sponge idlis, kushboo idlis
Old pics  below of  idlis made sometime back . as i had added some flax seeds in the batter, these idlis  below dont look pure white .
Sponge idlis or khushboo idlis as they are popularly known in parts of Tamilnadu makes excellent soft spongy idlis good for kids and elderly . Now i have no idea why this idli came to be called as Kushboo.
This is a  good recipe to try with different ingredients and something different from usual idlis.
The traditional recipe for Khushboo idlis use  mostly castor seeds and less of udad dal  or even skip udad dal completely . I have tasted that variety too but  I do not like to experiment with castor seeds as I have heard several controversial issues about the toxicity and it is not suitable for some to consume even in small quantities.
 The big plus of this batter is we can make the most amazing porous sponge dosas too ..so this is my go to for making sponge , fat idlis and also soft spongy dosas , so porous it seems like yeast has been added !

Ingredients :

Khushboo idlis ( batter ground in mixie )

The way i prepare :


4 cups idli rice
1 cup udad dal whole ( keep soaked dal  in fridge if using mixie to grind batter ) remember to use the soaked water of udad dal to gind .

1/2 cup sabudana ( javarsi )/ sago 
4-5 castor seeds, available in native medical shops , but i did not use, as we dont like the taste of castor seeds….dont worry guys, this is optional, i didnt use any . If you do want to try, go ahead 
as authentic kushboo idlis batter preparation use these seeds ..
soak it separately if you want to try ,  after removing the outer skin and grind along with rice and sabudana

I got the most amazing soft pillowy idlis without using the castor seeds and also without grinding in wet stone grinder as i need very small qty of batter .I find grinding in a stone grinder makes no sense as i need small batch , so i prefer to grind in mixie itself . .

Method :

1. Soak rice and dal separately after washing few times in clean water for 5 hours
soak javarsi/sago also separately

2. first grind udad dal to a very smooth thick butter like batter
if using mixie , as i have done , use chilled water from fridge to grind batter and add very little , use chilled water of the soaked udad dal so dont drain it .
as you want udad dal batter to be very thick, absolutely velvetty smooth
we use cold water as mixie shouldnt become hot
after grinding udad dal, remove to a vessel

3. next grind the rice and sabudana together also to a very smooth batter
batter should be thick and not like dosa batter.

4. remove and mix both batters, add salt also , it wont interfere with fermentation due to humid weather
mix well , and allow to ferment overnight or during day ..for upto 6-8 hours, batter should not be over fermented
it gives a sour taste .

5. for best results, use a thin cotton cloth to layer the idli moulds and pour thickly the batter on each mould ,
a little more than usual so that a nice big round idli is steamed .so these idlis are more rounder and bigger.almost small ball like.

using cloth to steam idlis gives amazing results and these idlis will stay soft all day long.

kushboo idlis

kushboo idlis
kushboo idlis
sponge dosa

sponge dosa


  1. says

    These look so tempting.
    Is idli rice the parboiled rice? Any brand you prefer? Do these come out good with regular rice, if i cannot get idli rice. Also how long do you steam these?

  2. Hemalatha says

    Madam, I made the kushboo idlis yesterday and they came of soft and fluffy. Today made dosa with the same batter and we enjoyed thedosas with the sambar made as per your instant sambar mix. Thanks a lot for sharing such lovely recipes.

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