Recipes With Idli Batter | Soft Idle Recipe Hotel Style

Recipes With Idli Batter | Soft Idle Recipe Hotel Style

There is much more to Idli batter than serving up a plateful of soft and fluffy Idlis. This South Indian staple is incredibly versatile and can be turned into many delectable dishes, capturing the essence of the rich Indian cuisine. Here, we venture into the exciting world of inventive recipes that harness the full potential of Idli batter.

Recipes With Idli Batter

At first glance, you might assume that recipes with idli batter, comprising mainly urad dal and rice, could solely be used for dish idli. Let’s put that misconception to rest. This article will explore diverse and creative ways to use idli batter, traversing gastronomy’s traditional and modern landscapes.

Make Soft Idli

Soft, pillowy idlis are a hallmark of South Indian cuisine, and achieving the perfect texture often comes down to a few key steps and patience. Here’s a guide on how to make soft idlis.


2 cups Idli rice
1 cup Urad dal (split and hulled black grams)
One teaspoon Salt
One teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (optional)



  • Rinse the idli rice and urad dal a few times until the water clears.
  • Soak these separately with ample water for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • If you wish, include fenugreek seeds while soaking the urad dal.
  • Fenugreek seeds are said to aid in the fermentation process and contribute to a fluffy texture.


Drain the water from both. Place the urad dal in a grinder and grind it to a smooth paste, adding water as needed. Similarly, grind the soaked idli rice. The rice can be smoother than the dal; some coarseness is preferred.


Combine the urad dal and rice paste in a large bowl. Add salt and mix well using clean hands. The heat from your hands aids in better fermentation.


Allow the mixed batter to ferment for 8 to 12 hours (or overnight). The time will depend on the local weather, with it fermenting more swiftly in hotter climates. You will know it is well fermented when the batter has almost doubled, and you can see small air pockets on the surface.


Grease the idli moulds and pour in the fermented idli batter. Steam it in an idli steamer for around 10-15 minutes. A toothpick or fork inserted in the middle should come out clean when they are ready.


Allow the idlis to cool slightly and then remove them from the moulds using a spoon or butter knife not to damage their shape.

Enjoy the soft idlis with chutneys, sambhar, or idli podi. A key tip to remember is always to use a wet spoon or knife while taking out idlis to prevent them from sticking and maintaining their shape intact.

Recipes With Idli Batter

Make Idli Batter

Making Idli Batter is simple, but it does require time and a little bit of patience. Below is the basic method


1 cup Urad dal (whole or split, but it has to be without skin)
4 cups Idli rice (Some combinations also use 2 cups of Idli rice and 2 cups of parboiled rice)
One teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (optional)
Water as required
Salt as required


Soaking: Rinse the dal and rice multiple times and then soak them separately. The Urad dal can be soaked along with fenugreek seeds. Both should be immersed in water and soak for at least 4-6 hours.

Grinding: Post soaking, drain the water. First, grind the Urad dal (and fenugreek seeds, if using) into a smooth, fluffy batter. While grinding, use water sparingly – it’s best to use cold water as the friction of grinding can heat the batter otherwise. Once the dal batter is finished, grind the rice into a semi-coarse batter. It should feel grainy between your fingers.

Mixing: Combine the Urad dal and rice batter in a large vessel. Add the salt and mix well. Using your hands for mixing can help ferment the batter, as the heat from your hands can be beneficial.

Fermenting: Cover the vessel, leaving enough space for the batter to rise. Store in a warm place for fermenting – it will ideally take around 8-12 hours (or overnight) for the batter to ferment completely. Hotter climates may expedite this process.

Once the batter is fermented, it rises and becomes fluffy, nearly doubling in volume. If it has a light sour smell, you can tell the batter is ready for making Idlis. You can now use this batter to make soft, fluffy with idli batter.

Variations with Idli Batter

Dosa: Originating from the region of Udupi in south India, the classic Dosa is a thin and crispy pancake that uses a slightly altered version of the Idli batter. Your existing Idli batter may be subtly tweaked for those wishing to diversify their menu without exhausting their time and resources on a distinct batter. It would help if you diluted your Idli batter slightly.

Recipes with idli batter Once you attain the desired consistency, pour it onto a hot griddle, spreading it thin to get that signature crispiness. Complement this crispy delight with a savoury Sambhar and refreshing coconut chutney for a complete, fulfilling meal that oozes variety while remaining true to its Idli batter origin.

