Want to know how long it takes to steam Idlis?
Idli is a popular breakfast snack in India, and it is considered one of the best things you can have after waking up in the morning.
But making this snack item can be a little tricky if you’re a beginner or make it sparingly.
The difficult part of this process is to know when to remove it from the flame.
So, in today’s guide, let’s learn more about it in detail.
How Long Does It Take To Steam Idli?
It takes about 10-15 minutes to steam Idlis when you are making them at home.
However, it’d be difficult to mention the perfect steaming time here because everyone uses a different steamer tool and flame to prepare this delicacy.
Therefore, you will need to adjust the timing according to the equipment and quantity of batter.
Still, if you need more details on this topic, you can take a look at the following section, where I’ve shared some insights on each steaming equipment.
1. Pressure Cooker
The pressure cooker is the most common tool we use to make Idlis at home.
It is a convenient tool and gives excellent results if you get the batter and steaming time right.
As for steaming, you will need to steam the Idlis for at least 12-15 minutes in the pressure cooker.
This is standard time for steaming the Idli batter.
Most of us don’t use steamers for making homemade Idlis, so you will not have to remember the following details.
But for those who prefer making Idlis in a steamer, you should steam them for up to 15 minutes.
Some tools may also require you to steam them for a little longer.
This is because these tools take slightly more time to generate enough steam than the traditional pressure cookers.
They may also leak the steam from the sides, which rarely happens in the pressure cooker system.
So, you will need to consider all these things before setting the steaming time for your steamer.
Note: Industrial or professional steamers may have different steaming times.
You should refer to the manual or guide provided with these machines to know the accurate details.
3. Instant Pots
Instant Pots are the latest addition to the ways you can steam or cook certain dishes, and the best thing about this tool is lets you set the perfect time for steaming your dishes.
It is, of course, not possible in traditional methods, and that’s the biggest advantage you can have to make the perfect dishes each time.
Regarding the steaming time, the Instant Pots require 12 minutes to cook Idlis perfectly.
You can adjust this time if you feel the Idlis are not steaming correctly.
4. Microwave Ovens
A microwave oven is another useful tool to make Idlis at home.
It takes about 10 minutes to steam Idlis in it, and you will have to preheat the oven for a couple of minutes.
These ovens take less time to cook the Idlis, so you will need to remember it while using them for this task.
As I said earlier, it’s not easy to make Idlis at home.
It needs practice and a bit of knowledge to get the perfect results in the end.
That said, sometimes, you will end up making hard and rubbery Idlis using the regular steaming technique.
Well, there aren’t many effective ways to turn the hard Idlis into soft ones, but you can check out the next section to avoid this issue altogether.
So, let’s quickly take a look at it.
How To Prevent Idlis From Turning Hard
Here are some of the ways that you can try to make soft Idlis at home –
1. Grind The Batter Well
Don’t rush into making the batter!
If you go wrong here, you will not get the results you expect from your preparation.
So, be patient and grind the batter well.
Check the consistency of the batter with your fingers.
If you feel it’s coarse, you should grind it for another round.
You can also use wet grinders for preparing the batter, which generally gives better results than the regular mixer grinders.
2. Do Not Make Thick Batter
Thick batter is another reason that leads to hard Idlis.
The batter should have a slightly flowy consistency, which also helps in pouring it into the molds.
On the other hand, the thick batter will stick to your spoon and will be difficult to remove from its surface.
The pouring job will be far more difficult in this case.
Quick Tip: If you are struggling to remove Idlis from the mold, it’s because of the dry surface and thickness of the batter.
To avoid it completely, always grease the mold with some oil.
This should help you remove the steamed Idlis quickly.
3. Add A Pinch Of Soda To Your Batter
Baking Soda is a tried and tested ingredient for making soft Idlis.
When you add it to the batter, it reacts with the ingredients and releases CO2.
This chemical process helps in getting the perfect porous texture to the Idlis.
Moreover, you can also use the same for making Dhoklas at home.
But do remember that adding a lot of soda can also make them turn hard.
So, you should only use a pinch of soda while preparing the batter for Idlis.
4. Stir The Batter Well Before Pouring It Into The Molds
It’s the one thing that many people forget to do when they are preparing Idlis at home.
While making the Idlis, you should always stir the batter well.
The batter often tends to sit down at the bottom, and the water content floats on the top after a while.
This can lead to uneven results for your Idlis, and some of the batches may even turn hard in the end.
So, make sure you stir it well before putting it into the molds each time.
5. Do Not Remove The Idlis From Steamer Immediately
That’s another rookie mistake!
When you remove the Idlis from the steamer immediately, they cool down quickly and turn hard during this process.
To avoid this issue, you should let the Idlis be in the steamer for a few minutes before taking them out of the molds.
Along with that, you should keep them in a container instead of an open pot.
This way, the hot Idlis will release the moisture in the enclosed container and turn really soft due to its steam.
Follow this technique whenever you feel like your Idlis are not turning soft.
Now, let’s have a look at the FAQs related to this topic.
You will see a rise in the batter, and the surface will look more firm in the end.
It’s a good indication that your Idlis is cooked.
Other than that, you can use a toothpick or knife and poke one of the steamed Idlis.
If the knife comes out clean, it means you have made a perfect Idli.
However, if you see sticky particles on the surface of the knife, you can steam it for a few more minutes.
Idlis can turn hard for many reasons, including oversteaming, inaccurate batter ratio, batter consistency, etc.
If you don’t follow the right measurement and technique to steam your Idlis, they are likely to turn hard.
There is no real magic trick to ferment the batter quickly.
You can add a few Methi seeds and keep the batter to rise in a warm place.
These two things may help speed up the process and turn the batter fluffy.
In this case, you will have to create a steamer using a pot and a lid.
Just like Modaks or Momos, you can boil enough water in the pot and place the Idli molds in it.
Let it steam for 10-15 minutes, and your Idlis will be ready.
If you don’t have a mold, you can use metal bowls to serve the purpose.
Do not use plastic or any other bowls for this task, though!
You can’t really soften the already prepared Idlis, but you can surely make some changes in your batter preparation methods to get the right results.
In case your Idlis have turned hard, you can make masala Idlis and sprinkle some water after the preparation.
Then, cover it with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes more.
It will significantly help in turning the Idlis soft.
Serve this preparation immediately to retain the flavors.
Once you keep the Idlis in the masala for a long time, they may soak up the juices and turn soggy.
Over To You
Now that you know how long it takes to steam Idlis, you can go ahead and experiment with the aforementioned steaming times.
Once you understand the right time as per your equipment and batter consistency, you can make the soft and fluffy Idlis without any issues.
In the meantime, if you have any more questions regarding this topic or have any suggestions for the same, let me know in the comments section below.
If you liked this guide, do share it with your friends and family.