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a bowl of Teff Idli With Beet Leaves served with chutney

Teff Idli With Beet Leaves | No Rice Idli

Learn how to make healthy Teff Idlis with beetroot leaves at home. This recipe needs no rice but Teff grains that are ancient and gluten-free. Serve these innovative South Indian-style steamed cakes for breakfast or snacks!
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Soaking & Fermentation 16 hours
Servings 15 Idlis
Calories 67.98kcal


  • Idli Cooker/Steamer



  • Soak rinsed Teff grains in a bowl.
  • Soak rinsed urad dal in another bowl along with fenugreek seeds.
  • Let it soak for 8 hours or leave it overnight.
  • Drain the water from both bowls.
  • Grind urad dal + fenugreek seeds with 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a smooth batter
  • Add the Teff grains and continue to grind to make a smooth batter
  • Transfer it to a bowl. Mix it with your hands. (Body warmth aids the fermentation process)
  • Place this bowl over a plate (to catch any overflow) and let the batter ferment for 8 hours or overnight in a warm corner of your kitchen, or in your oven
  • After fermentation, the batter should have risen. Add salt and beet leaves to the fermented batter
  • Give it a mix and teff idli batter is now ready
  • Grease the idli plates of an Idli Cooker with oil and then pour a ladle full of batter into each mold
  • Steam for 10 minutes. Let the idlis stand for a couple of minutes before opening and removing them from the mold
  • Teff Idlis are best served with Sambhar, chutney, and/or molagapodi.



You can use whole or split urad dal in this recipe. Methi or Fenugreek seeds are added to make soft Idlis. 
An alternate ingredient to fenugreek seeds is poha (flattened rice). Add 1/4 cup rinsed poha when grinding the urad dal. 
You can adjust the quantity based on your need. Just remember that the ratio is always 2:1 of grains to lentils. 
Mixing the batter using your hands helps with the fermentation. Body heat works in our favor to get perfect soft idlis.  
Placing a plate under the bowl helps prevent spills. When the batter ferments and rises, it can overflow. 
Instead of beetroot leaves, you can use any other varieties of green like spinach, kale, spring mix, or other veggies like cabbage, carrots, and green peas.
If you don't have these ancient gluten-free teff grains, you can use quinoa or bulgur. The taste will differ though. 
Best way to ferment the batter
If you live in a humid region, then the batter will easily ferment when left on the countertop. 
But if you are living in a colder place, the best place is the oven. Place the batter in the turned-off oven with just the light on. 
You can also ferment the batter in the Instant Pot. Place the steel insert in the Instant Pot and cover it with a glass lid.
Do not use the Instant Pot lid, as sometimes the batter can overflow and lock the lid. Set to Yogurt mode for 12 hours.
Don't have Idli Cooker?
No problem, you can steam the idlis in many different ways. 
You can steam them in the Instant Pot, Microwave, or even a regular Pressure Cooker using silicone molds or steel cups. 
Ways to use leftover batter
This batter can also be used to make pancakes, dosa, or even waffles. In fact, you can also make paniyarams using an Appe Pan. 
Best way to store Idlis
They stay good for 3-4 days when stored in the fridge. They will get harder. Just reheat them in the microwave and serve. 


Calories: 67.98kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.84g | Protein: 3.35g | Fat: 0.36g | Saturated Fat: 0.06g | Sodium: 4.85mg | Potassium: 65.11mg | Fiber: 2.43g | Sugar: 0.24g | Vitamin A: 81.66IU | Vitamin C: 0.66mg | Calcium: 28.76mg | Iron: 1.54mg