Soft and spongy idlis

Idlis are the quintessential south Indian food, and for good reason. These quick-cooking rice cakes are warm, fluffy, and an excellent accompaniment to savory curries, rice dishes, and anything else you can cram inside of them. And, if you’re like me, you probably enjoy savory idlis more than sweet ones. That’s why I recommend that you make the former version if you’re new to idlis.

You’ll need a little bit of patience to make idli, but the reward is worth the wait. It’s not an idli you’d find in an Indian restaurant—it’s delicate, lacy, and delicious. It looks like (and I mean like, not like) an idli, but it tastes like it’s made with traditional ingredients, like rice flour and yeast. After you’re done making it, you can let it sit in the refrigerator for up to two days—it’ll get even chewier!

Soft and spongy idlis are one of the most popular recipes in South Indian cuisine. Simple, quick, tasty, and no-cook, they make a perfect snack or breakfast for all times. You can make them with any kind of idli (steamed cake), but it’s best to make them with lentil flour idlis.. Read more about idli ingredients and let us know what you think.

In south India, idli is a popular breakfast and day diet. Everyone in Chennai enjoys idli; at restaurants, idli is served with vada (medhu vada), chutney, and sambar, or simply idli sambar. Instead of plain idlies, try stuffing them with chutney or kheema curry for a variety.

I also prepare spicy idli and idli Manchurian on occasion.

The idlies are soft, spongy, and delicious. The idli taste excellent, too, from my prior idly batter; I simply keep adjusting the rice amount for variety. My friends cook rice with urad dal in a 4:1 ratio. You may also alter the rice and rice amount, as well as crush and taste the various idlies produced from various batters. Each batter gives the idli a distinct texture. As a result, I’m going to give you one additional idli and dosa recipe.

This batter produces extremely flat, soft, and delicate idlies, which I particularly like.


  • 2 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup raw ponni rice
  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon methi seeds
  • season with salt to taste



  • It’s important that the batter isn’t too thick or too thin. It should have a texture similar to condensed milk or custard.
  • When it ferments, it will be light, fluffy, and airy; but, if you mix it too much, the airy bubbles will dissipate, and you will not obtain lovely soft idlies.
  • You may use the soaking water to add to it during grinding.
  • Cooked batter does not cling to your hands as raw batter does.
  • If you lubricate the idli plates with oil, just a drop and rub it in with your fingertips, then pour the batter on top and steam it. It will simply come out after it has been cooked.
  • If you don’t have a grinder, let the urad dal grind in a mixer for a bit until the mixer becomes hot. The urad dal has to be ground thoroughly in a mixer.


The idli is the staple food of the south Indian region of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are made from a fermented rice batter that consists of rice, urad dal, and various spices including asafetida. The batter is fermented in a large vessel called a chutney pan for a few days to two weeks. During this time the batter is gradually fermented into a rubbery dough that can be formed into various shapes depending on how it is cooked.. Read more about how long to steam idli and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes idli soft and fluffy?

Idli is made from a batter of rice and fermented lentils, which are then steamed. The fermentation process causes the proteins in the lentils to break down into smaller pieces that mix with the rice more easily. This leads to a softer texture.

Why are my idlis hard?

Idlis are traditionally made with a fermented batter of rice and lentils, which can be hard to digest for some people.

Why my idlis are not soft?

The idli batter is usually made from a mix of rice and urad dal, which are both hard. To make the batter softer, you can add some water to it or use more rice and less urad dal.

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.