• Course: Breakfast
  • Country of Origin: India
  • Place or region: South India
  • Main Ingredients: Rice, black grams

Idli, the spongy and fluffy rice and lentil cake is one of the most popular breakfast items in the Indian subcontinent and Srilanka. Originating from the Southern India, Idli has made its way to the hearts of people all over the country and is devoured with vigor. Made with a steamed batter of fermented rice and black lentil, idli is a tasty delight as well as a healthy food item as the fermentation process breaks down the starch and makes it easy for it to be metabolized by the body.

Idli has another variant known as Rava Idli which is made from semolina and a fluffier version of the regular idli, shell idli, button idli, masala idli and a regional variant known as Sanna is prepared in the Konkan region. Idli is an ideal and wholesome breakfast item rich in carbohydrates and proteins which will keep you full until your next meal when you would want it even more. Idli is accompanied with a bowl of spicy and tangy sambar or coconut chutney which enhances its flavor even more. There are many fervent lovers of idli and one of them is a Chennai-based caterer who started celebrating 30th March as ‘World Idli Day’.

Making of Idli

The ratio of rice to lentil for the perfect recipe of Idli is 4:1. In two separate bowls, four parts of rice to one part of lentils is soaked for six hours or overnight with an additional spice known as fenugreek for a flavor enhancement. The soaked rice and lentil are then grinded separately and then mixed together with some salt to form a thick batter and kept aside for 8 hours or more to let it ferment. The fermentation will make the batter rise a bit which gives the idli its fluffy and spongy texture. The batter is then poured into the idli molds and steamed until they are thoroughly cooked to have a heart meal ready to enjoy with sambar or chutney. A more traditional method is to use banana or screwpine leaves instead of molds.

Nutritional Content

Idli is one of the healthy and nutritious yet delicious foods to savor in your breakfast. One Idli contains 58 caloric nutrients which includes iron, sodium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, sugar, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and potassium. It has no fat and cholesterol and the fermentation makes it good for the gut health. When served with a vegetable curry like sambar, it becomes a complete meal with a rich micronutrient and antioxidant profile.



A soft, pillowy, steamed savory cake made to dissolve in your mouth, Idli is a go-to breakfast item that is healthy yet delectable and is made a complete meal with a side-kick of sambar or chutney.

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