Chennai Idli
Written by Jayashree
Published on September 8, 2014

Idli are an all time favourite for many of us. I love making this one, as they are soft and supple. There may be a variation in other recipe as this is modified by me.They make an ideal breakfast with sambar and chutney. Why is this named as “Chennai Idli” ? Chennai is a place in South India,it is the capital city of the state of Tamilnadu. It is here, they were first made  and  was very famous for these soft and supple idlis. Hence the name as “Chennai Idli”

Ingredients :

Procedure :

  • Soak the rice in hot water for 4 hours.
  • Soak urad dal seperately  in cold water for two hours.
  • Grind both of them seperately with adequate quantity of water. Later ,mix both together.
  • Now, rinse the semolina in water for sometime. Mix into the ground batter.
  • Keep in a warm place to ferment for 8 hours.
  • Add salt, mix and  and make idlis the usual way, in a steamer.
  • Serve with coconut chutney and sambar and a dollop of butter if you wish !

Just a note :

Idli rice is a different kind of rice, which is used in making idlis and dosas. It is partially brown and  smaller in size. Here, in south india, it is called as salem rice.

My other idli recipes on the blog:
chennai idli
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Chennai Idli

Soft and supple idli make ideal breakfast, chennai idlis are that kind. 

Course Breakfast, healthy, lunch box
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Author Jayashree

Ingredients

  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 2 cup idli rice
  • 1 cup semolina (idli)
  • salt
  • water

Instructions

  1. Clean and wash the rice. Boil water in a pan. Put the rice in it and soak it for four hours.

  2. Soak urad dal in regular water for two hours.

  3. Grind both of them separately to a smooth batter. Later, mix them in a wide bowl.

  4. Wash the semolina and soak it for ten minutes, mix it in the batter and keep it in a warm place to ferment, preferably overnight.

  5. Add salt to the batter and mix it well.

  6. Take the idli stand, put the batter in each of the cavity, steam it for fifteen to twenty minutes.

  7. Once, it is done, let cool, then remove and serve with coconut chutney and sambar. 

Recipe Notes

  • Batter is to be kept in a warm place.
  • Keep a wide plate below the container, lest it may not overflow on fermenting.
  • Fermenting time differs according to the season and the region where you are. 

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Chutney recipe can be found here

Note: This post contains affilate links

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45 Comments

  1. dishofdailylife

    I love trying foods from other cultures. Indian food is one of my favorites! This sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us at Foodie Fridays!

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou and nice to be connected here!!!

      Reply
  2. Mums Take Five

    interesting i will have to write the rice down and see if i can find it, i am curious to try these. Thank you for sharing with us at Sunday Brunch

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou. We often prepare it here. You can also make using semolina instead of the rice. The recipe is on the site

      Reply
  3. Anu Nagaraja

    adding semolina is a new thing for me Jayashree. can I use sona masoori rice or ponni rice for this? thank you.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Hye Anu,
      I tried this version and it came out good, hence been doing it. Ponni rice, the brown coloured one

      Reply
  4. marudhuskitchen

    Sss..soft idliss adding rava..is new and should try soon

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thanks a bunch Vani

      Reply
  5. Meri Rasoi

    Delicious dish.. I have the same question as anu, can i use Ponni rice or sona masoori rice??

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thanks Subha…Ponni rice and salem rice are same I think. This is brown in colour

      Reply
  6. Annapurnaz

    Feeling hungry now…I make idli with rice or semolina (rice) and urad dal only. Will try next time with all the three to see the difference 🙂

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Do give a try Ritu. Thanks for the visit.

      Reply
  7. Shobha Keshwani

    Idli is my most favourite breakfast item. I can never get tired of eating them.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      It is common in South India, thanks for the visit Shobha.

      Reply
  8. Priya Suresh

    Steamed rice cake aka idlis are our staple breakfast, would love to finish that plate rite now. You nailed them prefectly.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Priya.

      Reply
  9. spiceaffairs2016

    The Chennai Idlis are so fluffy and tempting, will try your version of the recipe soon.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Soma, do give a try.

      Reply
  10. Jolly

    I love idli can eat it anytime..love to eat with sambar or any South Indian style chutney 😋

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Tastes good with both chutney and sambar.

      Reply
  11. Batter Up With Sujata

    Chennai idli looks soft and delicious. Loved it. Great share.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Sujata.

      Reply
  12. Aruna

    Interesting idli recipe. A cross between regular and rava idli.

    Reply
  13. Sandhya

    I dont get the Salem rice here. Will parboiled idli rice do Jayashree?
    I would love to try this Chennai idli.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Yes, Sandhya you can use it. Thankyou.

      Reply
  14. Freda @ Aromatic essence

    Looks so soft and fluffy. Perfect with that sambar and chutney, an evergreen breakfast 🙂

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Yes, thankyou Freda.

      Reply
  15. Jagruti

    Wow..semolina in Idli, something new I’ve learnt today. Soft and fluffy idli are my weakness, I could eat it anytime.

    Reply
    • jayashree

      This is different semolina for idli Jagruti. Thanks for the visit.

      Reply
  16. marianasir1973

    Adding semolina must make these idlis extra soft, right! I didn’t know a special kind of rice is used for idlis. Very informative post for me!

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Maria, this rice can be used both for idly and dosa.

      Reply
  17. Padma

    Lovely platter of soft and fluffy idli…Can enjoy it anytime!!…Super share!!

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Padma

      Reply
  18. cookingwithsapana

    Idli is my all time favorite South Indian breakfast . How soft and tasty those idlis look.

    Reply
  19. Sasmita Sahoo Samanta

    lovely share jayashree, surely trying this version on my next idli day 🙂

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Sasmita, do let me know.

      Reply
  20. Lathiya

    Idli is one main dish for breakfast or dinner for us.. we can’t think a week pass without this healthy dish…

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Oh ok..thats nice.

      Reply
  21. Priya Satheesh

    I love Idlis.. Such a tempting and heathy breakfast !

    Reply
    • jayashree

      Thankyou Priya.

      Reply
  22. afroz261

    Idli is my daughter’s favorite weekend breakfast.
    You pro in making idlis they look so soft .

    Reply
  23. Preethi Prasad

    Love these soft fluffy idli’s. Love this version of Idli. Superb share Jayashree.

    Reply
  24. Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    I have read quite a few versions of idly origins, the chennai version is a new one to me.
    I have never used both idli rava and idly rice togetther… let me try this one

    Reply
  25. Ruchisvegkitchen

    Idli looks soft and yumm.. I loVe idli with piping hot sambhar. So Delicious

    Reply
  26. mayurisjikoni

    Had no idea there is something called Chennai Idli. Adding semolina to a rice urad batter is new to me. However, guess if that makes the idlis much softer and yummier then that’s what I’d like to do next time I make the batter.

    Reply

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