Spicy idli (khara idli)

This is a recipe from my friend Poornima. Long back I had tasted this in her lunch box. We always said she makes idlis out of anything. She prepared too many types of idlis.

Recently I bought a bunch of dill leaves-Shepi bhajji(Konkani) or Sabbasige soppu(Kannada). I had not used these leaves for a long time now. During my college days in Belgaum, my friend and I loved a curry made of these leaves, but after that somehow I never tried it. These leaves have a very peculiar smell which only few people like. So after the college I tried it now. When I saw the leaves, they reminded me of the very popular Konkani dish shepi idli (dill leaves idli). But when I came home, I wanted to have my friend’s version of the idlis, so I called her and got this recipe (I will post the Konkani version some other time).

This idli turned out to be great. It was a bit harder than normal idlis due to the daals, but the taste was amazing. May be something I would try frequently. This gets its spicy taste due to green chilies, has a very different aroma due to daals, dill and coriander leaves. This was the first time I used raw onions in idlis, so that was another plus point. This does not require any fermentation, so very quick and easy to make. Since daals are used and they take a bit more time to cook, these are cooked in cooker with the weight (2 whistles in cooker).

Chana daal 1/2 cup
Moong daal(yellow) 1/2 cup
Onion(cut into small pieces) 3/4 cup
Green chilies 4-5
Ginger 2″ piece
Dill leaves(sabbasige soppu/shepi bhajji) 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves 2-3 strands
Coconut(fresh or frozen) 3/4 cup

Increase or decrease the amount of dill leaves according to taste.

Soak daals in water for 3-4hrs (preferably overnight).
Grind them along with green chilies, ginger, 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup coconut into a coarse paste without adding water.
Mix remaining onion, coconut and the leaves, add salt and mix well.
Keep this mixture in idli molds and cook in cooker(for two whistles). This can also be steamed like normal idlis but takes longer time due to the two daals.
Serve with chutney. This can be eaten without any chutney since it already has all the spices and onions.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 25mins

14 thoughts on “Spicy idli (khara idli)”

  1. Hi Shilpa, you made me nostalgic. In the monsoon season, my Ammama- maternal grandma, used to make shepu bhaji pole (soft, spongy, green dosa). I think she used thick poha, rice, maybe coconut. And served it with a big cube of butter and godda panku (jaggery syrup). I will have to ask my Aayi or google this recipe.
    Your idlis sound so healthy and nutritious, I have to try them soon.

  2. I had tasted a recipe from Dharwad, but I dont remember the name nor the recipe.
    It was prepared by pouring idli-like dough in a muffin-like pan and heated on stove.
    If anyone recognise this, please pass the recipe. Thanks

  3. Shepu is not every ones pale bhaji for sure. I will try the idlis without it 😉 because I do not dare to eat shepu the smell is repulsive. 🙂

  4. idlis with dal ,i think is a rare combination and taste good…i never had those idlis before but the picture make me crazy that i ‘ll make it soon…thanks for sharing shilpa..

  5. Bhanap, I have not heard of shepi dosa anytime, but shepi idli is done on the similar lines. I still have some leaves left with me, I will try the dosas. Thanks.

    Thanks Madhuli.

    Savitha, your description looks like either ‘moode’ (idli batter cooked in a cylindrical shape made of leaves) or ‘kadubu'(or something like that which had few pieces of ginger and idli batter). Let me see if I can post them.

    Thanks Tony. Looking forward to see your new home :).

    Anjali, let me know if you like the idlis. I agree with you, many people cannot stand dill smell :). I am sure the idlis would taste great without the leaves also.

    Maneka, let me know if you give them a try.

  6. First time in my life I heard about Khara Idli. I must hand over the recipe to my wife today itself for menu for tomorrow’s breakfast.

  7. shilpa- these look lovely- i love green things! and i am quite fond of dill/shepi, so i will want to try these….i have a recipe for shepi vadai that is very good…these idlis reminded me of them as they are made of regular channa dhal and shepi, green chillis, and raw onions(your favorite!) 🙂 i’ll send the recipe if you like

  8. Harekrishnaji, let me know if you like the idlis.

    Pelicano, I would love to get the vada recipe from you (hey, I am not a fan of raw onions, I try my best to tolerate them in my food 🙂 ). But for those who love raw onions, this recipe would be a hit.

  9. Pingback: Taste Of India » Blog Archive » Bittersweet Love - Dill Dosa

  10. Dear Shilpa,

    Instead of daals you can even try with rava. no need of soaking anything.
    I usually make this when i forget to soak.

    rava, sabbisige soppu (choped), bit jeggry, salt, grated coconut, mix well steam it. you can use grated cucumber instead of soppu.

    Hope you will try this

  11. Hello Shilpa,

    The recipe sounds really tasty. I havenot tried with the dill leaves. but yes, i have used the other ingredients and tried. I have tried fermenting the batter overnight and the next day when i put the batter on steamer, i put the coriander and the onion and chilies. Ways to make it sofy is either ferment it overnight, or grind it with some hot water and add baking soda and leav it for around 3-4 hrs.
    thank for the reciepe.

  12. Hi Shilpa

    Awesome receipe – sounds good for my son’s tiffin. Just one doubt. Do we have to grind the dals and leave it to ferment overnight like normal idlis, or do we soak the dals overnight & then grind them and cook them in a cooker immediately. Thanks for your response.

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