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Instant Rice Idli

4.59 from 77 votes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 50 IDLIS

Imagine gliding out of bed and effortlessly preparing a breakfast that delights every tastebud. That dream is now a reality with Instant Rice Idli! These pillowy soft idlis tick every box – they’re delicious, easy to make, and require no fermenting, soaking, or grinding.

This is the dream breakfast recipe every beginner needs in their repertoire. Serve it with coconut chutney, and it’s a great way to start your day.

Stacked Instant idli on a plate

When it comes to making idlis, embracing the simplicity and efficiency of instant rice idlis offers a range of advantages.

Whether you have unexpected guests or simply want to satisfy your idli craving on a busy morning, this quick and simple pre-ready Idli mix is formulated with precision to deliver uniformly soft and airy idlis — guaranteed perfection every time!

And with their time-saving preparation and consistent results, these idlis are a game-changer for anyone seeking convenience without compromising on taste.

What is Idli

Idli is a part of South Indian cuisine, considered one of the most popular steamed foods.

This moon-like pillowy-soft rice cake (with added lentils) is bland in taste but is amazingly delicious when eaten with Sambar and Coconut Chutney.

The traditional way of making Idli

The conventional method of idli making goes through a long process of soaking, grinding, fermenting, and finally steaming in a round idli mold. Though it’s intricate and elaborate, BUT it’s worth every step.

The dry Instant Idli Mix is the secret!

My busy life prompts me to create some recipes that are savior and healthy. Sometimes, when there is a sudden urge to dig into a delicacy, the instant versions come to the rescue.

Although I am not a shortcut fan, then…. life happens! And this Pre-ready instant idli is a hassle-free version to prepare soft and spongy idlis in minutes.

There are no complicated measurements, techniques, or fermentation challenges to bother you anymore.

Pre ready Instant idli mixPre ready rice idli mix

Just mix the ready idli mix with the mentioned amount of water and let it rest for some time. Your batter is ready for steaming into soft and fluffy idlis. It’s that simple!

Whether you are a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, the ease of making instant rice idlis makes it accessible to everyone.

And the best part is that the texture of Instant rice idli is as good as the traditional ones.

PS: This rice idli is my instant version. Please do not go into an authentic non-authentic debate. Undoubtedly, the traditional version is healthier and THE best, but we all need a few Shortcuts at times!


You can store this Instant rice Idli mix powder for 2 to 3 months in an airtight container. However, do not add the frizzy agents: Eno and Citric acid, as they may lose their property of effervescence. 

It is always best to add Eno and the citric acid to the batter just before steaming the idlis. This will ensure perfect aeration, and hence it will add fluffiness to your Instant rice idlis.

Instant idli premix powder recipe

Reasons You’ll ♡ Instant Rice Idli

This recipe for Rice Idli is a life-saver and a perfect tiffin snack for kids. Here is why you will love this appetizer 

  • Gluten-free and vegan
  • Can be made in an instant when under a time crunch
  • Instant but yet no compromise on the quality of Idlis
  • Light and airy until the last bite
  • Can be relished at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack in-between
  • Is a lifesaver on busy/ unscheduled mornings! 

Instant rice idlis take no more than 30 minutes from mixing to the mouth. This recipe is also perfect for beginners who want to surprise the gourmets in their family with these super-soft, fluffy Idlis that can be prepared instantly.

Trust me; no one will guess it’s Instant since it has the same sponge and porous structure as the traditional fermented idlis with that signature melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Just dunk the freshly steamed Instant rice idli in the Sambar (a soupy-tangy lentil preparation) and spicy coconut chutney, and when it’s straight into the mouth …… oh, it’s divinely delicious!! 

Ingredient list for Rice Idlis

Ingredients list for Instant Rice Idli

This ingredient list for Instant Idli is relatively short and comes together quickly with no complicated ingredients or procedures to follow.

Rice flour — This is the main ingredient in the recipe. I am using store-bought rice flour for instant idlis. 

Urad dal flour — It is added to the rice batter for fluffiness. I have used white Urad dal, split (skinless), for that traditional look. Although you can use skinned urad dal, its outer skin color will make the batter darker in color.

Poha (flattened rice) — Adding poha aids in softer, lighter, and fluffy idlis.

Fenugreek seeds powder — It adds softness to the idlis. In addition to that, fenugreek seeds add nutritional benefits and a generous amount of fiber and minerals.

