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Instant Pot Idli Recipe: Soft & Fluffy Instant Pot Idli Recipe: Soft & Fluffy


Instant Pot Idli Recipe: Soft & Fluffy

Written by: Lucas Johnson

Whipping up my Instant Pot Idli recipe is a breeze. Soaked rice and lentils ground to a batter, fermented, and steamed to fluffy perfection. Best enjoyed hot with chutney and sambar. Yum!

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Hold onto your spoons, folks, because you're about to embark on an epic culinary adventure in your own kitchen! Ever tried whipping up steamy, fluffy idlis right at home? Yep, you heard me right! Using that handy instant pot and my very own tried-and-tested recipe, you're about to impress everyone with your cookery skills. Trust me, the divine taste of these South Indian delicacies will have you wishing you'd discovered this recipe sooner. Ready to roll up your sleeves? Let's get cooking!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Idli

  • Idli rice: Essential for idlis, this short-grain rice creates a soft and fluffy texture, perfect for soaking up flavors.
  • Urad dal: Provides a creamy texture and helps with fermentation, resulting in soft and fluffy idlis with a slight tang.
  • Fenugreek seeds: Adds a subtle bitterness and aids in fermentation, contributing to the overall flavor and texture of the idlis.

Essential Tools and Equipment

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the idlis quickly and efficiently.
  • Idli molds: Needed to shape the idli batter into traditional round shapes for steaming.
  • Trivet: Helps elevate the idli molds above the water level for proper steaming.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup idli rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed


  1. Rinse the idli rice, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds separately and soak them in water for 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain the water and grind the rice, dal, and fenugreek seeds separately to a smooth paste. Mix them together, add salt, and let the batter ferment for 8-10 hours.
  3. Grease the idli molds with oil and pour the batter into each mold.
  4. Add water to the Instant Pot, place the trivet inside, and stack the idli molds on top of the trivet.
  5. Close the lid, set the vent to sealing, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  6. Allow natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  7. Carefully remove the idli molds, let them cool slightly, and then unmold the idlis.
  8. Serve hot with chutney and sambar.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 180 kcal | Carbohydrates: 38 g | Protein: 6 g | Total Fat: 0.5 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 590 mg | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 0.5 g | Calcium: 30 mg | Potassium: 150 mg | Iron: 2 mg | Vitamin A: 20 µg | Vitamin C: 0 mg

Prep and Storage Tips for Idli Batter

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the idli batter as per the recipe instructions and let it ferment.
  • Once fermented, pour the batter into greased idli molds and steam the idlis.
  • Allow the idlis to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • After steaming the idlis, let them cool down to room temperature.
  • Place the idlis in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm.
  • Transfer the frozen idlis to a freezer-safe bag or container, and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • To reheat, steam the frozen idlis until heated through.

Idlis made in an Instant Pot are softer and fluffier compared to traditional steaming methods, thanks to the consistent and controlled pressure cooking environment.

Common Questions About Making Idli in the Instant Pot

How long does it take to ferment the idli batter?
It takes about 8-10 hours for the idli batter to ferment properly.
Can I skip the fenugreek seeds in this recipe?
Yes, you can skip the fenugreek seeds if you don't have them, but they do add a nice flavor to the idlis.
Do I need to grease the idli molds before pouring the batter?
Yes, it's important to grease the idli molds with oil before pouring the batter to prevent sticking.
How much water should I add to the instant pot for steaming the idlis?
Add enough water to the instant pot to create steam but not so much that it touches the idli molds.
Can I use regular rice instead of idli rice for this recipe?
It's best to use idli rice for authentic idlis, but you can try using regular rice if idli rice is not available.

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