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November 18, 2012

Brown Rice Idli Recipe - How To Make Soft Idli - South Indian Breakfast Recipes

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Brown rice idli

We all know the amazing health benefits of brown rice but we don’t use it in our regular cooking. I wanted to start with idli. There is no much difference between this idli and our usual white rice idli. Colour of this idli will be slightly yellow..Do try this recipe , u’ll love for its softness..I also make dosa the next day which tastes good. The only thing which i feel bad is that the batter becomes sour very soon even refrigerated. So we have to make in lesser quantities & keep it for one day. Try the quantity i mentioned here. This will be enough for three people . U can make idli for breakfast & dinner the same day and dosa the next morning.I used poha to reduce the quantity of urad dal..U can make this idli more healthy by adding oats along with the other ingredients.Please go thro the health benefits section too.If u r interested, have a look at this oats barley idly recipe..Lets see how to make this healthy brown rice idli dosa recipe.

Brown rice

Brown rice idli recipe

Brown rice idli recipe Brown rice idli - Healthy breakfast recipe to kick start ur day :)
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Breakfast
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 4h20m

  1 cup = 200ml
  • Brown rice - 2.5 cups
  • Urad dal - 1/2 cup
  • Aval/poha-1/4 cup
  • Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Oats-2 tbsp(optional)
  • Salt & water - as needed
    • Wash the brown rice 2-3 times to remove the debris.Soak rice, urad dal,methi seeds,poha  and oats together for 4 hours .
    • Now drain the water and grind them in the grinder adding salt & water. Add water in regular intervals. This takes nearly 20-25 minutes for grinding. It too 2.5 – 3 cups of water ..Remove the batter and allow it to ferment for 8 hours or overnight.
    brown rice idli tile1
    • The next day  the batter would have raised well.Mix the batter and make idlis..It takes around 15-18 mins to cook. Check with the spoon or wet ur finger and make a hole in the center of the idli , if ur finger comes out clean , it means idli is cooked..Serve hot with chutney or sambar !!
    brown rice idli tile2

    • Please wash the rice 2-3 times. Otherwise the color of idlis will be brown ..
    • If u r planning to use mixie to grind the batter , use ice cold water. But the idli softness may be less..
    • Do not make the batter too thick or too thin. The consistency should be like our usual idli batter..
    • For making dosas, add little water ,  dilute the batter to get crispy dosas.

brown rice idli recipe

A picture of dosa i made with this batter
Brown rice dosa



Whole grains are important part of any diet and have often been labeled the healthiest grains that anybody can eat. One of those whole grains is brown rice, which is rice that is natural and unrefined. Many people choose to eat brown rice instead of white rice because of its health benefits. But what makes it so healthy? Read on to find out.

1. It Lowers The Risk Of Developing Diabetes

Harvard researchers have discovered that eating at least two servings of brown rice per week can lower the risk of developing diabetes. They found that by eating just 50 grams of brown rice a day, the risk of type 2 diabetes can be lowered by 16 percent, while other whole grains, such as barley and whole wheat, can lower the risk by 36 percent.

2. It’s High In Fiber

Brown rice supplies 14 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber, an important nutrient that protects against colon cancer and breast cancer. Fiber tends to latch onto the chemicals that cause cancer and steer them away from the cells in the colon and breasts, preventing cancer from developing in those areas. Fiber also has many other health benefits including promoting cardiovascular health.

3. It’s A Good Source Of Manganese And Selenium

One cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese, a nutrient that plays an important part in fighting free radicals. Manganese is part of a compound known as superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals created during the energy production process. Manganese is also important for deriving energy from protein and carbohydrates and plays a key role in the synthesis of fatty acids.
Selenium also plays a role in the antioxidant process and can destroy cancer cells and even repair DNA. Selenium is important for regulating the thyroid hormone metabolism and immune system function. Most people don’t take in the proper amount of selenium of which brown rice is a good source – it provides more than 27 percent of the daily recommended value.

4. It Can Prevent Weight Gain

A study conducted by Harvard researchers shows that women who incorporate whole grains, such as brown rice, into their diet were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. They were also almost 50 percent more likely to not gain weight by eating a diet rich in whole grains.

5. It Can Lower Cholesterol

The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol, by up to seven percent. At the same time, a diet high in whole grains can increase the level of HDL cholesterol, or the good cholesterol.

6. It Offers Many Cardiovascular Benefits

Studies have shown that brown rice can have many cardiovascular benefits for postmenopausal women, including slowing the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries, as well as slowing the progression of the narrowing of the arteries. But postmenopausal women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the heart-healthy compounds in this whole grain. Brown rice also contains plant lignans, which can protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

7. It’s A Good Source Of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to act as an antioxidant. Brown rice is a great source of these plant compounds, especially phenolics. In fact, research has shown that brown rice contains almost as much phenolics as fruits and vegetables.

8. It Reduces The Risk Of Developing Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This condition is characterized by excess fat in the abdominal area and insulin resistance. Eating whole grains on a regular basis can reduce the risk of weight gain and insulin resistance by up to 38 percent.

