18 Idli Recipes | Cucumber Chana Dal Idlis | Chocolate Idly & More!

Idly Recipes, Varieties of Idly

Best Occasion to Prepare this Recipe

Missing home? As a kid somehow I dismissed Idli everytime my mom even attempted to make it for Breakfast, but now like every other Indian Foodie, I find myself experimenting with Idly like there’s no better comfort food. #QuirksOfAdulthood

Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with Idly varieties and have been inventing my own Chaat variations using Idly batter. Since it is branded safe and healthy, Idly is Masquerading in many new recipes in my kitchen (I’ll release the recipes very soon). But even without trying so hard, there are multiple Idly variations you can try at home at leisure (many are new and exciting).. Take a read!

NOTE: You might have read different blogs with different recipes for preparing Idly batter. Some recommend certain ingredients while the others dismiss it. It’s always a hit and miss. After multiple references, I made note of the proportions and technique that worked for me.*Scroll to read how I make soft Idlis*

PS: Serve hot with any Chutney or Sambar or just Idli Podi (powder) and gingerly oil

My Top Recipe Recommendations

  1. Classic Idli
  2. Rava IdliIdlis made from Semolina/Rava. This doesn’t require the painstaking process of fermenting and tastes delicious on it’s own. I would have this with nothing other than “Idly molagai podi”
  3. Kanchipuram IdliThe Idlis from the temples of Tamil Nadu. It’s a process oriented recipe but tastes vastly different from 1 & 2. For the foodies out there, just imagine the essence of Jeera, Pepper, Ginger, Curry Leaves and Asafoetida blending in with the batter. It’s an emotion, I know!
  4. Instant Oats Idli – This recipe in essence is very similar to Rava Idli- but just imagine replacing the key ingredient with Oats and Wheat Rava
  5. Vegetable IdliPerfect kids’ lunchbox recipe
  6. Ragi Idli – We know it’s healthy- but how healthy you ask? It apparently brings down Blood Cholesterol levels, supports weight loss and not drive you to starvation mode. Also, it tastes good.. Win-win, no?
  7. Podi Mini-Idlis Extremely delicious lunch box recipe. I’m making this for lunch tomorrow!!
  8. Stuffed Idli ke Pakode – Having people over at home? If you have left over idlis, and some veggiees, then you can wrap this up to a great evening snack!
  9. Cucumber Chana Dal Idlis – Cucumber idlis are popular in Konkani cuisine. This recipes use the Mangalorean Cucumber. Makes for a hearty summer lunch packed with extra protein, fibre and vegetables in your kid’s lunch box
  10. Beetroot IdliNeed an excuse to include Fiber, Folic Acid and Vitamin Rich Beetroot to your kid’s meal? This is your way to go!
  11. Veggie Stuffed IdliJust chop up your favourite veggies, and fry them in a little oil. Season with curry powder and salt. Take them off the heat when cooked, and set aside. Pour half a ladle of idli batter (as shown above) on a greased mould, and place a bit of the stuffing. Now pour another half ladle of the batter, and steam the idli. It should come out as a soft and stuffed version of your favourite South Indian dish
  12. Kaima Idli – Saravana Bhavan StyleYou like to spice up your somber idli? It cannot get more flavorful, spicy or tangy than this!
  13. Poha Idli – Easy to make, no fuss idli that’s been decorated with veggies and spices
  14. Idli ChaatAt my first glance, I swear I mistook it for Dahi Paapdi Chaat. It looks and tastes extremely delicious. Loaded with fruits, veggies and spices- idli cannot look or taste any better!
  15. Vermicelli Idli – I cannot resist Vermicelli as Upma. This tastes equally appetizing. Also, the preparation doesn’t take too long
  16. Sabudana/Sago IdliNo grinding, no hassle idli for busy mornings. It’ll keep your tummy full for a long time
  17. Masala Idli UpmaAnother very desi and very customizable dish with left over idlis
  18. Chocolate Idli Cake You sweet-tooth! I knew you would want to click this recipe. 😀 Do you like Chocolate sponge cake? – tastes just like that!

Also, if you have old Idli batter at home, you should try out the immensely delicious Kuzhi Paniyaaram as well!

My Improv & Notes

I prepare Idly Batter every week and it comes out ultimately soft. You can follow these steps to enjoy your homemade treat-
Secret for Making Soft and Spongy Idlis
1. Idly Batter Measurements:

  • Idli rice – 3 cups (Idli Pulungal Arisi)
  • Urad dal – 1 cup (whole urad dal)
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – As needed

When soaking in water, make sure you add in rice, fenugreek, salt in water for 3hours. Soak Urad Dal separately in water and refrigerate it for an hour before grinding
2. Soaking Time: Useful point to note is that the longer the ingredients stay soaked, the better. Give it atleast 4-5hours of soaking time before grinding them
3. Grinding: If you have a grinder at home, don’t think twice to use it. Secret to softness of Idly or Vada is in the grinding process. I’ve tried both Mixie and Grinder for batter prep- Grinder is without a doubt the better alternative. Also, once the grinder is on, keep peeping in to see if more water is needed (add in small amounts and use ice cold water). Make sure it is soft and consistent before turning the grinder off.

4. Batter Consistency: Just as grinding is important, the consistency of the batter is also equally important. If your batter is too thin, then idli will turn flat. Thick batter will turn the idly hard. It is the reason why water is to be added little by little.

5. Fermenting: You must give at least 6-7 hours for the batter to ferment.This duration may vary depending on the climatic conditions. In winter it may need longer time and in peak summer it may require less time. I usually grind in the evening and leave it overnight to ferment.

Mix the fermented batter well. Now it is ready for making idli. If you are not going to use immediately, refrigerate the batter.
6. Steaming: You can use an idli pot or a streamer or a kadai or a pressure cooker without weight for steaming. Bring the water to boiling point before steaming the idlis. Grease your idli mould with oil/ghee for the ease of taking it out once cooked.

Steam for 10-12 minutes. Insert a fork in the middle, if it comes out clean, then your idli is ready to eat!

Restaurants Serving Idlis in Bay Area

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