Thatte Idli Recipe

Thatte Idli Recipe

50 mins
6-7 People
15 mins



I still remember the first time I tried Thatte Idli. I was in Bangalore, visiting one of the city's famous tiffin centers. The experience was nothing short of amazing. These large, soft, and fluffy idlis were served with a variety of chutneys and sambar. It was a revelation that idlis could be so diverse and delightful.


This recipe for Thatte Idli is close to my heart because it brings back memories of exploring South Indian cuisine. The subtle flavors and unique texture of this idli are simply irresistible. If you’ve ever wondered how to make that perfect, soft idli at home, you’re in for a treat. Let's dive into the world of Thatte Idli!




Recipe of Thatte Idli


Ingredients of Thatte Idli

  • Parboiled idli rice: 1 ½ cups
  • Sabudana (tapioca pearls): 1 tbsp
  • Poha (flattened rice): 2 tbsp
  • Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds): 1 tsp
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: ½ tbsp


Ingredients for Coconut Chutney

  • Fresh coconut: ½ cup
  • Curry leaves: 15-16 pcs
  • Green chili: 2 pcs
  • Cashew: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger: 1 inch
  • Water: as required
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice: ½ tbsp
  • Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
  • Chana dal (split chickpeas): ½ tbsp
  • Urad dal (split black gram): ½ tbsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dry red chili: 1 pc



Instructions of Thatte Idli


1. Wash and Soak Ingredients

Ingredients for Thatte Idli including parboiled rice, urad dal, methi seeds, and sabudana being washed and soaked.

  • Description: Rinse the parboiled idli rice, urad dal, methi seeds, and sabudana under running water until the water runs clear. Soak them in ample water for 6 hours to ensure they swell and soften adequately.


2. Grind to a Smooth Batter

Soaked ingredients for Thatte Idli being ground into a smooth batter in a mixer grinder.

  • Description: Drain the soaked ingredients and transfer them to a mixer grinder. Add the soaked poha and methi seeds along with a small amount of water. Grind the mixture into a smooth batter. Ensure the consistency is thick and smooth, but pourable.


3. Ferment the Batter

Batter for Thatte Idli covered with a cloth, set aside for fermentation.

  • Description: Transfer the batter to a large bowl, cover it with a cloth, and let it ferment for at least 6 hours or overnight in a warm place. This process is crucial for the batter to rise and develop a slightly tangy flavor.


4. Prepare the Steamer and Moulds

Thatte Idli moulds being greased with ghee before pouring the batter.

  • Description: Heat the steamer on medium flame and grease the thatte idli moulds with ghee to prevent sticking. This step ensures the idlis can be easily removed after steaming.


5. Pour and Steam the Idlis

Batter for Thatte Idli poured into greased moulds, ready to be steamed.

  • Description: After fermentation, add salt to the batter and stir well. If needed, add a little water to adjust the consistency. Pour the batter into the greased thatte idli moulds. Steam the idlis for 10-12 minutes on medium flame until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


6. De-mould and Serve

Freshly steamed Thatte Idlis being de-moulded and served hot.

  • Description: Once done, carefully de-mould the idlis. They should be soft, fluffy, and slightly golden on the edges. Serve hot, topped with ghee and podi powder for added flavor.


7. Prepare the Coconut Chutney

Ingredients for coconut chutney being ground into a smooth paste in a mixer jar.

  • Description: In a mixer jar, combine fresh coconut, ginger, green chili, cashew, curry leaves, and water. Grind to a smooth paste. Add salt and lemon juice and mix well.


8. Make the Tadka for Chutney

Tadka made with chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, and curry leaves being prepared for coconut chutney.

  • Description: Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add chana dal, urad dal, and roast until golden brown. Add mustard seeds, dry red chili, and curry leaves, and let them splutter. Pour this tadka over the prepared chutney.


9. Serve with Idlis

Thatte Idlis served with coconut chutney and podi powder for a delicious meal.

  • Description: Your coconut chutney is now ready to serve. Enjoy it with the hot, steaming Thatte Idlis for a traditional South Indian breakfast experience.




About the Recipe


Thatte Idli is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish, particularly popular in Karnataka. The name "Thatte" means "plate" in Kannada, referring to the distinctive shape of the idli, which is larger and flatter than the regular idlis. This variation allows for a softer, spongier texture, making it a delightful option for breakfast or a snack.

