Rice idli recipe in microwave is a recipe something that I adapted from my mother in law’s recipe. It is so amazing to learn from her how she makes the softest idli in the world.

In my current blog, I would like to share with you the super easy recipe of Rice idli and the rice batter recipe. Because the softness and sponginess of the idli lies in the idli batter.

Rice idli is the most traditional breakfast made in every South Indian Kitchen. Hot rice idlis with sambar is my most favorite breakfast.

Rice Idli Recipe in Microwave

Soft Homemade Rice Idli Recipe in a Microwave

Rice idli is such an amazing food which can be used in various ways. It can be your breakfast, dinner, evening snack, early food for babies and best travel food.

Pre-Preparation Requirements of Microwave Rice Idli

Before we get into the actual recipe, it is  very important to know utensils and ingredients used. This has really helped me plan my cooking very well and avoid running around.


Idli Maker (Microwave Safe or Other)

Grater to grate carrot

2 Bowls

Small Pan for preparing the tempering or tadka

Spoons or Spatula for mixing the ingredients

Grinder to grind the rice batter


20 Minutes


Over night – Rice

Urad (Black lentil) , Fenugreek Seeds and Flattened rice


5 minutes in a microwave

Ingredients Required for Preparing Rice Idli

It’s always important to keep the ingredients of the rice batter first. This way you don’t have to switch between ingredients of batter and tempering for idlis.


Idli rice – 2 Cups

Urad dal (Black lentils) – 1/2  cup

Water – 2 Cups

Flattened Rice – 1/4 cup

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – According to taste


1 Pinch of Turmeric

1 Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)

½ cup grated Carrot

5-6 Curry Leaves

Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoon

Mustard Seeds – ½ teaspoon

Complete Recipe of Rice Idli in a Microwave

The key thing I learnt from my mother in law about making the softest idli is to have the right batter. The right batter helps to keep the idli soft not only when they are warm and even at room temperature. Let us get started with the idli batter recipe. You will be amazed to see the softest idli in 5 mins when you have the right batter.

Important of Idli Rice and the batter 

While the Rava idli batter can be make instantly, Rice idli batter need to be fermented. So you need to soak all the ingredients over night and grind it to a nice batter before its fermented.

The rice used for the meals is different from the rice used for idli. You need to use the idli rice to make the rice batter. This is very important because the regular rice makes the idli hard. Idli rice is very key ingredient to make fluffy and soft idlis

Another very important thing is the same batter can also be used to make dosa or uthappam. You will be surprised to see the multi-use this of the rice batter.

Soak the rice in a small bowl over night

In a large bowl , add 2 cups of rice and add enough the quantity of water. Rinse the rice twice in the water and clean the rice. You should then soak the rice in a bowl. Make sure you soak the rice in enough quantity of water and rest it overnight.

Rice idli recipe in Microwave

Soak the Urad dal (Black lentil) , Flattened rice and Fenugreek seeds in a separate bowls for two hours

Though we call it Black lenthil, the outer black cover is removed and sold in the market. So the lentil looks white inside.

In a  bowl ,rinse the urad dal ( Black lentil)  twice or thrice and soak it in the water. You should make sure you use thrice the quantity of water to soak or two hours. Reason being, the lentils swell up double the size.

Add required water in a another bowl and rinse the flattened twice. Soak it for two hours with enough water as this will also swell up double. This is another important ingredient to make the idli soft.

In a small cup , add 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and soak in water. 

Rice Idli Recipe in Microwave

Grind the Soaked Ingredients into a Batter

Set the timer to 30 minutes if its an automatic grinder. Other wise you can keep grinding the batter for 30 mins in the grinder.

Add each soaked ingredient one by one to the grinder and leave it for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, nice and smooth idli batter will be ready

Transfer the batter to the large bowl and leave it for Fermentation

Now transfer the batter to a large bowl.

You should make sure the batter is only filled half of the bowl. Because after the fermentation, the batter rises to the top. If filled more than half, the batter might spill over.

Leave the idli batter covered overnight and fermented batter is ready. You will clearly see how much the batter has risen in the bowl.

Heat Some Oil in a Pan for tempering or Tadka

In a small pan heat about one tablespoon of oil. Keep the flame on medium.

I used Light Oilve Oil. However, Coconut oil and groundnut oil are also some good options. In case you have none of these, use some refined oil or ghee (clarified butter).

Keeping the flame on medium heat, add mustard seeds once the oil is hot enough. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

Rava podi idli recipe

Add rest of tempering ingredients to the pan

Once the seeds have crackled, quickly add 5-6 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida into the oil. Remember, the flame is still on medium heat.

Increasing the flame can cause the tempering or tadka to burn.

After the above step, add half a cup of grated carrot into the pan. Also, add some salt.

Cook the mixture in the pan for about half a minute while constantly stirring it.

Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool down for a minute or two.

Rava podi idli recipe

Add the Tempering in the pan to the Rice idli batter

Add the tempering you have prepared in the steps above to the batter you had kept in the bowl. Mix the ingredients properly using a spoon.

Make a good batter for podi rava idli

Add water to the batter to adjust consistency

If the batter is too thick, add water to make the consistency right. The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin.

