Idli with Sambar & Coconut Chutney

This is a delicious low fat dish of South India and can be enjoyed both as a snack and meal. Basically idli is a breakfast dish and is served with curried lentil or chutney or spiced powder (podi). Idly can also be eaten as a whole meal during lunch and dinner.

Idli with Sambar and Coconut Chutney

Idli Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 20 mts Soaking:2 hrs, Fermentation: 8 hrs

Makes approx 24 idlis

Cuisine: South Indian



2 cups idli rava (cream of rice)

1 cup urad dhal (Black gram,minappa gullu)


pinch of cooking soda (soda bi carbonate)

1 Soak urad dal for about 2 hrs. Soak the idli rava in water separately just for an hour before mixing with urad dal batter. After 2 hours drain the water from the urad dal and gring till soft and fluffy and mix with the idli rava. Mix well.
2 Place the mixture in a warm place for 8-10 hours or overnight to let the idli mixture ferment. The fermentation is slow in winter and quick during summer. The key to soft and fluffy idlis is in the fermentation process.
3 After 10 hours you will find that the mixture will rise to at least double the volume. After fermentation, add salt and pinch of soda bi carbonate and mix well. The batter is now ready to make idlis.
4 Grease idli maker plates with some oil and fill with idli batter.
5 Steam covered for about 10-12 minutes and remove each idli carefully with a spatula.

Soft and fluffy idlis are ready to eat with some hot sambhar and chutney. Left over idlis can be stored in the refrigerator. I make upma with left over idlis which tastes good and is quick to make.



For those who don’t have a idli maker…you can still make idlis with a flat bottomed wide vessel. Add 2 cups of water to the vessel. Invert a round shaped cake tin on the base of vessel. Take another round shaped cake tin, lightly grease it and fill it with the idli batter leaving about one inch height for the batter to raise. Place this on top of the inverted cake tin. Steam for 8-10 minutes. Remove the tin and cut into square pieces and serve hot.


Sambar Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 45 mts

Cuisine: South Indian



1 cup tur dal (red gram,kandi pappu)

½ cup of peeled and cubed bottle gourd

¼ cup of chopped carrots into 1” pieces

3 slit green chillis

¼ cup of radish sliced into rounds(optional)

5-6 baby onions whole

1 tomato cut into 4 pieces

1 tbsps chopped coriander leaves

10 curry leaves

1 tbsp thick tamarind paste

2 tbsps sambar powder

4-5 cups water

salt to taste

1 tsp sugar or jaggery

1/4 tsp asafoetida(hing,inguva)

1/2 tbsp oil

1 Soak the dal for 15 minutes and drain. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook it along with vegetables except baby onions and tomatoes for about 7- 8 minutes after the pressure is reached.
2 Once its cooked add 3 cups water, baby onions, tomatoes, turmeric pwd, sugar, green chillis, curry leaves, coriander leaves and salt and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
3 Add the tamarind paste along with 1 1/4 cups of water and cook till the rawness of tamarind disappears. Approx 6-7 mts. Add the sambar pwd and cook for another 7-8 mts.
4 Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add 2 whole red chillis, curry leaves and 1/4 tsp asafoetida and remove from fire and add to sambar. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from fire, place lid. Serve hot with idlis.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 15 mts

Cuisine: South Indian



1 cup grated fresh coconut(or cut into 2” pieces)

¼ cup of dalia (split chick pea, putanaala pappu)

3 green chillis


For Tempering/Tadka/Talimpu:

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ urad dal(minapapappu,black gram)

10 curry leaves (optional)

1 whole dry red chilli

1 Grind coconut, putnaala pappu and green chillis adding about 1/2 cup of water to a fine paste.
2 Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the urad dal and slightly brown it. Finally add curry leaves, remove from fire and add to the ground coconut paste.
3 Serve with hot idlis.

Idli with Sambar & Coconut Chutney

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 6

 Main Ingredients:

  •  rice
  •   idli rava
  •   tur dal
  •   vegetables
  •   coconut


This is a delicious low fat dish of South India and can be enjoyed both as a snack and meal. Basically idli is a breakfast dish and is served with curried lentil or chutney or spiced powder (podi).
  • Anonymous

    hi shailu
    how r u doing???thanks for ur idly recipe.but can we use fenugreek seed instead of soda.will this make any difference.