Paniyaram: Moving further south, we reach Tamil Nadu, where Paniyaram or Appam takes the culinary stage. These are small dumplings cooked in a specially designed mould, giving them a unique, delectable form.

Mix your Idli batter in finely chopped onions, green chillies, and fresh coriander to create these. Scoop this mixture into your Paniyaram pan and cook it to perfection. The result? A quick and easy snack that beautifully marries the softness of the Idli batter with the crunch of onions and the spice of chillies.

Recipes With Idli Batter

Kuzhi Paniyaram: Kuzhi Paniyaram is a seasoned variant of Paniyaram known to add more flavour to the palate. To create this dish, temper mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves, finely chopped onions, and green chillies to your Idli batter.

A pinch of asafoetida (Hing) provides the final flavouring touch to elevate the taste profile of this delicacy. Thanks to the robust and aromatic seasoning, each mouthful offers with idli batter.

Idli Fry: Finally, let’s discuss a solution to all the leftover Idlis languishing in your pantry – the delectable Idli Fry. Instead of discarding your leftover Idlis, transform them into a tasty tea-time snack.

Cut the Idlis into bite-sized cubes and fry until they turn golden brown. The transformation is complete with a final toss in Idli gunpowder (Idli podi). This flavorful spice mix provides an additional layer of crispness and a flavour explosion. These delectable fried treats combine the softness of Idlis with a crunchy outer layer,  offering a novel way to enjoy your staple Idli batter.

Uttapam: A popular South Indian dish, Uttapam is a thick pancake-style preparation that packs a flavorful punch. The main ingredient is idli or dosa batter, traditionally made from rice and urad daal that has been fermented overnight. The batter is poured thickly onto a hot tava or griddle, sprinkling various toppings.

These toppings often include diced onions, chopped green chillies, tomatoes, and fresh coriander leaves, all providing a vibrant, savoury taste to the Uttapam. Combining the soft, fluffy batter pancake with the crisp, flavorful toppings makes Uttapam a delightful meal or snack.

Unni appam: Unni appam is a culinary gem from Kerala that can also be made using idli batter. The batter is mixed with ingredients like jaggery for sweetness, ripe bananas for a rich taste and texture, and a dash of cardamom powder for that classic Indian flavour.

This mixture is then dropped into hot oil in small dollops and deep-fried until it develops a crispy brown exterior that encases the soft and sweet inner core. Unni appam is typically served as a dessert or snack and is particularly popular during festive occasions in Kerala.

Stuffed Idli: This innovative take on traditional idlis introduces flavour to the plain steamed rice cakes. To prepare stuffed idlis, the idli batter is poured into the idli mould, a filling of your choice is added to the middle, and the filling is covered with more batter.

The filling can be anything from a savoury potato masala or spicy paneer to melt-in-the-mouth cheese. The result is pillowy soft idlis with flavorful stuffing in the middle – a welcome surprise for your tastebuds!

Idli Manchurian: Idli Manchurian is a fusion recipe that transforms plain idlis into an exciting appetizer. To prepare it, idlis (which can be leftover or specially prepared for the dish) are cut into cubes and deep-fried until crispy.

These crispy idli cubes are then tossed in a Manchurian sauce prepared with soy sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar, garlic, and various vegetables. The result is an irresistible dish with contrasting flavours and textures, perfect for a snack or starter to a with idli batter.

Idli Batter vs Dosa Batter

Idli batter and Dosa batter are usually made from the same ingredients – rice and split urad daal (black lentils). They might seem identical at first glance, but two main factors differentiate them: the ingredients’ proportion and the batter’s consistency.

For Idli batter, the rice to urad daal ratio is typically 2:1 or 3:1 in South Indian households. The mixture is soaked, ground finely, and left to ferment overnight.

The resulting batter is fairly thick, akin to cake batter, and is perfect for idlis because the thickness allows it to hold its shape when steamed in idli moulds.

On the other hand, Dosa batter generally contains a higher proportion of rice, around a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 rice to daal. In addition, a small amount of chana daal (yellow split peas) and fenugreek seeds may sometimes be added as they contribute to the golden colour and crispy texture of dosas.

The batter, after fermenting, is diluted with water to a thinner consistency than idli batter. This thinner consistency allows the batter to be easily spread into a thin, wide circle on the griddle to make with idli batter

Recipe card for Idli batter:


1.5 cups (300 grams) urad daal (skinned black lentils)
4 cups (800 grams) of idli rice or parboiled rice
One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (optional)
Water as needed
Salt to taste


Wash and soak the urad daal and fenugreek seeds in enough water for 5-6 hours.
Wash and soak the idli rice separately for 5-6 hours.

