Breakfast Foods: Black Gram Dehusked (Urad) And Rice Semolina Idli Recipe

Updated on April 27, 2017
ShailaSheshadri profile image

I come from an agricultural family. I love to cook and eat natural and healthy foods.

soft and fluffy idlis
soft and fluffy idlis

Nutritional Information of Idlis

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 idlis
Calories 69
Calories from Fat36
% Daily Value *
Fat 4 g6%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Carbohydrates 15 g5%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 4 g8%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 110 mg5%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Some Information About Idlis

There are many varieties of idlis. They can be made using black lentils, finger millet, oats, corn meal, etc. Of all these varieties, idli made of dehusked black lentils and rice semolina is considered the healthiest. This snack is very traditional South Indian food. Even today, lentil idlis are a popular breakfast dish served in Indian homes and restaurants. Black lentil idlis are soft, fluffy, flavorful, and mild in taste. Hence, they are served with spicy condiments, like sambar, coconut chutney, onion chutney, or coriander chutney.

A Quick Overview of How to Make Idlis:

Dehusked black gram is soaked in water for 5-6 hours. Then it is ground to get fluffy batter. Washed rice semolina and salt are mixed into the batter. This batter is covered and kept for fermentation. The batter is then poured into idli moulds and steamed to get the delicious and soft snack that you eat. I made them today for breakfast. Here, I share the recipe.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
soft and fluffy idlisIdlis served with raw mango chutneyIdlis in a different shape
soft and fluffy idlis
soft and fluffy idlis
Idlis served with raw mango chutney
Idlis served with raw mango chutney
Idlis in a different shape
Idlis in a different shape
5 stars for Black Lentil and Rice Semolina Idli
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 37 min
Yields: 16 idlis


  • 1 cup dehusked black lentil or urad dal
  • 2 cups rice semolina
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste

Step-By-Step Instructions and Images for Making Black Lentil and Rice Semolina Idli

  1. Wash dehusked black lentils in water twice. Soak in fresh water for about 5-6 hours. Strain and collect the water. Grind lentils, adding cold soaked water or plain water little by little. Batter should become frothy in the last stages of grinding. For making idlis, the batter should be moderately thick. Collect the batter in a big container. There should be enough space in the vessel for fermentation.
  2. Soak rice semolina in warm water for 10 minutes. Wash and drain the water. Add fresh water. Squeeze semolina by holding it inside your fist. Transfer it to the container having lentil batter.
  3. Add salt. Mix with clean hands. Cover the vessel with a lid. Leave the batter for fermentation. It takes about 8-10 hours for proper fermentation. After fermentation, the batter will raise. Mix once again. If the batter is too thick, adjust the consistency by adding water.
  4. Keep ready the steamer or cooker. Grease idli moulds. Pour the batter into the moulds to cover 3/4 portion of the depressions. Keep the idli stand inside the steamer. Cook for 10-12 minutes on medium high fire. If you are using pressure cooker for steaming, do not use weight.
  5. After cooking, take out the idli stand. Sprinkle a few drops of water on hot idlis. This will moisten them and also makes easy to remove them from the moulds. Leave for 5 minutes.
  6. Take out idlis from the moulds using a spoon. Collect them in a serving bowl.
  7. Serve hot with spicy coconut chutney or sambar. Enjoy the taste of soft, fluffy idlis!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Idli in a different shapeIdli made in a vesselIdli and raw mango chutneyThatte idlicooked idliIdli stand inside the cooker, ready for steaming. Just to place the lid.The batter poured into the moulds.Greased idli mouldsFermented idli batterMixing semolina with the black lentil batterGrinding black lentilSoaked dehusked black lentil and washed rice semolina
Idli in a different shape
Idli in a different shape
Idli made in a vessel
Idli made in a vessel
Idli and raw mango chutney
Idli and raw mango chutney
Thatte idli
Thatte idli
cooked idli
cooked idli
Idli stand inside the cooker, ready for steaming. Just to place the lid.
Idli stand inside the cooker, ready for steaming. Just to place the lid.
The batter poured into the moulds.
The batter poured into the moulds.
Greased idli moulds
Greased idli moulds
Fermented idli batter
Fermented idli batter
Mixing semolina with the black lentil batter
Mixing semolina with the black lentil batter
Grinding black lentil
Grinding black lentil
Soaked dehusked black lentil and washed rice semolina
Soaked dehusked black lentil and washed rice semolina

Additional Information About Idlis

  • Soak black gram dal at least for 4-5 hours.
  • The time needed for fermentation depends on the temperature in the particular area where you are fermenting the batter. Higher the temperature, faster the fermentation, and vice versa. If you are living in cold temperature, keep the batter inside the inactive warm oven for speedy fermentation.
  • Don't add salt while grinding. Mix salt with the batter using your hands. The bacteria in your hands help in proper fermentation.
  • Keep left over fermented batter inside the refrigerator. Fermented batter becomes sour if you keep in room temperature for a long time.
  • Add less salt to idlis because it is always served with spicy condiments which has salt in it.
  • Don't waste soaked black lentil water. Use it while grinding.
  • You can make idlis in any shape. The batter takes the shape of the moulds which you are using.
  • Idli stays fresh for a day in room temperature.

Questions & Answers


    Submit a Comment

    • ShailaSheshadri profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago from Bengaluru

      Thanks for reading my article about making idlis. They make a very healthy breakfast. Try this recipe.

    • profile image

      Cooper Harrison 

      21 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Never tried these, but I want to make them soon!


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