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5 diabetic friendly idli recipes that are NOT made with rice

If you're a fan of idli sambar but avoid it because you have diabetes, try these 5 idli recipes that are not made of rice.
poha idli
Try poha idli and you will forget about the regular one! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 12:04 pm IST
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How often have we heard that Anil Kapoor is the only actor in Bollywood who doesn’t age at all? Well, the key to his youthfulness has long been a matter of debate. It isn’t a secret any longer, though. He once attributed South Indian cuisine such as idli, sambhar, and dosa for his eternal youth in an interview. Without a doubt, south Indian food is healthy as it is made of several health benefiting ingredients like semolina, ragi, rice flour, green gram etc. But when it comes to diabetic patients, they steer clear of idli because it’s made of rice! Since it contains starchy carbohydrates and has a high glycemic index, it can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.

But what if we say you don’t need rice to prepare idli? Are you excited to find such diabetic friendly idli recipes? Read on!

Avni Kaul, who is a nutritionist and a wellness coach, has shared 5 homemade idli recipes which are that are healthy for diabetic patients.

Is idli good for diabetes patients?

Kaul says, “Diabetic idli is an idli that is not made of rice. It is instead made of other alternatives to rice.” Let us look at some of those variants.

Here are 5 idli recipes that can be eaten by a diabetic, suggested by Avni Kaul:

1. Mixed dal idli


A cup of chopped cabbage, a cup of Urad dal, a cup of Moong dal, half teaspoon chilli powder, few chopped green chillies, one pinch of asafoetida, two teaspoon ginger, a few leaves of kadi patta, salt as per taste.

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idli recipes
Idli is a wonderful food. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


  • Wash and soak the dals for around 4 hours.
  • Mix the dals with ginger, green chillies, chilli powder, asafoetida, and salt using a mixer.
  • Add some cabbage, mix properly and cover it aside for nearly 20 minutes.
  • Add two teaspoons of oil and mix well.
  • Grease the idli mould and have a spoon of batter in each mould.
  • Steam it using a steamer for 15 minutes and serve it.

Also, read: From idli sambhar to rajma chawal, here are 7 classic Indian food combinations for weight loss

2. Masala oats idli


2 cups of oats
2 cups of curds sour
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 tablespoons of urad dal
Half tablespoon of chana dal
Half teaspoon of cooking oil
A couple of green chilies
2 tablespoons of carrot grated
Some coriander leaves
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt as per taste,
Half teaspoon of eno salt

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idli recipes
It’s time to add oats to your breakfast! Image courtesy: Unsplash


  • Dry roast the oats for two minutes, cool the oat and make a powder using a mixer, heat the pan using oil, fry mustard, urad dal, chana dal.
  • Then add chopped green chilies, grated carrot and turmeric, fry for a minute, mix them to the oats, then add the curds, salt to and combine well, put some finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Now, add the eno salt and mix with the regular idli batter consistency, grease the idli molds with oil and fill with batter
  • Steam for around 15-20 minutes and it’s ready.

3. Foxtail millet idli


A cup of foxtail millet, one and a half cups of white urad dal (Split), one teaspoon of methi seeds, and salt as per the taste.


  • Wash and soak the millets in water in a bowl and urad dal along with methi seeds with sufficient water in another bowl overnight or keep soaked for a minimum of 8 hours. Soak all of them separately.
  • To prepare the batter, drain the extra water soaked millets and urad dal.
  • Blend the urad dal with enough water to make it thick and very smooth batter.
  • Shift the batter to a large bowl in which you will set it aside for fermentation with ground millet.
  • Then blend the foxtail millet with just enough water to make a smooth batter, add this to the urad dal batter.
  • Add two teaspoons of salt and stir properly to combine.
  • Ferment the batter for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  • Once your batter is fermented, gently stir and be careful to not release the air pockets, grease the idli molds using a little oil and spoon the foxtail millet idli batter into the molds.
  • Make the idli in a steamer using a little water in the bottom.
  • Put the filled idli racks in the steamer, keep the steamer using a high heat and steam the idli for nearly10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes of steaming, turn off the flame, after some time you can remove the foxtail millet idli from the steamer.
  • The wholesome homemade foxtail millet idli is now ready to be served.

Also, read: 3 delicious sugar-free snack recipes to try if you have diabetes

4. Beetroot idli


2 cups of roasted semolina, water as needed, salt as per taste, a cup of curd, and a small beetroot.

idli recipes
This beautiful coloured food is wonderful for your health! Image courtesy: Shutterstock


  • Using a bowl, add roasted semolina, curd and one cup of water.
  • Add little salt as per taste and whisk it well to make a smooth batter. Keep it aside for around 10 minutes.
  • Now peel the beetroot and roughly chop into pieces, add beetroot pieces to a blender and blend to make a paste.
  • Add the beetroot paste to your idli batter and mix it well to form a pink batter.
    if the batter seems too thick, have 1/4th cup of water, grease the idli moulds and put the batter into the moulds.
  • Put the moulds in the steamer and steam for about 12 minutes.
  • Once steamed, the beetroot idlis are now ready to be served.

5. Moong dal-palak idli


A cup of moong dal soaked and drained, a half a cup of spinach leaves (blanched and chopped), two tablespoons of curd, two teaspoons of salt, one teaspoon of fruit salt and oil for greasing.


  • Mix moong dal, spinach and curd in a blender and form a smooth paste.
  • Add some salt and fruit salt to the batter before steaming it along with one tablespoon of water.
  • Grease the idli molds using minimal oil, place a spoonful of batter in each mould and steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Now demould the idlis properly and serve it.Enjoy these unique, but healthy idli recipes!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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