Gajar Halwa

From the Archives

This recipe was submitted by

Geetha Harinath

Soft idlis

Soft idlis

Print Recipe
Author Geetha Harinath


  • Idli stand (any size) for eg., the 4 rack stand which mostly makes 16 idlis at a time (4×4)
  • Steamer bowl to hold the stand (sometimes you can buy the bowl and the stand as a set)


  • 3 cups idli rice (this rice is recommended for softer idlis)
  • 1 cup urad dal (split)
  • salt to taste

(makes about 30 to 35 idlis)


  • Wash the rice 2 to 3 times with water and soak in water for a minimum of 4 hours (overnight soaking is fine too)
  • Wash the dal 2-3 times and soak it separately for the same time period as the rice
  • Blend the dal first into a smooth paste and then transfer it to a big bowl
  • Then blend the rice till it's finely ground as well (though it need not be as soft as the ground dal) and transfer it to the same bowl.
  • Add salt and mix well for about 3-5 minutes by hand
  • Cover and set aside undisturbed for 6-8 hours
  • After 8 hours, open the lid. You will see the batter is fermented and ready to be cooked
  • Apply a thin layer of oil to all the idli slots. Using a ladle, put some batter into each slot.
  • Boil a cup or more of water in the steamer bowl and place the stand in it. Cover the bowl and cook for 8-10 minutes. You can use the pressure cooker too as a steamer, but make sure you do not put the vent weight on the top, as the steam has to escape.
  • After 10 minutes turn off the stove and wait for a couple of minutes. Take out the idli racks. Using a blunt knife or a spoon remove the idlis to a plate.
  • Dab a little ghee (optional) on each and serve with chutney & sambar
  • Enjoy your idlis!

A few tips to follow:

  • While blending, if the motor gets hot, unplug the blender and allow it to cool. You might want to add an ice cube or some water to the batter if it is too thick as that may be the cause for the heated motor
  • During cold season keep the batter inside the oven if it has a pilot lamp
  • If batter didn’t ferment enough, you may use half a teaspoon of baking soda and mix the batter well before filling the slots