June 21, 2013

Red Quinoa Idli - Fermented version

There is a lot of buzz around probiotics these days. Probiotics in simple terms is good bacteria, which is pro-life. Probiotics are important for your gut health, digestion and improving immunity; to name a few. There are a lot of ways in which you can include probiotics in your food. Probiotics are used across the world by many traditional cultures. Most traditional foods from around the world had their probiotics, just that we might not have thought of them in that manner. Some of the most common foods include yogurt, sauerkraut/kimchi (both are fermented cabbage preparations used across Europe and East Asia), Kefir (used in Eastern Europe and South America), Miso (Fermented Soy used in Japan and east asia), Kombucha (fermented green tea) and a variety of pickles. 

Being from India, I know that the Indian diet has a lot of probiotics as part of our daily diet. First and foremost would be yogurt, which has the good milk culture. From the part where I come from, we use yogurt in a variety of ways. Then there are other foods that are made with naturally fermented batter like the one used for idli or dosa (lentil and rice) and dhokla. I would say that idli is one of the best in that category since it can be made with multiple grains, and it is steamed as well. Besides, it is flexible enough to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner with different sides. It is said that majority of the good bacteria will be lost on heating, but it will still retain the nutrients caused by the fermentation process along with some useful bacteria.

I have posted a recipe for a 'quinoa idli' before, but that was an instant version. This one is a fermented version, which can be made in multiple ways. The one I am sharing here is made with 2 kinds of rice and quinoa in equal proportions.

    • Red Quinoa - 2/3 cup
    • Idli Rice - 2/3 cup
    • Brown rice - 2/3 cup
    • Whole urud - 2/3 cup
    • Fenugreek seeds - 2 Tbs
    • Sea Salt - as per taste

  • Soak rice, quinoa and urud and fenugreek seeds separately for 6-8 hours.
  • Drain urud and fenugreek completely and grind them together sprinkling water every few seconds to make a fluffy batter. You can use a wet grinder or blender. Transfer the batter to a bowl.
  • Now drain rice and grind the same way, you need to add a bit more water for this one. Grind until very fine.  Some people prefer coarse texture for their idlis, so use your judgement here. Add the ground rice to ground urud batter, add salt and mix well.
  • Now drain the quinoa completely and mix in to the batter. Keep the batter in a warm place to ferment. It can take anywhere from 4 -8 hours depending on the room temperature.

Once the batter has fermented well, you can make idlis immediately or keep the batter refrigerated up to 3-4 days. 

Grease idli moulds with a pat of coconut oil. Fill the moulds to about 2/3rd full and steam for about 10 minutes. 

Note: We prefer to keep the quinoa texture as is in our idlis, but you can also grind the quinoa along with rice and make idlis. I can assure you that the quinoa texture adds to the taste and the looks.

Sharing this on Healthy Vegan Friday @Carrieonvegan


  1. Wow! These look amazing!! Found you over at CarrieOnVegan... so glad I did. Can't wait to see what else you've got on here! YUM.

  2. Thank you Helyn, I am glad too, that I decided to share recipe on CarrieOnVegan, I get to meet inspiring people like you :-)


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