Instant Rice Idli

Soft and fluffy Instant Rice Idli (steamed cakes) prepared with rice flour and lentil flour. No soaking or fermentation required!! A famous South Indian delicacy!!Instant Rice Idli

Idlis are in constant demand in my household and preparing them right at that moment is never possible. Earlier like everyone, I used to soak dal and rice separately, ground them very finely and then wait anxiously for it to ferment. But now, I have stopped doing this, I love idlis so why wait that long? Just like my homemade uttapam mix, came up with a magic homemade Instant Rice Idli mix and since then I am preparing idlis in a jiffy. 

It’s very easy to make and no soaking or fermentation required. Yeah, you heard me right – no soaking or fermentation – Instant idlis ready in 30 minutes. Sharing my all time favorite, quick and easy instant rice idli recipe. A real savior and a foolproof recipe that has never failed me. 🙂Instant Rice Idlis with step by step pictures

RECIPE DETAIL – Having unexpected guests for dinner – no worries, prepare the batter and create moist and soft idlis in a jiffy. Enjoy warm idlis with hot sambar and coconut chutney.

Prepare homemade idli mix by combining the flours and spices. Poha has to measured after grinding. This mix can be prepared in advance and stored in airtight container. When ready to use, mix in the ingredients required to prepare batter and there you have it – Instant rice idli batter.

BIG NO’S–  I am updating all the combos that I have experimented with.

  • Image result for x image Baking Soda as citric acid substitute – No. Because baking soda leaves a soapy taste in these idlis.
  • Image result for x image Vinegar – A big no. It gives a sour taste to the idlis.
  • Image result for x image Baking Powder – Absolutely no.
  • Image result for x image Can you avoid citric acid – Unfortunately no. Citric acid and Eno combo results in soft and light idlis.
  • Image result for x image Lemon Juice – No. I have experimented with lemon juice and the one that gave me good results is citric acid and Eno combo. Eno and citric acid together creates a fizzy reaction which is very important for fluffy idlis. Lemon juice fails to do that.

Also try Instant uttapam recipe and Instant uttapam mix
Instant Rice Idli


  • ✔Buttermilk instead of water – Yes, you can do that.
  • ✔After mixing eno and citric acid to the batter – can we store it? Yes, you can – but only for a day in your refrigerator.
  • ✔Can you store the dry mix? Yes you can, without adding Eno and citric acid.Instant Rice Idli

Do give this recipe a try like many others have with successful outcomes . And if you happen to make this, do drop me a line below or share your yummy picture @facebook with me. Would love to see your creation!!

Instant Rice Idli
Votes: 39
Rating: 3.72
Rate this recipe!
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Soft and fluffy instant idlis (steamed cakes) prepared with rice flour and lentil flour. No soaking or fermentation required!! A famous South Indian delicacy!!
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
Instant Rice Idli
Votes: 39
Rating: 3.72
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Soft and fluffy instant idlis (steamed cakes) prepared with rice flour and lentil flour. No soaking or fermentation required!! A famous South Indian delicacy!!
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 1/2 cup Grounded Poha, (flattened rice)
  • 2 cup Rice flour (store bought)
  • 1 cup Urad dal flour (store bought)
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Citric acid
  • 1.5 teaspoon Eno (fruit Salt)
  • 3 -4 cup Water (may need extra)
  1. Measure Poha..
  2. In a mixer, grind poha to its powdered form. Poha has to measured after grinding.
  3. Assemble flours. You can either use store bought flours or grind them at home.
  4. In a bowl, mix both the flours, grounded poha, salt and fenugreek seed powder.
  5. Mix it well and homemade idli mix is ready.
  6. Assemble rest of the ingredients.
  7. Add enough water to make a thick batter.For me it was appx. 4.5 cups of water. So add slowly and gradually. Too much water will make flat and sticky idlis. Batter should be of thick dropping consistency.
  8. Add citric acid.
  9. Add Eno..
  10. Mix it well. Batter will become frothy and bubbly.
  11. Heat water in a large pan. Grease idli moulds.
  12. Spoon batter in idli moulds.
  13. Cover and steam idlis for 10-12 minutes.
  14. Steamed idlis are ready..
  15. Remove from the water pan..
  16. Let it cool.
  17. Run a knife all around idlis and they will pop right out of their moulds.
  18. Soft and fluffy idlis.
  19. Beautifully cooked.
  20. Repeat the process with rest of the batter.
  21. This recipe makes 50 - 55 idlis.
  22. You can freeze this batter in airtight container for future use.
  23. Add hot sambhar to the idlis and enjoy!!
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165 Responses

