Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Adai Idli (Mixed Dal Idli)

 Published 2016-Apr-29   Updated 2017-Nov-28

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Seasoned Mixed Dal Idlis, Mixed Lentil Idli, Adai Idlis)

Adai idli, also known as the mixed dal idli is not a very common or traditional recipe. While Adai Dosai is very popular, very few people make idli out of that batter. What do you do if you have little left over adai batter and you do not feel like having adai dosai again? Of course these adai idlis are a great choice. One of my friend makes adai paniyaaram with the left over adai batter, the recipe of which I will share later.

Well, you can make this with leftover adai batter or make it from scratch. I had a full time maid few years back who used to enjoy adai idlis more than adai dosai as it was lighter. For all such idli lovers, I want to share the recipe of making these mixed dal idlis from scratch. I have also mentioned the procedure to follow to make it from leftover adai batter in the bottom.

There is no doubt much healthier than the regular idlis. They are protein rich, fiber rich and low in carbs. I have used rice but you can skip it totally or substitute with some millets or broken wheat for a healthier variation. You can add vegetables as per your choice to make it more nutritious. Also, I have added a seasoning to make it more flavorful. Feel free to skip it if you are watching your calories. Nevertheless, it is a very healthy tiffin item that you can include in your diet once in a while.  So be sure to give it a try.

Recipe for making Adai Idli

Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves : 8


  • Channa dal – ½ cup
  • Toor Dal – ½ cup
  • Urad dal – 2 tbsp
  • Moong dal – 2 tbsp
  • Masoor dal – 2 tbsp
  • Rice – 1 cup (or use Broken Wheat or Little Millet)
  • Eno fruit salt – 1 tsp (or Cooking Soda – ¼ tsp)
  • Dry red chilies - 4
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger - 1 " piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

For seasoning

  • Gingelly Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig (chopped)

Optional Ingredients

(You can add any of the below as per your choice)

  • Grated coconut – ¼ cup
  • Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro - handful (finely chopped)
  • Vegetables – ½ cup (finely chopped)


  1. Wash and soak the rice and the lentils together for at least an hour. Those who want to avoid rice completely can substitute with little millet or broken wheat. Also you can include any other lentils or dry beans too.
  2. Grind it to a coarse batter along with dry red chilies, asafoetida, ginger, cumin seeds and the required salt. The batter should have the consistency little thicker than that of regular idli batter.
  3. Remove the batter in a mixing bowl. Since we do not ferment the batter we need to add some eno fruit salt or cooking soda to the batter. 
  4. As soon as you add it, the batter becomes frothy and lighter. You can make the idlis at this stage or else add some more items to make it more interesting.
  5. You can mix up any of the above mentioned optional ingredients with the batter. Today I decided to add some drumstick leaves to the batter. 
  6. Now is the time to add the aromatic seasoning. This is optional but I love it. For the seasoning, heat the oil in a small pan, pop the mustard seeds, urad dal and chopped curry leaves.
  7. You can mix up the seasoned oil with the batter or top it in the idli plates for a beautiful presentation. When I made the Rava Idli, I mixed the seasoned oil with the batter and topped with the vegetables. Today, I am doing the other way round just to give you an idea.
  8. Pour little water in the idli cooker and keep it for getting heated up while you fill the batter.
  9. Take each idli plate and add few drops of the seasoned oil along with the seeds and curry leaves. This is sufficient to grease the plates.
  10. Now add a spoonful of the prepared batter so that the idli molds are 80% full.
  11. Place it inside the idli cooker and steam it for 15-20 minutes. Since it has lentils, it takes a little longer to cook.
  12. Demold and enjoy while it is still hot.

Serving Adai Idli

  • This goes well with coconut chutney, idli podi or moru kootan.
  • Another way of serving it is with beaten curd. Add some sugar, roasted cumin powder and some chaat masala to the beaten curd and serve with these mixed dal idlis. Tasty!!


  • To make these idlis with leftover adai dosai batter, take the batter in a mixing bowl. If the batter is loose, add some rava to bring it to the right idli batter consistency. I usually add about ½ cup rava to 2 cups of adai dosai batter. Add eno fruit salt or cooking soda and proceed as above.
  • You can make the adai idlis plain without mixing any vegetables or adding a seasoning. Here is the picture of this plain adai idli that I had made some other time.

More Idli / Dosa Recipes

Basic Adai Dosai Basic Adai Dosai Recipe Mix Sprouts Adai Mix Sprouts Adai Raw Banana Adai Raw Banana Adai Cornmeal Idli Cornmeal Idli/ Dosa
See more...

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Comments (6)

Person   ()
this is great..however my wife is on paleo (slow carb diet) can you suggest IDLI recipe Without Rice or Wheat (she cannot do grains) but all dals are Ok specially masoor, toor, black eyed peas etc..
Person   ()
Just skip the rice in the above recipe.
Person   ()
Is it ok to refrigerate the batter after adding eno salt. How long can we use the batter for?
Person   ()
Hi, It is best to use the batter immediately after adding eno salt. After refrigeration you may not get the same texture of the idlis.
Person   ()
Person   ()
Thank you.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-11-28.