Idly- Soft and Spongy


Idly/ Idli is a type of savory steamed cake made with rice and  lentils served as an authentic breakfast in South Indian homes and restaurants. Idly is served with chutney, sambhar and idly chilli powder. It is generally made by soaking rice and lentils for 4-6 hours and grinding it to smooth batter and fermenting it overnight. The fermented batter is poured into greased idly moulds and steamed for 15 minutes to yield soft, spongy and fluffy idli. It is difficult to get well fermented batter during winter especially in western countries, here is the way to make soft idly even if the batter is not fermented properly.  Come, let’s see how to make this perfect recipe at home with easy method and step by step pictures.


Category: Vegan

Cuisine: South Indian

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes: 12 idlies


  1. Idly batter- 2 cups [Click here for instant idly batter]
  2. Fruit salt- 1/2 tsp (optional)
  3. Lemon juice- 3 drops (optional)
  4. Oil- 3 tsp

Click here for instant idly batter recipe

I am using 3 idly plate stand with 4 moulds (makes 3 x 4= 12 idlis) and steaming inside regular pressure cooker.


1. Take out the idly batter and mix well. Add lemon juice and fruit salt to the batter just before making idlies and the batter turns bubbly at the top. Mix well and use it to make idly.  TIP: If your batter is  not fermented properly, the idlies turn hard and flat. In this case, adding fruit salt and lemon juice makes soft and spongy idlies instantly.

2. Pour 1/4 tsp oil into each of the 12 idly moulds and grease the surface. Pour the idly batter into the moulds with the help of a ladle.

3. Arrange the idly plates as shown: The holes in the plate should align along idly of bottom plate. This is done to prevent the idlies to stick to the plate above them.

4. Place the idly plate stand inside idly cooker or normal pressure cooker and steam for 13-15 minutes (without whistle)

5. Serve with chutney, sambhar or gun powder. Hot and delicious soft idlies are ready to eat.


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