Breakfast eats/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Idlis – Steamed Rice Dumplings

Stop by at any train station in South India or for that matter at any restaurant and chances are that the most popular breakfast item served is Idlis.  These piping hot steamed rice and lentil dumplings are served with coconut chutneys and sambar (spicy vegetable stew).  Since these are steamed, they are considered safe to eat and are popular with travelers all across India.  As with any Indian dish, there are several varieties of idlis that are prepared, this is the way we make idlis at home.


  • Urad daal/Split black gram with the skins removed - 1 cup
  • Idli rava/rice rava/cream of rice - 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt to taste



Wash and Soak urad daal in water for 5-6 hours.


Using the wet grinder, grind the soaked urad daal till smooth.  Water should be added to facilitate smooth grinding.  But do not make it too watery.


While the urad daal is being ground, soak the idli rava in water for a few minutes.  Drain the water from the rava and set aside.  This is done so that the rava gets a little fluffy.


Mix the urad daal and the rava together.  Add salt to taste and mix well.  Leave in a warm place to ferment overnight.


Next morning, mix the batter well and pour a spoonful each in the idli mold and steam in the steamer (Pedavan) or pressure cooker for 8-10 minutes.


Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.  In our house its normally served with Hinga (asafoetida) chutney.


  • You can use a blender to grind the urad daal, you want to make sure that the blended daal has a smooth consistency.
  • In winter, I preheat the oven for a few minutes and then place the idli batter in it overnight to ferment.

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