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4 idli stacked in black bowl
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Soft Idli made with Idli Rava

Sharing easy method of making soft Idli made with Idli Rava in the mixer.
Prep Time18 hrs
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 15 Idli
Author: Madhavi


  • Mixie or blender


  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp Idli Rava (rice rava)
  • ½ cup whole urad dal
  • ½ cup thick poha
  • about 6 to 8 methi seeds (optional) but helps with fermentation
  • salt to taste ( about 1 tsp)
  • ¾ cup of water about (for grinding the dal and poha)
  • few ice cubes for grinding the dal
  • little oil to grease the idli plates


Soaking the ingredients -

  • Rinse the urad dal and methi seeds about two to three times and soak in plenty of water for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Add water to the idli rava and mix it well. Set a side for 30 seconds. The rava will settle in the bottom, now slowly discard the water. Repeat rinsing the rava two more times. Now add plenty of water and soak the idli rava for six hours.
  • Wash the poha and soak in ¾ th cup of water for minimum of 2 hours. Poha will soak up all the water and plump up. (You can also soak the poha at the same time when you soak the dal and rava)

Grinding the Idli Batter -

  • Drain all the water from the soaked urad dal.
  • Add few ice cubes to ¾ cup of water. The cold water will help the mixie jar from over heating.
  • Add the drained urad dal and ½ cup of cold water to the mixie jar.Grind the dal for couple of minutes till smooth and bubbly. Transfer it to a container.
  • Add the soaked poha and ¼ cup of water to the jar. Grind till smooth. If the batter is too thick while grinding add another ¼ cup of water. Transfer the ground poha to the same container as the dal.
  • Drain the water from the idli rava. Take handful of the rava in to your palm and squeeze out as much water as you can from the rava. It is very important to squeeze out as much water as you can.
  • Transfer the drained rava into the container. Repeat with the rest of the rava (if you don't like the grainy texture of the rava, you can transfer the drained rava into the mixer and pulse it 3 to 4 times for few seconds.This will make the rava little more smooth and gives less grainy and smooth idli)
  • Add non iodized salt and with clean hands mix the batter for up to 3 minutes. Mixing the batter with hands helps in fermentation process.

Fermenting the Idli Batter -

  • If you live in a hot place, just cover the batter and leave it in a corner. You can also cover it with a towel. The batter ferments well with in 8 hours.
  • If you live in a cold place or have central Air Conditioning, you can ferment the batter in the oven or in the instant pot.
  • Fermenting batter in the oven - this can be done in two ways. You can preheat the oven to 250 F. Turn off the oven, turn the light on and place the batter to ferment over night. The second method is to just turn the light on and ferment the batter over night or atleast 10 to 12 hours. If you are making a large quantity, its a good idea to put a tray under the vessel to avoid over flow.
  • Fermenting batter in the instant pot - After grinding the batter, transfer it to the instant pot vessel. Turn on the yogurt mode and adjust the time to 12 hours. Close the pot with a steel or a glass lid.
  • Do not use the instant pot lid to close, if the batter over flows the lid can get stuck.
  • The well fermented batter will increase in volume and will be frothy and bubbly.

Steaming the Idli -

  • Grease the idli plates with oil and fill the molds with the batter.
  • If using instant pot, add 1.5 cups of water in to the instant pot vessel and let it boil in the saute mode. Once the water boils, press cancel and place the idli plates and close the lid and cook it in steam mode in the venting position. Keep an external timer and cook for 10 minutes and do a quick release after 30-45 seconds. Let the idli rest for 3 minutes in the idli stand and then remove the idli with the help of a spoon.
  • If using Idli steamer or pressure cooker, boil 1.5 cups of water and place the idli stand filled with idli batter. Close the lid and steam the idli for 8 to 10 minutes on high. If using pressure cooker do not place the whistle. Remove the idli when the pressure releases naturally. Let the idli rest for 2 minutes in the idli stand and then remove the idli with the help of a spoon.

Steaming Mini Idli -

  • If using Idli steamer or pressure cooker, steam for 6 to 7 minutes.
    If using Instant Pot, steam for 8 minutes and do a quick release after 30 seconds.
  • Serve the piping hot Idli with peanut chutney or coconut chutney and sambar.


Please go over all the tips (above the recipe card) before trying the recipe.
Few more notes-
  1. Add salt before the fermentation.
  2. When buying Idli Rava, try to find the thin variety rava. If there are couple of different brands of idli rava, take a close look and pick the one where the rava looks thin. 
  3. The left over batter can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Remove the batter atleast  one hour before making the Idli.
  4. I have not used eno or baking soda in the recipe. If your batter does not ferment well, you can add little bit of eno or soda to get soft idli.