How to Cook Idli Without Idli Maker?

Are you craving delicious, fluffy idlis but don’t have an idli maker on hand?

Find out the convenience, cost, and availability of cooking idlis without an idli maker. We cover the essential ingredients needed and the step-by-step process of making idlis without a traditional idli maker.

Explore alternative cooking methods like using a microwave, pressure cooker, or stovetop pot for making idlis. Get tips on achieving perfectly cooked idlis every time!

Key Takeaways:

  • Cooking idlis without an idli maker is possible and has its benefits.
  • You can save time, money, and still enjoy delicious idlis by using alternative cooking methods.
  • Be sure to follow proper steps and tips for perfect idlis every time, regardless of the cooking method.
  • What is an Idli Maker?

    An Idli Maker is a kitchen tool designed specifically for preparing traditional South Indian breakfast delicacies like idlis.

    Idlis are a popular staple in South Indian cuisine, known for their soft, fluffy texture and unique round shape.

    The Idli Maker typically consists of two cylindrical containers, one stacked on top of the other, with cavities to pour the idli batter.

    Its innovative design allows for steam to evenly cook the idlis, ensuring they are cooked to perfection.

    The use of an Idli Maker eliminates the need for constant monitoring, making it convenient for busy kitchens.

    Why Cook Idli Without an Idli Maker?

    Cooking idlis without an idli maker offers flexibility and allows one to experiment with alternative cooking methods.

    One mustn’t be restricted by the lack of a traditional idli maker because there are various creative ways to prepare this popular Indian dish. Not only does it provide the freedom to improvise, but it also allows individuals to tailor the size and shape of the idlis according to their preference. This method is especially advantageous for those who may not have access to specialized kitchen equipment or want to save on costs. Utilizing common kitchen utensils can make the process more accessible and enjoyable.


    One of the primary reasons to cook idlis without an idli maker is the convenience it offers in terms of using readily available kitchen items.

    For those who may not have an idli maker at home, fear not, as there are simple alternatives that can be utilized. A steamer basket can serve as a great substitute for the traditional idli molds – simply grease it lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Muffin pans or silicone molds can also be used to shape the idlis. These options allow for flexibility and creativity in adapting to the tools available in your kitchen. The key is to ensure that the batter consistency is right to achieve soft and fluffy idlis.


    Another factor to consider when cooking idlis without an idli maker is the cost-effectiveness of using basic kitchen utensils instead.

    By opting for traditional methods like steaming idlis in a regular pot or using a pressure cooker, you can save money on purchasing a specialized idli maker. These simple kitchen tools can be found in most households, making idli preparation not only convenient but also affordable. Utilizing versatile ingredients like urad dal and rice to make the idli batter allows for a budget-friendly yet nutritious meal for the entire family.


    Cooking idlis without an idli maker becomes essential when the traditional idli maker is not readily available, making it necessary to adapt with alternative cooking tools.

    One can demonstrate remarkable resourcefulness by utilizing everyday kitchen utensils such as steamer basket or dhokla plates for steaming the idli batter instead of a conventional idli rack. This adaptability in cooking methods allows for the flexibility to still enjoy the delightful taste of fluffy idlis without compromising on quality.

    Ingredients Needed for Idli

    To prepare delicious idlis, you will need key ingredients such as urad dal, rice, and salt, along with a well-fermented batter.

    Urad dal is crucial in providing the idlis with their characteristic soft texture and a subtle nutty flavor. The rice, on the other hand, lends the idlis their lightness and helps in achieving the perfect balance of moisture. When combined in the right proportions and allowed to ferment adequately, these ingredients work harmoniously to create fluffy, airy idlis that are enjoyed by many.

    Ensuring the batter is of the correct consistency is paramount. The batter should be smooth and slightly thick, yet pourable. This consistency allows the idlis to rise well during steaming, resulting in the desired spongy texture. It is essential to maintain the batter at an optimal fermentation stage to achieve the authentic taste and texture of idlis.

    Steps to Cook Idli Without an Idli Maker

    Follow these simple steps to cook idlis without an idli maker, using alternative cooking methods that result in soft and fluffy idlis.

    One popular method is to use a conventional steamer. Begin by preparing the idli batter by soaking rice and lentils and grinding them into a smooth consistency. Next, pour the batter into greased idli molds and place them in the steamer. Fill the steamer with water and steam the idlis for about 10-15 minutes. Once done, allow them to cool slightly before removing from the molds. This method ensures that the idlis turn out soft and delicious.

    Prepare the Batter

    The first step in cooking idlis without an idli maker is to prepare a well-fermented batter using urad dal, rice, and salt.

    To kickstart the process, thoroughly rinse the urad dal and rice separately, ensuring you remove any impurities. Then, soak them in water for about 4-6 hours to soften the grains. Once adequately soaked, drain the water and grind the urad dal with just the right amount of water to achieve a smooth consistency. Similarly, grind the rice to a slightly coarse texture. Mix both the dal and rice pastes together in a large container and add a reasonable amount of salt, ensuring uniform distribution for even fermentation.

    Choose a Cooking Method

    Select a suitable cooking method such as steaming in a traditional steamer or using alternative utensils to cook idlis without an idli maker.

    For steaming idlis without an idli maker, you can utilize a regular steamer by placing the idli batter in greased molds and steaming them for about 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through. An improvised setup can be created by using a large pot with a lid and a steaming rack. Simply add water to the pot, place the rack inside, cover it, and allow the idlis to steam. Makeshift options like using heat-resistant bowls or cups in a covered pan with water can serve as alternative vessels for steaming idlis.

