poha idli recipe | soft & fluffy poha idli recipe | aval idli recipe

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poha idli recipe

amazingly soft, light and fluffy aval idli made with poha (flattened rice), idli rice and urad dal.

4.54 from 15 votes
total time:
555minutes

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 a 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 everyday and even for lunch and dinner.

these poha idli have 1:1 ratio of poha and idli rice. 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 the following points below.

tips for making idli batter

  • keep the batter bowl in a warm place – e.g near a heater or in a warm place in your kitchen.
  • you can also preheat your oven at a low temperature (80 to 90 degrees celsius) for about 10 minutes. then switch off the oven and keep the batter bowl inside – i use this method when it becomes very cold outside.
  • alternatively, if your oven has lights, then keep the lights on and place the batter inside.
  • addition a bit of sugar does help in fermenting the batter – i use this method at times in the winters here.
  • skip adding salt to the batter as salt retards the fermentation process. sometimes i add both salt and sugar together. i always use rock salt in the idli batter.
  • keep the batter for a longer time, like 14 to 24 hours.
  • do remember that even if you do not see the batter doubled or tripled, you should see tiny bubbles in the batter. you should also get the typical faint sour fermented aroma from the batter.
  • adding ¼ to ½ tsp of instant yeast (dissolved in 2 to 3 tsp water) 30 to 45 minutes before you steam the idlis also help. but do this method when the batter has not fermented well. the downside of this method is that you have to use all the batter at once. if you refrigerate than the batter gets too yeasty.
  • you can also add ¼ to ½ baking soda and then ferment the batter in cold seasons.

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

if you are looking for more breakfast recipes then you may like:

poha idli recipe
4.54 from 15 votes
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poha idli

amazingly soft, light and fluffy aval idli made with poha (flattened rice), idli rice and urad dal.
course breakfasts
cuisine south indian
prep time 9 hours
cook time 15 minutes
total time 9 hours 15 minutes
servings 4 to 5
author dassana

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 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

how to make poha idli

soaking - preparation for poha idli

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

grinding batter for making poha idli

  1. later strain and reserve the strained water.
  2. 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.
  3. add 1/2 cup water and grind very well. the rice grains can have a consistency of that like idli rawa.
  4. now pour the batter in a large bowl.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 

  7. if you live in a hot or warm tropical climate, then no need to add sugar. mix very well.

fermenting poha idli batter

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. grease the idli moulds with oil. pour the batter in the moulds.
  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. steam poha idli for 12 to 15 minutes. depending on the equipment you have used, it may takes less or more time. 

  5. 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.

  6. dip a spoon or butter knife in water and slid them through the aval idlis. remove and place the poha idli in a warm container like a casserole.

  7. serve poha idli with coconut chutney and an onion sambar or mix veg sambar.

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how to make poha idli recipe

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 poha 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 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 poha 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

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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64 comments/reviews

  1. Hi dassana,
    I ground this batter last night and kept it for fermentation till tonight. I also added sugar in the batter to help the process.
    But due to cold weather+rains, it didn’t rise much. There were small bubbles and yeasty smell though. I added salt and made first batch.
    But the idling came out a bit too dense. I have made triple amount batter.

    Is there something I can do to improve the remaining batch?
    Also should I keep the batter outside the fridge till it gets over?

    • ruchi, the batter has not fermented well due to the cold climate. keep the batter in a warm place or near a heater. you also keep in sunlight if you get some sun during the day. just keep for some hours, like 3 to 4 hours. or you can heat an oven at 80 to 90 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. then switch off oven and keep the idli batter in it for some hours. or if your oven has lights, then lit the oven and keep the batter in it. for a lit oven no need to preheat the oven.

      • Thank you for responding.
        You were right, it hadn’t fermented well. I kept it for one more full night & it rose very well. The idlis came out perfect then.
        But there was one thing.. the idlis had some orange streaks/spots. Do you have any idea what caused that? There was no issue in tast & texture.

