Idli Recipe / Masala Mini Idlis

I have a confession to make – I don’t like idlis. Please don’t judge me. South Indians love their idlis & so does my entire family except me.

Narayan, on the other hand, absolutely loves his idlis. Give the man a huge bowl of sambar & idlis, he is a happy soul. At home, idlis was made for everyone as breakfast or dinner (tiffin) & mom used to make these masala / spicy idlis with a hint of sugar especially for me since I didn’t like the regular ones.

Thanks to Mom, I still eat my idlis in this way. I have made masala idlis using the mini idli stand (good idea for kids tiffin box).

Do check the recipe notes for making soft & spongy idlis.

Recipe for Idlis


  1. Idli Rice – 2 cups
  2. Raw Rice – 1 cup
  3. Whole urad dal – 1 cup
  4. Methi seeds – ½ tsp
  5. Oil – few drops for greasing the moulds
  6. Salt – as per taste

Method –

  1. Wash the rice & the Urad dal 2-3 times & soak them separately for atleast 4-5 hours. U can keep it overnight too. Makes grinding easier & you get a soft batter.
  2. Grind it well with required water.
  3. Keep this batter for fermenting atleast 8 hours plus. It should rise well.
  4. After the batter has risen well, mix it well with a clean spoon, add salt & required water to get the idli consistency. The idli batter should not be very thick. Thick batter tends to give u hard idlis which often crack while steaming.
  5. Grease idli moulds with oil & pour the batter. Don’t pour too much. Always provide some space for it to expand while steaming.
  6. Steam idlis for atleast 10-15 minutes.
  7. Cool for 5 mins & then demould.

Recipe for Mini Masala Idlis


  1. Idlis – required quantity
  2. Urad dal – 1 tsp
  3. Chana dal – 1 tsp
  4. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Hing or Asafoetida – one pinch
  7. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Dry red chillies – few
  9. Sugar – 1 tsp (optional)
  10. Curry leaves – one sprig
  11. Oil – 1 tblsp (I prefer coconut oil)
  12. Salt as per taste

Method –

  1. In a kadhai, add oil, once its hot, add hing, mustard seeds. Let it crackle, then add urad dal, chana dal, dried red chillies & let it turn a bit brown.
  2. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, curry leaves & the mini idlis. Give it a good toss & mix well. Add salt. Be careful while adding salt as idlis already contain salt. Add sugar.
  3. Adding of sugar is optional. However its my childhood fav way of eating so I don’t skip this step.
  4. Serve hot. Usually masala idlis don’t require any accompaniment.

DSC07204 masala mini idli .jpg

Notes –

  • Idli Rice can be Ukda Chawal or Boiled Rice. I use Ponni Idli Rice which is a type of boiled rice only. Available at all leading supermarkets & grocery stores.
  • Raw rice can be any rice that you consume daily i.e. Kolam, Sona Masuri etc. Except Basmati you can add any type of raw rice.
  • I prefer using Whole Urad Dal for retaining its fibre content. You can use tukda / split udad dal too.
  • I don’t add salt to any batter during grinding or after grinding. I prefer adding salt only before making idlis / dosas. I take the required batter in a separate bowl, add salt & then make accordingly. I find this method beneficial as the batter doesn’t get very tangy / khatta especially during summer season. Stays good in the fridge for a long period too.
  • No Idli Rava, Poha or Baking soda is added during the process.

6 thoughts on “Idli Recipe / Masala Mini Idlis

Add yours

  1. Hi Vidya, I and my son both love methi theplas. Tried your receipe. Tastes yummyyy. As i was making it for my kids I added little bit of curd and boiled potato while kneading for extra nutrition. Turned out soft and tasty. Thanks for the receipe dear.

    1. Thank you for taking the time & providing your valuable feedback. Extremely encouraging. Glad you & kids both enjoyed the theplas & also loved your addition of curd & potatoes. Cheers.

  2. Hi Vidya ….. I tried your idli recipe & they turned out so soft…..My fmly loved them so much…..& this recipe is going to be followed from now on at my place…. 👍👍👌👌 I’ve always wanted to learn to make these kind of idlis….😍😍 Thanks a lot dear for this easy recipe …..Keep sharing such recipes….. ☺

    1. Extremely delighted to see your response dear Anjali. Glad you & family loved the recipe. Shall certainly share more recipes in future. Thank you so much for visiting the blog & your encouragement is much needed !! Love, VN

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