Citric acid — This is a must-have ingredient for our instant rice Idlis, as it makes the Idlis light and soft and adds an extra tangy flavor to the idlis.

Eno (Fruit salt) — Eno is added to the mix for all that fluffiness and softness as it helps the instant rice idli batter rise.

Instant idli no soak no fermentation

Instant Rice Idli Recipe Tips and Variations

Add more sponginess with Poha — Idlis are best enjoyed when soft and spongy. For this, Poha is ground to form a powder and then added to the idli batter. It renders more fluffiness to the rice idlis, making them more delectable. 

Fenugreek for more fluffiness — Adding methi dana powder or fenugreek powder brings extra softness and fluffiness to the rice idlis. But please make sure that it is added moderately; else, it can change the color and taste of the idlis.

Consistency of the batter is essential — There are a few key points to remember to reach the best results when making rice idlis. One of the vital things to keep in mind is to check for the consistency of the batter. If the batter is on the thicker side, you may end up having hard idlis, while a runny consistency will spoil the entire preparation (as the batter will not take the shape of idlis). To obtain perfect idlis, ensure the batter has a waffle-like consistency, not too thick or too runny. 

Aerating the batter for best idlis — Aerating the batter is important for making fluffier and softer idlis. Citric acid and a fruit salt such as Eno (a mix of baking soda, citric acid, and salt) are best for aerating the batter. Eno reacts with the batter to create an effervescence that helps the batter rise, resulting in super soft and fluffier idlis with an airy texture. 

Importance of Eno — Fermentation of the batter is an essential factor in achieving the desired sponginess when making rice idlis. Fruit salt, such as Eno, promotes instant fermentation and also aerates the batter, which helps the batter to rise. This results in fluffier and softer idlis when they are steamed. 

The right time to add Eno — Eno is a fruit salt comprising citric acid, baking soda, and salt. It reacts with the batter and creates an effervescence needed to raise the idlis better. Steaming the batter at this stage is essential as the aeration may be lost soon. Once lost, you will end up with flat idlis. So, the right time to add this fruit salt is just before steaming.

Vinegar is not recommended — Vinegar added for aerating the batter may turn the idlis sour and spoil the preparation; therefore, I will not recommend adding it. 

Steamed idlis in a plate with chutney

A little strategy will go a long wayEno and citric acid add fizziness/aeration to the batter, which helps the batter to rise and result in softer idlis. Unfortunately, this fizziness may be lost if the batter is allowed to sit for longer. When making larger batches, you may need to preserve this fizziness. Therefore, it is best not to add eno and citric acid all at once. Divide the batter into batches and add it to the recent batch. 

Cook over medium heat — Slow steaming will allow the Instant rice idlis to rise correctly and cook well while retaining the nutrients. Therefore, don’t haste and always steam the idlis over medium heat. 

Nutrient-packed goodness — Steamed food is known to pack all the nutrient goodness, and idlis is one of those reputed steamed foods. If you want to add some extra nutrition, you may consider adding veggies to the idlis batter. It will add nutrition and texture and make the idlis more flavourful and tasty. But remember to add the veggies in moderate amounts as more of it will alter the whole recipe and ruin its essence.

Healthy and tasty variation — Idlis are reputed for their health benefits as they are rich in carbs, proteins, enzymes, and fiber and lack saturated fats or bad cholesterol. You may substitute white rice with brown rice to prepare healthier and grainier idlis, richer in fibre. 

Delight in the versatility of the instant version — Lastly, let’s not forget the versatility of the instant rice idlis. With this instant rice idli mix, you can experiment with your favorite herbs, spices, vegetables, or even cheese to create a new version of this delightful dish that caters to your preferences.

While the traditional idlis are primarily made with rice and lentils, this instant idli premix opens up a world of possibilities for the gourmet in you.

Let your creative soul explore endlessly to customize this South Indian classic to imaginable culinary creations!

Close-up view of Rice Idli

Let me know what you think!

Mastering the art of creating irresistibly fluffy instant rice idlis is now within your grasp. By embracing the advantages of this convenient method, you can bid farewell to the time-consuming process of traditional idli preparation.

Remember to choose the right ingredients, perfect your technique, and follow our tips for consistent idli perfection.

With minimal effort, you can savor these idlis’ soft, light, and mouthwatering goodness. So why wait? 

Try our foolproof recipe today and elevate your breakfast game to new heights. As the saying goes, “Life is too short to skip breakfast!”

