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Red Rice Idli or Dosa

These pretty pink idlis and dosas are surprisingly tasty, filling and healthy as they are made of whole ingredients. Once you get hooked on to these, the white rice idlis will no longer appeal to you.


  • 3 cups unpolished red rice, soaked in water for 10-12 hours
  • 1 cup whole black gram (dhuli sabut urad), soaked in water for 10-12 hours
  • ½ cup cooked unpolished red rice
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, soaked with either the rice or black gram
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt


Grind the soaked rice and cooked rice without water in the blender (or idli grinder), until you get a slightly coarse batter. Pour into a large bowl. Grind the soaked black gram without water in the blender until very smooth. Mix this with the rice paste. Leave this mixture at room temperature to ferment for 8-12 hours, depending on the place and season. In summers, 8 hours is sufficient, but on cooler days, it will take longer. You can smell it to find out if it is ready or not. It should have a slightly sour, fermented smell. Add salt and mix. Pour the batter into the wells of an idli plate and steam for 8-10 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the idli should come out clean when cooked. Add water to the batter to obtain the consistency of dosa batter (somewhat similar to pancake batter) to make dosas or uttapams.


Dosas or uttapams can be made on a heavy cast iron dosa tawa (griddle) without any oil, by rubbing it with a halved potato or onion, before pouring the batter.

Variation for Dosas

An equal volume or less of finely grated bottle gourd (dudhi) or pumpkin can be mixed with the mixture, along with ginger-green chilli paste to taste. This makes tasty, slightly thicker dosas which are a big hit with children and a good way to feed them vegetables. Serve with sambar and coconut chutney.

Serves 8-10


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