    Steam the Idlis

    Steam the idlis until they are cooked to perfection, ensuring the right level of softness and texture in each bite.

    To achieve the ideal softness and texture without an idli maker, fill a large pot with water and place a steaming rack inside. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, place the idli batter in greased idli moulds or small bowls. Carefully place the moulds on the steaming rack inside the pot. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to ensure that the steam circulates properly. Steam the idlis for about 10-15 minutes until they are fully cooked. The steaming process is crucial as it helps the idlis achieve the desired softness and ensures they are light and fluffy.

    Alternative Cooking Methods for Idli

    Explore alternative cooking methods for preparing idlis, including options like using a microwave, pressure cooker, or stovetop pot.

    For those who prefer a quicker method, the microwave can be a handy tool for idli-making. Simply pour the batter into microwave-safe containers or idli trays, cover them, and cook on high for a few minutes until the idlis are soft and fluffy.

    Another popular option is to utilize a pressure cooker. Place the idli molds in the cooker with some water at the bottom, seal it, and steam for a few minutes until the idlis are ready.

    If you enjoy a more traditional approach, using a stovetop pot for steaming idlis is a classic and reliable method. Fill the pot with water, place the idli molds inside, cover with a lid, and let them steam until they are perfectly cooked.


    Cooking idlis in a microwave provides a quick and easy alternative to traditional steaming methods, perfect for busy mornings.

    Typically, the process involves preparing the idli batter in advance and having the special idli microwave-safe container handy. Fill each compartment of the container with the batter, place it in the microwave, and set the cooking time. The microwave’s rapid heating power ensures that the idlis are steamed to perfection in just a fraction of the time it takes with conventional steaming methods.

    One key benefit of using a microwave for idli preparation is the time-saving aspect. This allows you to enjoy delicious, freshly made idlis without the need for prolonged stovetop monitoring or setup of bulky steamers.

    Pressure Cooker

    Utilize a pressure cooker for steaming idlis, ensuring that they turn out soft and delicious with the right amount of pressure and timing.

    Steaming idlis in a pressure cooker is a foolproof way to achieve that perfect fluffy texture we all love. To start, make sure the pressure cooker is clean and add just the right amount of water for steaming – without it touching the bottom of the idli stand.

    Remember, the key to soft idlis lies in creating the ideal steam environment. Seal the pressure cooker lid tightly and set it to high pressure for about 10-12 minutes. This critical step ensures that the idlis cook evenly and remain moist.

    Once the timer goes off, carefully release the pressure, and voila! You’ll unveil beautifully steamed idlis, ready to be paired with chutney and sambar. Bon appétit!

    Stovetop Pot

    Cooking idlis in a stovetop pot imparts a traditional aroma and flavor to the idlis, adding a unique touch to this classic recipe.

    To start the process, first, prepare the idli batter by soaking rice and lentils, predominantly urad dal, before grinding them to a smooth consistency. Allow the batter to ferment overnight to develop that characteristic tangy flavor.

    Next, grease the idli molds and pour the batter into them. Place the idli stand in the stovetop pot with a little water at the bottom for steam. Cover the pot with a lid to allow the idlis to cook gently in the steam, ensuring they turn out soft and fluffy.

    Tips for Perfectly Cooked Idlis

    Tips for Perfectly Cooked Idlis - How to Cook Idli Without Idli Maker?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Russell Lee

    Follow these expert tips to ensure your idlis turn out perfectly soft, moist, and full of flavor, whether using an idli maker or alternative cooking methods.

    One crucial aspect in achieving soft idlis is to maintain the right consistency of the batter. The fermentation process plays a key role in creating that airy texture, so allowing the batter to ferment properly is essential. This usually takes around 8-12 hours depending on the temperature. When steaming the idlis, ensure that the water level in the steamer is just right to prevent excess moisture from dripping onto the idlis.


    Cooking idlis without an idli maker opens up a world of possibilities with various recipes and innovative variations to explore.

    One of the key advantages of preparing idlis without relying on an idli maker is the flexibility it offers in terms of creative experimentation. When making idlis without a specialized utensil, individuals can customize the shape and size of their idlis, allowing for unique presentations and serving options. This method encourages cooks to try out diverse ingredients and flavors, enhancing the traditional idli recipe with modern twists and personal preferences.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How to Cook Idli Without Idli Maker?

    You can easily make idlis at home without an idli maker using a simple steaming method.

    2. Can I use a regular pot to steam idlis instead of an idli maker?

    Yes, you can use a regular pot for steaming idlis, but make sure to use a steamer basket or a plate with holes placed at the bottom of the pot to keep the idli batter from getting waterlogged.

    3. What can I use as a substitute for idli maker?

    If you don’t have an idli maker, you can use a muffin tray, steel glasses, or small steel bowls to make idlis. Just make sure to grease them with oil before pouring the batter.

    4. How long does it take to steam idlis without an idli maker?

    It usually takes about 10-12 minutes to steam idlis in a regular pot or using any other substitute for an idli maker.

    5. Can I make idlis without using an idli maker?

    Yes, you can make idlis without using an idli maker. All you need is a steamer or a pot with a steamer basket and some basic kitchen tools.

    6. Can I use a pressure cooker to steam idlis without an idli maker?

    Yes, you can use a pressure cooker to steam idlis without an idli maker. Just make sure to remove the whistle and let the steam release naturally.

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