  • sailu

    Hi Anon,

    Yes,you can add some fenugreek seeds but I dont think you should avoid soda.Add both by reducing the quantity of both a bit.Honestly,I havent used fenugreek seeds instead of soda.

    But sure give it a try and see what happens..that's how we learn..:):)

  • vidya

    Hi shailu

    When we use idli rice or par boiled rice can u tell the exact ratio to prepare good idlis.


  • nandana

    even i cooked the idlies in tha same process but the idlis are it required that the idly rava should be grinded so that even it becomes soft paste.

    pls tell me how to prepare soft idlys

  • Rashmimala Dhar

    can u give the making procedure/functions used to prepare idlis in a microwave?i’ve a microwave+convection much time does it take?

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  • Indu


    How to make idlii paste to ferment during the winter,esp during minus degree.

  • neelima

    very easy to follow the steps
    thank you very much


  • Priya

    Dear Sailu a beautiful sambar which i had never come across.Try to give us sambar recipes with various dhals please.

  • Susmitha

    My idlis turn hard: ratio used ; 2 cups idli rice , 1 cup urud dal + a tsp of mehi(fenugreekseeds) in a i have to make it into a watery paste as in dosas???

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  • Aruna

    Hi Sailu,

    Thought of adding a tip for getting really soft idlies; just add a spoon/ two spoons of poha or murmuraalu to the dal before grinding and use 1 and half cups of rava to 1 cup of minapappu (urad dal), instead of using two cups of ravva. Thanks for providing the saambaar and chutney recipes along with the idly recipe.

  • sone

    Mmmmmmmm……Mouthwatering sambar

  • Roobaasree

    Hi Shailu, your receipes are yummy and being a Tamilian, I like your Andhra recipes. Adding sugar to Sambar happens in Kannada cuisine rather than the traditional Madrasi one. Moreover, only one vegetable is used to make sambar in the Tamilnadu style. I shall post recipes in your site.

    Best wishes

  • sarita

    Dear Sailu

    Happy New Year to you r and family. Thanks for the awsome recipes. I tried out the idli and sambar. The sambar got a bit watery. Next time I will reduce the water.
    I added water to idli rava till it got fully soaked. An hour later I added the urid paste. However in the evening there was a lot of water at the bottom of the batter dish. Did I have to strain the water?


    The next time you try idli batter, squeeze out the water from the idli rava completely and then add to the ground urad dal batter and combine well using your hand. For the batter you have already made, strain the excess water.

    • Sarita

      Hi Sailu

      I have tried the idli recipe many times. Its just does not ferment. I have even added baking soda over night. but no fermentation at all
      Is it because the cimate here is cold. should I add a bit of yeast. I have tried combinaton of 3:1 but no use. your tips would be helpful. I have run out of ideas


  • Sambar Recipe


    Your recipe is very easy to follow…thank you


  • radhika

    hai sailu garu,
    why do we use soda? soft idlis kosama or any other reason. is it good for health?

  • swathi

    i just want to know is there any other option whr in we can use urad flour & idli that there’s no need to use a grinder/blender..??as it can make the work easy..i am really tired of trying idli’s as they dont comeout well..problem is after i steam also they look raw..i mean the batter wont be cooked..i even tried changing urad dal & idli rava…but the same prob continues..

    will appreciate if any1 can suggest on this..

    • Lakshmi

      yes U can use urad flour n bypass soaking/grinding. soak urad flour – iddli rawa seperately, 1:2 measure, not too much water for 6-8 hrs or overnight in warm place(whisk Urad flr to prevent lumps). 8hrs later mix both together very well in a large vessal(enough room to rise n not spill over), add salt at this time. check water consistancy n leave it to ferment in a warm place. make Iddlis as usual. Many-many yrs ago I had cardiac arrest n I could not cook!!! my Hubby missed Iddli-Dosai-Utappam, so taught Him the dry-flour version as He could not handle the Saoking n Grinding part of it!!! n He has become an expert in making them as I am often unable to do much cooking. For Dosai Fenugreek powder(Methi) is available, so U can make Dosai’s too!!! Practice n U shall succeed!!! Good Luck n Enjoy Ur cooking!!!

      This is a GREAT site for mouth watering n satisfying cuisine!!! The pics n narrations here r very therapeutic to me. Thanx v.v.v.much. more later.

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