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

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 23 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 Archana – I got from idli stand from India long back which fit well in the instant pot, so I don’t have an exact link to share.

    1. Hi Julie – I use a small idli stand in my 6qt instant pot. I do think that tall idli stands with 4+ plates might not fit in the 6qt instant pot. So if you are buying, do check the height so it fits in the instant pot.

  1. Hi Meeta,
    Do you use the IP lid or just a regular lid when you use the ‘Sauté’ mode for making iddlis?
    I normally make iddlis in the Rice cooker & they turn out great, with a good batter. I definitely want to use the IP the next time 💕

    Thanks Meena

    1. Hi Meena – I use the instant pot lid when steaming the idli’s. However do make sure to keep the valve in venting and set an external timer. Hope you enjoy the idli’s!

  2. Hi Meeta,

    I tried this method twice. The idlis were could not have been more perfect. I realized that the steam mode didnt have timer so probably it sat there for 10-15 minutes, not sure, but they were perfect. Yes there was no water left in the pot when I took them out but I didnt care since they were all well done.

    Many thanks!!

    1. Wow. Ok. Ignore that.. Apparently ive already asked you this question and i didn’t see the reply till now. 🙁

    1. Hi Anuranjini – I steam idli with the default high pressure setting. Hope you enjoy idli made in the instant pot!

  3. I’ve done this a couple of times and somehow my middle and bottom plate idli have a mushy center. How do I prevent that?

    1. Hi Roohi – I wonder if that is because of the moisture or they are just not cooked yet. 2 options are – Try steaming with 1 cup water in the main pot or increase the steaming time to 15 minutes and see if that makes a difference.

  4. Hi Meeta,
    Once the 12 minutes are done, can you immediately open the instant pot and remove the idlis or do you normally wait for a while to remove them?

    1. Hey Padmaja – I usually open the instant pot and let the steam come out. Then remove the idli stand from the instant pot. After 3-5 minutes when it is easy to handle the plates from the stand, remove the idli. Hope that helps!