Soft Idli Recipe – Make Spongy Perfect Idli – using Poha / Aval and Idli Rava

soft idli recipe
soft idli recipe soft idli recipe

Soft Idli Recipe

  The perfect Idli is soft, white, spongy and bouncy to the touch. The surface is smooth without stickiness and they feel light. Having tried all methods of making Idli over the years, ( with ground rice, with rice flour, different types of rice etc..) I have found this to be the best Recipe for Spongy, Light, Bouncy Soft Idli! It’s perfect. We use Pressed white rice (Poha / Aval) combined with Idli Rava and Urad Dhal. You must plan a day ahead of when you intend on making these Idli for breakfast. Soak in the Morning. Grind around 5 pm for the batter to be ready around 8-9 am. (Weather conditions apply). If you love idli, you must try this Soft Idli Recipe!

Soft Idli Recipe

Recipe Type: Breakfast / Breads – South Indian
Author: Recipes ‘R’ Simple
Prep time: 15 
Cook time: 15 
Total time: 
Serves: 4

soft idli recipe


  • 1 cup  Pressed / Beaten Rice (White) – Poha /Aval (Other names in various Indian Languages : Atukulu, Chindé , Chira i, Chudaa , Chiura,  Pauwai, Baji,  Pohe , Phovu , Avalakki, and Pauaa/Paunvai).
  • 1 cup Urad dhal
  • 2 cups Idli Rava / Sooji – read about idli rava
  • water and salt
  • soft idli recipe -Poha/ aval and Idli rave soft idli recipe


  • For making Idli in the morning on a particular day, you must soak all your ingredients the MORNING  BEFORE. So plan accordingly. Soak the following at 9- 10 am (This is If you are leaving the batter at a moderate temperature. If you are experiencing very hot external conditions, the time will be reduced and if you are in cold climates, you might need to place the batter in a switched off oven).
  • You will need 2 medium large bowls.
  • Bowl No 1: Add all the Idli rava into first bowl.
  • soft idli recipe - 2 bowls
  • Bowl No 2: Add the Pressed rice. Rinse the Uradh dhal well and add to the Pressed rice.
  • soft idli recipe - aval / poha soft idli recipe - soak urad soft idli recipe - add rinsed urad
  • Pour plenty of fresh water into both bowls upto the top.

soak in 2 bowls

  • Cover and allow to soak till 5 :00 pm.  (or atleast 7-8 hours from when you soaked the ingredients)
  • soft idli recipe - leave for around 10 hours
  • 5:00 pm or when ready to grind – Use a wet grinder or a heavy duty mixer grinder.
  • Scoop out the soaked ingredients, using your hands, naturally straining away some of the water. Do not pour directly into the mixer – as this might cause you to add too much of the liquid.
  • soft idli recipe
  • You will need to add around half of the Pressed Rice/ Dhal combined with Half of the Idli Rava –  together to the mixer.
  • Grind in batches according to capacity of mixer /blender. (Grinding a combination of the ingredients from both bowls together, helps to get a smoother grain, faster).
  • soft idli recipe - grind
  • Add only a little water. Just enough so that the ingredients get ground without friction.
  • Grind till the batter is smooth. Keep feeling between your fingers, a rough grain at first. will turn into a smooth batter with only a very fine grain.
  • soft idli recipe - no grain
  • The consistency should be that of a thick pancake batter or condensed milk :
  • When you pour some batter back from a height, it should not leave a trail. If it does, you need more water.
  • soft idli recipe - does not leave a trail soft idli recipe - when poured
  • The batter should coat a spatula and a finger swiped across should leave a line that does not disappear.
  • soft idli recipe - batter draws line
  • Pour the batter into a tall container. Add salt, stir well  and set aside covered till the next morning.
  • Next Morning: The batter will have risen. It will be lighter in texture an have more air bubbles.
  • soft idli recipe - after fermentation
  • Pour water into the bottom of a pot large enough to contain the Idli steamer. The water level should be below the lowest rack of the steamer. Check by placing an empty rack in the water.
  • Bring the water to boil.
  • soft idli recipe - boil water
  • Oil the Idli steamer lightly with a paper towel, dipped in oil. Sesame oil is good.
  • soft idli recipe - oil the idli steamer
  • Pour batter to fill the idli moulds. Do not go over the brim. Place all the filled racks on to the steamer.
  • soft idli recipe -pour batter
  • Align each rack so that the holes are alternating   and positioned over the idli batter below.
  • soft idli recipe - holes above idli below
  •  Lower into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and continue boiling on a medium flame (not low) for 7-8 minutes.
  • Place in pot of boiling water soft idli recipe - cover and steam for 7-8 minutes
  •  Turn off heat. Allow to cool in the pot for a minute.
  • soft idli recipe - steamed idli soft idli recipe - cool shortly
  • Remove the rack and wait another 1 minute.
  • Use a spoon dipped in water to slide under the idli and remove easily. Keep dipping the spoon as you go around the Idli till it is loosened.
  • soft idli recipe - use spoon dipped in water
  • Soft, Spongy Perfect Idli is ready to be served with Sambar, Chutney  etc!
  • soft idli recipe soft idli recipe
  • Soft idli - spongy and bouncy

Soft Idli Recipe

Tried our  – Soft Idli Recipe? Let us know

  • Don’t be too hesitant to use your hands to test the batter. Body heat while mixing the batter  helps in the fermentation process.
  • If you are only using a portion of the batter, store the remaining in an airtight tupperware container. Do not leave outside for too longer after fermentation has occurred or your Idli will be very sour.
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About Shana Shameer

Love Cooking and discovering the very Best recipes out there.

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