Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

Are you looking for Idli recipes that have less rice content? Here is an easy, delicious Oats Idli recipe made with Steel Cut oats. A must try South Indian Breakfast or Tiffin Recipe.

Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

Looking for recipes using steel cut oats? Try Oats Idli – A traditional South Indian Breakfast recipe with steel cut oats, rice and urad dal.

If you are folks like us who prefer savory oats and don’t enjoy the usual oats porridge or oatmeal, this is an easy, healthy recipe to begin with.

Most Oats Idli recipes have Eno or baking soda and is made instantly using quick cooking oats. My recipe here uses the traditional fermented method of making idlis using steel cut oats.

The recipe does not include any Sooji (Semolina) or Curd. The ingredients, like traditional idli recipe, are soaked, ground and fermented.

Some of our Oats RecipesOats Chilla (An Instant Breakfast Recipe using quick cooking oats) and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Refined Sugar Free, Eggless, Rolled Oats Cookies)

My husband loves Idli and especially the TRADITIONAL SOFT IDLI. Also, the very reason, I have quite a few varieties of Idli recipes on the blog.

It took me 4 attempts to perfect this recipe. I wanted to make this Idli recipe 100% rice free but couple of attempts led to dense idli that were quite sticky (nature of oats).

I am posting this recipe after testing the recipe multiple times and achieving satisfying results in terms of texture and taste.

Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

And in all honesty, you cannot compare this Idli with the instant variety nor the traditional idli either. The key ingredient steel cut oats, makes your idlis slighty dense. Just setting the expectations right!

This recipe is for people who are looking to cut down rice, include oats that are not processed heavily and breakfast recipes that are savory, filling and healthy, can be made easily at home.

Ingredients for Oats Idli

Steel Cut Oats2 cups of Oats are used here. They are washed, soaked and ground along with Idli Rice. Cannot be substituted with Rolled Oats or Instant Oats.

Idli Rice – 1 cup is used for the recipe here. Wouldn’t recommend reducing the quantity.

This recipe requires Idli rice (white) for softness. Also I recommend DO NOT substitute it with brown rice as it leads to hard and dense idlis (too much fibre).

Idli rice is available online and at leading grocery stores. If you are abroad, it can be sourced through supermarkets that stock Indian Grocery.

If you do not get Idli Rice, use regular white rice (short grain) like Sona Masuri, Kolam or Ponni.

I have not tried this recipe using Basmati Rice, so cannot comment. I don’t use Basmati Rice for any of my Idli recipes since we are not used to that at home.

Urad Dal – I have used the Gota Urad Dal or whole urad dal.

Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds – For softer idlis and it also aids in fermentation.

Since we try our best to use minimally processed ingredients at home, Steel Cut oats is our choice! Also fermentation aids in providing the necessary vitamins to the body, making Idli one of the best breakfast to consume.

This can be served as breakfast, a filling brunch on weekends and as evening tiffin with leftover gravy from lunch.

Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

This Idli recipe is Vegan. Use 100% Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats in case you are gluten sensitive.

This batter quantity yields – 15 Idlis, 6 Onion Uttapam and 8 Dosa. If using purely for Idlis, you can easily make 25 to 30 nos. using this batter.

Do Check out 100% Steel Cut Oats Dosa Recipe on the blog. It makes soft dosas every single time.

Side Dish for Oats Idli

Idli is made special with a variety of side dish options. Sambar, chutney and podi are the traditional accompaniments.

Murungakai Sambar (Drumstick Sambar)

Tomato Chutney (spicy chutney recipe)

Sutta Kathirikkai Chutney (Roasted eggplant chutney)

How to Make Oats Idli – Step by Step Recipe

In a bowl, measure and add steel cut oats and Rice.

Steel Cut Oats and Idli Ponni Rice

In another bowl, measure and add the Urad Dal with methi seeds.

Urad Dal and Methi Seeds

Wash all the ingredients well until the water is clear.

Soak the ingredients for atleast 5 to 6 hours.

After 5 to 6 hours, drain all the water and keep aside.

In the mixer grinder jar, add the urad dal with methi seeds and grind them into a smooth paste. Note – If your mixer grinder heats up, use ice cubes to grind instead of water.

Remove the ground urad dal batter into a wide vessel.

Similarly grind oats and rice.

soaked and drained oats and rice
Ground batter

Mix both the batters using your hand in a slow circular motion. It increases warmth and aids in fermentation.

Mix the batter with hands to aid fermentation

Cover and keep this in a warm place, undisturbed for 8 to 10 hours or until it is fermented.

Once fermented, add salt, mix lightly and prepare the steamer for making Idlis.

Fermented oats idli batter

Grease the Idli plates with sesame oil, pour a ladle of batter (carefully not overflowing it)

Place the Idli stand inside the steamer and steam for atleast 10 to 12 minutes. Switch off the steamer, allow it to cool down naturally and then remove the idlis using a spoon.

steamed oats idli
Oats idli ready to be served

Serve with accompaniments of your choice.

