Idlis Steamed Rice Cakes

Idlis steamed rice cakes.

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  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 portions (4-6 servings)

No longer just a South Indian favorite, idlis are loved and can be found just about anywhere in India. Try them and you'll see why. The batter for idlis needs to be fermented overnight, so prepare ahead of time.


  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 cup skinless ​urad daal (black gram)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or sunflower cooking oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Wash the rice and lentils separately and soak them overnight.

  2. Grind each separately, into thick pastes (adding a little water at a time) in a blender.

  3. Mix the pastes together and add salt to taste.

  4. Set the batter aside overnight to ferment.

  5. Grease the molds on an idli tray with cooking oil. Pour enough batter into each mold to fill it three-fourths full.

  6. Pour 2 cups of water into a large pot and heat. Put the idli tray into the pot and steam for 20 minutes.

  7. Check the idlis by poking each with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are done.

  8. Serve piping hot with sambar or South Indian coconut chutney.