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quinoa idli served with coconut chutney
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4.89 from 18 votes

quinoa Idli

Soft and fluffy idli with a healthy high-protein makeover from organic quinoa. Perfect little pillows for scooping up coconut chutney or soaking up in a yummy, steamy bowl of sambar, makes 16 idlis
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking + Fermenting16 hrs
Total Time16 hrs 45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 294kcal



  • Rinse the quinoa 2 to 3 times. Add poha & lentils and rinse again. Drain out the water and then soak with 3 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Drain out all the water and add to a blender and blend with salt & water. The idli batter consistency will be like pancake batter.
  • Add the idli batter to the Instant Pot insert. Set the Instant Pot to Yogurt(normal mode) for 8 hours. Place a non-locking lid on the Instant Pot as you do not need any pressure to be built. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen you may need to ferment it anywhere between 8 to 12 hours. If you do not have an Instant Pot, simply place the batter container in a warm place or inside the oven with lights on.
  • Evenly spread 2 to 3 drops of ghee or oil to the idli mold plates and grease it well. Then pour the batter in each section, about ¼ cup to ⅓ cup depending on the size of your idli plate. Stack the plates and get the idli stand ready. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot insert and heat it on sauté mode. Once the water gets hot and starts to steam, place the idli stand inside the Instant Pot. Close the lid with the pressure valve to venting. Press the steam option and set an EXTERNAL timer for 15 minutes. NOTE: The Instant Pot timer does not work with the pressure release valve to venting so make sure to set an external timer.
  • Once the timer goes off, press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot and allow a 10-minute natural pressure release. Then open the lid and carefully take out the Idli stand. Separate each plate and allow to cool down for 5 mins. Then run a butter knife carefully from under each idli and remove the idlis.
  • Enjoy hot with some coconut chutney or cilantro chutney and sambar. I have a super easy and delicious sambar recipe in The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook.



  • To make vegan quinoa idli simply use neutral oil instead of ghee to grease the idli mold
  • Make sure to grease the idli mold well with ghee or oil so that the idli can be removed easily
  • To make fluffy and airy idli, it's important to cook it with the pressure release valve to venting
  • Have water heating in the Instant Pot when you place the idli stand and start cooking
  • You can also use this batter to make thick pancake-like uttapam. Simple stir in finely chopped onions, green chili, cilantro, etc to the batter and make the savory protein-packed pancakes


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 4mg
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