Thursday, January 09, 2014

Idli Recipe / Idli Batter in a Mixie / Blender

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Idli batter can be made in a mixier grinder or blender and yes it is easy too. Soft homemade idli is one of the healthiest food in the planet. Idli is a  South-Indian traditional breakfast delicacy, which is made with raw rice and lentil and grinded and left to ferment, and steamed to cook. Read all about idli in Wikipedia.

I do not own a stone grinder, simply because I have very limited space, so all my grinding are done in my blender jar of my Preethi appams, dosa etc. Yes, you can make the soft...pillowy idlis with mixer-grinder....I have been making them for the past 18 plus years. I would advise you to study your mixie, like how many watts etc...mine is 700 watts and I know that it makes the mixie heaten up a bit and that speed up the fermentation process. My amma uses stone grinder and she uses the ratio 3:1 that is for three cups of rice, one cup of urad dal.....but for mixie it is 2:1 ie, 2 cups rice and 1 cup urad dal. I hope this will help you to make the perfect idli.

Making idlis is not rocket science, its all about fermenting it and grinding with enough water. Though for dosa batter I add aval or rice flakes but for idli batter, its just cooked rice...I do add a tad bit more about 2 handful. And you also know that I love to break the rules of cooking, well ..maybe it is because I do not have a home-science background, I learned cooking the hard way....through trial and error.

I only use white raw rice for dosa and idli as it is difficult to grind ponni or any other rice as it difficult to grind such hard rice in my mixie.....I hope my method will help you in making soft idlies.

I usually make this batter and make idlies with half of the batter, and the rest I will refrigerate to make dosa, do check out dosa varieties for different types of dosa.

Climate also plays an important role in fermentation of batter, since there is no yeast or soda powder (baking soda), if you are living in very cold place you need longer time to ferment, since I live in tropical Kerala, just keeping the batter overnight is enough..

Author: Nisa Homey.
Raw Rice: 2 cups.
Urad dal: 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds: 3/4 tsp.
Cooked rice: 2 handful (I use plain white rice or matta rice)
Salt: 1 tsp.

Soak rice, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds least 2 hours soaking is needed.

Clean the rice and dal....and put it in the mixie/blender and top with cooked rice and salt.

Add water to just cover it....grind for 2 min non-stop. (do not add too much water or two less). I have noticed that my mixie heats up a bit during grinding and this aids in fermentation, so I usually grind it around 11 pm, and by 6 am the next day....the batter would have risen well.

Pour into a steel large pan.

Keep it covered and untouched to ferment.....and go to zzzz

This is how my batter usually greets me in the morning....ready to spill over!! And your idli batter is ready. I would advise you not to stir the batter...when you fill the mould, scoop out from the top....the batter will be airy.

Lets make soft idlies....take your idli mould....lightly grease it with gingelly oil or any oil of your preference though gingelly oil imparts a unique flavor.

Add water in your steamer and heat your steamer or appachembu. Remember that pour to batter into the mould only once steam starts to come....and close.....simmer for 10-12 min.

Open and yes, hot...soft...idlies are yours.

I use a spoon to take it out.

Serve hot with sambar or chutney.

Some notes:
I usually add salt while grinding...since I am pretty sure that I will use up the batter soon....but if you plan to keep the batter for long, I would advise you to add salt as and when you are making idli. This batter will keep good in the fridge for almost a week. I always have some batter in the fridge.
This batter can be used to make dosa also. As the batter will be thick, when making dosa, add a bit of water and loosen it.
Again reminding that fermentation depends on the climate, normally it takes about 8 hours to ferment here in Kerala and it will take another 2 hours more during monsoons.
If you do not plan to make idli the day batter is can keep in the fridge and make the next is advised not to stir it


  1. Thank you for posting such a detailed, step by step method . I do hope my idlis will come out as good as yours. Love your blog.thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you Nisa.For the first time my idlis came out good and was edible.Right now it is cold so I placed it in the oven with the light on.My husband thanks you also, he enjoyed the idlis.

    1. I am so glad to hear this Lalitha...thanks for stopping by with the amazing feedback!

  3. What a interesting breakfast treat! I've never heard of Idli. What an interesting process of making with these by fermenting ground rice. I would definitely choose a blender as opposed to a hand grinder. :) Thanks for another new delicacy (for me)!

    1. I am so glad that you always stop by to inspire and support me, MJ :)

  4. Awesome recipe, i used to wonder about when to put cooked rice but now after reading your post my confusion is clear :)

    1. I am so glad to help you in this...thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Hi Nisa

    I just made the most softest idlis following your recipe to a tee. This is my third attempt making idlis. The first two times they were rock hard. I was searching for a recipe on the internet to help me make the perfect idlis and i came across yours. I am glad i tried it out. Thanks for the help. You are such a blessing.

  6. do you have preethi platinum mixer...?

  7. I am brand new to Indian cooking. I know urad dal as black lentils,but yours are white in the pic. Please fill me in. :). I bought an idly steamer in Abu Dhabi this week and am anxious to try making these!

    1. Hi Nolacooks, this urad dal is skinless.....and this is available commonly at most stores in India....I am sure you will get these in Indian groceries....hope this helps....happy cooking and thanks for stopping by :)


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