Idly are a type of savoury rice cake, originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular as breakfast foods in southern India and northern Sri Lanka. The cakes are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice.Put some water in an idly vessel and put it on medium flame.
Oil the idli plate and gently fill the rounds with the batter.
Put it inside the idly vessel and let it steam for 6-7 minutes.
The key to good idlis – Do not allow it to overcook.
It might become hard and dry. Just keep an eye and remove the idlis after 6-7 minutes.
Do not remove the idlis immediately. It might stick.
Leave it undisturbed for 4-5 minutes and then spoon it out.
Serve hot with your favourite chutney or sambar.


All the ingredients are soaked for a minimum of 3-4 hours and then ground. Wash all the ingredients in the beginning and then soak it in water. Wash the rice 3-4 times so the idli will be really white later.

Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds in water for 3-4 minutes until the are finely ground and have fluffed up.

Add the soaked and drained urad dal to the wet grinder. Remember the ground fenugreek is still lying in the grinder. Just dump the dal on top of it and add half a cup of water. The tip in grinding urad dal is to add the water slowly. If you add all of the water at once, it wont fluff up well. The dal should fluff up and fill the grinder. It should have increased about 8-10 times of its original volume. Grind for atleast 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, transfer the dal mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Grind the soaked and drained rice for 30 minutes until smooth. Add just enough water while grinding. Once ground, transfer the batter to the dal mixture bowl and mix well.

I add salt to the batter before fermenting in summers and add it after fermenting in winters.

Usually the batter needs to ferment for 8-12 hours.

Once the time is up, the batter should have increased in volume. Take a ladle and mix it well. Your batter is ready.

How to make sambar

1. Take toor dal and wash under running cold water till water runs clear. Or you can rinse them 4-5 times or till water does not get cloudy.
2. Add turmeric powder and a teaspoon of oil.
3. Also, add water. Cover the pressure cooker with lid, put the weight on.
4. Turn the heat on medium and let it cook for 5-6 whistles.
5. Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.

6.Using whisk or hand blender, mash the dal make smooth puree.Keep it aside.

How to make onion sambar

1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them pop.
2. Then add dried red chilli and saute for 30 seconds.
3. Now add curry leaves and slit green chilli. Saute for about a minute.
4. Then add pearl onions. Add salt and cook for 6-7 minutes. They start to get soften.
5. Now add tamarind paste and add sambar powder.
6. Mix well and cook for a minute.
7. Add water. Bring it to a boil.
8. Then let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or till the onions are cooked all the way through.
9. Now add cooked, mashed dal. Stir well
10. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

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