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Tawa Idli – A Delicious Idli Makeover

Tawa Idli – A Delicious Idli Makeover

We both love South Indian food so much that we can not have enough of it. Whenever I make idli sambar, I always make it extra. One day, we eat idli sambar chutney for lunch. The next day, I give a little twist to the idli and make tawa idli either for breakfast or a snack. And then sambar rice for lunch. It has become like a culture in our home.

spicy tawa idli

Idli is light and quite healthy and nutritious. It is a regular breakfast in our home. And there are so many variations that you can do to make it. You can make it the traditional way – with urad dal and rice. You can make it with oats, millets, or sooji too. I mostly make it with sooji or oats. It is quite quick and easy. Just whip up the batter and steam in an idli stand. If your mornings are busy, make the batter a night before.

If you don’t have much time, watch the video instead.


  1. I would suggest that for this recipe, use idli made of urad dal and rice or sooji/rava idli. I personally don’t use oats idli or any millets idli to make tawa masala idli since they are quite delicate to work with.
  2. If you feel that the sauteed spice mixture is a little dry and won’t coat well to the idlis, just add a little bit of water to the mixture before adding idlis. DO NOT add a lot of water else the idlis will become soggy and you won’t like that at all. 1 or 2 spoons would be fine.


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Now let’s quickly check out the written recipe and make it soon. If you try it out, don’t forget to share the photos and tag us on Instagram @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Tawa Idli – A Delicious Idli Makeover

Healthy. Nutritious. Delicious.



15 min

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

30 min

Total Time



  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds &amp; sesame seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  2. Instead of oil, you can use butter too.
  3. Add curry leaves &amp; dry red chilies. Saute for a few seconds.  
  4. Add chopped onion &amp; green chilies. Saute till onions turn translucent. Do not brown them.
  5. It will take around 1 minute on medium flame.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and salt. Saute till tomatoes become soft.
  7. Salt releases the moisture of tomatoes and makes them cook fast. It will take around a minute on medium flame.
  8. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder &amp; pav bhaji masala. Mix everything well.
  9. Add chopped capsicum and mix it well. You don't need to cook it completely.
  10. If the masala is a little dry, add a little bit of water and mix it well.
  11. Add idlis and gently toss them well. Coat the mixture well all over the idlis. Cover and let it cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  12. In this time, capsicum will also get cooked.
  13. Switch off the flame. Add lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  14. Serve hot with a warm cup of tea or filter coffee. Bon Appetit!


What are Idlis made of?

Idli is a traditional South Indian cuisine. Traditionally, it is made with urad dal and rice. They are soaked and then ground to make a batter which is then fermented for a few hours. But if you want to make it instantly, you can make idlis with sooji (or suji), Rava, oats, or any millets Rava/flour. It is a quick, healthy, nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Why my idlis are dense and not soft?

It could be because of the following reasons:

a) Batter consistency is not right – The batter should neither be runny nor thick. It should be of medium consistency and easily pourable.

b) Baking Soda – Check if the baking soda is not expired. Add lemon juice and if it forms bubbles, it is good to use. Add baking soda when you are ready to make idlis. Letting it sit will kill the effect of baking soda and your idlis won’t rise and become dense.

c) Ingredients – If any of the ingredients (suji, curd, baking soda) are old, chances are that idlis won’t come out nice and soft.

Can we use baking powder instead of Eno in Idli?

Yes. To make idli, you can either use baking powder or baking soda instead of Eno.

How long does cooked idli last?

You can easily store idlis for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to cover them well else they will dry out.

How to check if baking soda is not expired?

You can check the quality of baking soda just bu adding a little bit of lemon juice to it. If it forms bubbles, it means your baking soda is just perfect to use. If not, it is time to buy a new pack. Your baking soda has expired. Also, if you use expired baking soda, you won’t get a light, airy batter. The texture of idli also changes because of that. It becomes dense and hard instead of light, soft, and fluffy.

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