  1. dia tsung says:

    Thank you for the trouble you have taken to refine this recipe and thank you for all the experimentation that went into getting the result you have presented here.

    And judging from your answers to all the many unnecessary questions here, you have patience to match your intelligence and unfailing good manners.

    I was just at the point of getting a wet-grinder from Amazon when it occurred to me to find out if idlis could be made with ready-made rice flour and ready-made urad flour when my good fortune led me to your site.

    1) I have an unopened package of rice flour, but it appears to be plain rice and not idli rice. Can I use this?

    2) Somewhere in my pantry I have some idli flour of uncertain vintage stored in an airtight container – can I use it?

    3) or should I grind fresh whole (sabut) urad or split urad?

    I just ordered citric acid from ebay and I plan to try your recipe as soon as it arrives. Why eat rice when I could have idli!

    Salutations and thanks in advance.

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Glad you found the recipe helpful. Now onto your query –
      1) I have an unopened package of rice flour, but it appears to be plain rice and not idli rice. Can I use this?
      If it’s plain rice flour – sure you can use that.
      2) Somewhere in my pantry I have some idli flour of uncertain vintage stored in an airtight container – can I use it?
      3) or should I grind fresh whole (sabut) urad or split urad?
      Please grind white urad dal for this recipe.

      • dia tsung says:

        OK! Thank you fvery kindly or your time and great advice. My citric acid just came in the mail. I will be soaking the urad today!

        • Ruchi says:

          Keep me posted!

          • dia tsung says:

            Idlis came out perfect – soft and fluffy! Grinding the urad was a bit of a task, so I used my ‘vintage’ urad flour which worked just fine. The hardest part was whisking the batter. I had a few small lumps but they didn’t seem to cause any problems. As you perhaps guessed, I had to add some extra water, and a fraction more of the Eno and citric acid in order to see noticeable bubbles. Your instructions were perfect, and the pictures helped hugely when it came to judging the consistency of the batter.Thanks and pranams to you!

          • Ruchi says:

            Thanks for your sharing your experience with me.
            Glad you found the recipe and tips helpful.

  2. Payal says:

    I want to make for industrial purpose what should I use instead of eno

  3. D says:

    Can I substitute ENO and artificial citric acid with something natural, like curd and lime juice or something? I was once told pirandai give instant foamy texture to the batter. Is that real?

    • Ruchi says:

      I have tried all possible variations and the one that gave these idlis a perfect fluff was citric acid and Eno combo. Eno and citric acid together creates a fizzy reaction which is very important for fluffy idlis. Lemon juice and curd will fail to do that.

  4. Mala says:

    Can make idli batter with sour curd water morning 8am can I make idli without eno

  5. Vatsala says:

    Do I have to keep the mixed batter for fermentation?if so how long?

  6. Magesh says:

    Fantastic idea Ruchi. I used to buy idli batter from the Indian stores and they always come out hard. Today I added citric acid and eno to the batter and the idles came out very soft. Thanks a bunch. You rock!

  7. Sam says:

    Hi please tell me if I can use idly raava instead of the rice flour? I read online that wheat raava is much more healthier than rice flour.

  8. Sheela says:

    I have to try this! What mixer do you use to dry grind the poha? Can I use the Oster with the glass jar? ( since I have only used the coffee grinder for dry grinding [spice] so far!) Thanks.

