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Mallige Idli (Kushboo Idli)

- Submitted by Dahlia on 3rd May 2016

(Spongy Idlis, Soft Kushboo Idlis)

Mallige Idli, Kushboo Idli

Mallige Idlis are a Karnataka specialty which literally translates to Jasmine Idlis.  The idlis are exceptionally softer, whiter in color and puffier than the regular idlis which is the reason behind this name. In Tamil Nadu this is popular as Kushboo Idlis, named after the actress Kushboo. There are so many fans of this idli just like the actress herself.

This soft texture of mallige idli is achieved by using raw rice, sago and aval to make the batter. In hotels, a pinch of baking soda is added to the batter, which makes it very spongy. You may or may not add this. Even without adding baking soda, the idlis are soft and pillow like. Do try out the recipe and give your feedback.

Recipe For Mallige Idli

Preparation time: 15-18 hours (including soaking and fermentation)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes : 40 idlis


  • Raw rice – 4 cups
  • Urad dal – 1 ¼ cup
  • Sago (Javarisi) – 3/4 cup
  • White aval (Pressed Rice) –1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 2 tbsp


For Mallige Idli

  1. Wash and soak all the ingredients together.
  2. After a minimum of 2-5 hours of soaking, it is ready for grinding.
  3. Grind it to a smooth batter using a wet grinder. You can grind it using a mixie or blender too but the results may vary.
  4. Unlike the normal batter, you need to grind this batter to a very smooth paste. Do check it by taking a little batter between your fingers. You should not feel any grits in the batter.
  5. When the batter is ready, mix in the salt. The consistency of the batter should be similar to regular idli batter.
  6. Remove the batter onto a large bowl giving enough room for expansion. Let the batter ferment for 8-12 hours until it doubles in volume.
  7. At this stage you can make the idlis or refrigerate the batter to be used later. To make the idlis, grease the idli plates and pour in batter filling about 3/4th of each mould. Place the stand in the idli cooker and steam it for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before demoulding. Perfect spongy, white idlis are ready to be served.

For Mallige Dosa

The same batter is perfect for making soft spongy dosas too. You may not get crispy dosas but I enjoy making thick spongy dosas with some holes on top. It goes very well with some spicy curry.

The dosas using this batter may not have a deep golden color like the traditional batter. For that, you can add ¼ cup of cooked rice while making the batter. Another option is to mix 1 tbsp of gram flour (besan) to 2 cups of batter before making dosas.

Mallige Idli, Kushboo Idli

Detailed steps for making Mallige Idli

Take 4 cups of raw rice, 1 ¼ cups of urad dal, 3/4 cups of sago, 1/2 cup of pressed rice and 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds. Wash and soak them together. Traditionally, all these ingredients are soaked separately. But now, with the modern wet grinders it is not necessary to soak them separately.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

Allow them to soak for a minimum of 2-5 hours.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

Now the soaked ingredients are ready for grinding. Using a wet grinder, grind it to a smooth batter. You can use mixie or blender instead of wet grinder for grinding. But the results may vary. I have explained this in detail in my Idli Batter page. You need to grind this mallige idli batter to a very smooth paste. You can check the smoothness by taking a little batter between your fingers. You should not feel any grits in the batter. Mix in 2 tbsp of salt, when the batter is smooth and ready. The consistency of the mallige idli batter should be similar to regular idli batter.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

Remove the batter from the wet grinder and pour it in a large bowl. Make sure that the bowl has enough room for expansion. Let the batter ferment for 8-12 hours. During the fermentation process the batter will double in volume.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

Now the batter is ready for making the idlis. At this stage you can also refrigerate the batter for later use.

To make the idlis, first grease the idli plates with oil and pour in the mallige idli batter. Fill the batter just about 3/4th of each mould. Place the idli stand in the idli cooker. Steam the idli cooker for 8-10 minutes.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

After cooking 8 to 10 minutes, let idli cooker rest for 5-10 minutes. Then start demoulding.

Mallige Idli Cooking Steps

Serving Mallige Idli

Mallige Idli, Kushboo Idli

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Comments (6)

Person Ravi   (September 24, 2016)
Can we use idli rice? Also you have mentioned resting time of 5 mins should the lid be closed or open while resting?
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (September 25, 2016)
Hi Ravi, Using idli rice would yield the regular idlis that are made in Tamil Nadu. What makes these idlis different are the use of specific ingredients.

You can leave it closed while resting.
Person Shashikumar Naik   (June 9, 2016)
Sorry to say the idlis became sour .... and spongy.
We made the mistake of adding salt before fementing the batter.
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (June 13, 2016)
Sorry to hear that. Please do check on your batter. The fermentation time purely depends on the climate and temperature.
Person raji   (May 11, 2016)
I had made dosa in this way which my friend suggested to me, idli i have to try.
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (May 12, 2016)
Try it. You will surely like it.

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