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South Indian Instant Sooji (Semolina) Idli Recipe

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Sooji idli served with sambhar and coconut chutney

Sooji idli served with sambhar and coconut chutney

Traditional South Indian Breakfast

Idli is a soft and spongy savoury rice cake that is one of the traditional breakfast foods from South India. It is usually prepared with a rice and lentil batter that has been fermented for eight to 10 hours or overnight.

In this recipe, instead of rice and lentil, we are using sooji (also called semolina or cream of wheat). The batter is not fermented, which makes this an instant idli dish that can be prepared very quickly.

Try it and share your experience.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

12 idlis


  • 1 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup dahi (curd or yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon eno fruit salt
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 500-600 ml water, for the idli steamer
  • oil, for greasing the idli moulds


  1. Add the semolina and dahi to a mixing bowl and mix well. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. While the mixture is resting, grease the idli moulds with oil.
  3. After 15 minutes, add 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tsp oil to the semolina mixture. Mix well.
  4. Little by little, add the 1/2 cup water to the mixture. Prepare a thick batter.
  5. Add 500-600 ml water in the idli steamer and keep it on low-medium heat. Let it come to a boil while you whisk the batter until it is soft and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  6. Add 1 tsp eno and 3 tsp water. Mix gently until well mixed. Keep the batter consistency medium thick. Check the batter consistency in the video.
  7. Pour the batter in the idli moulds and transfer to the idli steamer when the water in it comes to a boil. Steam on high heat for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove the mould and let the idlis cool down until they are just warm. Then remove idlis from the moulds.
  9. Serve the idlis with sambhar and coconut chutney.

© 2022 Rajan Singh Jolly

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