Recipe for south Indian idli

Sambar and coconut chutney are ‘wet' curry like based foods popular for breakfast.  They are commonly eaten with idli or dosa (fermented pancake) to soak them up.

This is the recipe we learnt for making idli, which is a small cylinder of pressed rice, almost like a savoury cake.  The batter used to make the idli is the same as for dosa, so both can be made in one go.

The batter for idli and dosa
Sebastien posing with freshly made batter for idli and dosa.

This recipe involves using a particular steamer used for making idlies – see video below for more.

The ratio of rice to lentils (uril dal) is 3:1.

Ingredients for idli

  • 600g of idli ponni rice (or a regular medium grained rice makes a good alternative)
  • 200g of uril dal (buy from local Indian grocer, otherwise any lentils will do, but adjust cooking times to packet)
  • water for soaking and then to add to the mixture as necessary
  • salt
  • 2 muffin baking like tray
  • coconut oil for greasing the baking tray

How to make south Indian idli batter

  1. Soak the ponni rice and uril dal for around 6 hours.
  2. Retrieve the two separate mixtures, disregard the water from each and grind each one separately to form a paste.
  3. Mix the two together and mix in around 250g of water, cover and leave at room temperature over night.
  4. The following day, retrieve the mixture and mix in 2 teaspoons of salt.

How to cook the idlis

    1. Grease x2 muffin like baking trays with the coconut oil and with kitchen roll.
    2. Place the batter in each baking tray space and place into the idli steamer, cover and cook for around 10 minutes.  To test if it's ready, press a fork into the idli and if it comes out clean, they're cooked.

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

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