Breakfast, Idli

Pepper Idli steamed in Banana leaf


Pepper,Ginger ,Cardamom, Cinnamon are some of the foods recommended by Ayurveda for the winter months. So, when I was left with a lot of Idli batter this week, I picked my brains to make something new and then remembered having this Idli at my husband’s aunt’s place soon after our wedding ! Although i generally make Oothappamsor Paddu (Kuzhi paniyaarams) with left over Idli batter, hubby voted against both of them this week :(((

But thankfully this dish – Pepper Idli steamed in Banana leaves– was very well recieved, and I was happy to add another super healthy breakfast to the menu. It helps if you have ready batter at hand. But if you want to start from scratch, you can make the Idli batter as outlined in this recipe. You could as I did,tone down the pepper or not add it at all for the children, but the aroma of freshly ground pepper and cumin along with the soaked dal is sure to pep you up for the entire day! The addition of cooked but firm channa dal is optional, and I did so ‘coz I dont prefer the idlis looking very dull or dark, but you can also add a handful of chopped fresh coconut to add a slight crunch along with curry leaves / coriander. If you dont have banana leaves, you could use the normal Idli Moulds just like Poha Idli. But steaming them with Banana leaves is something magical – both the aroma and the taste improve manifold with the pepper steaming in those leaves:-) 

Serving options for this dish: choose from over10 chutney varieties hereorMolagapudi(Fiery lentil spice powder). This dish goes toDay 3 of BMalong with Simona’sMLLA. Check my fellow Marathonershere

Prep time : 10 mins.

Cooking time : 15 mins (5 – 7 mins more than your usual time for Idli batch cooking). 

Makes : 4 Idlis



  • Idli batter – 2 cups
  • Chopped ginger – 1 tsp
  • Soaked and cooked Channa dal (opt. but recommended)
  • Cumin / jeera – 2 TBSP
  • Black pepper – 2 TBSP
  • Minced Green chillies – 2 nos (adjust spice)
  • Salt – to taste (consider the Idli batter also might have salt in it)
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  • Coriander and curry leaves – a handful
  • Banana leaves – for steaming


Pin1) Roast and coarsely powder cumin and pepper. 

2) Add the spice powder, salt, asafoetida, coriander and curry leaves, chillies and mix well. 

3) Just before steaming add the boiled channa dal and mix well. 

4) Pour to a flat plate lined with slightly greased banana leaf. Tap the plate once for uniform batter distribution.

5) Steam for approx 12-15 mins. Cool and cut like a pizza into sectors. Serve with any chutney or Molagapudi.



  1. Suma Gandlur

    Good one Kalyani. I make these masala idlis too but never tried adding pepper. And me steaming them in banana leaves would be a dream.:)

  2. createwithmom

    this looks wonderful delicious dish

  3. Hamaree Rasoi

    wow spicy looking idlis that too wrapped in banana leaf !! too good

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. Sensible Vegetarian

    I love this make over Idli and I know how it smells when steamed in banana leaf. Divine.

  5. Kaveri Venkatesh

    Plantain leaves definitely impart there own unique flavor and aroma to any dish if used for steaming…Lovely variation to the regular idlis.

    Herbs & Flowers: Spring Onions

  6. vandana rajesh

    The idlis look so tempting. Nice recipe and am sure the banana leaf adds its own flavour and taste.

  7. Spicy idli looks tempting…

  8. Looks close to Kancheepuram idli 🙂

  9. Priya Suresh

    Ressembles quite like kancheepuram idli, lovely version Kalyani,thanks for sharing..

  10. Very lovely ones..I can have Idlis anytime, specially when flavoured must taste great!

  11. Idli with a twist is great idea. i can feel the aroma of banana leaf. yummy idlis.

  12. chef and her kitchen

    very nice n flavorful idlis..looks delicious

  13. vaishali sabnani

    oh I love anything steamed in Banana leaves..though its a job getting them here….bookmarked Kalyani!!

  14. Sanctified Spaces

    This is absolutely fabulous. Congrats on the 200th post.

  15. delicious dish..yummo..


  16. love the addition of pepper and that too with banana leaf flavour….oooh….i want this too

  17. Very innovative recipe..

  18. Delicious twist on good old idlis — spicy and delicious.. Yumm..

  19. Gayathri Kumar

    Very flavorful idlis…

  20. Nalini's Kitchen

    delicious and flavorful idly,change from the regular idly.

  21. Cool Lassi(e)

    This Idli looks super tempting!

  22. saffronstreaks

    that so cool..peppered id;i wrapped in plantain simply superb

  23. Cool idea :),will try this for sure.

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