Stuffed and Steamed Savoury Rice Cakes

stuffed Idli

When it comes to preparing meals for my teenage children, it is quite a brainstorming time for me as every vegetarian meal and snacks that I know has been prepared a number of times. And thus comes the time where I have to reinvent the recipe with some twists in the ingredients as well as the look of the whole dish. Also I look for some inspiration from other cooks from the family or friends and of course online. Many of them I have discovered during such brainstorming times like this

One such recipe was discovered while on a visit to a relative. She had made these awesome stuffed idli/ rice cake which were quite delicious and filling to the stomach. Also it requires just a little more of your time and planning than the regular idli sambar chutney. Not that you have to go on an exotic shopping expedition that we normally do when trying something new. This whole affair requires your pantry staples – idli flour, sambar ingredients, coconut chutney and potatoes for the stuffing.

It can be served in any of the meals, breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is great for breakfast when heading out for whole days work and will be skipping lunch as it will keep you full for the day till supper.

The method is much similar to the regular idli/ rice cakes except for the filling. You will require bowls with a bigger cavity to accommodate the stuffing too. You can make it in the idli maker too.

stuffed with potato stuffing

Makes : 12 or more stuffed idlis


For idli

3 cups boiled rice (to soak for 7 hours)

1 cup split and skinned black lentils (to soak for 4 hours)

salt to taste

oil for greasing

For the stuffing

5 medium boiled and cubed potatoes

2 green chilies

1/2 tsp turmeric

juice of quarter lemon

coriander leaves

salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

For tempering of stuffing

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

a pinch of asafoetida


Soak the boiled rice for 7-8 hours. Grind it to a batter by adding water if necessary. Keep for fermentation for another 8 hours or overnight.

Soak split and skinned black lentils for 4 hours. Grind it in food processor with the help of a little water. Mix it with the rice batter and let it ferment overnight.

Prepare the stuffing at the time of making idlis.

Add oil in a small pan. Put mustard seeds and asafoetida powder in the oil when heated. Add cubed pieces of potatoes to the tempering along with the remaining ingredients. Check the seasoning and the flavors. Mix the stuffing well so the spices are well mixed uniformly in the whole stuffing. Check that the cubes of potatoes are almost mashed up and no lumps are left. Do not overdo it.

Now add the salt and eno salt to the idli batter.

Grease the bowls which will be used for the idlis with oil .

Fill quarter of the bowl with idli batter. then layer it with the potato stuffing. Above that potato layer again comes the idli batter layer. See that there is a little space on the top of the bowl for rising of the idli.

Arrange a few more bowls in the same manner and put all of them in a steamer.

Wait for 25 minutes before checking on them. Put a toothpick in the rice cake, if it comes out clean, they are ready to be served.

Serve them with Sambar/ lentil curry and coconut chutney.

They can be eaten with just a little drizzle of of ghee/ butter.

Sambar and chutney served with stuffed savoury rice cakes
Sambar and coconut chutney

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