Breakfast Healthy Recipes Indian Kerala Vegetarian

Idli- Fermented & Steamed Rice-Urad Dal Cake, Sambar & Chutney- Popular South Indian Recipe

Idli is a traditional South Indian fermented & steamed rice cake that is popular across India and other parts of the world where Indian cuisine is enjoyed…

Idli is made from a fermented batter consisting of rice and urad dal (black gram). The batter is steamed in special molds to create small, fluffy, and round cakes. Idli is often served with curries such as sambar (a spicy lentil soup) and chutney.

Idlis are not only delicious but also healthy, as they are low in fat and high in carbohydrates and proteins. They are also gluten-free and easy to digest, making them a great option for breakfast or a light meal.

Idli- fermented steamed rice cake

Sambar, click here for recipe

Tomato Chutney, click here for recipe


Idli- Fermented Rice-Urad Dal, Sambar & Chutney- Popular South Indian Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
  • Idli rice- 2 cups (or use Sona Masoori rice)
  • Urad dal or black gram- ½ cup
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  • Flattened rice or poha- ½ cup soaked in ½ cup water
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  1. For making soft & fluffy idlis, idli rice has to be used.
  2. If you don't have idli rice, you can use Sona Masoori rice.
  3. Take the rice in a strainer & rinse well, add to a bowl & add enough water to soak the rice.
  4. In another bowl, add urad dal and fenugreek seeds, add enough water to soak them.
  5. Soak the rice & urad dal for 4 hours.
  6. minutes before grinding the rice & urad dal, take flattened rice or poha in a bowl, add ½ cup water & soak for 15 minutes.
  7. After 4 hours of soaking, drain the water from the rice.
  8. Add the soaked rice & soaked flattened rice/poha to a blender jar & add enough water to grind the rice to a smooth paste.
  9. Drain the water from urad dal & fenugreek seeds, add to the blender jar, add enough water & grind to a smooth batter.
  10. Pour the ground rice & urad dal to a large bowl, using your clean hand beat the batter well.
  11. Ferment the batter for 8 hours or overnight.
  12. The batter should be kept in a warm place only then fermentation will take place.
  13. In summer, the batter can be placed on the counter top to ferment.
  14. While in winter, keep the batter inside the oven.
  15. You could even preheat the oven to the lowest temperature for 5 minutes, switch off the oven and then keep the batter inside the oven so that it will be warm and the fermentation will happen.
  16. After the batter has fermented, take the batter that you need in a different bowl and add salt, combine well.
  17. Leftover batter can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
  18. Grease the idli plates with oil.
  19. Pour the batter onto each mold on the idli plates.
  20. Stack up the plates.
  21. Add 1 cup water to the idli cooker, place the stacked up plates into the cooker and close with the lid.
  22. Place the cooker over medium heat, you'll hear the whistle sound, let it blare for 3 minutes.
  23. Take the idli cooker off the heat.
  24. Let the pressure subside and open the cooker.
  25. Remove the plates carefully and let cool down a bit.
  26. Run a knife along the sides of the idli and slide the idlis on a plate.
  27. Soft & fluffy idlis are ready to be enjoyed.
  28. Pour sambar over the idlis, as sides serve tomato chutney & coconut-mint chammanthi.
  29. Absolutely finger-licking delicious & comforting South Indian breakfast dish.

Coconut-Mint Chammanthi Recipe

Coconut-Mint Chammanthi
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
  • Grated coconut- 1 cup
  • Roasted split gram- 2 tbsp
  • Fresh mint leaves- 10 leaves
  • Ginger- 2-inch slice
  • Green chilies, halved- 1 or 2, based on your spice level
  • Tamarind- 1-inch slice
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Water- 2 tbsp
  1. To a blender jar, add all the above mentioned ingredients.
  2. Grind to a coarse paste, don't make into a smooth paste.
  3. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Enjoy with idli.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...