Soft Mini-Idlis, Button-Idlis or Rice cakes

Button Idlis, Bullet Idlis, Mini Idlis or Baby Idlis

Mini Idlis

Soft Mini-Idlis, Button-Idlis or Rice cakes and as my daughter used to call them; baby idlis, are usually served in a bowl of sambar. As they are spongy and bite sized they soak the sambar well and are really yummy in the tummy. Kids love to eat these tiny balls with or without chutney and sambar. They can be fed to toddlers too.

The key to a great Idli is its cottony softness and if you get that right you are a master chef!

I grew up eating traditional idlis every other day but I never came across this button Idli moulds. Only after my daughter was born I saw them in a store window I bought one instantly. She was a fussy eater and I had to lure her to eat with fancy plating. Once she took a fancy to these bay idlis breakfast became an easy slide.

People usually have idlis for breakfast with a drizzle of ghee on gunpowder but my husband and kids wanted the whole works; Idli, sambar, chutney and podi. It is not a daunting task if you prep for it the night before. The batter is ready and the chutney or dip without the tempering can be stored in the fridge. You can do the same with the sambar or lentil soup. But I prefer to make it fresh in the morning.

These soft and fluffy idlis swimming in the spicy and flavorful sambar and covered with coconut chutney are just melt-in-the-mouth. Top them with some hot gunpowder and the spice quotient rises.

I am not keeping too well and I ate plain Idli with sugar as it is light on the stomach. They taste as yummy with sugar and a drizzle of ghee too. When I was ill as a little girl my mom used to give me idlis to eat with sugar on the advice of our family doctor.

I have never understood the breakfast options of eating healthy but bland breakfast of sweet oats, cornflakes or poached eggs, Idli or dosa or even upma and poha are Indian breakfast recipes that are not only a treat to your taste buds but are healthy as well.

The basic batter is the same as the traditional Idli which I have already posted but I am sharing it here again. The only difference is the Button Idli mould which is much smaller or button sized.

How to make Soft Button Idlis or Rice Cakes-


Urad Dal – 1 cup

Idli Rava – 3 cups Idli Rava (made of rice)

Button Idli with Gun Powder


Wash the urad dal nicely and soak it for at least 4 hours.

In a separate bowl, wash the Idli Rava 3 to 4 times under running water and soak it for an hour.

Drain water from the soaked urad dal and grind it in the mixer. Make a smooth thick batter. It should not be runny. Grind till it is soft and fluffy.

Remove the ground batter to a large vessel as the batter will ferment and increase in volume. Squeeze water from the soaked Idli Rava and add it to the ground urad dal batter. I use my hand to mix both as it is the best way to get a perfect blend. Now cover with a lid and keep aside in a warm place. Leave the batter to ferment overnight.

The fermentation is slow in winter and quick during summer. As we live in the tropics it is easy to ferment nicely but if you live in a cold climate then keep it in a heated room or in your oven with the light on. The primary reason for soft and fluffy idlis is the fermentation process.

In the morning, you will see that the batter has risen to the top. Add salt and mix gently with a ladle. The batter is now ready to make idlis.

Pour 2 cups of water into the Idli Cooker and place the mini Idli plate in it. Heat the water to an almost boiling point. While the water is heating, wash the Idli plates and lightly grease them with oil if you want to. I just spoon the Idli batter using a spoon onto wet moulds so that the idlis come off easily. Place the mini Idli stand in the Idli steamer and cover with the lid. Steam the mini idlis for exactly ten minutes.

Remove the lid and the mini Idli stand and leave it for a couple of minutes. Grease a spoon and carefully scoop out each Idli and place in a bowl. Drizzle some ghee (clarified butter) over the idlis for a divine taste.

Serve the hot, steamed idlis in a plate with sambar, coconut chutney and gun powder or podi. Or, as I do; serve in a bowl with the idlis drowned in a pool of sambar.

How did you like these snowy white, soft and fluffy Button idlis? Do leave a comment below and click the follow button.

Button Idlis


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