  9. Noel says:

    I got a fluffy, tasty, sweet and not so white idlis. Thank you.
    1. Is the colour because of fenugreek? Shall we avoid it?
    2. Is the sweetness because of Eno? Is there sweetless Eno available?

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for trying the recipe Noel. I am glad it worked well for you.
      Fenugreek seeds helps to aid fermentation which results in softer idlis. So skipping it would affect the end results. Yes, the color of idlis do change slightly because of fenugreek seeds.
      From what I know Eno is not sweet. What flavor of Eno did you use?

  10. KISHU NAGRANI says:

    Hi Ruchi,Just made your instant idli and it turned out very good.
    soft and fluffy;
    A quick fix.

  11. Zarina says:

    Indeed a fail proof recipe. I have tried this recipe many times now and I am impressed. You are one good cook and inventor of a great fast cook idli recipe.

  12. balitha says:

    can i use yeast instead of both citrid acid and eno???

    • Ruchi says:

      Balitha, have never tried making idli with yeast.
      Yeast will make the batter ferment faster but can’t comment on the taste.

  13. Sita says:

    We are a franco tamil cultural centre of Pondicherry and we are writting an article about idlis in Tamil Nadu. We would like to ask you if we could use one of your picture (the one of the 21th step of your recipe) to put it along our article with your name above ?
    Thank your for your answer

  14. abi says:

    Being a student in UK definitely made me miss Idlies. such a quickie ! came out sooper awesome. Thank you. Does the idly usually get hard after keeping it out for even 10 minutes?

  15. prachi says:

    Hiiii ruchi can i use lemon juice insted of citric acid….

    • Ruchi says:

      Prachi, I have experimented with lemon juice and it didn’t give me great results. It’s clearly stated in the recipe “I have experimented with lemon juice and the one that gave me good results is citric acid and Eno combo. Eno and citric acid together creates a fizzy reaction which is very important for fluffy idlis. Lemon juice fails to do that.”
      I wouldn’t suggest lemon juice.

  16. rachna says:

    Simply wow !

  17. PY says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    I dont have citric acid, but i wish to make it now. Can i use anything else other than citric acid?
    Thanks in advance


    • Ruchi says:

      Hello PY, as stated in the recipe I have tried with all possible combinations and the one that gave me perfect results was eno + citric acid combination. Eno and citric acid together creates a fizzy reaction which is very important for fluffy idlis. Please refer to my notes mentioned in the post.

  18. Trupti says:

    Hey Ruchi, Is NImbu Ke phool same as citric acid?

  19. Dharma says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    I got excited when I saw your recipe as I could never get idli right. Followed your recipe just a few minutes ago. The idlis came out flat and sticky (I was so sad). All the ingredients were from brand new store bought packages except for the rice flour. I had an opened pack so used it. Could that have been the culprit for my flat and sticky idlis? Would appreciate your thoughts on what I could do.

    • Ruchi says:

      Dharma, I’m sorry to hear that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. It is really important for me that you enjoy the recipe the way I do and many others who have tested and tried it.
      1. A pre-opened bag of rice flour should not be an issue until it is 6 months old.
      2. Did you add both citric acid and eno?
      3. Was their a fizz reaction when eno was added to the batter?
      4. How much water did you add to the batter? If the batter was of a thin consistency than it will make flat sticky idlis.

      I hope you give this recipe a try again with a more successful outcome next time. 🙂

  20. Ashwini says:

    Hello Mam For Idli without adding water but including all ingredients how many days this powder of Idli is usable…

    • Ruchi says:

      Ashwini, you can store the dry mix for a month in an airtight container. When ready to use, add eno and citric acid along with water and mix.

  21. Anna says:

    hi Ruchi! Loved the idea of instant idlis, it was just what I was looking for. However, where I am currently located I don’t get urad dal. Can you recommend a substitute for urad dal? Chana dal is also rarely found here. Would really be of great help. I’m craving for idlis and dosas!!

