Instant Pot Idli Recipe: The Complete Guide
In today’s fast-paced world, everything from Instagram to instant pot is “instant.” No one’s got the time to wait and take hours to complete a task. While this sounds very mechanical and robotic, it is also good because while your work gets done instantly, you can spend more time with your family or with yourself. On a similar note, today we are making idlis unconventionally in an instant pot instead of our good old idli steamer or pressure cooker. This can also help people living outside of India, where idli steamers are not easily available. So, let us put our instant pot to good use and make this instant pot idli recipe.
Idlis are soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes made out of a steamed batter. They are traditionally cooked in idli mold, and placed in an idli steamer. Idlis have always been an important part of South Indian cuisine, where people enjoy eating them with sambar and chutneys. Idli recipes use fermented rice and lentil batter to yield these soft and fluffy savory cakes. So if you want to make quick idlis and can’t find your idli steamer, just grab your idli molds and your instant pot can quickly come to your rescue. So let us make fluffy and delicious idlis with this instant pot idli recipe.
Ingredients For Instant Pot Idli Recipe
Urad dal is a type of skinned and split black lentil that provides a creamy texture to the idlis. It also adds a nutty flavor and contributes to the overall protein content of the dish.
Idli rice is a short-grain rice that is specific for making idlis. It helps to achieve the fluffy texture and softness of the idlis.
Fenugreek seeds add a slightly bitter, nutty flavor to the idlis and also help to aid in the fermentation process, which is essential for the idlis to rise and develop a light texture.
Salt is a crucial ingredient in any dish as it enhances the flavor and balances out other flavors in the dish.
Yogurt helps to tenderize the idlis and make them more fluffy. It also adds a slight tangy flavor to the dish.
Step By Step Instructions For Instant Pot Idli Recipe
First, rinse the udad dal, fenugreek seeds, and idli rice in a bowl and soak them in water for 4 hours.
After 4 hours, drain the water and grind the mixture into a fine paste using a mixer or blender.
Next, add a little water to facilitate the grinding process. Then, transfer the paste to a large bowl and add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of yogurt.
Mix the batter for 5 minutes, ensuring that it is well combined.
Cover the bowl with a lid and place it in a warm place for 8 to 12 hours, depending on the climate, to allow the batter to ferment. After 8 hours, the batter should have doubled in size and become fluffy. Alternatively, you can place the batter in your Instant Pot on yogurt mode with the lid on and the vent open. This will provide a heat source for the batter to ferment.
Now, grease the idli molds with oil and pour the fermented batter into the molds until they are 3/4th full.
Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and place the idli molds in the pot.
Then, close the lid and set the vent to the “Venting” position or remove the pressure rocker completely. Watch our video below to see how to do this.
Set the timer for 12 minutes on high pressure using the “Manual”, “Sauté”, “Steam”, or “Pressure Cook” mode. The main thing as that the water is boiling and the vent is open. Never run your pot dry.
Once the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally. This means you allow the pot to cool enough for the pressure in the pot to come down to safe levels. Because you steamed with the vent open or with the rocker completely off, this should be fairly quick. Carefully, open the lid of the instant pot and remove the idli molds.
Allow the idlis to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the molds using a spoon or knife.
Finally, serve the idlis hot with coconut chutney or sambar.
There are several serving suggestions for the Instant Pot Idli recipe that can enhance the flavor and texture of this classic Indian dish. Firstly, serving the idlis hot with coconut chutney, a spicy dip made from grated coconut, chilies, and other spices, is a great option. Additionally, you can serve the idlis with sambar, a flavorful lentil soup with vegetables and spices. Another option is to serve the idlis with a dollop of ghee or butter or make masala idli, which adds richness and enhances the flavor of the dish. Adding a side of crispy papadum, a thin and crispy Indian cracker, can also provide some crunch and texture to the dish.
Storage Suggestions Instant Pot Idli
To store the Instant Pot Idli recipe and keep them fresh, there are several steps you should follow. Firstly, allow the idlis to cool down to room temperature before storing them, as this will help prevent condensation from forming and making them soggy. Place the idlis in an airtight container, making sure not to overcrowd them. To store them for up to 2-3 days, you can refrigerate the container with the idlis. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them by wrapping each idli individually in plastic wrap or foil and placing them in a freezer-safe container. You can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
To ferment batter in an Instant Pot, mix the ingredients for idli batter, and allow it to ferment for 8-12 hours on yogurt setting. Once the batter is fluffy, pour it into greased idli molds and steam in the Instant Pot for 12 minutes.
Cook the idlis in a pressure cooker or idli steamer for 10-12 minutes on steam mode or sauté mode with water in the bottom of the pan. Never run the pot dry! Once they are soft and fluffy and a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready to take out and serve.
Idli batter may not become fluffy due to several reasons, such as using old ingredients, not allowing the batter to ferment for long enough, allowing the batter to ferment too long, or adding too much water or salt to the batter.
To make idli batter ferment quickly, add a pinch of sugar to the batter before fermenting it. Alternatively, you can keep the batter in a warm place or use a yogurt starter to help speed up the fermentation process.
Some common mistakes while making idli include using old ingredients, not fermenting the batter enough or too much, adding too much water or salt to the batter, and not greasing the idli molds properly.
This is not a traditional way of making it, but baking soda helps the idlis rise and become fluffy. It is added to the batter just before steaming. I never add baking soda as natural fermentation usually does the job beautifully.
Idlis are generally considered to be a healthy food option and do not have any harmful side effects. However, eating too much of any food can lead to health issues.
Idlis are healthier than rice as they are made from a combination of rice and lentils, which are both good sources of protein and fiber. They are also naturally fermented which adds B vitamins to the batter. Additionally, idlis are steamed rather than fried, making them lower in calories and fat.
Eating idlis daily is not harmful, as they are a healthy food option. South Indians have eaten idlis daily for centuries and have maintained robust and healthy bodies when combined with a healthy lifestyle. However, it is important to have a balanced and varied diet that includes a range of nutrients and food groups.
Dosa and idli are both Indian breakfast dishes made from fermented rice and lentil batter, but they differ in their shape and texture. Idlis are small and round, while dosas are larger and thinner, with a crispy texture.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.