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Monday, 25 March 2019

Instant Quinoa Idli

Quinoa Idli is soft, spongy and wholesome, the best part is that you can make it instantly. This fluffy idli is loaded with the healthy goodness of the super grain, Quinoa. It is light on the tummy, requires no grinding of batter or fermentation time and can be served as a mid-day snack or breakfast. Goes well in the lunch box as well. With the flavorful seasoning, this instant Quinoa idli tastes best on its own but can be paired with a tomato or coconut chutney. I have served the idli with Coconut Curry Leaves Chutney

Idli does not require any introduction in India. It is a popular South Indian breakfast dish . A steamed savory cake made from fermented rice and lentil batter, soft fluffy idlis served with piping hot sambar and variety of chutneys is a delight for sure. Idli is low in calories, easily digested and hence preferred food for those who are recovering from an ailment. Do you know that our humble idli has a day assigned on its name ? Yes you heard it right, every year, 30th March is celebrated as a World Idli Day since 2015. I have made these healthy Quinoa Idlis to mark  the occasion. Upon browsing on the Internet for more information on this, I came across some interesting stuff. Mr. Iniyavan, who was a rickshaw driver and later turned to cook, is a Guinness Book record holder to have made the heaviest Idli in the world weighing 124 kg, Iniyavan is now attempting to make over 2,000 varieties of Idli. Mickey Mouse Idli, Thata Idli, Orange Idli, carrot idli, pineapple idli, chocolate idli are some of the highlights. Source 

Quinoa is one among the world's most popular health foods. A gluten-free high-protein, high-fiber and low-fat grain , quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in magnesium , B- vitamins, iron, potassium , calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. Click here to know more about the health benefits of Quinoa. I love the nutty flavor Quinoa imparts to the dish. I have experimented a lot with this super grain and used it in salads, soups and replaced it for rice in my khichdi and even curd rice. This time it is our humble idli. 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 dozen idlis

Ingredients: Measurement used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1 cup Quinoa ( i have used Organic)
  • 1/2 cup Semolina / Suji
  • 1 cup Curd
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon skinned and split black gram / dhuli urad dal
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. To begin with, grind the Quinoa in a blender jar to powder. Keep aside. 

2. In a pan heat oil and add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter, add cumin seeds. Add the black gram followed by green chili once the cumin seeds crackle. Fry everything well on low flame.

3. Add Semolina to it and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Next add the ground Quinoa and stir fry for 2 minutes on low flame. Put off the flame and remove the Quinoa Semolina mixture in a bowl to cool down.

4. On cooling, add whisked curd, salt and sugar and mix everything very well. Add water as required to make a batter of dropping consistency. Keep the batter aside for 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the steamer or cooker for steaming by adding water to the bottom. Grease the idli moulds with oil. After 5 minutes, check if the batter is of required consistency. You may add little water if desired,but do not add too much as the idlis will become sticky and not rise properly. Add baking soda to the batter and stir well.

6. Pour spoon full of idli batter to the greased idli moulds. Once all the plates are filled, place them one above the other on the stand and place the idli stand in a steamer or pressure cooker. Make sure the holes on the plate face the filled portion. Place the steamer on high heat for 10 minutes. If using pressure cooker for steaming, remove the whistle and steam the idlis for about 15 minutes.

7. After steaming time, turn off the heat. Open the steamer and insert knife or toothpick to test whether the idlis are cooked or not. If the toothpick comes out clear, the idlis are done. Remove the idli plates from steamer. Scoop out the idlis with a spoon starting from the edge.

 8. Serve the healthy and delicious Quinoa idlis with coconut chutney and enjoy !
Recipe Notes:
  • You can add Bengal gram, curry leaves also to the tempering or altogether skip the tempering part and make plain idlis. Tempering does make the idlis flavorful though.
  • You may add oatmeal instead of suji to make the idlis gluten free.
  • Do not add more water while making the idli batter as it will lead to sticky, soggy and flat idlis instead of soft and fluffy ones. If you add less water, the idlis will become dry. I needed 3/4 cup water apart from 1 cup curd to make the batter of dropping consistency. 
  • The above mentioned quantity of ingredients yield 1 dozen idlis, you may easily halve or double the recipe ingredients as per the need.
Taking this Quinoa Idli recipe to the #188 #FoodieMondayBlogHop with #IdlyMedley as the theme for the week. The theme was suggested by Mayuri Patel di, who blogs at Mayuri's Jikoni. Mayuri di is a versatile blogger and a very sweet and humble person at heart. I have yet to meet her in person, but still I can feel connected with her so well through blogging world. Do check out her lovely space for a huge collection of recipes both Indian and from around the globe. According to the theme, we had to make idlis with any grain except rice. I chose the super grain Quinoa to make idlis for the theme. Do check out the posts from my fellow bloggers for some wonderful variation to our humble Idli.


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  1. I haven't tried out many dishes using quinoa - it is relatively a new ingredient to me. I'm sorely tempted to try out your quinoa idlis, though - they look super soft and absolutely delicious!

    1. Then you definitely need to try out these Quinoa idlis Priya. I am sure you will love them as much as we did. Thank you.

  2. I was contemplating whether to make quinoa idli or buckwheat and buckwheat won. Next on the list is quinoa idli. Your idlis look so fluffy and delish.

    1. Thank you di. The idlis turned out really very soft and delicious. Your buckwheat idlis are on my to-do list now.

  3. Wow Poonam idli looks so perfectly fluffy and delicious. Never used quinoa because no idea about the taste But your idli tempted me to try. Super healthy share.

    1. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and you can replace it for rice in almost any dish. Do give it a try and i am sure you will love it.

  4. Poonam your quinoa Idlis look so delicious soft and fluffy!! Loved the texture of these healthy Instant Idlis!!

    1. Thank you Swati. We thoroughly enjoyed these idlis. They are a great variation to our regular rice idlis.

  5. This is the absolute best way to include quinoa in your diet! Super looking idlis!

  6. Love these cute and fluffy quinoa idli.Instant recipes are always the best. Initially i planned to use quinoa but later changed to Almond meal.Fantastic share.

  7. Yummy n healthy idli. How I wish I had not finished all my quinoa. But will definitely try this after May. I am currently in the process of reducing my stock.

  8. I can feel how spongy these will be as I have thoroughly enjoyed my creations :) Lovely share dear using quinoa as the star ingredients here

  9. By Now I know you are a quinoa fan too ! these idlis are seriously delicious and have turned out soooooo well, Poonam ! kudos ... defintiely bookmarked !

  10. My next idli will be these quinoa idlis. Looks so soft and fluffy and these are instant too. Awesome

  11. Prof Prem raj Pushpakaran writes --- Let us celebrate world idli day!!!