The key to a good Thatte Idli lies in the batter, which is a mixture of rice, urad dal, and poha. The batter is allowed to ferment overnight, enhancing the flavors and ensuring a fluffy texture. Steaming the idlis in specially designed plates gives them their characteristic shape and size.

Pair these idlis with a rich coconut chutney and tangy sambar for a truly authentic experience. Whether you are serving them for a hearty breakfast or a light dinner, Thatte Idlis are sure to please!




Cooking Tips


  1. Proper Fermentation: Ensure that the batter ferments overnight. The fermentation process is crucial for the idlis to rise and become fluffy.
  2. Consistency of Batter: The batter should be thick yet pourable. If it's too thick, the idlis will turn out dense. If it's too thin, they won’t hold their shape.
  3. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh poha and urad dal are essential for the best results. Stale ingredients can affect the taste and texture.
  4. Steaming Time: Steam the idlis for about 10-12 minutes. Over-steaming can make them dry.
  5. Check with a Toothpick: To ensure the idlis are cooked through, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, they are ready.
  6. Use Ghee for Extra Flavor: Lightly grease the idli plates with ghee before pouring the batter for an added layer of flavor.
  7. Avoid Overcrowding: If using a multi-tiered steamer, avoid overcrowding to allow even cooking.
  8. Rest Before Serving: Let the idlis rest for a few minutes after steaming. This helps them firm up a bit and makes them easier to handle.
  9. Reheating: Reheat idlis by steaming for a couple of minutes instead of microwaving to retain their soft texture.
  10. Variations: You can add a bit of grated carrot or finely chopped coriander to the batter for added flavor and color.





Pairing Guide


  1. Coconut Chutney: The classic pairing with Thatte Idli, providing a creamy and slightly sweet contrast to the savory idlis.
  2. Sambar: A tangy and spicy lentil stew that complements the mild flavor of the idlis perfectly.
  3. Tomato Chutney: Adds a tangy and slightly sweet twist that pairs well with the soft texture of the idlis.
  4. Mint Chutney: For a refreshing and aromatic flavor, mint chutney works wonders.
  5. Peanut Chutney: Offers a nutty and rich flavor that goes well with the subtle taste of the idlis.
  6. Dry Chutney Powder (Podi): Sprinkle this spicy mixture on top of the idlis for an extra kick.
  7. Curry Leaves Chutney: A unique and aromatic pairing that enhances the flavor profile of the idlis.
  8. Ghee and Sugar: A simple yet delightful pairing for those who prefer a sweet touch.
  9. Rasam: A light and tangy soup that adds a flavorful dimension to the meal.
  10. Chili-Coconut Chutney: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, this chutney is a perfect choice.




Frequently Asked Questions about Thatte Idli


  1. What is Thatte Idli?
    Thatte Idli is a traditional South Indian dish, known for its larger and flatter shape compared to regular idlis. It is steamed in special plates and is a popular breakfast item in Karnataka.

  2. How is Thatte Idli different from regular idli?
    The primary difference is in the size and shape. Thatte Idli is larger and flatter, and it has a softer and spongier texture due to its unique steaming method.

  3. Can I make Thatte Idli without a special idli plate?
    Yes, you can use any flat, shallow dish that fits in your steamer. Just ensure that the batter is spread evenly and not too thick.

  4. What is the ideal fermentation time for Thatte Idli batter?
    The batter should be fermented overnight, typically for 7-8 hours, to achieve the desired flavor and texture.

  5. Can I freeze the idli batter?
    Yes, you can freeze the batter for up to a month. Thaw it in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before using.

  6. Why is my idli batter not fermenting properly?
    This could be due to insufficient warmth or old ingredients. Ensure you keep the batter in a warm place and use fresh ingredients.

  7. How do I store leftover Thatte Idlis?
    Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat by steaming them for a few minutes before serving.

  8. Can I add vegetables to the idli batter?
    Yes, adding grated vegetables like carrot or beetroot can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the idlis.

  9. What can I serve with Thatte Idli apart from chutney and sambar?
    You can serve it with ghee and sugar, dry chutney powders (podi), or even a light curry or stew for a different twist.

  10. How can I ensure my Thatte Idlis are soft and fluffy?
    Proper fermentation, correct batter consistency, and steaming for the right amount of time are key to achieving soft and fluffy Thatte Idlis.