Drain off the water and grind each separately, using very little water to make a fine paste. The urad daal paste should be fine, while the rice paste can be coarse.
Mix both urad daal paste and rice paste in a large mixing bowl.

Add salt to taste and mix it thoroughly using your hands to aid fermentation.
The mixture must be kept in a warm place for fermentation for at least 8 hours or until the batter has increased significantly in volume.

Post-fermentation, your batter is ready to be steam-cooked to make idlis.
Always stir the batter well before pouring it into the idli moulds.
Enjoy your homemade soft and fluffy idlis prepared from scratch!

Final Words

recipes with idli batter is incredibly versatile and can be used to whip up not just idlis but a variety of other dishes like Uttapam, Paniyaram, and Dosa. It is a staple in most South Indian households, and its simplicity only adds to its charm.

To create soft and fluffy hotel-style idlis, the key lies in the correct fermentation of the batter. The environment needs to be warm enough to activate the fermentation process, making the batter rise and giving it a slightly tangy characteristic.

Half the battle is won once you have the perfect recipes with idli batter. When cooking the idlis, ensure the water in your steamer is boiling before you place the filled idli moulds inside. Cover it and let it steam on high heat for 10-15 minutes. Remember, softness and fluffiness denote a well-made idli.

Recipes With Idli Batter

The idli is just a canvas for you to paint your culinary masterpiece. Experiment with flavours by adding finely chopped vegetables, cheese, or paneer to the batter. Or give it a spicy twist by tossing it in a Manchurian or Schezwan sauce.

So enjoy creating soft, fluffy, and delicious idlis using this versatile batter! Cooking is indeed an art, recipes with idli batter, endless possibilities exist. Whether you are a novice or a pro, the recipes with idli batter is your best friend in the kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the right proportion of rice to urad daal for idli batter?

For soft and fluffy idlis, generally, the standard ratio of rice to urad daal is either 2:1 or 3:1. This means for every two or three parts of rice, you use one part of urad daal. However, the proportions vary slightly based on specific family recipes or regional with idli batter.

How long should I ferment the idli batter?

Typically, the batter should be left to ferment for around 8-12 hours. This time allows the natural yeasts and bacteria to multiply and ferment the batter, making it fluffy by producing gas.

The exact time can vary depending on your local climate. In warmer climates, the batter might ferment faster, in as little as 6-8 hours, while in colder climates, it may take up to 14-16 with idli with idli batter.

Why are my idlis not fluffy?

The main reason for idlis not turning out fluffy is improper batter fermentation. If the batter has not risen properly, chances are it has not fermented well. This could be due to factors like temperature, the proportion of ingredients, or the quality. Additionally, if the rice-to-urad daal ratio is incorrect, it could affect the texture of the with idli batter.

Can I use idli batter to make dosas?

It is possible to use idli batter to make dosas. However, the consistency of the idli batter is relatively thicker than the dosa batter. If you want to use idli batter to prepare dosas, add a little water to dilute it so it can be easily spread on the with idli batter.

I don’t have idli rice. Can I use basmati rice or any other rice?

Yes, you can use other types of rice if idli or parboiled rice is unavailable. However, idli or parboiled rice are preferred as they produce soft and spongy idlis. Using other types of rice, like basmati, might result in varying textures and with idli batter.

How long can I store idli batter?

Idli batter can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Store it in a closed container to avoid absorbing odours from other food items in the fridge. Also, if the batter is properly fermented before storing, it will have a longer with idli batter.

Why do we add fenugreek seeds to idli batter?

Fenugreek seeds are added to idli batter for two reasons. First, they aid in the fermentation process. Second, they add a pleasant aroma to the idlis. However, they are optional and can be omitted if not with idli batter.

Can idli batter be frozen for future use?

Yes. Idli batter can be frozen and used at a later date. Please keep it in an airtight container to avoid freezer burn and any absorption of odours. When ready, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and stir well before using.

Q: Can I use yeast to speed up the fermentation process of idli batter? A: While yeast can speed up the fermentation process, it’s not traditionally used in making idli batter since it may alter the natural taste of idlis. The traditional fermentation process relies on the natural yeasts present in urad daal and the environment for with idli batter.

Why are my idlis sticking to the mould?

If your idlis are sticking to the mould, the mold must be properly greased before pouring in the batter. It’s always a good idea to lightly grease your idli moulds with oil or ghee. This prevents the idlis from sticking and helps them come out easily once with idli batter.

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