How To Make Idli In Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Idli and Idli Batter Fermentation | Pressure Cooker Idly and Batter Fermentation

In the Before Times, I was tasked with reviewing a new multicooker for CNET. I took it on with a high level of skepticism. I’d recently been gifted an InstantPot Ultra 60 and found it to be overwhelming and unclear with a seemingly never-ending “burn” notice on the screen each time I attempted a dish that wasn’t soup.


Let Me Know What You Think

So, the next time the cravings strike, do give these Instant rice idli a try. Its super easy to make and will indeed become a show-stopper at your dinner table. Since Idli is a low-calorie, protein-pakced food, it can be a part of any diet plan.

Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And dont forget to share it with your family and friends.

Light & Healthy South

For the longest time, idli has been making South Indian cuisine proud. The unique characteristic of idli is that it is steamed, which makes these delicate rice cakes light and incredibly delicious.

Plus, idli is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils that is good for your health and gut flora. And packed with a ton of plant-based protein.

These pillowy soft steamed rice cakes are extremely popular nationwide. It is considered to be one of the most delicious snacks and popular street foods throughout India.

The real trick behind making perfect Idli is learning how to make a foolproof idli batter, using the Instant Pot. I can assure you, with that easy-to-master batter, Idli-Sambar will become a regular addition to your breakfast or brunch table.

Let’s check out this fail-proof recipe for Idli!

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Few Tips & Tricks For Best Instant Pot Idli:

1. Soak Rice and lentils in separate bowls.

2. Also grind them separately as both require different time and water while grinding.

3. Dont add more water while grinding the rice and lentils. Just add little water that is required for a smooth blending. Adding too much water during this process wont result into smooth paste.

4. If the consistency is very thick , you can add water.

5. In case you have added a little more water, and the batter becomes runny, add sooji or semolina and let it sit for a while. It will soak up some water and give a better taste as well. You can also add some ground poha.

6. For mixing batter use hands as the natural warmth of hand helps in better fermentation.

7. Ratio of rice to lentil should be 3:1

8. Use filtered water. Chlorine and fluorine in water prevents good bacteria/ yeast to grow hence affecting the fermentation process.

9. Add salt before fermentation. Add 1 tsp salt for every 1 cup of dry ingredients.

Blender Vs Wet Grinder For Batter

Idli Recipe

As per my experience both yield the same results if good quality dal is used & blended following the correct method. I do have a wet grinder & blender.

I use the wet grinder only when I have guests home from India. During other times I use the regular blender. Making idli batter in wet grinder is good for larger families like 5 or more. Otherwise it is quite easy to manage with a blender.

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Favorite South Indian Recipes

Did you enjoy these healthy and delicious idlis? Here are some more favorite South Indian vegetarian recipes to try:

  • Ven Pongal – Savory rice and lentils with earthy tempering of curry leaves
  • Curd Rice – Lightly spiced cooling rice and yogurt dish
  • Bisi Bele Bhath – Packed with veggies this spicy one-pot meal is a must-try
  • Veg Kurma – Mixed vegetables cooked in a coconut-based curry
  • Bean Poriyal – A simply green beans stir fry garnished with cococonut
  • Quinoa Dosa – Instant no-ferment Dosa with high protein quinoa instead of rice

How To Make Sambar In Instant Pot

I am preparing Sambar in Instant Pot, however the same recipe can be followed in a stovetop pressure cooker too.

Start the instant pot in Sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add mustard, asafoetida, and curry leaves to it.

In about 30 seconds, add the onion and sauté for couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes, sambar powder and salt.

Now add the veggies, toor dal and water. That is it!

Close the instant pot and cook the sambar for 8 minutes under high pressure.

When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.

You will notice that all the veggies are cooked well and almost mixed with the lentils.

Add in the tamarind paste to get the tangy flavor. You will definitely taste the difference. Note: we add tamarind at the end, as the tartness of tamarind will hinder the lentils being cooked properly.

Garnish with cilantro and sambar is ready to be served.

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How Long Do I Steam Veggies For

Less cooking time more natural texture.

It takes a bit of trial and error to get the time setting right. The vegetables still would be delicious and healthy, but you may get a mushy carrot if you are cooking it for too long or a hard carrot if you dont cook it enough.

As a general rule, If you like natural texture of vegetables , reduce the cooking time.

Please note that the time you set, is the actual time for steaming so you dont have to compensate for the preheating time.

Washing The Urad Dal And Idli Rava


I made this as a paragraph coz it is important that you wash them well to get soft and white idlis.

Urad dal usually contain a lot of dirt so it is important you wash the dal under running water several times until you see the water clear.

Also mix fenugreek seeds with urad dal while washing itself.

