Idli from South India: Breakfast like on clouds

Anyone following “Never Have I Ever” closely may have noticed an Indian tidbit or two. One of them is idli – fluffy, steamed rice cakes. As a result of the fermentation, they taste slightly sour and have a very soft consistency. The small rice cakes, which remind me a bit of Wölkchen, are enjoyed for breakfast in southern India and Sri Lanka in particular, but also between meals. The light character makes the rice cakes perfect for a small meal and we will show you how easy it is to make them at home.

Thanks to the fermentation, the dish is also quite healthy. In his article, EAT CLUBBER Felix tells you why fermented foods are good for us. In order for the fermentation process to progress well, we recommend that you soak the ingredients in water for at least six hours, but preferably overnight up to 24 hours. On colder days (eg autumn/winter) you should soak them for two nights instead. The smell of the idli batter should be slightly sour.

After steaming, enjoy Idli with a delicious dip – a matching chutney is perfect for this. For example this one:

Do you particularly like Indian finger food and street food in general? So are we! Fortunately, we have an extensive collection of Indian snack recipes that you can easily replicate at home. You will surely find something here:

A silver tray with idli and chutney


Idli from South India: Breakfast like on clouds


So light and airy you’ll think you’re biting into a cloud: South Indian idli.


  1. First wash the urad dal, rice, chickpeas and fenugreek seeds separately. Soak the uraddal in water with the fenugreek, the rice separately. Soak for at least 6 hours.

  2. After the soaking time, drain the water and wash out the remaining water. Process the beans, seeds and rice with about 100 ml of water to a fine puree. Let the puree ferment in a warm place for at least a day, possibly a day longer in winter.

  3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the batter and mix well. Grease small bowls and put the dough in the bowls.

  4. Now place the bowls in a pot with a steamer or steamer and steam the rice cakes for 15 minutes. Finished! Enjoy hot.

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