July 18, 2011

Idli with Wholegrains

As most of you know, all of  last week I was cooking non-stop from FSBites blogs. The idea behind was to take a little time every day, explore their blogs and find some keeper recipes. I am so glad I took this challenge. Just have a look at the below recipes. They are everyday dishes which I managed to whip up with the ingredients in my pantry.

It was so much to do this and am sure will do it again, in future as I end up bookmarking atleast 3-4 recipes a day, but never get to make them. Sometimes, I wish there were more than 24 hours a day as my to-do-list that want to do in my spare time is way too long and the available time between work & household chores way too less.

Now, coming to today's recipe - Wholegrain Idlis. If you are first-timer, I would recommend this Idli 101 post and once you got that right, then move on to experiment with various whole grains & their proportions.

Idli with Wholegrains

I have always made idli, the normal way meaning with urad dal and idli rava. Never did I try to make these with wholegrains, until now. You would not feel the difference either in taste or texture when compared to the normal ones. An added bonus is the extra serving of whole grains incorporated which makes it nutritious breakfast, to give that perfect start for your day ahead!

Idlis served with pearl onion sambar

Adapted from Wholegrain Idlis

Make about 15-20 idlis


3/4 cup brown rice (I used long grain variety)
1/2 cup parboiled red rice
1/2 cup urad dal (I used skinned, white ones)
1/4 cup cooked rice
1/2 tbsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)


1. Wash both the rices in a bowl 2 or 3 times and soak them in filtered water, apparently yeast hates chlorine. Donot wash the urad dal. Mix in some methi seeds in each of them and soak the dal separately in an another bowl for about 8 hours.

Parboiled Red Rice

Long grain Brown Rice

2. First grind the urad dal (I used our regular Panasonic mixer) into a smooth taste and it is slightly bubbly, adding little water at a time. Use the water in which the dal was soaked. Pour the ground urad dal batter into a wide-mouthed bowl. Now add rice and grind with the cooked rice into a consistency of wet semolina (rava). Don't make it too runny.

3. Mix the rice batter into the urad dal batter gently with your hand. Add little salt and mix again.

4. Keep the batter out uncovered for 30 mins and then cover it & place it in a warm space to ferment.

Note: Lucky are those who are in India as for the kind of climate we have here is perfect for fermentation. Just keep it on the counter top and it will be double its volume by morning. For people who are living in other parts of the world, a little extra effort is needed. Read this Idli 101 post for more tips & tricks which worked for me, while I was in US.

Fermented Batter, ready to make idlis

5. When the idli batter is properly fermented, add a cup of water and mix well. I used my idli stand which fits perfectly in my rice cooker. Slightly oil the idli moulds, pour batter until to its brim and steam it in the rice cooker for 12-15 mins. Don't forget to pour some water at the base of the rice cooker. You can check for its doneness with a toothpick or knife. When inserted in the middle, it should come out clean.

6. Once done, serve it with any chutney or with some pearl onion sambar, like I did. Either ways, it taste delicious & is extremely healthy as it is filled with goodness from whole grains too.

Wholegrain idlis dunked in pearl onion sambar

Related Links:

* For some more ideas on how to use Whole grains, check out this roundup.
* Want to perfect bowl of brown rice, check out this how-to post which features Alton Brown's recipe.
* Never did I thought the classic Bisibelebath would taste so good when made with brown rice. this is one fool proof recipe which has been loved by all.
* Click here for all recipes based on whole grains featured here on Cooking With Siri.

I am sending these Whole grain Idlis as an entry to Healing Foods: Wholegrains, this month guest hosted by lovely Simona. I am giving two cookbooks (Cooking With Pedatha & Sukham Ayu) from Pritya as giveaways, do send in your entries for a chance to win either of them before July 31st 2011.

until next time,


  1. Looking at my recipe in your post makes me immensely glad. Thank you Siri for trying. I am also always bookmarking recipes but do not get to make them all, however much i wish I did.
    I have not tried Brown rice in idlis so far. One good way of incorporating wholegrains is in our regular breakfast dishes. I will have these soft idlis in mind when I write my grocery list next time.

  2. I love idlis. Your version looks really healthy and delicious :)

  3. Healthy power packed start for the day. I have made idlies with brown rice and honestly unless you tell others about it, no one would realize that there is a change in ingredient. I also make idly with quinoa and ragi.

  4. Great that you found time to whip up so many dishes Siri! The idlies look lovely and wholesome.

  5. Looks nice and super soft with all the goodness of grains.
    I have many bookmarked recipes and tried few of them too but never clicked and posted on my blog. I have commented after making them though but this gives immense pleasure for the blogger.

  6. Your whole grain idlis are totally tempting me :)

  7. delicious looking dishes Siri looks wonderful

  8. A lot of beautiful photos: better not look at them on an empty stomach. Your idlis look very nice. One of these days I will try to make some. In the meantime, I admire yours :) Thanks for the lovely contribution to Healing Foods.

  9. Wow droolllling here seeing all those recipes...idli with wholegrains sounds like a interesting idea


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