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Steamed Rice Cake (Idlis)

(serves 6-8)
Cuisine: Indian
Course: Breakfast/Dinner
This simple, healthy and delicious dish is a treat in itself. Pair it with your favorite chutney or sambar and you have a wonderful breakfast or a delightful snack.


  • 3 cups parboiled rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup black lentils, whole & skinned (Urad dal)
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt


To make the batter:
  1. Wash and soak the black lentils and rice separately in water overnight or at least 8 hrs.
  2. Grind the rice in a food processor into a semi fine batter (a little coarse) using water as needed.
  3. Grind the lentils into a paste and mix both the pastes.
  4. Add salt to the batter, mix well.
  5. Pour batter in a large container/pot to allow the batter to rise.
  6. Let the batter ferment, preferably overnight, in a warm place (avoid the inside of the oven).
Preparing Idlis:
  1. Fill your steamer pot with water. Make sure the steamer stand is above the water level.
  2. Allow the water to boil.
  3. In the meantime, grease the inside of 4-6 ramekins with a drop of oil in each.
  4. Add the baking soda. Gently stir the batter evenly.
  5. Using ladle, pour the batter into ramekins covering only 2/3rd of the ramekins. Place all the ramekins on a plate.
  6. When the water begins to boil, place the plate on the steam stand inside the steamer pot.
  7. Steam for 15 minutes.
  8. To test, prick a toothpick and it should come out clean. If not, cook for another 4-5 mins.
  9. Let it cool for 5 min and then using a spoon scoop out the Idlis.
  10. Enjoy it with Sambar (mixed vegetables lentil soup) or Cilantro mint chutney.
Serving size: 2       Number of servings: 15
Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 168
Total fat: (g):
Sodium: (mg): 93 
Total Carbohydrates (g): 35
Protein (g): 5
Calcium (mg): 24
Phosphorus (mg): 90
Potassium (mg): 161
Hint: Lentils contribute extra potassium. Limit to 2.