Steamed rice cakes


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

These lovely rice cakes are popular all over the southern states of India, and are usually served with Lentil, Tomato and Aubergine Curry. Two types of Idlis are made: one type uses a fermented rice and lentil mixture, and is rather time-consuming to prepare; the other version, as here, uses semolina to make the cakes, which are then steamed in idli moulds. You can also use an egg poacher and a steamer.


  • 275 g/10 oz/ cups semolina
  • 5 ml/1 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 1.25 ml/½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 400 ml/14fl oz/1⅔ cups soda water
  • 275 g/10 oz/ cups thick set natural (plain) yogurt


  1. Place the semolina, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, crushed dried chillies and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix together well with a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine.

  2. Gradually add the soda water and mix thoroughly. Beat the yogurt until smooth and add it to the semolina mixture. Whisk until you have a smooth, thick paste.

  3. Brush the egg poachers with oil, then place 22.5ml/ tbsp of the mixture into each. Steam for about 10 minutes.

  4. Ease the rice cakes away from the egg poachers and keep them warm while you steam the remaining cakes in the same way.

Per portion Energy 62kcal/264kJ; Protein 2.4g; Carbohydrate 13g, of which sugars 1.1g; Fat 0.4g, of which saturates 0.1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 32mg; Fibre 0.3g; Sodium 15mg.