Same goes for rava, using little salt while washing and soaking the rava helps in getting white idlis they say but I havent tried personally.

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Can You Use Frozen Vegetables In An Instant Pot

This recipe for making Instant Pot steamed vegetables is based on using fresh veggies. You can use frozen vegetables, but they will need a little extra cook time.

Rather than setting the cook time to zero minutes, you will just set it to one minute. An alternate method is to allow the pressure to release naturally rather than doing an instant pressure release.

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Which Grinder Is Best For Making The Batter

Grinding dal or black gram lentils is tougher than rice. It requires a high-power blender like Vitamix. A wet grinder is also a good option than a mixer grinder. This is because the batter heats up easily during the process. Since the mixer grinders are not high-power gadgets and it takes a longer time. Also, it makes the batter too hot while grinding, which may hinder the fermentation process.

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Storing Leftover Steamed Buns :

To prevent them from sticking to one another, place the steamed buns on an oven tray, and partially freeze them in the freezer.

Then place the partially frozen bao in Ziploc bags. Remove the excess air in the ziploc bags and seal tight.

For best quality, you can store the bao in the freezer for up to 3 months .

What Isinstant Potwhere Can I Buy It

Idli Recipe

Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker that has multiple functions to pressure cook, steam, make yoghurt, cook beans, meat, chicken, eggs etc with less effort and attention to the cooking process so you can save time immensely.

Like you dont need to keep checking whether the rice has cooked or curry has spilt and count whistles like your normal pressure cooker. Most of the times you can dump your ingredients and switch on a button and e back in some time to have a ready-to-eat meal literally.

You can buy this in official instant pot stores or or Costco for the best prices. Usually, they have the best deals at the end of the year especially Amazon.

If you live in India your best option is to get it from any of the friends in the UK, they do sell on Amazon India but the price is very high and not worth it.

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Natural Vs Manual Pressure Release

When the cook time is up on your Instant Pot, theres still one more step releasing the pressure.

There are two ways the pressure can be released. With natural pressure release, the valve on the lid stays in Sealing position and the pressure dissipates naturally over time. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on what you were cooking. Low-liquid meals take much less time than high-liquid meals, like soup or chili.

The other option is manual pressure release . Here, youll carefully move the valve into Venting position and watch as steam shoots out of it, releasing the pressure. This method is much faster, but very high-liquid meals, like soup, can still take about 15 minutes to release pressure manually.

So which one should you use? Consider that with natural pressure release, the Instant Pot is still full of pressure, so the food will continue cooking while the Instant Pot is in Sealing mode. Manual pressure release is useful and necessary when youve built in enough cooking time and cooking needs to be stopped as fast as possible.

If the goal is to cook a meal quickly, set enough time on the Instant Pot to cook your food and release the pressure manually when the time is up.

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Ingredients For Instant Pot Idli Batter

The softness of idli depends so much on the quality of ingredients chosen along with how well the batter is fermented, here am listing out the exact ingredients that always resulted in soft melt in the mouth pillow idlis for me.

Urad Dal I always used whole good quality white urad dal. You can also use split urad dal be it black or white but I havent used myself.

Idli Rava this almost decides the texture of the idli, Select a super fine variety of idli Rava that doesnt require hours of soaking. In the UK, we always buy Priya or Sree Krishna brand, their Rava is super fine and needs less soaking time.

Fenugreek/Methi Seeds they help a lot for fermentation and also giving crispiness and colour to dosas too. Dont miss them if you need soft idlis.

Poha/Flattened Rice I normally use thin poha but you can use thick as well. using poha helps in increasing the softness of idlis.

Salt Rock salt is recommended by elders but I always g wrong with measurement so I stick to sea salt or table salt.

Ice Cold Water I added this too because the amount and temperature of water added also decides the softness and puffiness of idli.

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How To Steam Idlis In Instant Pot

You need to use the steam function. Idlis steam perfectly in about 9-12 minutes. While using the Instant Pot, always keep the vent open to simulate the function of the idli cooker. Remember this, if the vent is open, the Instant Pot timer will not work when using the Steam function, so use an external timer and set it for 10 minutes. All you need is 9-10 minutes of steaming under high pressure and your idlis are ready!

How Would I Use The Steam Function Does It Still Cook Under Pressure

Instant Pot | Idli Making | All in one Pot | Batter Fermentation | Steaming Idli |

With the Instant Pot, if you use the Steam button, its essentially going to be pressure steaming, not just regular steaming.

To use the Steam function, youll need to pour in at least one cup of water into the inner liner. Then place your trivet at the bottom, then place a steamer rack or basket on top of the trivet. Place your food into the rack or basket and then close the lid. Just push the Steam button, then put in your cooking time. After that, just wait a few moments until you hear the beeping sounds. Then the display should read On. This is when the Instant Pot is heating up, boiling the water, and creating pressure. Once the pressure is high enough, it begins to count down. When the food is done steaming, make sure to do a Quick Release, otherwise, the food will be overcooked.

