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poha idli recipe | soft & fluffy poha idli recipe | aval idli recipe with urad dal

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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.

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 idlis 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:

  • 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 idlis, 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 idlis are so soft that you would love to dunk them in sambar and coconut chutney. in fact even a veg korma will go very well with them. i make set dosa using a similar proportion.

if you are looking for more idli recipes then do check rava idli, oats idli, cooked rice soft idli, idli recipe with idli rava and ragi idli recipe.

poha idli recipe card below:

4.5 from 14 votes
poha idli recipe | aval idli recipe with urad dal
prep time
9 hrs
cook time
15 mins
total time
9 hrs 15 mins

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

course: breakfasts
cuisine: south indian
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 recipe
soaking:
  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 idlis:
  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 idlis 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 idlis in a warm container like a casserole.

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


how to make soft 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.

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

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

4. rinse the poha once or twice with water.

5. strain 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.

7. later, strain very well. reserve the strained water. we will use this strained water for grinding.

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.

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

10. now pour the batter in a large bowl.

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.

12. add this ground batter to the bowl as well. mix very well.

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.

14. mix very well.

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.

16. this is the batter, the next day.

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.

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

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

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.

21. steam poha idlis 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 idlis 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 these spiced paniyaram or sweet paniyaram from them. from this batter, dosa cannot be made.

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.

23. serve poha idlis with coconut chutney and sambar or with korma.




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This post was last modified on March 4, 2018, 8:09 pm

    Categories Indian Breakfast RecipesKids RecipesLow Fat RecipesSouth Indian RecipesStarters & Snacks RecipesTamil NaduTiffin RecipesToddler RecipesVegan Recipes

View Comments (64)

  • Hello mam,
    I made this idli today for breakfast. It was to good, soo soft, N tasty also......
    I have one request, can u pls post the recipe of methi laddu and ragi laddu.I want to make this laddu for my mom, she like this very much...
    So pls....

  • Hai i have already soaked the ingredients. Can you please suggest me is there any extra care or step to be taken if I am grinding in the mixer.

    Thank you

    • nanditha, just grind in parts (2 or 3 parts) and if the mixer becomes hot, then stop grinding. let the mixer cool down and grind again. add water as required while grinding. in case the batter becomes thin, then just add some rice flour to thicken the batter slightly.

  • Hi Mam ,, love your blog... Learnt north Indian recipes from urs..
    We ppl in south generally don't use rock salt for idli or dosa batter is it necessary for the soft texture.

    • generally iodized salt comes in way of the fermentation process, which does not happen when we use rock salt. not only for making idli and dosa, but i use rock salt in all my cooking.

  • Thank you for your advice regarding fermenting batter in a cold climate. I live in the UK and my kitchen is always cold and even warming the oven does not do the trick. I will try the sugar, and if necessary, the baking soda. Your site is very helpful.

    • thanks jane. both the sugar and baking soda tips works. here in india, where i live now its 16 degrees celsius and in the night the temperature drops to 11 or 12 degrees celsius. not as cold as UK, but even in this temperature the batter does not ferment well, when i do not add sugar. when i add sugar, the batter rises well and ferments also well. just yesterday night, i made dosa batter to which a bit of sugar was added and it fermented beautifully in the morning. you can also keep the batter bowl near a light source eg a reading light. the warmth from the light also helps.

  • I tried poha idli today.it came out so soft ,light n excellent taste .it is very easy to prepare n no tension for the result.thank u !!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes with us! Have tried out many recipes of yours. You make them so simple and straightforward. The poha idli came out super soft. The tip of adding sugar first for fermentation and salt only later on is really effective. Looking forward to trying out even more of your lovely dishes.

    • firstly a big thankyou for your kind and honest words. surely try more recipes and keep us posted how it was? god bless you.

  • Hello, I am kavitha,.. Yesterday tried cheese chilli toast...it came out good..thanks for the recipe..

  • Hi...please tell me...Can we use idli rava instead of rice? And what will be the soaking time? TIA

  • Hi
    I live in Brussels and will be travelling to India during the summer vacations for about 6 weeks .We get frozen parathas but not frozen idly. Can you please guide me to make frozen idly? And also about the shelf life of it? I can travel in peace without worrying much about my husband skipping his breakfast. Please help.

    • hi bhuvana, i don't think frozen idlis will taste as good as fresh idlis. i do not know how frozen idli is made. so unable to help you.

  • Hi
    Thanks for your immediate and kind response. I went ahead with a trial of making frozen idly. Just froze 4 and steamed them again for about 10 minutes I should say it wasn't bad although not as tasty as the fresh ones but was soft. I am not yet sure about the shelf life so will try again and use it after 10-15 days later. Will get back after that experiment .

    • welcome bhuvana. thanks for sharing your method. i agree that the taste will not be like that of fresh idlis, but will be fine to have. you will get some ideas while experimenting. all the best :-)

  • Hi, I tried this poha idli and when I steamed it, it fell apart and there was no idlis formed, the batter splattered all over the pot after 10 mins
    What do I do ?

    • looks like the batter was very thin. add some rice flour to thicken the batter and make the dosas. another reason could be that while steaming, there was too much water in the pan or cooker. the water should not touch the idli moulds.

    • connie, by flat poha you mean thin poha. if yes then you can use flat poha (thin poha). texture might be less soft, but i am not sure. because i always use thick poha.

  • The idli receipe is amazing...softest idlis ever ..
    However my batter turned out a lil runny ..is there any way one can re adjust the consistency of the runny batter

    • thank ronz for the feedback. just add some idli rava (if you have it) or add some sooji/rava (cream of wheat or farina). another option is to add some rice flour.

  • hi Dassana,

    have tried many recipes from your site. this is my favourite blog. all that I have tried have turned out well. thanks a tonne for creating such a wonderful platform with great, authentic and well tried out recipes.

    • then use rice. you can use sona masuri rice or parimal rice. with rava the taste as well as the texture will change.

  • Hi..mam i am a big fan of ur blog. Its jst great. Ur recipes r vry simple. N those pictures of help me in cooking perfectly. I hve tried many dishes like momos, egg less chocolate, rava idli n many more. Thank u so much.
    I hve a request cn u suggest sumthing interest to make i appam maker. I tried to make muffin in that bt sumhow ig did nt cme out properly.

    • thank you sushree. you can make scones or danish pancakes. you can even make muffins, but just make sure that the muffin batter is well aerated. and cook them on a low flame. you can cover and cook them.

  • 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.

      • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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.

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