Upvas Idli

IFB Spice Secrets

Upvas Idli

By IFB | November 18, 2023

Upvas Idli


  • 1 cup sama rice (barnyard millet)
  • ½ cup yogurt (curd)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • A small piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp fruit salt or Eno (optional, for fermentation)
  • Salt, to taste

For Tempering (Optional):

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • A few curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)



  1. Rinse the sama rice thoroughly under cold water.
  2. Soak the rice in enough water for 4-5 hours or overnight.

Grinding the Batter:

  1. After soaking, drain the water from the sama rice.
  2. Grind the soaked and drained sama rice into a smooth batter using a blender or a wet grinder.
  3. Add very little water, as needed, to make a thick, smooth batter. The batter should have a consistency similar to that of traditional idli batter.
  4. Ferment the batter by leaving it in a warm place for 8 hours or overnight. This step is optional but will result in softer idlis.

Preparing the Idli Batter:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the batter, yogurt, finely chopped coriander leaves, green chillies, grated ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper powder, and salt. Mix everything well.
  2. Grease the idli moulds with a little oil or ghee.
  3. Use fruit salt for fermentation, add it to the batter and mix well. The batter will become frothy.
  4. Pour the batter into the idli moulds, filling them about 3/4 full.

Cooking the Idlis:

  1. Steam the idlis in a steamer for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into an idli comes out clean.
  2. Remove the idli plates from the steamer and let them cool for a few minutes. Carefully remove the idlis from the moulds using a spoon.
  3. In a small pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida (hing). Let them splutter.
  4. Pour this tempering over the prepared idlis for added flavour.
  5. Serve the Sama Rice Idlis hot with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, or any chutney of your choice.

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