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Quick Idly Dosa Batter Recipe | How to make soft Idlies | Step by Step

A South Indian can never be without Idlies... Isn't this so true? Idly, Dosa, Vada, Sambar are common names down South and almost every household will have a version of their own rice batter. Right from babies to adults everyone seem to enjoy this traditional breakfast recipe equally. After marriage one of the challenges I had was to make idly batter and it took me a while to get the right proportion to make the perfect soft idlies. I somehow prefer the homemade idlies compared to the ones we get in tiffen centers. To my knowledge I have come across dozens of recipes and tried to test how it works. Although Amma has her traditional recipe of soaking urad dal and dly rice separately to grind into a smooth batter. I somehow consider this one recipe which is quick and easy, my go-to recipe most days. Thanks to Jeyashri for this lovely quick recipe that results in soft idlies and perfect crisp dosas.

What I really love about this recipe is the simplicity of soaking all ingredients together for 4 hours and grinding it to a smooth batter and letting it ferment overnight. And the result is soft soft idlies like spongy pillows. Try it for yourself and see how much your family will love you for this perfect breakfast.

Prep time ~ 5 mins
Grind time ~ 30-40 mins
Ferment time ~ overnight
Batter Quantity ~ serves idlies and dosas for a week (family of 2)


Urad Dal - 1 cup
Idly Rice - 4 cups
Aval/ Poha - handful
Water - as required to grind batter
Salt - to taste

  • Wash the urad dal, rice and poha in water 3-4 times and soak them with some more water for 4 hours.
  • Turn on the grinder, set timer for 30 minutes. Now slowly add the soaked ingredients in the grinder, you can keep the excess water to be used later
  • Now slowly as the batter is grinding add water little at a time and do this is small batches (approx 15 mins once) you need not use up the entire water.

  • Check the consistency of the batter it has to be smooth and without grains of rice and it has to be thick and not too liquid
  • Once it is done trasfer to a large stainless steel vessel and add salt, mix well and cover the lid. Keep aside overnight.
  • Next day you will find the batter raised so its perfectly done, now using a laddle mix down the batter

  • Now grease the idly platter with little oil and add water to the vessel, as it comes to a boil pour the batter to the idly moulds and keep it on the steamer vessel. Cover the lid and let it cook for 10-12 minutes. 
  • You can check the doness of the idlies by inseting a knife in the center and when it comes clean the idlies are done
  • Now using a flat wide spoon scoop the idlies from the mold and store in a hot pack to be served later

Serve hot with your favorite side or chutney.

Cooks Wisdom

- Always use good quality urad dal as it makes a huge difference in the taste and softness of idlies
- I have not add pictures of dosas here in this post but the same batter can be used to make crisp dosas
- I usually soak the ingredients by 12 noon and grind batter by 4 pm and let it sit to rise overnight
- The temperature and climate also plays a huge role for the batter to rise
- Also make sure you do not keep the batter in the grinder next to the hot motor for long
- Do not add more poha it will result in flat idlies 
- If making dosas add little more water to the batter to make it loose


  1. Lovely and very soft idlis...

  2. Nice pictorial Priya! :)

    I think you have taken idlies from the plate in a hurry! Wait a few more minutes before taking them from the plate, then idlies will be whole. :)

  3. I am sucker when it comes to soft Idlis. I can get Dosas fine, but not Idlis.. On my next trip to India, a grinder in top on the list now

  4. the Idli's look very soft and tempting Priya. Interesting to see that you ground the mix together.

  5. This is an all time basics every one will benefit from Priya :)

  6. Such a fluffy and soft Idli's...

  7. my kids die for idli... they can have these fluffy ones continously without even realising their tummies r full... hehe... i'l send them to u... :D

  8. one beneficial post for starters and non professionals in idli making :)

  9. Love idlies to the core of all the breakfast items in this world;) nice post dee

  10. Now I really miss idli... Looks very soft..

  11. Idli's look delicious and so soft.

  12. i dont add poha da.. nice version :)

  13. i dont add poha da.. nice version :)

  14. love these soft cuties all time fav

  15. love this poha version :-)

  16. love the soft idlies doll... am not yet learn to grind batter... this s very useful to me i think...

  17. The idly looks very soft.Cant resist to have with ghee and podi.

  18. I love idlis...I can have them everyday....yours look so super soft and inviting :-)

  19. Very useful post dear.. Very well explained.. :)

  20. well explained and useful for newbies

  21. Wow the idlis looks super soft, I usually dnt eat idlis akka, but I love soft idlis and mutton curry combo :) Yum!!! Simple yet wonderful click <3

  22. I just love idlis.. Ur clicks are awesome & perfect which makes me crave for some now :D

  23. Soft and fluffy,tempting breakfast.

  24. very useful information priya..nice stepwise picture...

  25. soo white, soft and temptiong idlis. need to try with poha next time.


Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed my recipes :-) In case you have tried any of the recipes featured here, do let me know in the comment section. For any other queries email me - cooklikepriya(at)

Priya Ranjit

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