  22. suguna says:

    nice recipe.going to try.but i want to prepare my own flours for the mix.can you p tell which rice to use-raw rice,or idli rice .and can we wash them and dry them before milling

  23. Swati says:

    Wow loved this recipe for instant idli !

  24. Nargis says:

    Hi, I love idli but don’t have idli stand. Can I make in a pan and cut into squares?

  25. Devasya says:

    1.If i use buttermilk instead of water do i have to add eno and citric mixture? and
    2.what can i use in place of eno salt?

    • Ruchi says:

      My apologies for a delayed response. Devasya, I have tried all the possible combinations and the ones that works the best for instant idlis are mentioned in the recipe. Please read my notes added in the main post.

  26. Naina says:

    Just awesome Ruchi.

  27. Roli says:

    Hi ruchi, my son is really fond of idli and dosa…I’m really very thankful to u for giving me such an instant method of preparing idlis…..thanks to u once again.please share the recipe for preparing dosa also.

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for your lovely feedback Roli, the pleasure is all mine. Will post the dosa recipe pretty soon. 🙂

  28. aashi says:

    Did u add eno in batches?
    After adding eno should’t we be quick and steam the idlis?

    • Ruchi says:

      Aashi, all the eno was added in the end. It was not added in batches.

      Can’t understand your next question? Are you referring to this – After mixing eno and citric acid to the batter – can you store the batter in the fridge? Yes. you can. In fact I have always done that. The very next day I made idlis and they turned out perfect.

  29. Aruna says:

    Hi ruchi

    Instant n quick idli recipe is nice. I will try definitely…..

  30. Priyanka arora says:

    Thanks for sharing I was try ots comeout yummy in taste md appearance. .

  31. Bk puneet says:

    Hi ruchi, maine recipe try ki plz mujhe urad dal aata aur chawal aata se instant dosa ki recipe bataiye searched lots on net bit failed to found.

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Have not yet published a recipe of dosa with above mentioned flours. I am working on it and will keep you posted.

  32. Ashwini says:

    Thanks for sharing such a quick recipe, Ruchi!! You are Genius!! Now a dumb question from an unseasoned cook..I didn’t wash uradDaal before grinding..Is that ok??

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for your kind words Ashwini! Glad you liked the recipe. At this point nothing can be done dear, a powdered dal cannot be washed so go ahead with the recipe.Unless you plan to use a fresh batch and start all over again. If you happen to make this recipe do share some pics with me at

  33. Usha says:

    Love it…NYC idea… WL try it…

  34. yogi says:

    Hi can we use idli rava ? As idli flour is nt of good quality in my area.

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by Yogi! I have not experimented this recipe with rava so can’t say how the idlis will turn out with idli rava. This recipe uses rice and urad dal as main ingredients, if possible try grinding them at home.

  35. Leah says:

    Hey Ruchi,

    Tried this and was very impressed. Well written and explained nicely. My idlis were perfect. I have failed so many times and my batter never fermented but now I have my hands on to a perfect recipe. Its a keeper. Many thanks for sharing!

    Love from Dubai!

  36. nilesh khatri says:

    The taste of idlis is best but the colour is dark i want to know why idli colour not white

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for trying the recipe Nilesh. The only possible reason that I could see are –
      1. Adding too much fenugreek seeds will result in a change of color.
      2. Did you grind the dal at home, if so which dal did you use? Was it the urad dal with skin? That could be another reason.
      Hope that helps!

  37. Priyanka says:

    Hii ruchi!! Superb post.. Plz let me knw is dere any alternative for citric acid?? Is it easily available in market??

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks Priyanka! I have experimented this recipe only with citric acid and eno combination. Citric acid is easily available in your local Indian grocery stores. It goes by the name of Nimbu ke phool or citric acid.

  38. Asmita says:

    Its awesome

  39. Anonymous says:

    The recipe is extremely wonderful. Now I can make idlis whenever I want. Brought a big pack of rice flour and urad flour. Love idlis and will keep on making. What an invention Ruchi, you are a genius!

