poha idli (soft & fluffy)

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Poha idli recipe with step by step pics – Amazingly soft, light and fluffy idlis made with poha (parched rice), rice and urad dal.

poha idli recipe

The South Indian snack of idlis is not only healthy but also good breakfast to start your day. You can also pack them in the tiffin box and they stay soft even later. Idli, dosa, uttapam are one of those perfect food for me, which I can have every day and even for lunch and dinner.

These poha idli has 1:1 ratio of poha and idli rice in cup measurement. the amount of urad dal added in this recipe is also less.

Poha is flattened rice. you can use thick or thin poha. If you do not have idli rice, then use parboiled rice or sela chawal. You can also use any regular rice like sona masuri or parimal rice. also make sure that the urad dal is fresh and not close to its expiry date.

While making any idli batter, do remember that temperature is very crucial for proper fermentation of the batter. In cold climates, fermentation does not happen well. I get a lot of queries on the fermentation of idli batter in winters. So summarized my experiences in this Plain Dosa Recipe.

The day I made these poha idli, the temperature in the night dropped to 16 degrees celsius and I kept the batter for around 15 hours in a warm place in my kitchen. If you are looking for quick versions then you can check this Instant idli and Instant poha idli recipe.

These poha idli are so soft that you would love to dunk them in sambar and coconut chutney. In fact even a vegetable korma will go very well with them. I make Set dosa using a similar proportion.

soft poha idli recipe

How to make poha idli

1. In a bowl or pan, take the following ingredients – 1 cup idli dosa rice or parboiled rice (200 grams), 3 tbsp whole urad dal (40 grams of husked whole black gram) and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds). I used idli rice.

rice for poha idli recipe

2. Rinse them for a couple of times and then soak in 2.5 cups water.

making poha idli recipe

3. Next, in a separate bowl or pan, take 1 cup thick poha (80 grams).

making poha idli recipe

4. Rinse the poha once or twice with water.

poha to make poha idli recipe

5. Strain and add the poha to the bowl containing rice, urad dal, methi seeds and water.

poha for poha idli recipe

6. Mix well. Cover the pan and soak these four ingredients in water for 5 to 6 hours.

making poha idli recipe

7. Later, strain very well. Reserve the strained water. We will use this strained water for grinding.

making poha idli recipe

8. Now add half of the soaked ingredients in a wet grinder jar. Depending on the size of the jar, you can add half or full.

making poha idli recipe

9. Add ½ cup water and grind very well. The rice grains can have a consistency of that like idli rawa.

batter for poha idli recipe

10. Now pour the batter in a large bowl.

batter for making poha idli recipe

11. I ground the batter in two batches and overall used 1 cup water. If the grinder becomes hot, then wait for it to cool down and then continue with the grinding.

batter for preparing poha idli recipe

12. Add this ground batter to the bowl as well. Mix very well.

making soft poha idli recipe

13. Then add ½ tsp rock salt and ½ tsp sugar. Don’t worry the taste of sugar is not felt in the idlis. If you live in a hot or warm tropical climate, then no need to add sugar. Skip adding salt if the temperature is too cold in your city.

making poha idli recipe

14. Mix very well.

making soft poha idli recipe

15. Cover the bowl with a lid and keep the bowl for 8 to 9 hours or more depending on the temperature conditions in your city.

preparing soft poha idli recipe

16. This is the batter, the next day.

batter for making poha idli recipe

17. Add ⅛ tsp to ¼ tsp baking soda. This is optional. You can add baking soda if you want more softer idlis or if the batter has not fermented well.

making poha idli recipe

18. Mix the baking soda very well with the poha idli batter.

batter to make poha idli recipe

Steaming poha idli

19. grease the idli moulds with oil. Pour the batter in the moulds.

making poha idli recipe

20. Before placing the idli stand, add 2 to 2.5 cups water in an electric cooker or steamer or pressure cooker. Bring this water to a boil. Then place the idli stand in the hot water. For an electric cooker and steamer cover with its lid and steam. For pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the cooker and secure the lid tightly on the cooker.

steaming idli - poha idli recipe

21. Steam idli for 12 to 15 minutes. depending on the equipment you have used, it may take less or more time. A toothpick inserted in the center of the poha idli should come out clean and not be sticky. Allow a standing time of 1 to 2 minutes. You can steam the idlis in batches. The leftover batter can be refrigerated and you can make paniyaram or sweet paniyaram from them. From this batter, dosa cannot be made.

