Okra Idly


Okra, Lady’s Finger, Bhindi, Vendaikai – no matter what you may call it, is a tender and delicious vegetable whether you eat it raw or cooked. It is a versatile vegetable which can be used in several different ways. In this recipe we bring you Okra or Vendaikai Idlis. With the same batter bhindi dosas can also be made, after adding some water to lighten the consistency, suitable for making dosas.

As a health booster, the soluble fiber in Okra, slows down digestion and consequently the rate of conversion of the carbohydrates are also slow to break down. Hence Okra is very good for diabetics. It also has the ability to keep you feeling full for a long time, therefore, good for those who are on weight loss programs.

The insoluble fiber in Okra, prevents constipation and colon cancer, improves the health of your gut and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Value: Caloric Value: 120 per idly; Nutritional Value: Carbohydrates – 17.6g; Proteins – 5.63g; Fat – 4.39g; Dietary Fiber – 6.9g; Minerals and Vitamins present – Vitamin A, C, Iron and Calcium.

Preparation Time – 20 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes; Servings: 16 idlis


  • Raw Rice (any brand) – 1 cup
  • Split Urad Dhal (black gram) – 1/3 cup
  • Fenugreek (methi / vendiyam) – 1 tsp
  • Water – sufficient for soaking rice and dal
  • Okra (Bhindi, Vendaikai) – 175 grams (about 18-20, tender, medium size Okras)
  • Green chili – 1
  • Asafetida (optional) – a pinch
  • Jeera (cumin seeds) 0 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil of Choice – 1 tsp (for greasing)
  • Water to grind batter


1. Wash the rice, urad dhal and fenugreek sees with fresh water (twice), drain and soak in 2 ½ cups of water, for about 3 – 4 hours.

2. Begin preparation of the Okra paste, just 10 minutes before, you grind the soaked ingredients.

3. Chop the okra into pieces (suitable for grinding in the blender / mixer).

4. Put the chopped okra, chili, cumin seeds and asafetida into the blender / mixer jar and grind, without adding any water.

5. Grind to a smooth paste.

6. Next drain the water from the soaked rice, urad dhal and fenugreek seeds. Add to the Okra paste in the blender and grind to idly consistency, by adding small quantities of water, at a time.

7. Finally, add salt to the batter and blend once again.

8. Transfer the batter from the blender to a deep vessel, with sufficient space to allow the batter to rise.

9. Place the vessel, after covering the vessel, in a warm spot in your kitchen and allow the batter to ferment overnight (8-10 hours).

10. The next morning / day, the batter will be airy, fluffy and will have risen. Use a ladle to mix the batter.

11. Place an Idly Steamer on the stove. Turn the heat on to medium-low. Pour 2 cups of water into the steamer.

12. Meanwhile grease the idly molds and pour a ladle of idly batter into each, greased mold.

13. Once the water in the steamer begins to steam, place the idly molds (idly stand with idly plates) into the steamer.

14. Cover the steamer with a lid and allow the idlies to steam for about 12 – 15 minutes.

15. To check if the idlies have cooked, use a toothpick and pierce into the center of the idly. If the toothpick has no residue sticking to it, then the idlies are cooked.

16. Remove the molds (or idly stand with its plates) from the steamer. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the idlies to cool a bit.

17. Using a small spatula or spoon, gently pry the idly loose from its mold. Transfer to a serving dish.

18. Serve with a choice of chutneys or sambhar.

This dish can be served for breakfast, as a tea time snack or at dinner time.