Tag Archives: Idli

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

  • Difficulty: easy
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Rice Free Beetroot Idli








My blogger friend Teagan of the Three Ingredients Serial fame is the inspiration for today’s recipe, or rather her latest episode (which features beetroot) is.

Reading the episode made me realise how little I eat the vegetable even though I like it so much.

Beetroot is full of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium. It also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid and has the goodness of carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre.

This is another one of my kooky concoctions which turned out absolutely delicious and a validation that healthy food need not be boring.

nourishing beetroot, mixed sprouted beans, jowar (sorghum) and bajra (pearl millet) make for wholesome, moreish, idlis

Enjoy with some coconut chutney.

The following yields 10-12 idlis.


1/4 Cup jowar

1/4 Cup bajra

1/4 Cup urad dal (skinned black gram)

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Cup mixed sprouted beans

1 Large (or 2 small) beetroot

1 Tablespoon paste of minced ginger-green chilli

15-20 Fresh curry leaves

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease idli moulds


  1. Wash and soak the jowar, bajra, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 10 to 12 hours.
  2. Grind them till you get a fine paste. The consistency should be like a pancake batter.
  3. Leave in a warm, dark place to ferment for anything from 5 to 48 hours. Fermentation time will depend on the outside temperature so you will need to plan accordingly.
  4. Once the batter is well fermented, you are ready to make the idlis.
  5. Peel, wash and finely grate the beetroot.
  6. Wash the mixed sprouted beans.
  7. Wash and roughly chop the curry leaves.
  8. Add the quick cooking oats, ginger-green chilli paste, curry leaves, mixed sprouted beans and grated beetroot to the idli batter.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Heat the oil and once it is hot, lower the flame and add the mustard seeds followed by asafoetida.
  11. As soon as the seeds start spluttering, take them off the heat and pour the tempered oil to the idli batter.
  12. Mix well. If you find the batter to be too thick, add about half cup water (remember oats will absorb some of the moisture too).
  13. At this stage, you can keep the batter aside upto 8 hours till you are ready to cook the idli.
  14. Grease the idli moulds and pour the prepared batter into them.
  15. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.
  16. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean you know the idlis are cooked.
  17. Take out the idli moulds and let them be for 10 minutes before unmoulding.


  1. This recipe will also work with the traditional rice based idli batter.


Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli, The Kooky Way

Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli

  • Difficulty: easy
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Pumpkin & Moong Bean Sprout Idli








If we go by some of the popular search engines, there is no recipe out there for idlis made from pumpkin and moong bean sprouts. So I like to think of this as one of my kooky inventions.

I may be wrong, the search engines may be wrong… If anybody has tried this combination before, would love to read about your experience.

My relationship with moong bean sprouts is quite rocky. There will be days and months when they are totally off my radar and than suddenly they appear and I end up sprouting a batch to last me through several recipes.

This time round, I have used moong bean sprouts in Healthy Maggi Noodles with Vegetables 3 and Colourful Sprouted Moong Bean Salad.

Now it is the turn of idlis. I still have a couple more recipes in which I will be using them after which we will be saying a temporary adios to each other!

In this recipe, I have used the traditional idli batter (makes a change from my usual rice free idlis).

A totally successful experiment worth repeating and an easy and fun way of incorporating more vegetables.

soft, fluffy, delicious and very healthy idlis

The following assumes you have some fermented idli batter and moong bean sprouts ready.

Depending on the size of your idli moulds, this will make about 8 to 10 idlis.


1 Cup fermented idli batter

150 Grams pumpkin

1 Cup moong bean sprouts

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1-2 Teaspoons pure ghee

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and finely grate the pumpkin.
  2. In a bowl, combine the fermented idli batter with grated pumpkin, moong bean sprouts, quick cooking oats and salt to taste.
  3. Grease idli moulds with pure ghee.
  4. Pour the batter in the moulds and steam for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Take out the idlis and leave them aside for about 5 minutes before unmoulding.
  6. Enjoy with some coconut chutney.

