Mixed Dal Instant Idli-No Rice No Fermentation

These Instant Mixed Dal idlis require no rice or fermentation. Made in a spoonful of oil its a healthy, high protein meal and ideal for those avoiding rice as well as diabetics controlling the intake of high glycemic food.

After my extremely popular Mixed Dal Dosa-No Rice No Fermentation became the most viewed and tried recipe on my blog, I knew I had to try instant idlis with only dal and no rice. It was on my mind for some time when one of my readers queried about wanting to make idlis out of the dosa batter. I told her to put some Eno and steam it. She replied back within a day with pictures of beautifully steamed idlis. She had followed through by adding the Eno and gotten perfectly soft idlis!

Of course, me being me, couldn’t just settle for plain idlis. I wanted to add tarka to the batter for more flavor. These idlis are so flavorful,you can actually eat these plain,straight from the steamer! I also wanted to avoid the orange masoor dal as it imparts a slight pinkish/orangish hue to the batter. That hue is perfect when you are making dosas which are meant to be golden brown but not in idlis which should be whitish.I kept the same batter as the dosa, just replaced the Orange Masoor dal with the Arhar/toor dal. You can definitely make dosas from this batter,before adding the tarka and uttapams after adding tarka.

The idlis turned out super soft and tasted heavenly with Coconut Chatni (with frozen coconut) and Sambar. Some of the other dishes from the south Indian cuisine on my blog are

 Daliye ka Dosa/Cracked Wheat Dosa

Brown Rice Dosa

Saravana Bhavan Style Tomato Onion Chatni/Kara Chatni


Aloo ki sabzi for dosa/potatoes for dosa.

Here is the written recipe followed by the step by step pictorial one-



858 cal


22 g


124 g


45 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 24-28 idlis

Mixed Dal Idli-No Rice No Fermentation

Instant Mixed Dal idlis that requires no rice or fermentation. Made in a spoonful of oil its a healthy, high protein meal and ideal for those avoiding rice.

10 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2/3 cup White Urad Dal
  • 1/3 cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 1/3 cup Arhar/Toor Dal
  • 1/3 cup Chana Dal
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp Eno/Fruit salt,divided
  • Water as needed for grinding
  • for Tarka/Vaghar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp White Urad Dal
  • 3 Green chilies, chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves,torn


  1. Wash all dals together till water runs clear and soak overnight.
  2. Grind the dals with some water till smooth(Don't add too much water, just enough to make a smooth batter)
  3. for Tarka/Vaghar
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan.
  5. Add Mustard seeds and urad dal and cook till Urad dal turns golden(You may have to cover the pan as mustard seeds will crackle and splutter)
  6. Add chopped green chilies and curry leaves and stir.
  7. Add the tarka/vaghar to the dal batter
  8. Add salt and water as needed.
  9. Grease the idli molds with oil and put a large pot with about 3/4 inch water to boil,for steaming.
  10. In ONLY HALF THE BATTER,add 3/4 tsp Eno/Fruit Salt, you will see the batter froth.
  11. Mix well and put about 1 tbsp in each idli mold/cavity.
  12. Steam IMMEDIATELY(with lid on) for 15 minutes on medium for soft fluffy idlis.


Add Eno to only half the batter as the effect of Eno wears out if we let the batter sit. When we get ready to make a second batch of idlis add Eno to the second half just before steaming.The tarka/vaghar adds a lot of flavor but is optional. To reheat the idlis,sprinkle a few drops of water,wrap in a wet paper towel and micro for 15-20 seconds per idli.

Here is the step by step pictorial recipe-

Wash and soak all dals overnight

The dals will double, rinse,drain and grind to a smooth batter

Ingredients for tarka(tarka is optional)

Start the steamer

In hot oil, add mustard seeds and Urad dal, cook till dal turns golden. Add curry leaves and green chilies and stir and remove

Add tarka to the batter. Add salt and water if needed to thin out batter

In half the batter add Eno/fruit salt

Batter will start frothing immediately,mix well

Fill about 1 tbsp in each idli mold,( they will expand) and steam for 15 minutes.

Enjoy with coconut chatni and sambar

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16 Responses

    • Aanchal Gupta
      Hi Rupa, since this is an instant idli recipe, I didn't ferment the batter, instead used Eno. You could try fermenting it, though I have never made it that way.Please let me know how it turns out without eno and with fermentation.
      • Gayathri Rajesh
        Yes...I tried the same with dash of lemon instead of eno.. and fermented it..... It was quite spongy and fluffy.........
        • Aanchal Gupta
          Hi Gayathri,so happy to know that the idlis turned out soft,spongy and fluffy.Glad to know that you tried without Eno and instead fermented the batter. Thanks for the feedback.
          • Aanchal Gupta
            Hi Deepti, I ferment the traditional dosa batter by placing a red chili on the batter and putting in the oven overnight with oven light on. Keep batter away from the light, otherwise the heat from the light starts cooking the batter. We just want some indirect heat. Has always worked for me. I have explained it in my Brown Rice dosa and Daliya dosa post. Never used yeast.
  1. sp
    can we skip urad dal for making idli because people suffering with rumythoid ortharitis cannot take
    • Aanchal Gupta
      Hi, I haven’t tried without Urad dal, so not sure how it would turn out
  2. Shruti
    Have you tried without chana dal? Does it turn out ok? Also can this idli be given in kids tiffin or it tastes and stays soft only when it is hot? thank you
    • Aanchal Gupta
      Hi Shruti, yes it can be made without Chana dal. Replace with any other light colored dal. It stays soft even later. If I have to eat later, I usually wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. Comes out like freshly made.
  3. Vidya
    Hi Aanchal, You mean to say you kept a Chilly inside the batter or on a plate that covers the batter?what does it do really?How long for plz. plz provide bit more detailed steps for me as I have not done this yet
    • Aanchal Gupta
      Hi Vidya, this recipe requires no fermentation. So no need to keep a chili on top of the batter. For batter that requires fermentation, placing a chili on top of the batter overnight helps to ferment quickly. I do it for the brown Rice dosa and Daliya dosa but not for the mixed dal dosa/ Idli as they are instant recipes and don’t need fermentation.
  4. Vidya
    Hi Aanchal, thanks. I wanted to know is it inside the batter or on a plate?plz clariify
    • Aanchal Gupta
      Hi Vidya, place chili on the batter directly, and set aside for fermentation.
    • Aanchal Gupta
      I have not tried with baking soda and baking powder so can’t say how idlis will turn out. Eno gives best results without any after taste.

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