Brown Rice Idlis

Idli is one of my comfort food. I learned to make it from my mom and we both tweaked the recipes few times to come up with a perfect proportion. But after coming to US, I had hard time grinding it properly and fermenting it. But someone shared a nice trick with me for fermenting the batter - put half onion in the batter and keep the vessel in warm place oven like and you will get nicely fermented idli batter in 10-12 hours in any season. One problem was solved! To solve the problem of grinding, I started using idli rava and grinding everything in food processor. After making idlis successfully for years using this method, I decided to try grinding soaked rice instead of idli rava and that was successful too.

Couple of years ago I got the brown rice bag from store that was awful in taste. I did not want make rice and did not want to throw away the whole bag either. I tried khichadi, I tried making rice and make thalipeeth from cooked rice. Even though that was working out okay but all these things use very less rice. I had to find various ways to use up the whole 2lb bag. I decided to use up in idli. It worked in first try and I have been making it ever since. No white rice idlis from scratch for me, there are local Indian grocery stores for that!

Brown Rice and Whole Udid Idli

2.5 cups Brown Basmati Rice
1 cup Split Urad Daal with skin
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Salt per taste
Water as needed.

Preparation -
Pick over and wash rice and daal separately. Soak them separately for 6-8 hours. I keep just 2" water above rice and daal level. Mix fenugreek seeds in daal while soaking.
Drain water from daal and rice in a separate vessel, do not throw it away, we will use it as required to grind.
Grind rice first in the food processor with 'S' blade. Add little water that we set aside as needed to get smooth paste.
Remove ground rice in a big non reactive container.
Now start grinding daal with little water at a time. Grind it to very fine paste. Keep beating this daal paste in food processor for 10-12 minutes.*
Now mix in the rice batter and beat in the food processor for 3-4 more minutes.
Remove in a large non reactive vessel and keep it in warm place for ferment for 10-12 hours.
Add salt to the fermented batter, and make idils as usual.
Serve warm with any of these chutneys.

Tips - 
  1. * This makes the daal fluffy and aids the fermentation process. I do it in 2 minutes interval at a time. If you have stand mixer or hand mixer, you can try using that.
  2. If weather is too cold, you can cut onion in half and put cut side down in the batter. This also aids the fermentation process. 
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  1. You got a super texture with brown rice.

  2. The idlis look wonderful! I make idlis solely with parboiled rice (ukada tandool) but use brown rice in dosa batter.
    The onion trick for fermentation is new to me. I usually use a fistful of poha to jump start fermentation.

  3. If i have no food processor then what to do?

  4. Anonymous, if you do not have food processor, use whisk or hand to beat the batter once out in a utensil. You should beat it for 15-20 minutes.

  5. Hi...I tried this all family members like it alot...I just want to say thanks for it...:)


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