Quinoa Idli with Spicy Red Pepper Kuzhambu

Based on the number of hits on ‘OhTastenSee’ – I have deduced that people are searching for and in general also trying out new recipes with the new health rave – ‘Quinoa’. I have mentioned about the health benefits of quinoa in my previous posts on Quinoa upma, Quinoa tomato baath and Quinoa dosa, and I am – like others trying to incorporate quinoa in my daily diet, in forms I am most familiar with. This quinoa idly is an attempt at that, and I am very proud of the outcome. This idly recipe does not have any rice at all, only quinoa and dals go into the making of this idly.

To go with these idlies, I made a Spicy Red pepper Kulambu. Its a modification on  the Tomato kulambu that my mom often makes to go with idly/dosa. Its a simple kulambu, and can be made while the idlies are cooking. Do try this combo and you will come to love it!

Quinoa Idly
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup urad dal
1/4 cup channa dal
1/2 tsp methi seeds
salt, to taste

Place the quinoa, urad dal, channa dal and methi seeds in a bowl. Rinse the dals and quinoa. Pour enough water in the bowl to cover the quinoa and dals and let it soak for 4-6 hours. When the soaking time is up, drain the excess water and grind the mixture to a thick batter. Add salt per taste and mix with your fingers. Mixing with fingers is essential for fermentation. Let the batter sit in a warm, draft free place for 6-8 hours.

When fermented, you can refrigerate the batter or make idlies right away. If refrigerating the batter, ensure the batter returns to room temperature before making the idlies. Pour into idly moulds and make idlies. Steam – but let it rest for 5-10 minutes in the steamer itself before unmoulding and serving.

Spicy Red pepper Kulambu
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tsp oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 tomato, chopped
a sprig of curry leaves
a pinch of turmeric
salt, to taste

To grind
1 red pepper chopped
1 tomato
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds(khuskhus)
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp dalia(pottukadalai)
1 tbsp grated coconut

Place all the ingredients under ‘to grind’ and grind it to a paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods. Let it fry up and infuse the oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic and curry leaves. Fry until soft and translucent. Add the tomato, turmeric and salt. Saute until soft and mashed. Add the spice paste. Rinse the blender with water and pour it in. Add water as necessary to make a slightly thin kulambu. Add salt to taste. Cover and let it come to a boil. The kulambu will thicken a bit. Garnish with more curry leaves if desired and serve hot with idly/dosa.

Verdict: The quinoa idlies were tender and soft and perfectly steamed – guilt free and super healthy. They paired really well with the spicy red pepper kulambu. The tangy peppery taste went really well with the quinoa idlies. On their own the quinoa idlies have a bland taste, but sopped up in this kulambu, they were tangy and juicy. Yummy!

Sending this to: Show me your HITS – Iron rich Foods event and to MLLA -47, event by Susan.

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  1. Anu

    Thank you for the amazing recipe. I have tried it and it is really nice. However, idlis did not turn out to be as soft as rice idlis. Any suggestions?

  2. This is really cool denny.. I also have one quinoa recipe scheduled this month…
    Also the red pepper kulambu looks amazing.. would definitely try next time… Love it using very little coconut..

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