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Soft idli recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Soft idli – How to make idli batter- using grinder

Idli recipe – Tricks and tips Popular South Indian breakfast recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Soaking and fermentation time14 hrs
Total Time14 hrs 20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Gluten free,, South Indian breakfast recipes
Author: Jeyashri suresh


  • 4 portion Idli rice
  • 1 portion whole white urad dal
  • 3 tbsp poha | aval
  • Water to grind the batter
  • Salt to taste


  • In a wide bowl add the idli rice, urad dal, and poha.
  • We are soaking everything together only.
  • Wash it 3-4 times and soak it in water for 4 hours.
  • We can soak it overnight as well but 4 hours is fine too.
  • You can keep it in the fridge after 3 hours too.
  • Drain the water and keep the water aside.
  • Do not discard the water. You can use it for grinding.
  • Add the soaked rice, dal, and poha into the grinder.
  • Grind this into a smooth batter.
  • Add water in between.
  • It took approximately 2 to 3 cups of water to grind this batter. Ensure to measure everything using the same cup.
  • Do not grind the batter too thick, else idlis will not turn out soft.
  • If you grind it too watery, it will not get fermented well.
  • Once it is ground well take it out and pour it into a vessel.
  • Add salt and mix well using your hands.
  • Keep it in a container and allow it to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.
  • The fermentation time depends on the outside temperature as if it is very hot you get it fermented soon, whereas in rainy season this will take extra 2 hours.
  • So always mix the batter using clean hands and do not use any spatula. This will help in good fermentation.
  • If you are not going to make idlis after fermentation just keeps it refrigerated to avoid over fermentation, resulting in sour idlis.
  • For making idlis, grease the Idli plate with oil(preferably sesame oil). Heat the Idli pan with 1 cup of water and allow the water to boil.
  • Pour 3/4 the ladle of idli batter to the idli plates and steam it for 8-9 minutes.
  • If you want to check out whether it is done, just wet your finger and insert it in idli and it is not sticky just switch off the flame and take the idli plate out.
  • After a few seconds dip a spoon in water and carefully take out the idlis and transfer them to the serving plate. Do not take out when the idlis are hot as it will not come out properly.
  • These idlis will stay soft for many hours and never get dried. Just cover it properly if you going to eat it later.



1. Once you have finished grinding take out the batter container.
2. Never keep it near the hot motor of the grinder as it will not give soft idlis and will change the color of the idlis too.
3. Always grind with enough water. If the batter is thick and after fermentation even if you add water to make it into the right consistency, it will not result in soft idlis.
4. The proper aeration should be there and the batter should be light and fluffy after fermentation. 5. If making dosa just add a few tablespoons of water and make crispy dosas.
6. If you stay in a cold place just keep the batter inside a cupboard or microwave oven(switched off) to get good fermentation.
7. Always transfer the ground batter to a big container as the quantity will double after fermentation.
8. Instead of poha some people may add cooked rice too, but somehow my mom and mil will not agree to it as they do not eat leftover cooked rice.
9. Do not add more poha as it will result in flat idlis.
10. If you get a super good quality of urad dal then skip adding poha and follow the same procedure.
11. Keeping the soaked rice urad dal and poha mix in the refrigerator for an hour before grinding and use the cold water for grinding. this will help to reduce the motor heat. 
12. Never soak the Idli batter with hot water or grind using hot water, it will end up in hard idlis. 13. Instead of poha you can add 3 tbsp of sago | javarisi too. But poha will be a gluten-free option. 14. Do not over mix the batter after fermentation as it will break the air bubbles, which helps in good fermentation.