Nutritious Red Rice and Urad Dal Idlis

Best For

Special treat


Makes 20

Time: 30 mins

“After countless attempts, we finally cracked the secret to making the perfect idlis- red rice! It took a lot of trial and error (we must’ve tried and failed 20 times). When we finally tasted the fluffy, soft idlis made with red rice, we were over the moon, and couldn’t wait to share our discovery with you,”

Soak in AdvanceĀ 

Soak the following for about 8 hours:

  • 1/4 cup split urad daal (with skin)
  • 1 cup red rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

Other Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon rock salt


Place the soaked ingredients and 3/4 cup fresh water into a blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a big mixing bowl, and cover it with a plate. Please put it in a mildly warm place, such as an empty oven, to ferment for 12 hours. In winter, it might take longer to ferment.

After fermentation, the batter will become light and fluffy. Add the rock salt, and stir. The batter should have a thick pouring consistency.

Heat an idli steamer and bring the water to a boil. Grease the idli plates with a little cold-pressed oil. Pour the batter into the molds, and steam for 15 mins on medium flame.

Remove the plates from the steamer, and allow the idlis to cool for 3 minutes.

Transfer the idlis to a plate, and serve warm with sambar or coconut chutney.


  1. Rich in Nutrients: The combination of red rice and urad dal provides a wholesome mix of essential nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.
  2. Fermentation for Digestibility: Soaking and fermenting the ingredients enhances the digestibility of the idlis. Fermentation breaks down complex compounds, making them easier to absorb and reducing the anti-nutrient content.
  3. Low Glycemic Index: Red rice has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. This makes the idlis suitable for individuals with diabetes or those looking for a healthier carbohydrate option.
  4. Fenugreek Seeds for Health: Fenugreek seeds in the soaking process contribute not only to the flavor but also bring potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and potential blood sugar regulation.
  5. Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free: This idli recipe is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. It is also dairy-free, which is beneficial for those with lactose intolerance or a preference for plant-based diets.

Nutritive Value (Approximate values per serving, considering a standard idli size):

  • Calories: 50-60 kcal
  • Protein: 2-3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 10-12 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1-2 grams
  • Fat: 0.5-1 gram
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Note: The actual nutritive value may vary based on specific ingredients used and portion sizes.

This nutritious red rice and urad dal idli recipe offers a balance of flavors, textures, and health benefits, making it a wholesome addition to a well-rounded diet.

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