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Oats Idli

Oats Idli
Oats Idli

A High-Fiber, Low-GI Alternative to Traditional Rice-Based Idlis

Discover the health benefits of Oats Idli, a high-fiber and low-glycemic index alternative to traditional rice-based idlis. This Indian breakfast dish is perfect for people with diabetes or anyone seeking a nutritious meal that is gentle on blood sugar levels.

Idli, a staple dish heralded from South India, is widely cherished for its light, fluffy texture and simplistic preparation. Traditionally concocted from a fermented batter of rice and urad dal, with some variations including black lentils, this dish is often hailed as a nutritious choice for breakfast. However, when it comes to those managing diabetes, the glycemic index (GI) of idli poses a significant point of discussion. Let’s delve into the details:

Glycemic Index: The Dichotomy of Idli

Research unveils a glycemic index ranging between 60 and 70 for the conventional rice idli, placing it on the higher side of the GI spectrum. For maintaining a balanced lifestyle, especially in the realm of diabetes management, nutritionists often advocate for foods with a GI score below 55. The GI score serves as a marker of how swiftly a food item can spike blood sugar levels post consumption.

Rethinking Ingredients: Rava and Oats to the Rescue

When the traditional rice idli doesn’t align with the glycemic goals, turning to alternative ingredients like rava (semolina) or oats can be a game-changer. Substituting rice with these ingredients not only lowers the GI score but also infuses the dish with an extra dose of nutrients. This tweak transforms the idli into a more diabetic-friendly dish, aligning with daily nutritional intake goals.

Nutritional Breakdown: A Glimpse into Oats Idli

Switching gears, let’s take a glance at a research-backed nutritional profile of a millet-based idli, an alternative that’s gradually gaining popularity:

  • Calories: 58 kcal

  • Carbohydrates: 52mg

  • Dietary Fibre: 12g

  • Protein: 1.6 g

  • Sodium: 75 mg

  • Potassium: 41 mg

  • Total Fat: 0.4g

The modest calorie count coupled with a fair amount of dietary fiber and protein makes millet idli a compelling choice for those seeking to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Moreover, the fermentation process inherent in idli preparation enhances its digestive ease, ensuring a smooth breakdown of vitamins and minerals.

The Final Verdict

While the conventional rice idli does carry a higher glycemic index, a sprinkle of creativity in choosing alternative ingredients can morph this beloved dish into a healthier choice. The journey from rice to oats, rava, or millet not only diversifies the nutritional profile but also brings a new flavor palette to the traditional idli, making the breakfast table a canvas of healthy and tasty choices.


  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup semolina (sooji)

  • 1 cup yogurt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/2 cup grated carrot

  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans

  • 1/2 cup chopped capsicum

  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped

  • Salt, to taste

  • Water, as needed

  • 2 tbsp oil


  1. Dry roast the rolled oats in a skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Transfer the roasted oats to a plate and let them cool.

  2. Once the oats have cooled, grind them to a fine powder using a blender or food processor.

  3. In the same skillet, dry roast the semolina for 3-4 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove it from heat and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground oats, roasted semolina, yogurt, salt, and enough water to form a thick batter. The consistency should be similar to that of regular idli batter. Set the batter aside to rest for 15-20 minutes.

  5. In a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and cook until they start to splutter.

  6. Stir in the grated carrot, chopped green beans, capsicum, green chilies, and coriander leaves. Sauté the vegetables for 2-3 minutes, then add them to the idli batter.

  7. Mix in the baking soda and stir the batter well.

  8. Grease the idli molds with a little oil and fill each mold with the batter.

  9. Steam the idlis in a preheated steamer for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  10. Remove the idlis from the molds and serve hot with chutney or sambar.


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