September 07, 2019

Masala Idli

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Idlis as such  need no special introduction.  All of us know and are aware that these soft and spongy steamed cakes are a South Indian's favorite breakfast item .
Though there are umpteen variations of this humble idli like Rava Idli , Kanjeevaram idli etc the traditional ones are the most loved with piping hot sambar and coconut chutney .
The name Masala Idli intrigued me to check on the dish when I saw it at a restaurant's menu as I was wondering, how would some spice and masala loaded taste like ? One bite of the idli dunked in sambar , I was floored and wanted to desperately try it at home. 
It was nothing fancy at all, just a mild tempering of mustard , asafoetida and subtle flavors of ginger ,chilli and pepper gave it a very different taste . I am sure all of you would like to try it at home soon.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins  for 15 idlis
Complexity: Simple

Well fermented Idli Batter as needed
(Method to grind idli batter given in Notes section below)

To temper 
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp channa dhall + udad dhall
Few broken cashews
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
Handful of chopped corriander
Handful of chopped curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida
Oil to temper.

Bring the batter to room temperature and adjust the consistency if it is too thick.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the cashews until golden brown.Keep aside

Preparing a tempering of mustard seeds , channa + udad dhall . Fry the green chillies and curry leaves along with the asafoetida and pour it over the idli batter .

Add the chopped coriander, ginger, fried cashews to the batter and mix it well.  Adjust salt if needed .

Heat the idli pot or steamer with water and keep ready .

Grease the idli moulds, pour the batter into the idli plate and steam the idli for 12-15 mins .

Let it cool down a bit and then demould the idlis to be served hot with chutney and sambar .


To grind idli  batter in a mixie follow the recipe link below.

Refer to the video recipe on how to grind idli  batter in a wet grinder .

Other variations of Idli on my  blog

Idli Fry

Kancheepuram Idli 

Rava Idli 

Pachai Arisi (Raw rice) Idli 


  1. I prefer masala idlis to the regular ones if someone else makes them.i rather make plain simple idlis. These idli are definitely more delicious.


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