Should you make this Instant Rice Idli recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.


Readers Testimonials

Idli - testimonials

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make the best Instant Rice Idli

Stacked Instant idli on a bowl

Instant Rice Idli

4.59 from 77 votes
Wake up to a breakfast that everyone dreams of – Instant Rice idli that's so unbelievably good and effortless to make. Beginners will love how simple it is – no fermenting, no soaking, and no grinding at all. Serve it with coconut chutney, and it's a great way to start your day.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Rest: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Calories: 42 kcal
Servings: 50 IDLIS



  • In a large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, urad dal flour, ground poha, salt, and fenugreek seeds powder.
  • Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Add enough water to make a thick batter. For me, it was appx. 3¼ cups of water. So add slowly and gradually. Too much water will result in flat and sticky idlis. Thoroughly beat the batter, so it's free of lumps. Cover and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, the batter will thicken. Add an extra 3 tablespoons to ¼ cup of water and give the idli batter another good whisk to ensure there are no lumps in the batter. Add citric acid.
  • Add Eno..
  • Mix it well. The batter will become frothy and bubbly.
  • Heat water in a large pan. Grease the idli molds lightly with oil to prevent sticking while steaming and ease the demolding process later.
    Tip — Steaming idlis to perfection requires attention to detail. Ensure the water in the idli steamer is boiling before you begin the steaming process.
  • Spoon the batter in idli molds.
    Tip — As the batter rises during steaming, make sure to fill the idli molds about three-quarters only, leaving space for them to rise.
  • Place the molds in the steamer and cover it with a lid. Let the idlis cook for 10- 12 minutes and check for doneness. A toothpick coming out clean when inserted in the center confirms the doneness of the idlis. 
  • Steamed idlis are ready.
  • Remove the idlis from the water pan. Allow them to cool completely.
    Tip — Freshly prepared idlis are soft and delicate in texture, making them susceptible to crumbling. So, handle them with care.
  • Once cooked, run a knife around the idlis, and they will pop right out of their molds. Gently remove them from the molds using a spoon or knife, not breaking them apart. 
    Run a knife around idlis
  • Spongy soft idlis are now ready to be devoured! 
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
  • This recipe makes 50 – 55 idlis.
  • Arrange them on a platter and serve them warm alongside your favorite chutneys or sambar. 


  • Steaming Instant rice idlis in your Instant Pot is so easy; you’ll love it; it is an excellent alternative to cooking stovetop.
    Start by greasing your idli molds. Spoon the batter in idli molds. 
    Turn the Instant Pot ON. Press the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” Button. Place the idli mold inside the insert.
    Cover the Instant Pot insert with a glass lid. 
    Rice idli in Instant Pot
  • Steam the Instant rice idli for 10 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the idlis from the insert. Let the rice idlis cool completely.
    Run a knife around idlis, and they will pop right out of their molds. Soft and fluffy idlis are ready. Serve hot with Sambar and coconut chutney. 
    Rice idli in Instant Pot



Frequently asked questions

Why did the idlis become flat?
The most common reason for idlis not rising or going flat during steaming is – the runny batter. So, please use the correct measurements as mentioned in the recipe, as too much water will thin out the batter, and the idlis will turn hard and flat. 
Can we add buttermilk instead of water?
 Yes, you can swap water for buttermilk. 
Can we store the batter after mixing Eno and Citric Acid?
After adding Eno and citric acid to the batter, you can only store the batter in the refrigerator for a day.
Is Citric Acid good for health?
In moderation, citric acid is okay. Citric acid is a common food additive used in recipes to lend a tangy flavor to them. It is perfectly acceptable as we use that in a moderate quantity (a half teaspoon in 3½ cups of rice batter).
It’s a must-have for this recipe as the citric acid, and Eno combo results in soft and light idlis.
Can I add baking soda?
The answer is a No because baking soda will leave a soapy taste in these idlis.
Serving Suggestions
Idlis are best savored when hot. Dunk them in freshly prepared Sambar and accompany them with some coconut chutney, and you are ready to receive your reward in the form of compliments!
Storing Suggestions
In the refrigerator, you can store your freshly prepared idlis in an airtight container for three days. When the craving strikes, put them in a bowl and steam them in a steamer for 3-4 minutes.
They will be as good as the freshly prepared ones. Don’t microwave the idlis, as it will dry them out.


Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 6mg | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

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  1. 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! 🙂

  2. SP says:

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

  3. 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!!