9. It Reduces The Risk Of Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a very common condition among children and causes many children to miss numerous days of school. But children who eat plenty of whole grains along with fish can lower their risk of developing asthma by 50 percent. Studies show that fruits, vegetables and even dairy don’t have much of an effect in reducing asthma, but whole grains and fish do.

10. It Promotes Bone Health

Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential to bone health. Just one cup of brown rice contains 21 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Most of the magnesium in the body is stored on or in the bones, so to keep a high level of magnesium in your bones, and to reap the other health benefits, eat plenty of brown rice each week.
Rice is a popular menu option in cultures all over the world. It goes well with seafood, chicken, beef and almost any vegetable. It is extremely popular due to its versatility and culinary simplicity. Unfortunately, most people do not stop to find out about the nutritional value of rice. When choosing the type of rice to serve with your meals, opt for the healthy whole grain - brown rice..

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  1. Very inviting n healthy too, feel to grab ur plate for the breakfast now :-)

  2. Healthy and delicious idly.. looks amazing.. :)
    Indian Cuisine

  3. healthy recipe and for weight loss too:)

  4. Looks sooo good.. such tempting pics.

  5. Love to start my day with this healthy and super soft idli.

  6. Pathupa.. Yellarum kannu vacha vayiru Vakikum :)

  7. Love this healthy healthy idlis... A question to you - the brown rice we get in the market is not parboiled brown rice - is that ok? Did you use regular brown rice?

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  8. Sounds healthy chitra :) will soon give a try.

  9. Thanks all.. @ sowmya , i used the regular brown rice.. I'll update with a picture of rice soon :)

  10. Very healthy and yummy breakfast, nicely done

  11. Nice idea to make with brown rice....idli's look extremely soft and yum....

  12. Are those really idli's??? so soft and white...shuld try it next time i make idli's

  13. super healthy!!! will try it out soon!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  14. Chitu,
    Thanks for the recipe. Have to try it sometime with these brown rice.

  15. I tried your idlis and they were nice, fermented well. Only mine turned out a little sticky, don't know why? Any clue? Also could you please tell me which brand of brown rice do you use? Will try that next time.

    1. Thanks for the feedback sukanya. I don't use any particular rice brand.. Did u add oats? If u have added oats ,u may feel slightly sticky.. Please add less amount of urad dal or skip oats when u try next time.. Hope this helps :)

    2. Thanks for your reply Chitra!
      Yes I followed your recipe to the T. I loved that you used such super healthy ingredients to make the idlis, so wanted to try it. Needless to say, I was very happy! The batter fermented so beautifully, it was almost overflowing, I love to see that :)
      Everyone loved the idlis though tad bit sticky, it was fine with sambar.
      I feel my main culprit might be the 100% whole grain short brown rice that I got from an Asian store (big 20lbs bag!). It doesn't look as long grain as yours. So next time will try long grain brown rice and see if there's any difference.
      All in all, I am very happy with your proportion, the healthy ingredients and its outcome. This idli will be a regular in our home now. Thanks!

    3. Thanks again .. When u try with the other rice , please let me know about the outcome :)

    4. Hi Chitra, I am back to update you. I tried it with regular brown rice and the idlis turned out perfectly soft and spongy. It's a hit at our place and I hardly make white rice idlis now :) Thanks to you!

    5. That's great to know. Many thanks to you for the update :) Is there any brand name for the rice u used ? If so please mention it here.It would be useful for everyone. :)

    6. That's great to know. Many thanks to you for the update :) Is there any brand name for the rice u used ? If so please mention it here.It would be useful for everyone. :)

  16. I tried only concern was even after 2o min of steaming its uncooked in the center.Brown rice takes longer to cook compared to white rice.I guess it needs more time to steam as compared to regular white rice Idlis.

    1. Oh is it , Could u see the batter in the center ?. May be the softness feels like its uncooked. I am planning to post step by step soon. I'll update the pics with the time it takes to cook :) Thanks for the feedback shilpa :)

  17. Good Idea of using brown rice. Planning to try with Brown rice and Moong dal (easy to digest) instead of Urad dal. Manish.

  18. Thanks a lot for this recipe !!

  19. Hi Chitra
    Looks sooo yummy and tempting. BUT i am in no luck.
    I am using Organic Brown rice from Costco and I dont get the smooth ground rice though I use Ultra grinder. Do you know why?


    1. Hi,
      Iam not sure why it is not grinding smooth. But i think,if u soak the rice for more time,u may get a smooth batter.I usually soak brown rice for 4-5 hours.

  20. I tried and it came out very well mam. Thank you for the healthy recipe

  21. What kind of blending device did you use? I am American and have never seen one with the 3 wheels like that! Please tell! :) I also am vegan and have celiac disease.. so i have not been able to eat bread for a long time. I ate some Idli for the first time at a friends and I am so excited to try making them!

    1. Hi Alexa,
      Its an Indian Mixer Grinder.You can find it in Indian stores :) There are different brands available.You can grind the same in Mixer or Food processor too.Please check my Mixie idli post to get some idea :) Thanks.

  22. Hello

    Can you please tell the measurements for single person to make this idli...

    1. Hi, use 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1.5 tbsp of urad dal, 1/2 tbsp of poha, 1/2 tbdp of oats, a small pinch of methi seeds.Soak everything together, grind and ferment. Make idlis.


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