        Also, if I plan to ferment one more batch, can I pour the new batch of batter in the same container? I just finished making idlis with the last batter. There is residual batter sticking in the bowl. So I was thinking if pouring in the same bowl will speed up the next fermentation (like in curd)?

        • welcome ruchi. i guess the spots are due to bacterial fermentation. this happened with me while fermenting curd. if the taste and smell is not off or weird, then the batter should be fine to use.

          of course, you can use the same container. it will speed up the process. even a spoon of leftover batter can be freezed or refrigerated and added to fresh batter. it helps in fermentation and speeds it up, especially in cold climates. since the bacteria culture is present in the leftover batter. this method can also be used while fermenting bread dough.

  2. Dear DAssana

    this is Arusha ….u have replied to my querry in khatta dhokla.

    u have mentioned about cold temperature. I have question there but cant write on this open box. do u have email id? I can write there.
    or WhatsApp?

    • arusha, i have received your email. i will reply you shortly.

  3. Hi Dassana

    Good morning !

    I tried this one this time and had trouble making these too, i cant figure out what and where i have been wrong in the process..also the idli texture has come out very unexpected i have taken pictures, if you dont mind can i share them with you if you could provide me your email address or anywhere where i could share them. As i have prepared this batter in large quantity which i usually and dont want it to get wasted.

    Thank you
    Samrinder

    • samrinder, you can send me the images at [email protected]
      after seeing the pics, i can tell what must have gone wrong.

  4. Hi dassana, I’v tried this recipe many times by now and idlis always turn out amazing. There’s just a little glitch that i face every time- that the idlis come out a little denser than the ones shown in your pic. I’m listing out some things that I do:
    1. I use khichari rice since I don’t get idli rice here (i thought basmati rice would be a bit ‘hard’ for idli)
    2. I uncover the lid of steamer immediately after 10-12 min of steaming to avoid water droplet formation over idlis.
    3. i prepare triple amount of batter and refrigerate it after fermentation. i use it over period of 3-4 days. Idlis turn out more dense on later days i’ve noticed
    Though the taste and aroma of idlis always turns out perfect, it is just the texture that i want to improve. Thanks

    • ruchi, everything is fine. just add some more water to the batter. if less water is added, then the idlis turn out dense. the water ratio is important.

  5. Hi…ur website is a great help to novices like me. Thank you so much. Just wanted to know can I make set dosa from this batter if it becomes too watery for idli?

    • thanks shilpa. you can check the method of making set dosa here on this link – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/set-dosa-recipe-sponge-dosa/

      for set dosa, the dosa has to be smaller in size and slightly thick. when cooking, cover the dosa with a lid. usually set dosas are cooked only one side.

  6. Hi mam,
    I have tired many of ur recipes..thy had come out really well.. 🙂
    I’m planning to prepare poha idly, I dont have a wet grinder, can the same ingredients make idlis soft if going in mixer.
    Please reply
    Thanks Pavitra hebbar

    • thanks pavitra. you can grind the batter easily in a mixer. but grind in batches and stop for some minutes in case the mixer becomes too hot.

  7. Hi dassana,
    Can we keep the idli batter out in the sunlight to make it ferment?

    • you can ruchi. i also keep it during winters.

      • yes I kept it in the sun today and it was fermented by the evening! Just had a idli-sambar dinner 🙂 it was the first time we made idlis at home. Everybody kept raving about the light & soft idlis. Thank you for sharing all the amazing recipes!

        • thats great ruchi. with poha the idlis become amazingly soft and light. most welcome ?

  8. Hello, very nice recepie, would like to know that if we use idli rawa instead of idli rice then that is also need to soak with urad da,pohal and me hi seeds for 5-6 hrs before grinding?

    • apeksha, if you use idli rava, then soak it separately for 4 to 5 hours. you can soak the urad dal, poha and methi seeds separately in another bowl. then drain the idli rava very well and then grind separately. do note grinding idli rava is optional. you can just grind urad dal, poha and methi seeds and then mix it with the strained idli rava.

  9. Can i use thin poha for this recipe?

    • neelam, you can use thin poha.

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