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Quinoa Idli w/ Horse Gram Sambar

This is my latest version of Quinoa idli. This is made very similar to the instant quinoa idli, the difference is that instead of using half portion of cracked wheat, here I am using quinoa alone, thus making it completely gluten-free. Another difference is the soaking time, this is soaked in yogurt base for a longer period. Many friends and readers ask me why do I specify soaking in most of my recipes. I wrote about this in another recipe recently. Read that here.

In today's recipe, soaking in yogurt overnight provides me with a slightly fermented batter, which makes fluffy and soft idlis, very different from the instant version. You can add some chopped veggies or other optional seasonings too. I do not add anything since I want to retain the soft and fluffy texture, and also since I serve this with a veggie rich horse gram sambar.

  • Quinoa - 1 cup (I mix half and half of red and white quinoa)
  • Homemade organic yogurt - 1/2 cup
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Directions :
  • Heat a shallow pan on medium heat and dry roast the quinoa for about 10-15 minutes till slightly red and you hear frequent popping sound.
  • Keep aside to cool down. Once it is cooled down, grind it using a dry blender or food processor. Grind as fine as you can get.
  • Add the yogurt and about 1/2 -3/4 cup of filtered water and mix it well. It should be of idli batter (or pancake batter) consistency.
  • Keep it aside for 6-8 hours or overnight. (Depending on the weather you might want to keep it refrigerator so that it does not become too sour).
  • When you are ready to make idlis, add salt and mix well.
  • You can add some chopped veggies or other optional seasonings at this point. I do not add anything since I want to retain the soft and fluffy texture and also I serve with a veggie rich sambar.
  • Mix baking soda with a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix it well with the batter.
  • Pour the batter on idli molds and steam cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • I serve it with horse gram cauliflower sambar, recipe below.
  • Enjoy!

Horse Gram Sambar: 

  • Horse gram - 1/4 cup (preferably soaked overnight)
  • Tamarind - walnut sized ball, seeds removed 
  • Cauliflower - 1/2 medium head
  • Red onion - 1
  • Tomato -1
  • Coriander leaves - small bunch
  • Asafoetida (hing/kayam) - a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Coriander seeds - 2 Tbs
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilly - 2-3
  • Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind - walnut sized ball, seeds removed 

  • Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water.
  • Cook horse gram with 2 cups of water.
  • Dice all vegetables into small bite sized pieces.
  • Mash the tamarind well in the warm water and pass thru a sieve or just pass thru your fingers to collect the tamarind juice.
  • Dry roast spices coriander/cumin/fenugreek and red chilly till the seeds are slightly golden.
  • Grind the roasted spices and coconut along with the tamarind juice to a fine paste. Add extra water if needed to aid the grinding. 
  • Once horse gram is almost cooked, add cauliflower and onion along with asafoetida and turmeric. Continue cooking on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the veggies are almost done, add ground coconut-spice paste, tomato and salt. Add extra water if you need a thinner consistency. 
  • Simmer for 10-15 more minutes, check salt level and remove from flame.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Enjoy!!


  1. Que maravilha esta receita! E eu não conhecia quinoa vermelha!

  2. Obrigado Denise. Estou feliz que você gostou. Quinoa vermelha é muito melhor em sabor e textura de um branco.

  3. Delicious healthy idly love it thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. I am highlighting this one todays edition.

  4. Tried this combo for dinner today.. was delicious..thanks chechi!


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