Homemade Idli Batter Recipe: A Staple South Indian Dish


Idli, a versatile and wholesome dish, is cherished by people of all ages, from toddlers to adults. With its easy digestion and steamed preparation, idli is a go-to option for lactating mothers, convalescents, and anyone seeking a nutritious meal. Mastering the art of making idli batter is essential for every home cook. Here's a simple guide to making perfect idli batter and delicious idlis.


  • 4 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup whole urad dal
  • 1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • Rock salt (as needed)


  1. Soak the Ingredients:

    • Wash the parboiled rice and urad dal separately. Add methi seeds to the urad dal while soaking.
    • Soak the rice and urad dal separately in water for about 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Grind the Batter:

    • After soaking, grind the urad dal to a fine batter using a wet grinder or a high-powered blender. Add water gradually as needed.
    • Grind the rice to a coarse batter. It's advisable to grind the urad dal first for better consistency.
    • Add a handful of rock salt to a deep vessel containing the ground batter. Beat the batter thoroughly with your hand to aid fermentation.
  3. Ferment the Batter:

    • Cover the vessel with the batter and let it ferment for at least 8 to 12 hours. In warmer climates, fermentation may occur faster, typically within 2 to 3 hours.
    • Once fermented, refrigerate the batter. Before making idlis, bring the batter to room temperature.
  4. Prepare the Idlis:

    • Wash the idli plates and grease them with gingelly oil (sesame oil).
    • Pour the batter into the idli molds, filling each mold up to 3/4th full to allow room for expansion.
    • If using a pressure cooker, remove the whistle and steam the idlis for about 15 to 20 minutes. If using an idli steamer, steam accordingly.
    • Once cooked, remove the idlis from the plates and sprinkle water on the plates to help release the idlis smoothly.
  5. Serve:

    • Serve the hot idlis with idli chilly powder, various chutneys, or sambars for a delightful and nutritious meal.

Tips for Perfect Idlis:

  • Consistency: The batter should have a smooth texture for urad dal and a slightly coarse texture for rice.
  • Fermentation: Ensure proper fermentation for soft and fluffy idlis. Warmer temperatures aid faster fermentation.
  • Steaming: Grease the idli plates well to prevent sticking and sprinkle water for easy removal of idlis.

Why This Recipe Works:

This idli batter recipe provides a foolproof method for making delicious and nutritious idlis at home. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy soft, fluffy idlis that are perfect for any time of the day.

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Mastering the art of making idli batter is key to preparing this beloved South Indian dish. With this recipe, you can create perfect idlis that will be loved by everyone in your family!