Breakfast, Idli

Red Rice Idli | GF and Vegan | Diabetic friendly recipes

Red rice idly was my first initiation into delicious vegan dishes .As part of my journey & toe hold into vegan dishes, this and many other dishes called for no dairy or processed / refined products yet served wholesome filling and tasting food. I had this first at a Sharan seminar (google for more info).

Honestly I was skeptical when I heard of this, but if anyone did a blind tasting of this dish (literally speaking), they couldn’t tell the difference. Diabetics benefit greatly from this Idli as its wholesome and filling. Folks at home (husband and mom) loved it a lot, and gave a thumbs up ! The elder one ate the idli reluctantly but both kids loved the dosa made from this batter. We had these Idlis with Raw Turmeric and Ginger Chutney.

Made with Whole black Urad dal (that’s the protein source for today) and whole red rice (unpolished), this is yummy with tiffin sambhar and / or any chutney.

It’s so filling that with just 2 idlis, your fibre and wholegrain quotient for the day is taken care of. If you are Idli fans like we are, take a look and do make this. I can assure you would be floored. 

I haven’t made any changes to the original recipe. But do ferment it a bit more as it’s wholegrain and unpolished, it takes a little more time to ferment and also cook (approx 12 mins per batch) 


Red Rice + Whole Black Urad Dal Idli – GF and Vegan Dish

Cuisine : Indian | Course : Breakfast or Dinner Ideas

Served with Tiffin Sambhar or Chutney

Protein Source : Whole Black Urad Dal (unpolished)

Black Whole Urad dal (unpolished).

Pic Source : here

Prep time (including soaking) : 6 hours, grind : 20/30 mins ; Fermentation : 8-10 hours (or overnight till mildly sour)

You would need

  • 4 cups unpolished red rice
  • 1 cup whole (black) urad dal
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste

How to :

Wash and Soak the dal and rice separately for 6 hours. Soak the fenugreek (methi dana) along with the Urad. 

Grind the dal till fluffy adding the soaked water a bit at a time.  Remove to a bowl. 

The red rice is extremely hard to grind despite the soaking, so grind to a coarse batter adding 1-2 handfuls at a time. This takes 20 mins minimum

Add the ground Urad dal and grind for 4-5 mins more.   

Add salt and ferment overnight.

Next day, beat the batter well and spoon into greased idli moulds.

Steam for 10-12 mins.

Unmould and serve hot (Doesn’t taste good while eaten cold)


For Dosa batter: 

You can also make amazing crispy dosas the next day with the same batter (just add a few tsp of water to get a more flowing batter for dosas). And then proceed to make Dosas as usual 


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  1. That is a such a soft and spongy looking idli. I loved the black gram dosa and this one with red rice seems just the thing. Bookmarking!

  2. The idlis are surely so healthy!..I remember my mom using unpolished urad dal during our childhood and using the stone grinder to grind the batter…such wonderful years!

  3. Gayathri Kumar

    I have used red rice for puttu, but have never tried idlis with it. I am doing a change over for my daughter and have been using lots of millets in the diet. Next time I will try dosas with red rice. The idlis look so soft and fluffy and the turmeric and ginger chutney looks like a perfect side for these nutritious idlis.

  4. vaishali sabnani

    The idli looks fantastic, beautiful color and texture , for all healthy stuff I know where to land, great choice.

  5. With our palates tuned to refined versions, it's a task to reeducate it to go back to the unrefined original ones. Glad you and your family are taking that journey Kalyani!

  6. cookingwithsapana

    Red rice hasn't entered in my kitchen yet but knowing the fibre content I should introduce them soon. Idli looks soft and yummy.

  7. Sharmila kingsly

    Healthy and spongy idli. Looks absolutely yummy!!

  8. That's a whole sum and healthy idli. Love that color.

  9. Which Red rice you use ? Raw or parboiled? which brand ? pls clarify.

  10. Wow love the idli. If I can get my folks at hove to ignore the colour they will love it. Soft n spongy.

  11. idlis look perfect and spongy and a beautiful color variation. – Anlet Prince ( )

  12. We don't get red rice here but I'm surely going to cook with it when I'm next in India. Idlis look so soft and tempting. Red rice too has protein.

  13. I love dosas prepared with red rice, i do add red rice often in my cooking, those fluffy idlies looks fabulous and excellent to kick start a day.

  14. I have been using red rice for my meals. But somehow havent thought of making idlis with it. Very interesting..

  15. Love the color and texture of the idli. I remember mom using the black urad dal to make idli and the texture was definitely better than ones that are made of white urad.

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