have idlis everyday.How to make soft idlis? This is one question that often comes up from beginners. A lot of beginners might be struggling to get soft and fluffy idlis. Hence, I have come up with the post with the basic measurements along with tips and tricks to get soft and fluffy idlis that you can enjoy.

This post will outline the basic ingredients, the proper proportions along with a few other ingredients and tips that will give you soft idlis everytime you make them. Unfortunately, I did not click proper step by step pictures of the batter preparation and hence I apologise on that. I will make sure I update this post with step by step pictures very soon.

So, lets move on to the answer to the question – HOW TO MAKE SOFT IDLIS?

how to make soft idlis

Preparation Method of Soft Idlis:


Idli Rice – 4 cups
Whole Urad Dal/ Black gram – 1 cup
Thick Aval/Poha – 3/4 cup
Fenugreek Seeds/Methi Seeds/Vendhayam : 1 tsp
Soya beans: a handful
Salt: as required
Water: as required


1. Soaking:

The rice used for idli is different from the normal parboiled rice that we consume daily. Ensure you get the idli rice for this recipe. Measure the idli rice and clean properly to remove any bugs that might be present. Soak idli rice, aval/poha, fenugreek seeds and soya beans together in enough water(water level should be above the rice level) for around 3 to 4 hours.

-Urad Dal:
When the rice has soaked for around 2 hours, it is time to soak the urad dal. Wash the urad dal in running water and soak it in more than 2 cups of clean water. Keep the soaked urad dal in the refrigerator for around an hour or so.

2. Grinding:

– Clean the wet grinder. The quantity mentioned above needs a wet grinder for grinding.

– Remove the soaked urad dal from the refrigerator. Drain the cold water (2 cups) into the grinder. Now add the urad dal and start grinding. I grind it for around 30 minutes till the dal gets smoothly ground and fluffy. Ensure you keep adding little water at intervals to assist the grinding process.

– Remove the urad dal batter into a separate container.

– When the dal is grinding, wash and drain the rice mixture. I use a strainer or colander to do this so that the aval or poha does not get washed away.

– Now add around 3 cups of water to the wet grinder. Add the rice little by little and grind it for around 15-20 minutes till its ground properly.

3. Mixing:

– To the ground rice batter, add the urad dal mixture, enough salt and mix well. You have to mix well such that the whole mixture becomes homogeneous.

The batter should not be too thick or too thin. Depending on the consistency, you can add little water if required. Do not add more water as the idlis become flat if the batter is watery.

4. Fermentation:

– For soft and fluffy idlis, fermentation is also very important. Ensure the batter ferments for atleast 8 hours. Keep it in a warm place and check after 8 hours. If the batter has risen properly, it is fermented well and is ready to use. Else, allow it to ferment well.

5. Steaming:

– Heat water in a steamer. Meanwhile, grease idli plates with little oil. Add the batter into each hollow. Place the idli plates into the steamer and steam for 10 minutes. Once done, give 2 minutes resting time and remove the idlis from each mould.


– Proportion of idli rice and urad dal is very important. 4:1 is the best ratio.
– Aval/Poha, soya beans and methi are added for softness.
– Cold water also plays an important role in achieving soft idlis. So, ensure you refrigerate the urad dal for soaking.
– Batter consistency is very important. It shouldnt be too thick or too runny.
– The above measurements yields batter for around 4 days for a family of 3.

So that now you know how to make soft idlis, click here to check chutney recipes for your soft idlis.


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