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Masala Idli

Masala idli is a simple and easy snack. This is one of my favorite ways to serve masala idli. Adding the stir-fry salad to idli makes a very versatile dish. You can serve this as lunch, snack or salad. To make masala idli I am using the rava idli witch is quick and easy to make. This also makes a great lunch box meal as it is very healthy and satisfying.

This recipe will serve 4.

Masala Idli Recipe by ManjulaIngredients:

For Idli

  • 1 cup coarse sooji (samolinai)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (curd, Dahi)
  • 3/4 cup water use as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ENO (fruit salt)

For seasoning the Idli

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed (rai)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 green chili seeded and cut in length wise in four
  • 1 teaspoon samber powder optional

The seasoning is for half the idlies we are making other use next time

Utensils for Making Idlis

  • Idli stand – I am using the mini idle rack but you can use regular rack and cut the idli in four pieces.
  • Covered pot, large enough to hold the idli stand.
  • Alternatively, an egg poacher can work just as well, if you do not have an Idli stand.

For Stir- Fry Salad

  • 3 cups cabbage, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper cut into thin slices (capsicum, Shimla mirch)
  • 1/4 cup green beans cut in half lengthwise and then into pieces 1-1/2” long
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Method to make Idli

  1. Mix semolina, salt, and yogurt, add water as needed to make a pancake-like batter. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. The batter thickens as the semolina absorbs the water. At this point, add a little more water as needed.
  3. Add approximately 3/4 cup of water to the pot. Check to make sure that the water does not touch the bottom plate of the idli stand. Bring to boil.
  4. Lightly grease idli plates with oil.
  5. Add Eno Fruit Salt to the batter and mix well. The mixture will begin foaming.  Immediately begin pouring into the Idli trays. Place the stand into the steaming pot.
  6. Cover the pot and steam idles for about 6-8 minutes on medium heat. Insert a toothpick in the center of one idli. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove the stand from the pot. Do not overcook idles, as they will lose their softness and dry out as they cool.
  7. Cool for just a few minutes before removing each individual idli. They should come out easily and not stick to the mold. Idles should be spongy and soft.

Seasoning for Idlies

  1. For this recipe we need to use about half the idlies, save other for next time.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to crack, add the chilies. Stir for a few seconds add the idlies and stir-fry them for 2-3 minutes until idlies are lightly golden brown.
  3. Sprinkle the samber powder and mix it well gently, assuring idlies will not brake. Turn off the heat.

Stir- Fry Salad


  1. Heat the oil in frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add mustard seeds, as the seeds crack, add cabbage, bell pepper, and beans. Stir-fry three to four minutes, vegetables should be crisp, do not overcook.
  3. Turn off the heat. Add salt, sugar, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix well.
  4. Mix the idlies with stir fry and fold gently. Masala idlies are ready.
  5. Serve them warm or at room temperature.


  1. This is two part recipe and good thing is you can serve them both as a separate dish and they truly taste delicious and when you combine them both that really bumps up the taste factor.
  2. Idlies can be refrigerated for 4-5 days or freeze them for a month.

Check out the recipe for Mysore Bonda

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21 thoughts on “Masala Idli

  1. I really like your recipes and I have learned how to make sweets from you.I have a request please show how to make veg sweet corn soup from fresh corn

  2. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I tried it and it turned out awesome. Family enjoyed thoroughly. 10 on 10 for this mouth watering delicacy which is equally appealing to the eyes

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