Thursday, October 11, 2012

Instant Oats Lapsi Idlis (Oats & Cracked Wheat Idlis)

Oatmeal is thought to be one of the few foods that can actually help lower cholesterol. This is because oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which is thought to decrease the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the intestines. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fiber and nutrients.
Cracked wheat is made by cutting or crushing whole raw wheat berries (kernels) into small pieces. It has all the benefits of wheat flour and since it contains the outer bran and germ of the wheat, it provides some additional benefits as well.

Inspite of understanding the importance of these super grains, Indian cuisine rarely gets them included in our diets. Oats are quite restricted to porridge that you have for breakfast which is not really enjoyed by most. It is just about gulping it down for the day as it helps lower cholesterol. Let me help you include some of these super grains in your diet.
Let us kick off with - Oats Cracked Wheat Idlis. Now don't expect these idlis to mimic the taste of regular rice idlis, mostly because they are not! But trust me, they are a great snack and just like our regular idlis they go really well with piping hot sambar and chutneys. No fermentation time required is always a huge bonus. You can make these anytime you feel like having some.

Serves: 20 medium idlis
Level: Easy
Source: Instant Oats Idlis - Sharmis Passion

1 cup instant oats (I used Quaker)
1/2 cup cracked wheat (daliya/lapsi)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp asafoetida
4 tsp coriander leaves
1/2 tsp baking soda
Water as required
Oil spray (to grease the idli plates)

Step 1 - Dry roast the instant oats till they let out a nutty aroma and slightly turn brownish. This should take around 3-4 mins only. Cool and grind. Dry roast the cracked wheat for 4 -5 mins. Set aside.

Step 2 - In a pan, heat 2 teaspoon of oil. Add mustard seeds, let them pop. Add the asafoetida, green chillies and grated carrots. Saute for 3 - 4 mins till the carrots get slightly soft. Add the coriander leaves. Mix well. Keep aside to cool. We do not want to cook down the carrots a lot as they will be steaming with out batter soon.

Step 3 - In a large mixing bowl, combine the roasted ground oats, the roasted cracked wheat, yogurt, sauteed carrots, salt, and baking soda. Mix well and add water till you get a thick lump free batter. Batter consistency should be similar to idli batter.

Step 4 - Grease the idli plates with oil. Pour the prepared batter till each mould is 80% full. Steam for 15 - 18 mins or until done.

Serve hot with some piping hot sambar and chutney of your choice.

Do not skip the baking soda. This will be the ingredient that makes your idlis fluffy.

You can add any veggies of your choice instead of carrots and indulge in these healthy idlis.

You can just grate and add your veggies, instead of sauteing them if you are in a hurry. They will get cooked while steaming.

How to steam idlis in an idli steamer/pressure cooker?
Step 1 - Grease the idli moulds with oil. I use an oil spray. I also spray the bottom of the mould, so the batter from the bottom stacks do not stick to the base of the top plate.

Step 2 - Fill each idli mould with the prepared batter. If the batter is too thin, it will seep out of the tiny holes the idli moulds have. So be careful while adding water if you are not used to the process.

Step 3 - Take your idli steamer and add water to it. The water should be at such a level that your lowest idli plate should not be immersed in water. You do not want to boil the batter. You need to steam it.
Until you get used to it, every time you add water, place your idli plate in your steamer and pick it up to make sure no water touched it's bottom. Also, do not be too paranoid and add very little water. You will be boiling water for almost 15 - 18 mins for every set. You do not want the water to completely evaporate. This will burn the base of your steamer. After adding water, cover the steamer with a lid and let the water boil.

Step 4 - Once the water boils, carefully place the idli stands into the steamer. The placement of these stands is also crucial. You will notice that your idli stand has idli moulds and 2-3 holes between each mould. Stack in such a way that moulds do not get stacked on top of each other. They should alternate each other (Holes over moulds). Idlis need space to plump up.

Step 5 - After 15 mins, carefully open the steamer. Using oven mits, remove the idli plates and let them rest for 2 - 3 mins. Run a knife around the edges and remove the idlis with the help of a spoon onto your serving dishes.

Step 6 - Every time you steam a set, you will need to add water into your steamer and repeat the process.

You can also steam the idlis in a pressure cooker. You need to place the idli stand on a grid or a steel rack, so the stand would not touch the water. Also while steaming do not keep the whistle or pressure on. Steam each set for 10 - 12 mins.


  1. Interesting taste..never imagined I would have seen oats being made this way!!..

  2. These look great! Will try it this weekend. I was wondering if you have ever tried making idlis in a microwave. I have a microwave "cooker" and microwave-safe idli stand. Following the instructions on their recipe booklet did not help so I'm asking around now :)

    1. I made idlis in the microwave using instant Idli mix from Gitts before. But this Idli recipe is definitely nuttitious and healty especially to diabetics. I am going to try this recipe in microwave for about 5-6 minutes.

      We have to be careful that the water in the tray doesn't touch the bottom pan in the microwave idli maker.

    2. Good to know you found out the technique..Will try and get hold of a microwave idli stand now. :) Thank you.

  3. Baking soda give a strange smell to the iddlies, can Eno be used?

  4. No idea about microwave idli stand, but will ask around for you.

    Our idlis dint smell strange...but you can substitute it with eno fruit salt if you are worried. Just make sure you add it right before pouring the batter in the moulds. 1/2 tsp should be sufficient for the quantity I have put here. If you have a smaller stand, divide the batter in parts and add eno to each part separately before you steam the batter. You cannot put eno in the batter and leave it for long.
    And dont forget to let me know how you liked it..:)

  5. @Alok... By now you should know that shalmali is a magician in kitchen.

  6. This valuable info is invaluable. Where will I read more?

  7. Thank you! More information on:
    Cracked wheat: