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Idli Recipe, South India

Fast Facts
Fast Facts

South Indian recipe

A preparation of rice and lentil

A steamed food

Did You Know
Did You Know

Mentioned in the writings of Shivakotiacharya of Kannada in 920 A.D.

Traditionally rice and lentil were ground using stone mortars and pestles

Main Ingredients-
• Rice
• Split black lentil (urad dal)


Idli is a typical South Indian recipe. This vegetarian item is essentially a rice pancake of approximate diameter of three inches. Idlis are savored with ‘sambar’ and ‘chutneys’ usually in breakfast or as a snack.


The constituents of making idli are simple:

  • 2 parts long grained rice,
  • 1 part split black lentil (urad dal)

Preparing idlis

  • Idlis from fermented batter can be made instantaneously. The batter however is to be fermented overnight.
  • Soak long grained rice for at least six hours and split black lentil for a couple of hours separately;
  • Grind the rice to a coarse paste and the urad dal to a fine paste;
  • Mix the rice and lentil pastes thoroughly;
  • This paste is left overnight to ferment;
  • Proper fermentation will increase the volume of the batter to almost 2 ½ times its original volume;
  • The batter is then placed in greased moulds; (these moulds are arranged in a row of circular trays which have perforations);
  • These trays are then placed in a pot partially filled with water (care must be taken that there is sufficient gap between the water level and the trays);
  • Cover the pot and allow the water to boil for 15 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the idlis;
  • Take the trays out from the pot and serve fluffy hot idlis
  • Idlis are enjoyed as snacks by most Indians and also served in Indian restaurants across the globe.

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