steaming idli - poha idli recipe

22. Dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the idlis. Remove and place the idlis in a warm container like a casserole.

poha idli recipe

23. Serve poha idli with coconut chutney and idli sambar or with veg kurma.

poha idli, poha idli recipe
If you are looking for more Indian breakfast recipes then you may like:

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poha idli recipe

poha idli

5 from 17 votes
Amazingly soft, light and fluffy aval idli made with poha (flattened rice), idli rice and urad dal.
Prep Time 9 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 9 hrs 15 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Breakfast

Servings 4 to 5
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 cup idli dosa rice or parboiled rice or 200 grams idli dosa rice
  • 1 cup thick poha or 80 grams thick poha (parched rice or aval)
  • 3 tablespoon whole urad dal (husked whole black gram) or 40 grams whole urad dal (you can also use husked split urad dal),
  • ¼ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 2.5 cups water for soaking
  • 1 cup water for grinding
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon rock salt
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • oil for greasing the idli moulds

Instructions

soaking

  • In a bowl or pan, take the following ingredients - idli dosa rice or parboiled rice, whole urad dal, and 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds.
  • Rinse them for a couple of times and then soak in 2.5 cups water.
  • In a separate bowl or pan, take the thick poha .
  • Rinse the poha once or twice with water.
  • Drain and add the poha to the bowl containing rice, urad dal, methi seeds and water.
  • Mix well. Cover the pan and soak these four ingredients in water for 5 to 6 hours.

grinding poha idli batter

  • Later strain and reserve the strained water.
  • Now add half of the soaked ingredients in a wet grinder jar. Depending on the size of the jar, you can add half or full. I ground in two batches.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and grind very well. The rice grains can have a consistency of that like idli rawa.
  • Now pour the batter in a large bowl.
  • I ground the batter in two batches and overall 1 cup water. If the grinder becomes hot, then wait for it to cool down and then continue with the grinder.
  • Then add 1/2 tsp rock salt and 1/2 tsp sugar. Don't worry the taste of sugar is not felt in the idlis. 
  • If you live in a hot or warm tropical climate, then no need to add sugar. Mix very well.

fermenting poha idli batter

  • Cover the bowl with a lid and keep the bowl for 8 to 9 hours or more depending on the temperature conditions in your city.
  • Add 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp baking soda and mix very well. This is optional. You can add baking soda if you want more softer idlis or if the batter has not fermented well.

making poha idli

  • Grease the idli moulds with oil. Pour the batter in the moulds.
  • Before placing the idli stand, add 2 to 2.5 cups water in an electric cooker or steamer or pressure cooker. Bring this water to a boil. Then place the idli stand in the hot water. 
  • For an electric cooker and steamer cover with its lid and steam. For pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the cooker and secure the lid tightly on the cooker.
  • Steam the idli for 12 to 15 minutes. Depending on the equipment you have used, it may takes less or more time. 
  • A tooth pick inserted in the center of the idlis should come out clean and not be sticky. Allow a standing time of 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the aval idlis. Remove and place the idli in a warm container like a casserole.
  • Serve poha idli with coconut chutney and an onion sambar or mix veg sambar.

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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72 Comments

  1. Hi I am a big fan of your recipes and I tried this recipe but it did not pan out very well. ..the dough ended up being chunky for some reason and the idlis tasted lumpy, even though I ground very well.
    Can you guess what I may have done wrong? I used red aval and soaked it along with the rice.4 stars

    1. Looks like the batter has not fermented properly. Poha makes for an incredibly soft idli. Both white aval and red aval work well. So my guess is that the batter did not ferment well. The batter has to increase in volume and you should see tiny air-pockets in it with a pleasant sour aroma. I hope this helps.

  2. Hi,
    Tried this..the idli was soft..but did not puff up..it was flat..please advise..thank you for this amazing recipe blog.5 stars

    1. Welcome Deepa and thanks for the rating. When the idli batter is thin, the idli will become flat. The water consistency has to be right. If the batter is very thick, firstly the batter won’t ferment well and lead to dense idli. Thin batter will make flat thin idli. Next time you can reduce the water while grinding.

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