Idli is the quintessential south indian breakfast.  This savory rice cake made by steaming a batter consisting of lentils and rice, is the most comforting healthy indian breakfast. Learn how to make perfect soft and fluffy idli in the instant pot!  

Idli, Sambar and Chutney in a plate
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This recipe makes steamed Idli in the Instant Pot.  Idli is typically enjoyed with sambar and chutney.  This combination has rightly been touted as one of the most nutritious indian breakfast.

Being a north indian and not growing up making idli’s from scratch at home, I used to have a hard time getting the batter right. Sometimes it would not ferment and rise enough.  But guess what…the instant pot  comes to the rescue here too.

How to make Idli Batter in the Instant Pot?

The idli’s will be soft and fluffy if the batter is fermented well. It does take some practice to get the batter right.

I have shared all my tips and tricks to make the perfect batter in this detailed Idli Dosa Batter post.

Idli batter fermented in instant pot

Do check out the detailed tips when making the batter.

How to make Steamed Idli in Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker?

Once the batter is ready.  You grease the idli molds with ghee or oil.  Then add small amount of batter in each mold.  While you are doing this, add 1.5 cups of water to the instant pot and let it boil in Saute mode.

steps to make instant pot idli

Place the idli stand in the instant pot and cook it in steam mode in venting position. The thing to note is that the time on the instant pot does not work in the venting position, so you have to use a separate timer.  In 12 minutes, the idli will be ready.

A stack of 3 fluffy spongy idli's

The idli’s are so soft and fluffy. These are my family’s favorite meal.

close up of a soft idli in hand

Enjoy the idli’s with sambar and chutney.

Instant Pot Idli Batter in a stainless plate with divisions

I also use the same batter to make perfect crispy dosa. Just thin out the batter to a thick flowing consistency by adding some water. Adjust salt and make crispy dosa!

Dosa with sambar and chutney in a steel plate

Hope you enjoy these soft idli’s. Do share how they turn out in comments or on Instagram with #pipingpotcurry

4.92 from 24 votes

Instant Pot Idli

Idli is the quintessential south indian breakfast, which is also popular across India.  Learn how to make the perfect soft and fluffy idli in the instant pot!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 2 cups Idli Batter
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • Ghee or Oil, for greasing


  • Make idli batter following the instructions in the post.
  • Add water to the instant pot and heat it in saute mode until it boils. The press cancel.
  • While the water is heating, grease the idli molds with oil or ghee. Add small amount of batter in each mold.
  • Place the idli stand in the instant pot. Close lid and keep in steam mode in venting position, and press start. The thing to note is that the time on the instant pot does not work in the venting position, so you have to use a separate timer. (Some new models of instant pot have a no pressure setting for steam mode, which can be used)
  • In 12 minutes, idli's will be ready. Press Cancel and wait for the pin to drop (so that any pressure is released), then open the instant pot.
  • Idli's can be served with sambar and chutney. You can make multiple batches of idli with the same batter.


Idli Batter Recipe: Here is the link to the details batter recipe. Do check out for all tips and tricks to make the perfect batter. 
Mixing: Do not mix the whole batter after it has risen to make soft idli’s. Take the required amount of batter into a separate bowl for use. Prepare idli’s within 1-2 days of making the batter. Use the rest of the batter for making dosa’s.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: South Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi,
    I have the instant pot that does not have a steam mode. and the valve doesn’t not have the option of venting or sealing. May I know how I should steam the idli? and for how long and what settings I’m supped to use?

    1. Hi Divya – It is okay if the instant pot does not have a steam mode, but you definitely need to be able to set to venting or not building pressure to make foods such as idli or dhokla in instant pot. Can you share which model of instant pot you have?

  2. I’m sure the recipe is good but it didn’t work for me for some reason.
    I followed instructions and switched the steam valve off so the steam would release . Steamed for 12 minutes and it’s still runny 🤷‍♀️
    Did I do something wrong?

    Going to put it on pressure mode I guess

    1. Hi Tara – Sorry this happened, I am not sure what went wrong. Did you add water to the instant pot? Did you see the steam was releasing while the idli was being cooked? If it was not, then there is a chance that the valve was not in venting mode.

  3. I have instant duo plus which do not have steam option. Can you please help how to cook idlis in instant pot duo plus

  4. Very confused about Instant pot instructions…. So when I make them I have to switch off the sauté mode and only then close the lid than press steam where it asks me for how long to steam… do I skip it and just keep Idlis there for 12 minutes?

    1. Hi Anna – Great question. Yes, once the water has boiled, cancel the saute mode. Then you want to place the idli stand, and steam the idli. If your instant pot allows, move the valve to venting mode, and press steam mode, and start the instant pot. It will keep releasing steam while the idli’s cook.
      Some newer models of instant pot have a setting for “No pressure” on steam mode. This setting can be used to steam idli too.

  5. Hi I have the ultra version of the instantpot, i cannot manually make it in venting mode, since it automatically goes to that mode…what can i do?

  6. Please do mention not to remove lid even until the complete pressure is released even though that vault is in venting position.

    1. Hi Sonal – I got mine from India. But someone has recommended that this one fits in the 6qt instant pot (aff) – Please do check the size and make sure it fits before buying. You might also be able to find the stands at your local Indian grocery stores.

    1. Hi Sku – There are so many recipes that are similar, so I wouldn’t say that. And as Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” 🙂