Recipe Notes –

  • The Idli batter is multipurpose. I have made paniyaram, dosa, uttapam besides Idli of course. It is now a regular feature at home as it is a great way to consume oats.
  • My batter fermented in 10 hours as I made this recipe during winters. I kept the container inside my OTG overnight. The OTG was switched off.
  • Keeping the microwave or oven light on also helps.
  • Good fermentation – the batter will have tiny bubbles.
  • Fermented the batter too long – the batter tends to smell and a layer of fungus forms on the top.
  • Once fermented, store the batter inside the refrigerator, covered with a tight lid.
  • Always allow your steamer to naturally cool down a bit before opening the lid and removing the Idli stand or plates.

FREQUENTY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it necessary to ferment the Idli Batter?

Idli made from fermented batter are naturally light, soft and easy to digest. The essential vitamins that are much needed for the body, comes from the fermentation process.

Can Normal Rice be used instead of Idli Rice?

Idli Rice leads to lighter and soft Idlis. For this recipe, it is highly recommended. However, if you do not have access to the same, use any short grain white rice variety instead (Sona Masuri, Kolam and Ponni)

How many days can we use Idli Batter?

This batter lasted for 6 days. Ideally recommended to use within a week else the batter turns extremely sour. In winters, it is not an issue. However, during summers, I tend to stock batter that I can use within 72 hours.

Why are my Idlis hard?

Steaming the Idli for more than 10 to 12 minutes leads to dense idlis.

Is Idli good for breakfast?

Idli is light, can be easily made and low on oil, making it a good choice for breakfast. Oats Idli further replaces the amount of Rice making it healthier and fibre rich.

Some Idli Recipes on the blog –

Proso Millet Idli – Contains No Rice

Ragi Idli with whole ragi seeds

Kollu Idli (Horsegram Idli)

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Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

Vidya Narayan
Oats Idli is an easy South Indian healthy, steamed Breakfast recipe made with steel cut oats, rice and urad dal. Serve with sambar and chutney as breakfast, brunch or evening tiffin.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Fermentation 10 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 25 Idlis

Equipment

  • Idli Steamer

Ingredients
  

1 cup is 250 ml, 1 tsp is 5 ml

  • 2 cups Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 cup Idli Rice Check Notes Below
  • 1 cup Urad Dal or Ulutham Paruppu
  • 1/2 tsp Methi Seeds or Fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame oil as required to grease the idli plates before steaming
  • Water as required to soak, grind the batter

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, measure and add steel cut oats and Rice.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • In another bowl, measure and add the Urad Dal with methi seeds.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • Wash all the ingredients well until the water is clear.
  • Soak the ingredients for atleast 5 to 6 hours. After 5 to 6 hours, drain all the water and keep aside.
  • In the mixer grinder jar, add the urad dal with methi seeds and grind them into a smooth paste. Note – If your mixer grinder heats up, use ice cubes to grind instead of water.
  • Remove the ground urad dal batter into a wide vessel.
  • Similarly, grind oats and rice.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • Mix both the batters using your hand in a slow circular motion. It increases warmth and aids in fermentation.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • Cover and keep this in a warm place, undisturbed for 8 to 10 hours or until it is fermented.
  • Once fermented, add salt, mix lightly and prepare the steamer for making Idlis.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • Grease the Idli plates with sesame oil, pour a ladle of batter (carefully not overflowing it)
  • Place the Idli stand inside the steamer and steam for atleast 10 to 12 minutes. Switch off the steamer, allow it to cool down naturally and then remove the idlis using a spoon.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli
  • Serve with accompaniments of your choice.
    Oats Idli | Steel Cut Oats Idli

Notes

  • This batter quantity yields – 15 Idlis, 6 Onion Uttapam and 8 Dosa. If using purely for Idlis, you can easily make 25 to 30 nos. using this batter.
  • This recipe requires Idli rice (white) for softness. You can also use Sona Masuri, Ponni Rice, Kolam varieties of short grain rice. Highly recommended not to use brown rice for this recipe as it leads to dense idlis.
  • Steel Cut Oats cannot be substituted with Rolled Oats or Quick Cooking Instant Oats for this recipe. 
  • My batter fermented in 10 hours as I made this recipe during winters. I kept the container inside my OTG overnight. The OTG was switched off.
  • Keeping the microwave or oven light on also helps.
  • Good fermentation – the batter will have tiny bubbles.
  • Fermented the batter too long – the batter tends to smell and a layer of fungus forms on the top.
  • Once fermented, store the batter inside the refrigerator, covered with a tight lid.
  • Always allow your steamer to naturally cool down a bit before opening the lid and removing the Idli stand or plates.
  • This Idli recipe is Vegan. Use 100% Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats in case you are gluten sensitive.
Keyword Oats Idli, savory oats recipes, South Indian Breakfast Recipe, Steel Cut oats Idli
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We will be back again with yet another exciting recipe .. Until then, stay healthy and happy!

Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

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