April 23, 2010

Instant Oats Idli (Savory steamed cakes) with wheat bran


I like oats, especially in this cookie form. But I am not a big fan of eating it with milk and getting it all squishy and slimy early in the morning.
I found a way to incorporate them into breakfast crepes and started making Oats dosai.
So eventually I started making Idlis with Oats as well. I somehow never got that right, maybe because I used oats in its raw form without dry roasting or whatever, and ended up with squishy idlis every time. I could not resist trying out Usha's recipe for Oats idli, I really did not think it would work, but it did! I have a few more of my recipes up for posting, but I simply had to schedule this one first... this is so good.
It is soft, spongy and totally scrumptious. I have made it twice already and this is probably the only kind of idlis I am going to be eating for a while.
I added some wheat bran to give it more airiness and make it fluffier. It worked! If you don't have it, you can totally skip it.
If you are a breakfast person like me who
-likes to eat healthy
- is tired of eating rice-based breakfast dishes
-doesn't want to go anywhere near milk and bland oats put into a bowl and eating it for the sake of eating it
-have no time to get any kind of cooking done in the morning
...then this is the recipe for you.
The idli mix can be made well ahead of time, and used whenever you need it. So you are not scrambling in the morning to get everything together.

Only caveat is... if you are not into full fledged Indian cooking, then chances are you might not have the hardware, which is the idli maker. If you have one, print out the recipe and get going!

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Instant Oats Idli (Savory steamed cakes) with wheat bran


Old fashioned Oats - 3 cups
Semolina flour - 1 1/2
Wheat bran - 1/2 cup (optional)
Fat free plain yogurt - 4 1/2 cups
Curry leaves - 7-8 leaves
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Broken Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp finely chopped
Dry red chillues/Fresh green chillies - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste


Roast the old fashioned oats without oil in a pan for about 5 min on medium heat. It does tend to burn quickly if left unattended.
Cool completely and in a blender using the "pulse" mode grind it into a coarse powder and set aside.

Re-heat the same pan, add oil and when it is hot, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
Add urad dal, channa dal, ginger, chillies, curry leaves and cashews and roast well.

Now add the semolina on top of this and roast till it changes slightly in color (say a very light brown). Add salt and keep mixing.

Allow that to cool and transfer into a mixing bowl. Add oats powder and wheat bran.

This may be stored in an air tight container for later use. If you are using it the very same day, then add the yogurt and mix well. Add water if need be to loosen the batter a little bit. I had to do that.

Just before pouring them into idli mould, add the baking soda and mix thoroughly. Ladle the batter a little more than halfway and steam in a cooker or use a microwave idli maker.

Allow to rest for 5 minutes after steaming. Scoop out, and serve hot with chutney or chilly powder (molagai podi)

Yields 24-26 medium sized idlis.


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  1. Am definitely making this!! Thanks a lot Divya!! I have tried adding oats to idly batter, but it turned out mushy! Having a pack of wheat bran lying around too. Thanks again! Will let you know how it turns out.

  2. nice one.. I would love to have this mix on hand for those hectic mornings :)
    and yeah... I will again try calling you and let us see if we can decide on a date for me to visit you :)

  3. Dear Divya, this idly sounds too good..healthy breakfast too..thanks for sharing such a nice recipe..

  4. I esp like Instant breakfast recipe.. this is such a healthy twist on regular idlies. Must try.

  5. wow this is super simple and looks delicious.A must try!

  6. Very healthy breakfast. Looks delicious.

  7. Those idlis look great,I've to try theseout for sure.looks great and yummy with molaga podi :)

  8. OMG! looks o delicious, never know to do anything with instant oats.. this is fabulous.

  9. They look absolutely gorgeous ur spongy idlis!

  10. GREAT idea! looks delicious and healthy!

  11. These idlis look good and the recipe is so nutritious.

  12. wow this idly looks so soft...makes me drooling!

  13. Wat a healthy and complete breakfast to enjoy without any guilt, absolutely delicious..

  14. WOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!... Superb idli... looks soo yummm... healthy too.. nice clicks!!

  15. Healthy breakfast, looks delicious.

  16. Your idli's look amazing. I will try this one. I am sold on your idlis. thanks for sharing.

  17. Hey,
    First time here. Idli looks very healthy with all the oats in it. Very filling meal!Yum!

  18. I love the fact that these are instant,cause I can never get perfect fermentation in my idli or dosa batter.

  19. I am on my way to make this. Loved the recipe too much.

  20. That is definitely a tasty way to get your oats!

  21. Idlis looks so soft and tasty! I have some oats in my pantry must a try! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Delicious idlis, looks so spongy!

  23. This sounds very interesting. Really a very innovative idea. I like the recipe and as yasmeen said there is no fermentation. pics are grt.

  24. Oooh...looks very moist and delicious. I bet would be very good with curry.

  25. I am so glad you tried and liked this idli Divya! I loved the addition of wheat bran to it, makes it more healthy....

  26. excellent! I need something like this for Aakash's tiffin!!

  27. Hi AnuDivya,
    thanks a lot for the fantastic recipe, i just tried this about 15 days back and it was a super hit, my hubby liked it a lot. so i made this for one of my guests for breakfast, who had never heard of this!!!! all the 32 idlis were gone in a matter of minutes!!! thank u thank u!!

  28. Arathi - I am so glad you liked it! These idlis have become a regular in our diet as well. :)

  29. WOW!!!! i just tried them today and they are o so soft and amazingly tasty.!!! didnt add any wheat bran, though next time i want to..... now i want to try every single oats recipe out there!!!The MIl is quite impressed :)

  30. Wah wah kya baat hai! Can't wait to try! Thanks Divya :)

  31. wow sounds wonderful! I here looking for recipes for my toddler who is allergic to wheat... so semolina and wheat bran are out... do you think it would work without that ? what would i substitute instead of wheat ?
    anyway awesome recipes! thanks

    1. Shashi, without semolina this recipe won't work. I would suggest the regular idlis instead, 4 cups rice: 1 cup urad dal.

  32. Hi,
    I came across your mint rice and have made it many times already. Each time its tasted so good that I keep coming back to this dish whenever I have mint leaves at home.

    I totally understand how it feels to look at a bowl of oats and milk in the morning. I have Sanitarium Instant Rolled oats... will this do to make the idlis... i just can't wait to try this recipe.

  33. Hi
    I am an ardent fan of your Mint Rice. I have made it many times and each time I buy mint leaves... i go back to this recipe. My whole family enjoys it.
    I know how it feels to see a bowl of milk and oats right in the morning. So I just can't wait to try this recipe... will Sanitarium instant rolled oats do for the idlis or should i buy a particular brand.
    Thank you very much


Thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. I will try to respond to queries as soon as I can. If I miss anything that needs to be addressed... please feel free to ping me again.
Happy cooking/baking or whatever it is you are doing in the kitchen! :)