  40. Chaitra says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    Can we make the batter with this mix and allow it to ferment overnight and then use it in the morning?
    I am a little lazy to grind the idly batter each time, so this mix wuld be helpful . I guess if we ferment it this way we need not add eno and citric acid combo ? Let me know if you’ve tried this.

    • Ruchi says:

      Chaitra, I personally have not tried it but a reader tried my recipe and she had done the same way as you suggested. She avoided eno and citric acid and fermented the batter overnight and got great results. Feel free to experiment and share your feedback and pics. 🙂

  41. Namita says:

    Nice recipe . Surely Going to try this . Can we use this for dosa also ?by adding little more water ?

  42. Reena Mokha says:

    Hey Ruchi !! Thanks a lot for the recipe ! The Idlis turned out to be really good . I would admit that I did not put citric acid as I dint have it and had already made sambhar and chutney 😛 so was left with no option than to take the risk ! and guess what !! idlis were good ! (north Indian family wont find the difference so much anyways )
    A big hug to u.

    Thanks once again

  43. Trisha says:

    Ruchi, thank you for a fantastic recipe. I just tried it out and it turned out better than any other recipe I’ve tried so far. My husband and I were very pleased with the results. Again, thank you so much.

  44. dhirja says:

    hey Ruchi, tried the recipe again.. came out awesome. 2 questions:
    1. last time i had used same measurements only differnce the eno sache was a pre opened one. this time i used fresh packet. could that have caused any issue?
    2. how do u get lump free batter? as soon as i start adding water, the flours just get hardened n i have t struggle hard to remove lumps

    • RK says:

      Glad to hear that Dhirja! Thanks for trying the recipe! Yes, a previously opened packet of Eno will result in sticky and flat idlis. For a lump free batter, keep adding water a little at a time and start whisking until you have a smooth consistency. Hope that answers your query!!

  45. Dhirja says:

    Hi ruchi,
    Awesome recipe. First try the idles were perfect. Second time I mafpde the batter, the idles seem to be sticky, like when batter doesn’t ferment well. I still have 1 day old batter. Any fix can be done? Like more eno or citric acid?

  46. Neha Aggarwal says:

    Hi There

    How do i grind the dal to make a dal flour cos i need to fist wash it and once i do that i will not be able to make a dry mixture. Pls help .Also if there is any quality brand and store in gurgaon from where i can buy it. Not able to get daal flour. Thanks its a wonderful recipe.

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Neha!! Urad dal flour is readily available in Indian markets. I have no idea about Gurgoan but you can find at any supermarket in flour section. If you choose to grind it at home then – wash and drain all the water from the dal. Lay a large kitchen paper towel on the counter, spread the wet dal and leave it overnight. Grind it in the morning.

  47. Sonal says:

    Fabulous post deat

  48. Beni says:

    I’m mean will Lemon Flavor Eno work for this?

  49. asha says:

    thanks for the instant recipe, i was looking for it for a long time.

    for it

  50. Bharti says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Yes I used both the eno and the citric acid and it was very frothy but next time I’ll try without the veggies. The taste is great so it will be consumed.

    • RK says:

      Then there should have been no error. Do give it a try again (without the veggies) and I am sure you will get great results!!

  51. Bharti Pandit says:

    Hi Ruchi, I tried this recipe but unfortunately it came out very sticky and did not have the grainy or spongy texture like the original idli recipe. The taste is good. I also added grated carrots, peas and whole cumin.

    • RK says:

      Sorry to hear about that Bharti. This is my fail proof recipe and has never disappointed me. Let’s walk through the whole process.
      1. Did you use the Eno and citric acid combo?
      2. Was their a fizz reaction when eno was added to the batter?

      Don’t be disheartened, I would suggest please try making plain idlis and you will surely get great results.

  52. Rashmi says:

    Awesome recipe….Can we serve these idlis to babies….

