Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items · Travel

Instant & Healthy Oats Masala Idlis. (Savoury Steamed Cakes made with Oats, Semolina, Carrots & Spices)

Idlis are always a welcome breakfast at home as both my daughters love to have them, steaming hot and with a generous spill of  ghee melted to a sunshine golden yellow, and some sugar sprinkled on top of that. YUM…is the only word she keeps re-iterating again and again. When she was smaller, and hadnt started talking, she would simply finish off the idlis in minutes, and sometimes, lick the little  bowl clean of all the ghee and sugar…only moments after my head is turned to wash my hands and pick up the little one to wash and wipe her face!!! She is almost 7 now and she still loves them. The other day I had made Rava Idlis, and she simply refused to touch them. I had added peas, carrots and onions but it was of no use. She wanted white soft plain idlis and that was that. This weekend, I tried my oats idlis with the added incentive that I would flavour it with yoghurt/buttermilk. She was willing to give it a go. I used the same method as I would for the Rava Idlis, only I substituted most of the rava, with oats. No rice…at all, no fermenting, and pretty much on the go. Give it a try and you`ll realise just how delish it is. My daughter thought so too..


2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats.

1 Cup Rava.

1 Carrot Grated.

1 Onion finely diced. (Optional).

1 Tbsp Coconut Powder/ Fresh Grated Coconut.

3 Cups Diluted Buttermilk. (The more sour, the  more tastier).

1 Tsp Baking Soda.

Salt to taste.


A handful of finely chopped cilantro.

2 Tsp Flax seed powder.



Curry Leaves.

Cashew Nuts Chopped.(Optional).


2 Green Chillies chopped finely.


  • Roast the 2 cups of old fashioned oats in a dry and hot tava for 4-5 minutes on medium low flame. Set aside.
  • Roast the 1 cup of rava/semolina for 3 minutes until you get the aroma. Set aside.
  • Powder the oats coarsely in the mixer, take care that you don`t powder it too fine. The coarseness adds a lot of character to the final dish, in my opinion.
  • In a mixing bowl add powdered oats, rava, salt, hing, coconut powder, flaxseed powder and finely chopped cilantro.
  • In a kadai add a spoon of oil and when hot add cashew nuts, green chillies, curry leaves,mustard seeds and hing. When it comes together toss it in to the bowl along with the other ingredients.
  • Add the 2 cups of  buttermilk and with the third cup, add it little by little so that the batter does not become runny. The consistency should be like the batter of rava idlis. You should be able to pour and it will fall slowly.

  • Mix in all the ingredients well and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes as this works on the baking soda and airs the batter a little.
  • Grease idli plates and pour out the dough , steam in pressure cooker WITHOUT WEIGHT for 10-12 minutes.
  • Switch off the cooker and after 2-3 minutes remove the plates.
  • Splash a few drops of water on the idlis and using a spoon dipped in water, slowly scoop out the Oats Idlis.
  • Serve piping hot Oats Idlis with Tomato Peanut Chutney.


  1. I used diluted buttermilk as I wanted the Idlis to be light and fluffy. Feel free to use regular buttermilk or beaten curd diluted with water.
  2. Onions are completely optional. I used it for an extra zing on the taste.
  3. Cashew Nuts and flax seed powder  are also an optional additions. I use flax seed powder mainly for the fibre content.
  4. The consistency largely depends on the kind and brand of rava, oats and other ingredients. Take the water measurements as a benchmark and experiment on the kitchens!!!

31 thoughts on “Instant & Healthy Oats Masala Idlis. (Savoury Steamed Cakes made with Oats, Semolina, Carrots & Spices)

  1. Suuuper instant idlis. Love the twist given to the regular rava idlis with the addition of oats and the flaxseed powder. You have made it more healthy by replacing rava with oats.

  2. Getting them to eat more fibre with oats Shoba? These idlis sure look light and porous just like how I love idlis. The last picture beats it all..

  3. wow Shoba, u have some imagination! Am sure the oat lovers would love it – my mom and sister, but unfortunately I dont, so I will give it a miss:))

  4. hey laks,

    you hardly even smell o r taste the oats in there….its almost like the kanchipuram idli mix…oats has basically no smell or taste…so its cool…a light idli and no one knows whats in there…am thinking ill try one with quinoa next!!!

  5. Shoba…these have been in my to do list for a long time! You are inspiring me to do this. They look tender and moist!

    I’m totally with you on the hot idlis with ghee and sugar….nothing to beat it! I used to eat idlis with jam as a kid! LOL!

  6. thanks for this recipe my f.i.l. being dibietic it will be very useful for me ,he gets fed up eating ragi dosas and oats cooked plain send me some more oats recipes i will try this one and give u feedback bye.

  7. Hi Shoba,
    Nice looking oats idli. Kids always likes colourful stuff.
    Do visit my blog Jayzkitchen.

  8. lovely n healthy idlis..never tried with oats n flax seed powder before..really innovative..
    Hey anubhavati, first time here..loving your collection n presentation style..
    will b visiting often 🙂
    do drop in at my space sometime
    take care

  9. Have been seeing oats idli of late in lots of blogs and am tempted to make one too .. I like the idea of adding flax seed powder to the mix … this one is sure a healthy treat

  10. Hi Karisma,

    I am guessing you can add rice flour??? Basically Idlis are made with rice, and urad dhal, so i am guessing you can substitute that…You could also try buckwheat, / coarse cracked wheat, which is excellent for diabetes, a little flaxseed powder and a little rice flour. Since the quantity of rava is pretty low, you can easily use buckwheat for the same!!! Do try it and let me know.

  11. where can i find buckwheat ? is it in a pwder form ?
    and shd i soak the cracked wheat b4 using it ? i will try with cracked wheat today

  12. I followed this recipe exactly as written and it was fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this perfect pasta dough recipe.

  13. Hi Karisma,

    i have found buckwheat in Whole Foods….AJ Foods….I dont think you shd soak the cracked wheat…Its fine as it is…

  14. Hi Shoba,

    I have been following few of your posts, and I have tried some recipes. I like the way you write your post.
    I am from Bangalore, a mother of a 1 yr old baby girl(picky eater).
    Quick question about the idlis: How many idlis can you make with these portions of rava and oats?


  15. Hi Rachna,

    Thank you for your comments. I get around 14-16 depending on the size of the idlis and the idli depressions.

    Rgds Shobha

  16. Hi, I just tried your oats idli and it came out very good. My son also enjoyed it and asked for seconds too….Thank you so much for sharing it with us….

  17. Wow shobha… my husband loves idlis… thnx for stopping by at my blog… I came to know about your lovely space… Loved all the posts.. will surely be coming back frequently 🙂

  18. YUM YUMMY !!!! idlys I’ll try soon.THX ALSO I loked the recipe for leftover sour curds n BELL pepper.The pics are tempting.:D

  19. Hi, I tried the recipe with idli rava. The taste is too good but the idli is kind of breaking/ falling apart while taking it out of plate. Could it be because I have added 1/2 cup more buttermilk than what you have specified?

  20. Hi Karti,

    I am assuming that either y ou have added way more baking soda, Did you see the conisitency of the batter that I have shown? Did it look like this? Let me know also if the batter was very dry?


  21. Hi Shoba,

    Thanks for responding. I added soda as mentioned in recipe and the batter was not dry or liquidy. It did look like that of in the photo but i had to add more buttermilk than what is mentiones in recipe to get that consistency. I minced the carrots to tiny size rather than grating it. I shall try again and let you how it turned out

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