Whole grain idly

Whole grain idly

Everyday we wake up planning to buy organic produce, cook healthy dishes, drink a lot of water and exercise. Sometimes we will make it through this challenge easily while some days we need to crack our head to find a recipe that would please our palate and our family too. Nobody wants to see frown faces in the eating table right?

That was my state during my pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes since the last trimester of pregnancy and had to watch on what and how much goes inside my mouth. Careful monitoring of sugar level was needed. My dietitian advised me to include whole grains in every meal as they are complex carbohydrates and it takes a longer time for the food to get broken down to sugar. This way the sugar level can be maintained well.

That’s when I was introduced to quinoa (read it as “Keen-Wa), a South American grain rich in protein. They come in red and white color. When I shopped it for the first time, I could find only red variety and since then haven’t thought of buying the white one (Don’t ask me why!). I tried making upma, fried rice, salad and even idly and dosa with quinoa. Since I had to follow a strict diet chart and because of harmonal misfire, I was always irritated and moody. I thought to myself “Oh god! I can never eat all this after my delivery”. But I was wrong, within few days of starting this kinds of food, I started to play around few recipes and spice levels. They taste absolutely yummy to me. Healthy foods can be delicious was my conclusion at the end of these experiments.Whole grain idly is an ideal breakfast/dinner dish for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of South beach diet. and also for women with gestational diabetes.

Here is a very simple quinoa-ragi-oats idly recipe. I found the idlies to be soft when served immediately and so filling (with just 2) . I have tried to store it in the fridge and re-heat the next day. It tasted pathetic to me. May be you could pour oodles of sambhar to get rid of ragi’s smell. Otherwise they were great when eaten fresh. Since they are instant idlies, you could prepare the batter fresh and I didn’t like the idlies made from stored batter.

Whole grain idly

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast, lunch
Cuisine South Indian


  • 1 cup red or white quinoa ( I used the Inca organic red quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup ragi flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro – chopped
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat a dry pan for 2 minutes on high. Once hot enough, lower the flame and lightly roast the  quinoa and oats separately without oil for 2-3minutes. Once cooled , grind them to a fine powder in a blender (each separately).
  • Mix the semolina, ragi flour, salt  and baking soda with the powdered quinoa and oats. Initially add about 1.5 cups of  yogurt and mix them well with a spatula. Add the chopped coriander leaves and add the remaining yogurt and stir to combine.
  • The batter should be similar to a normal idli batter consistency, if not add some more water. Grease the idli moulds, and the pour the batter, steam it in the cooker until the idli’s are cooked.
  • Serve warm with sambar and chutney.
Keyword Whole grain idly

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