    • RK says:

      Thanks Rashmi!! Rice flour and urad dal flour, I think is okay for babies but if you are concerned about Eno and citric acid – I would strongly recommend checking it with your physician or pediatrics.

  53. Rachna says:

    Ruchi I am definitely gonna try this quick n tasty recipe for daughter’s tiffin! & I am truly impressed with your prompt reply to each & everyones query. Appreciate

  54. Shubha says:

    Have a quick question, can we powder the poha and methi seeds together ?

  55. Sri Vidhya says:

    Is it ok to give this mix to babies?

  56. Nila says:

    Best one. Can u tell me batter should make in small qty including eno and citric acid means sufficient for one time. And next batch again mix water.

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Nila!! Either way is fine. On the blog, below the ingredient list there is a button – CHANGE SERVING SIZE reduce that to 25 idlis and it will give the adjusted measurements.

  57. anjali says:

    Hi..impressive recipe.. Saves a lot of tym..wl surely try it out 🙂

  58. Dhisha says:

    It is an amazing recipe …made them and they turned out soft as cotton and very delicious…my family enjoyed it!!thanksss…..

    • RK says:

      Thanks for trying the recipe Dhisha. Great to hear that you and your family relished my recipe. Do you have any pics to share?

  59. BHarU says:

    Awesome recipe , where can you find Eno and Citric Acid?

  60. Anubha says:

    Any alternative of citric acid? Btw looks amazing,got to try this !!thanks

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Anubha!! Unfortunately no, Citric acid and Eno combo results in soft and light idlis. Please refer to the recipe, I have updated all the combos I have tried to make this recipe successful. 🙂

  61. Tulika says:

    Hi Ruchi..great recipe. .relief and time saver…one question do we need to store it in room temperature or hve to freeze it in airtight container?

    • RK says:

      Tulika, dry idli mix can be stored in an airtight container but the batter needs to be stored in the fridge. It can stay in fridge for 3-4 days and in freezer for a 1 month or more. Only if it lasts that long. 🙂

  62. Shilpa says:

    Hi Ruchi,great recipe,will def try it.
    I usually buy the store bought batter,as I make idli’s n dosa once a week,was just wondering if u have ever made dosa/uttapam with this idli mix.
    Once again thanks a lot.
    Have a great day!!

  63. Rashmi says:

    Can we store idly mix powder?

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Rashmi. Yes, you can store idli mix powder. I have stored it for 2 months in an airtight container. 🙂

  64. Anjana says:

    Hi Ruchi its a great idea to make instant idli .Really thanks for this nice recipe.

  65. Latha rao says:

    Hi Ruchi should I measure poha before or after grinding

  66. Nivaydita Nair says:

    Thanks for the recipe… Will try it out soon.
    Do you have the recipe for instant Meduvada as well?

  67. Aruna says:

    Lovely recipe and it can be such a life saver!

  68. Lata says:

    Hello can u add curds instead of water

  69. Priya Srinivasan says:

    Awesome recipe dear. Will try this soon and let u know! !!

  70. Natasha Verma says:

    Hi Ruchi, nice recipe will try it soon, however im just anxious to know why fenugreek seeds powder? I mean won’t the batter become bitter?

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Natasha!! Fenugreek seeds helps to aid fermentation which results in softer idlis. No the batter is not bitter at all.

  71. Rinki says:

    Thanks!! Will surely try.

  72. Shriya says:

    Hi Ruchi .can i make the urad dal powder at home if,so how. As we dont get it here ..rice. flour u mean idli rawa or rice atta

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Shriya!! Yes, you can make Urad dal flour at home. Ground dal in a mixer to its powdered form. Strain the grounded dal through a strainer and use the powdered dal for the recipe. Rice flour means – rice atta. Hope that answers your query!!

  73. SP says:

    neat idea – will try soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  74. Divya says:

    Hi Ruchi, I just tried this recipe.It came out very well.This is one of the best instant idli recipes I have come across.Thanks! 🙂

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