Start by adding 1-2 tablespoons at a time.rava podi idli recipe

Add a pinch of turmeric powder to the batter

Add half a pinch of turmeric powder to the rice idli batter. Adding turmeric powder to the batter gives your idlis a very beautiful light yellow colour.

Mix all the ingredients properly with the batter.rava podi idli recipe

Grease Idli Moulds

While the batter is resting, prepare your idli moulds to stand. I have used a microwave-safe idli maker. You can use the metal idli stands as well.

Take some oil in your fingers and grease the insides of the idli moulds. The oil will prevent the batter from sticking to the mould.

While I used olive oil to grease the moulds, you can also use ghee to grease them.rava podi idli recipe

Pour the batter into the moulds

Once you have added the Eno fruit salt, you need to work quickly.

Take the batter and pour them into the idli moulds. While filling the moulds, make sure you keep a little space for the idlis to rise.

pour the batter into moulds

Fill water into idli maker or cooker or pan

Fill the cooker or container with some water. The water in the pan/ container/ cooker is to be filled in a way that the water does not touch the moulds directly.

fill water into idli maker

Place the idli stands in the cooker or container or pan

Carefully place the batter filled idli stands into the cooker/ container. If you are cooking it on the flame, you can use either use a cooker or a big pan to place the idli stands.

rava podi idli into moulds

Add the Idli Maker to the Microwave

Cover the container containing the filled idli stand with a lid. Covering the container is important as it helps prevent the steam from escaping.rava podi idli

Set the timing at 5 minutes

For microwave cooking, set the timer at 5:00 for every batch.rava podi idli

Remove the container from Microwave

Once the time is up, remove the idli maker from the microwave. In case you are cooking on the flame, switch off the gas.

Let the container cool for a minute or two before opening the lid.

rava podi idli

Remove the idlis into a bowl

Remove the idli stand from the container carefully and let the idlis cool down a little.

Now, carefully using your fingers, slide the idlis out of the moulds and transfer them into a bowl.

rava podi idli

Calorie Count per Rice Idli


40-50 calories per idli.

Rice idlis are much healthier than many breakfast as they are steamed 

Tips for Making Spongy and Soft Rice idli

Best Rice idlis are light, soft , fluffy and porous in texture. You must follow these simple tips to have soft idli while warm and also at room temperature. 

1. Keep all the ingredients ready

Before you start cooking, keep all the ingredients in one place. This makes cooking more efficient and you won’t forget.

2. Soak the ingredients for longer time

You must take the right quantity of rice  Soak it overnight with double the quantity of water 

3. Use Flattened Rice

Flattened rice is very important ingredient to help you make soft idlis. It is not required to be soaked overnight, couple of hours would help.

4. Remove all lumps from batter

If your batter has turned out to be lumpy, make sure you remove all the lumps using a whisk. If you do not have a whisk, use a spoon or fork to remove the lumps.

5. Keep idli moulds greased before adding batter

Always grease up idli moulds before adding batter.

6. Refrigerate soaked Urad Dal

To get softer and fluffier idlis, make sure that, you soak the urad dal in water and refrigerate them. Just like flattened rice, urad dal can be soaked for 2 hours. Not required to soak them overnight

7. Do not overfill the idli moulds

Make sure that you do not fill the idli mould to the brim. After steaming, the idlis will rise, so, make sure you leave a little space for them to rise. Ideally, you should fill a little over three fourth of the idli mould.

8. Be watchful of the timer

When using a microwave for making rcie idlis, be very mindful of the timer. Do not overcook the idlis or they will get hard.

9. Remove the idlis carefully

Once the rice idli is cooked, don’t remove it from the mould instantly. If you try that, the rice idlis may break. Leave it for a minute or two before removing them from the moulds. If you have difficulty removing the idlis, use a sharp object to loosen it from the edges of the idli mould.

10. Tempering the Rice idlis

Instead of plain rice idlis, You make sure to temper and add veggies to enhance the taste of idlis

11. Prepare tempering on medium flame

Always prepare the tempering for the rice idli on a medium flame. If you keep it at a high flame, the tempering will burn and give your idlis a bitter taste.

12. Use Idli Rice for batter

its very important to use the idli rice instead of the Regular rice. If you want the idli to remain soft even in room temperature, idli rice is a must

13. Squeezing out the water from the flattened rice

Please ensure to squeeze out the water from the soaked flattened rice. Because this will help to avoid excess water in the batter.

14. Rinsing the idli batter ingredients well

Its very important to rinse each ingredient of the idli batter. This way you will ensure there is no dirt in the batter.

15. Multi-use batter

Idli batter should be kept for three to four days only. Because, after that idlis will be hard when cooked. At this point of time, the batter would still not go waste . You can use it for making dosa.

16. Add Fenugreek seeds for better fermentation

Fenugreek seeds helps to ferment well. Since the same batter can also be used for dosa, it helps in crispiness

These soft and spongy rice idli tastes the best when tossed in yummy podi masala. I hope you enjoyed learning the most traditional recipe that can be used for all meals in a day. Please feel free to ask questions and add your comments in the section below.