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a pair of hands removing idlis from the cooker using a spoon

Idli Batter Recipe With Idli Rava

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to make idli batter recipe using idli rava and lentils. These vegan steamed cakes are soft, fluffy, and healthy! This South Indian delicacy is popular all around the world. It can be served as a snack or for breakfast!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Soaking & Fermenting time 16 hours
Servings 30 idlis
Calories 61.18kcal




  • Rinse idli rava in a strainer first. Then soak idli rava in water for about 5-6 hours. You can also leave it overnight.
  • Similarly, rinse urad dal, methi seeds, and poha in a strainer under running water and then soak them all together in a bowl for 8 hours.
  • Drain the water from idli rava and transfer to the Hamilton Beach Blender Jar. Grind to a smooth paste by adding very little cold water gradually.
  • Pour the batter into a bowl. Then drain the water from urad dal, methi seeds, and poha.
  • Transfer to the blender jar and grind it similarly. Add cold water gradually only if needed to grind. The dal should fluff up and fill the grinder.
  • Pour that idli batter into the bowl. Add salt.
  • Mix both the batters together using your clean hand. The warmth in our hands helps with the fermentation. But you can also mix it with a spoon instead.
  • The batter should be of thick pouring consistency. Add little water if it's too thick.
  • Place the (uncovered) bowl in a warm, dry area for 8 hours or overnight. I usually place it in my turned-off oven with a plate underneath it.
  • I do that to save myself from cleaning the oven in case the batter overflows. I also leave the oven light on.
  • After 8 hours, you will notice the batter has risen and has a slight sour smell to it.  If it has not risen enough, leave for a couple of more hours.
  • Using a spoon, give the batter a quick mix and then place the bowl in the fridge to use as and when needed.
  • When ready to use, take them out of the fridge. Grease the idli molds with cooking spray. Then pour the batter into the molds.
  • Alternatively, you can also line the molds with silicone liners. Removing idlis becomes very easy plus no greasing or cooking spray needed.
  • Add a little water to the bottom of the Idli cooker, Instant Pot, or pressure cooker. Then place the idli plates on top. Steam them for 10-11 minutes.
  • Do not allow it to overcook. It might become hard and dry. Do not remove them from the molds immediately. It might stick. Leave it for 4-5 minutes, sprinkle water on them, and then spoon it out.
  • Idli is best served hot or warm. It's often paired with South Indian Coconut Chutney, Idli Molgapodi, and/or Sambhar.


Always grind urad dal and idli rava separately and then mix them together to get soft and fluffy idli. The reason is that they both need different times to grind.
If you have some leftover cooked rice, you can use that instead of poha and grind it.
Similarly, you can also use soaked tapioca pearls or sabudana here. Some like to add a teaspoon of sugar to the batter to help with fermentation.
If the batter didn't ferment at all, add Eno fruit salt and try making Idlis. 
Note, in winters especially, you may have to keep the batter longer to ferment. This time you can also add ½ teaspoon of baking soda and then ferment the batter.


Calories: 61.18kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.83g | Protein: 1.82g | Fat: 0.13g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 0.98mg | Potassium: 15.96mg | Fiber: 0.88g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin C: 0.14mg | Calcium: 5.88mg | Iron: 0.4mg