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains: Plain and Masala Varieties

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains









Let me start off this post with a disclaimer: I have nothing against rice. In fact, I like rice in all shapes and form although I rarely eat it. In my quest for a healthy and nutritious diet, I try to replace rice with other grains wherever possible.

today’s recipe is a tale of two idlis which met by chance in one cooking session

Having successfully made rice-free jowar (sorghum) idlis in the past, for this recipe, I thought of experimenting with two other types of millet grains: pearl (bajra) and finger (ragi).

a successful experiment which demonstrates that it is possible to make idlis without rice

Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)

Another fortuitous discovery I made while making these is masala idli.

While the first round of idlis were merrily steaming away, I suddenly remembered that I had some shelled peas and mixed sprouts lying around in the refrigerator. I thought of adding these along with some freshly grated turmeric and green chilli-ginger paste to the second round of idlis.

Both types taste equally good. They are soft like conventional idlis although not as fluffy (absence of rice I imagine).

The following makes 24 regular size idlis.

Ingredients for Plain Idli Batter

1 Cup bajra (pearl millet)

1 Cup ragi (finger millet)

1 Cup white urad dal (white gram/white lentil)

2 Tablespoons methi seeds (fenugreek)

Salt to taste

Ghee for greasing idli moulds

Ingredients for Masala Idli Batter (Optional)*

2 – 3 Tablespoons shelled peas

2 – 3 tablespoons mixed sprouts

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste


  1. Wash the bajra, ragi, urad dal and methi seeds.
  2. Add water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Grind in a food processor. The end result should be a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. Some of the ragi grains may remain whole, this is perfectly okay.
  4. Cover and place the batter in a warm, dark place to ferment. This can take anything from a few hours to 34 hours depending on the temperature (see note below).
  5. When you are ready to cook the idlis, add some salt to the batter and mix well. If you are making masala idli, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.
  6. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter in them.
  7. Put in a steamer and let the idlis steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and leave for a few minutes.
  9. Run a knife under each idli to remove it from its mould.
  10. Serve with chutney of your choice.


  1. In warm weather, the batter can ferment in a matter of 4 to 6 hours. If the temperatures are low, the fermentation process takes much longer.
  2. For masala idli, you can add any vegetable of your choice. Grated carrots, grated cabbage and grated bottlegourd would work equally well.
  3. I had fresh turmeric root which I grated and used which is why the colour of my masala idlis is so bright! You can use turmeric powder instead.

Here are the two friends side by side – plain and masala.

Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)  Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)

Carrot & Cabbage Bajra (Pearl Millet) Idli

Carrot and Cabbage Bajra Idli with Tomato-Ginger Chutney

A couple of months back, I had made the most delicious jowar idli. I am currently out of jowar so decided to replicate the experiment with bajra (pearl millet) instead.  Additionally, I decided to add grated carrots and cabbage to make a nutritiously balanced dinner.

like tomatoes, carrots are more nutritious cooked


1 cup whole bajra (pearl millet)

0.5 cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 tablespoons brown rice

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

2 grated carrots

Half a head grated cabbage

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee to grease idli moulds


  1. Wash and soak bajra, urad dal, brown rice and fenugreek seeds for 10-12 hours.
  2. Finely grind them making sure the batter is of pouring consistency.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover and leave in a warm, dark place for 8-10 hours to ferment. (If you are in a cool climate, place container with the batter in a larger empty container which you have just warmed. My personal experience is that this speeds up the fermentation process.)
  4. When ready to cook the idlis, mix the carrots, cabbage and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, take out the moulds and let them rest for about 5 minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve with tomato and ginger chutney.

This is what the fermented batter looks like:

Fermented Idli Batter

Here are the idlis cooked to perfection:

Idlis Hot off the Steamer


If you don’t have idli moulds, you can still make this recipe. Just pour the batter in a cake tin or equivalent and steam. Once cooked, cool and cut in squares before serving.