Steamed Rice And Lentil Cakes (Idli)

This popular street food is available all over India and I cannot think of even 10 days going without making some form of Idli. I have grown up eating this for breakfast in house, on street in the south Indian snack counters as well as in the most expensive of restaurants. The preparation is served with lentil and vegetable stew along with coconut chutney.

It is a completely gluten free and vegan recipe which can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner, whatever suits you. A complete meal by itself, it is also a favorite amongst kids.

This rice and lentil preparation requires only 2 main ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes if the soaking and grinding is pre done. The batter can be saved for later use for a few days if it is stored in the right manner i.e in an airtight container in cool environment. I have not stored it for more than 4 days but some do keep it for 7 days.

Idli chutney sambhar


3 cups Idli rice/ boiled rice

1 1/4 cup black split gram

1 tsp fenugreek seeds (can avoid if you don’t have it)

4 cups of water


Soak the rice in water for 6-7 hours

Soak the lentils for only 2 hours as they get soft for grinding easily. I always soak the fenugreek seeds along with the lentils.

Add enough water so that the ingredients are completely submerged in it. Check after an hour or two. If the water is completely absorbed than add more water.

Grind both the rice and lentils separately.

Mix them both and wait another 7 hours till they ferment well.

Stir them well in one direction until they show some frothiness. Add salt to taste.

Grease the idli plates well with oil and pour enough batter in each crevice. Place the plate in the idli cooker for steaming. If u do not possess the idli plate and the cooker u can place the batter in small deep metal bowls and again place it for steaming in a deep pan. Be sure to place a plate with enough holes for steam to pass between the water and the bowls.

Steam for about 20 minutes. poke a toothpick in the idli after 30 minutes. If it comes out clean the idli is ready. Otherwise keep on cooking for another 5 minutes.

Let them cool for some time before excavating them with the help of a wet spoon.

steamed rice lentil cakes

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