How to make Idli and Idli Stir Fry or Idli Masala
For making Idli
  • White rice, sona masori or ponni- 2 cups
  • Urad dal- 1 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste (add to the batter just before you make idlis)
For making Idli stir fry
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Urad dal- 1 tbsp
  • Red dry chili- 2
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Onion, chopped small- 1, large
  • Green pepper, chopped small- 1, medium
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 2
  • Chili powder- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1½ tsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Idlis- 12, cut each idlis into 4 pieces
  • Salt- to taste
Idli preparation
  1. Soak white rice, urad dal and fenugreek in water overnight.
  2. Drain the water and grind them after adding some water to make a thick batter.
  3. Don't add too much water while grinding, the batter should be very thick.
  4. Pour the batter into a
  5. large bowl as the batter will rise
  6. and let it ferment for about 8-10 hours.
  7. The batter should be kept in a warm place only then fermentation will take place.
  8. In summer, the batter can be placed on the counter top to ferment.
  9. While in winter, keep the batter inside the oven.
  10. You could even preheat the oven to the lowest temperature, switch off the oven and then keep the batter inside the oven so that it will be warm and the fermentation will be faster. Make sure the bowl is very large as the batter will rise.
  11. After the batter has fermented, take the batter that you need in a different bowl and add salt, combine well.
  12. Leftover batter can be stored in the refrigerator.
  13. Grease the idli plates
  14. with little oil or non-stick cooking spray.
  15. Pour the batter on to each moulds.
  16. Stack the plates.
  17. Add some water to the idli cooker, place the stacked up plates into the cooker and close it.
  18. Cook it over medium heat till you get the whistle or for about 5-7 minutes.
  19. Let the pressure subside and open the cooker.
  20. Remove the plates carefully and let cool down a bit. (My idli batter didn't ferment well that's why it doen't have much porous texture)
  21. Run a knife along the sides of the idli and slide the idlis on a plate.
  22. If you don't grease the plates, idlis will be stuck to the plates.
  23. I made it in an idli cooker, if you don't have an idli maker you could place the plates in a pressure cooker and cook without placing the whistle on the cooker.
  24. You could serve the idli with sambar or chutney ,else give it a makeover.
Preparation for idli stir fry
  1. After you have made idlis, let the idlis cool down for 15 minutes. Cut each idlis into four slices, keep aside.
  2. Place a wok over medium heat, add oil. Let the oil turn hot.
  3. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  4. Add urad dal, and saute till it starts to turn golden in color.
  5. Add cumin seeds and dry red chilies, saute for a second.
  6. Add curry leaves and onions to the oil.
  7. Add salt, saute till onions turn translucent.
  8. Add green pepper, cook for a few minutes.
  9. Add tomatoes, cover the pan and cook till it has mashed up.
  10. Open the pan, combine the mixture well.
  11. Add chili powder and coriander powder, combine well.
  12. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  13. Add the cut idlis to the mixture, gently combine everything well.
  14. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  15. Garnish with cilantro, combine well.
  16. Remove from the heat and serve warm.
•You could even add 2 tbsp of tomato ketchup to the onion-tomato mixture.
•Idli maker is available at some Indian stores.
Recipe by Cooking with Thas - Healthy Recipes, Instant pot, Videos by Thasneen at