okra idli or bhindi idli recipe with step by step photos – soft, fluffy, delicious idli recipe prepared using bhindi/okra.
this might come as a surprise for some, using bhindi/okra/ladies finger in making idlis. it was for me too until i came across this dosa recipe inspired by sadashiva rao mailankodi’s recipe on facebook foodie group, which was highly inspiring to say the least. i had made up my mind to try it out some time. my kids love idli as i have mentioned before. hence i made idlis with the recipe. idlis bring the convenience of ‘many in one go’. so bhindi idli/ladies finger idli it had to be. i made it with just a few changes to the recipe. to my surprise they came out soft, fluffy and perfect in texture. thank you sadashiva rao sir for the thought and recipe.
some food for thought – did you know, the soluble fiber in bhindi/okra helps slowing down digestion. it slows down the break down of carbohydrates in the food, there by slowing the rate of conversion to glucose. this results in low glycemic index and there by beneficial in diabetics, termed as diabetic superfood by some. now does that mean this is probably one of the best ways in which a diabetic can have idlis – some food for thought!
it keeps one fuller for longer, hence helpful in weight loss. it reduces cholesterol too.
not simply that, the insoluble fiber in bhindi/okra helps in maintaining the gut health, preventing colon cancer. helps avoid constipation. being also rich in vitamins and minerals, including bhindi/okra in the diet has many benefits in addition to the deliciousness it contributes to various dishes.
now that’s a lot of reasons to eat bhindi/okra 🙂 however, as always i must mention, if you are on an advised diet for any reason, do consult your doctor/dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
you can also try making bhindi/okra dosa with the same batter. do adjust spicing to your taste. but of course you will taste the bhindi in the idli/dosa as the case may be. the color of the idli tends to be a slight greenish brown. my daughter’s favorite among the idlis, as she puts it, is the regular white idli 🙂 but she enjoyed it anyway. this could be another sneaky way to include vegetables in a fussy kid’s diet.
bhindi idli recipe card below:
okra idli recipe
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
prepping rice and lentils:
- 1 cup idli rice, i used sona masoori rice. approximately 200 grams.
- ⅓ cup urad dal (split black gram) - approximately 60 grams.
- 1 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
- 2 to 2.5 cups water to soak the rice and lentils
for grinding bhindi:
- 175 grams roughly chopped clean bhindi (okra or ladies finger) or about 17 to 18 medium sized tender bhindi
- 1 green chili (hari mirch) - chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional, avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet
- salt as required
- few drops of oil or ghee for greasing the idli molds. use oil for vegan version
- water as required to grind the batter
how to make okra idli recipe
soaking rice and lentils:
- first, wash 200 grams of rice, 60 grams of urad dal, 1 teaspoon of fenugreek/methi seeds with fresh water and drain.
- then adding 2 to 2½ cups of water to the same container, soak for 3 to 4 hours.
- towards the end of the soaking time, roughly chop the bhindi/okra. grind using a mixer/grinder along with 1 green chili, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 pinch of asafoetida.(avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet)
- make a smooth paste without adding any water.
grinding the rice and lentils:
- now, drain the water from the soaked, rice, urad dal mixture. save the water.
- add the drained rice, urad dal, methi seeds to the same mixer/grinder. grind briefly so that all the contents get well mixed.
- then adding small amounts of water, grind to form a thick batter. this batter should not be too smooth. when touched it can be grainy. but the rice, bhindi etc should not be seen separately. transfer this to another deep container.
- if you have any left-over soaked grains, transfer to the mixer/grinder again and grind to form a smooth, thick batter. add only small amounts of water if necessary. make a thick pouring batter and add water as required while grinding the rice and lentils.
- transfer the prepared batter to the same container.
- give it a good mix adding salt to taste.
- cover and place the container in a warm place overnight to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.
- the next morning, the batter would have become fluffy, airy and risen well.
- now, grease the idli molds with a few drops of oil/ghee. use oil for vegan version.
- place the steamer with water on the stove top.
- pour the idli batter into the idli mold depressions.
- once you notice that the water in the steamer has begun to steam, place the idli stand in it.
- cover with a lid. steam for 12 to 15 minutes.
- this time may vary depending on the steamer. once a tooth pick inserted into the middle of the idli comes out clean, you can remove the idlis.
- using a small flat spatula/spoon, release the idlis from the molds individually.
- transfer the cooked and ready idlis to a hot case to keep warm.
- serve with your choice of chutney or sambar.
step by step okra idli or bhindi idli recipe:
1. first, wash 1 cup of rice (200 grams), ⅓ cup urad dal (about 60 grams), 1 teaspoon of fenugreek/methi seeds with fresh water and drain.
2. then adding 2 to 2½ cups of water to the same container, soak for 3 to 4 hours.
3. below pic is towards the end of soaking time for rice, urad dal, methi seeds. they have soaked and fluffed up a bit.
4. roughly chop 175 grams of tender bhindi/okra (about 17 to 18 medium sized tender bhindi). grind using a mixer/grinder along with 1 green chili, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 pinch of asafoetida. (avoid asafoetida if on a gluten-free diet)
5. grind to make a smooth paste without adding any water.
6. now, drain the water from the soaked, rice, urad dal mixture. save the water. add a part of the drained rice, urad dal, methi seeds to the same mixer/grinder. grind briefly so that all the contents get well mixed. depending on the volume and size of the grinder jar you can add the rice, urad dal and methi mixture.
7. then add a small amount of the saved water and grind again.
8. make a thick, smooth but slightly grainy batter.
9. transfer this batter to another deep container.
10. add any remaining soaked rice, dal mixture to the mixer/grinder and grind again to form a smooth slightly grainy batter. do not add too much water. add small amounts as needed.
11. transfer the batter to the same container.
12. give it a good mix.
13. add salt to taste and mix well again. the batter has to be of thick pouring consistency. so add water accordingly, while grinding.
14. cover with a lid. place this in a warm place overnight to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.
15. in the morning, the batter would have risen, become fluffy and soft with air bubbles, if fermented well.
16. give the batter a mix. you can taste and add additional salt if needed at this stage.
17. grease idli molds with oil/ghee. pour the batter into each depression. use oil for vegan version.
18. add water to the steamer, once it begins to steam, place the prepared idli mold stand. cover with a lid. steam for 12 to 15 minutes. this may vary depending on the kind of steamer, thickness of the idlis etc. if using a pressure cooker, cover with a lid and do not place the vent weight/whistle. steam the idlis.
19. once a tooth pick inserted at the center of the idli comes out clean, the idlis are ready. using a small slightly flat spatula/spoon, release the idlis from the molds, transfer to a casserole (hot pot to retain the warmth). or straight to the serving plate. steaming hot idlis are ready as you see below.