As the water boils, it creates steam. Since you need to use the regular Instant Pot lid for all functions except sauté, the Instant Pot will be sealed while steaming, building up pressure inside. However, the Steam function wont create as much pressure as the Manual/Pressure Cook function, so you arent exactly pressure cooking like you normally do.

The only problem with using the Steam function is the fact that you cant check on the food as you steam since its under pressure and the lid isnt see-thru.

Once the timer is up, always make sure to Quick Release , because the food is still cooking as its inside. Failure to Quick Release can result in overcooked and mushy food.

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Variations With Idli Batter

There are many possible variations you can do with a basic idli batter. You can add lentils like moong dal and make moong dal idli.

Even millets, flattened rice can be added to the batter. Oats can also be added. I have shared Oats Idli. Experiment with proportions and then decide on the one which gives you the best idli in terms of texture and taste.

More Traditional Idli Varieties

Instant Pot Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is similar to butternut squash, but its got an entirely different flavour. Its a bit nutty and a little less sweet, but it is delicious nonetheless. Its large cavity makes it fantastic for stuffing with sausage, meat, grains, and fall flavour infusions with dried fruits, fresh herbs, and more. Its also a healthy side dish. Personally, I love mine with a healthy spoonful of grass-fed butter and cinnamon.

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Storing Suggestions For Idli Batter

I usually store the instant pot idli batter on the counter top for the first few hours after fermenting say for at least 5 hours.

then I will transfer to a closed lid container and store in fridge , it stays good and fresh for at least 3 days.

Frankly, I like the idli prepared with fresh and 1-day old batter, rest is only an adjustment on the taste for me, but do not listen to me, am an over perfectionist when it comes to idli lol.

Instant Pot Idli How To Ferment Batter And Steam Idlis Using Instant Pot

Instant Pot Idli Dosa Batter + How to Steam Idli

Published: · Modified: Apr 3, 2019 by Anushree Shetty · This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Instant Pot idli recipe Do you struggle with idli batter not fermenting in winter? Learn how to ferment idli/dosa batter as well as steam the idlis in Instant Pot for perfect results every time!

Idli, is a steamed rice cake made by steaming a fermentedbatter of ground rice, urad dal and methi seeds. If the fermentation is successful , youll end up with almost sponge-like, soft idlis that will feel like a pillowy cake. And if it doesnt then youre left with this large amount of batter and a family who is ticked off at you because you dont have idlis ready for breakfast or for their school lunch .

Enter Instant Pot and all your idli problems are solved!

Instant Pot not only helps you with fermenting idli batter, it also allows you to steam idlis an all in one solution.

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Can You Refrigerate Idli Batter

Yes. It can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. After grinding, it must be transferred to separate containers. Then fermented separately. Next refrigerated after fermentation without disturbing it.

I usually make the idli batter good enough for 2 days. Then transfer it to 2 different containers and ferment them separately.

Use up one the next morning and refrigerate the other as it is without stirring it. For the second day, I use a glass or ceramic bowl. Plastic or steel containers may make it sour. My idli turns out soft with no sour smell even on the subsequent days.

On the third day, I am left with some batter that is not enough for all of us. So I mix up ragi flour in luke warm water and add it to the left over batter. I allow it to rest for 30 mins out of the fridge. Even these turn out good.

How To Steam Broccoli In The Instant Pot

  • Wash and cut broccoli into uniform pieces. Make sure they arent too small, otherwise they may overcook . Its important to cut them into similar sizes so they cook evenly.
  • I use the 3lb bag of broccoli florets at Costco. Some of the pieces are really large, so I cut them down .
  • Transfer the broccoli to a steamer basket or net. Now you dont need one in order to make Instant Pot broccoli
  • Before I had my basket, I would layer the broccoli on top of the trivet and hope it didnt fall through.
  • Read 12 Ways to Use an Instant Pot Steamer Basket
    • Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing.
    • Cook on manual high pressure for 0 minutes. Yup, you heard me right. Press the adjust button until you hit 0 minutes.
    • As soon as the pressure cooking has completed, an L0:00 will appear for LAPSED time.
    • Do a quick release right away by turning the knob to VENTING.
    • Open the lid, and test the broccoli with a fork to see if it is tender enough. If you fill up a big basket like mine, you may have some pieces that are undercooked in the center.
    • I dont mind this, because I use the parts that are cooked first. The rest gets reheated in the days following and they stay crisp and not overcooked.
    • For the best, most consistent results throughout, fill the basket halfway.

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