In the realm of breakfast options, there's something inherently comforting about idlis. These steamed rice cakes, originating from South India, have become a beloved staple across the nation and beyond. Not only are they delicious, but they also offer a canvas for creativity, allowing for various fillings and flavors. Among the multitude of idli variations, the stuffed palak idli stands out as a nutritional powerhouse, combining the goodness of spinach with the wholesome satisfaction of idlis. Let's delve into this delightful recipe that promises a healthy start to your day.

The Nutritional Marvel of Palak (Spinach)

Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a moment to appreciate the star ingredient: palak, or spinach. This leafy green is a nutrient powerhouse, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It's rich in iron, essential for oxygen transport in the body, and is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. Spinach also contains folate, a B-vitamin crucial for cell growth and development. Incorporating spinach into your breakfast not only adds vibrant color but also boosts the nutritional profile of your meal.


For the Idli Batter:

2 cups of idli rice
1 cup of urad dal (black gram lentils)
Salt to taste
Water for soaking and grinding
For the Stuffing:

2 cups of finely chopped spinach
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil


Prepare the Idli Batter:

Rinse the idli rice and urad dal separately under running water. Let them soak in water separately for four to six hours. Then drain the water and grind the urad dal into a smooth paste. Transfer it to a large bowl.
Similarly, grind the rice into a slightly coarse paste. Mix it with the urad dal paste. Add salt to taste and mix well. Let the batter ferment for eight hours or overnight.

Prepare the Stuffing:
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add the chopped onions and green chilies after a brief period of sauteing. Sauté until the onions turn translucent. Then add chopped spinach and salt. Cook until the spinach wilts and any excess moisture evaporates. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Assemble the Stuffed Idlis:
Grease the idli molds with oil. Pour a spoonful of idli batter into each mold, filling them halfway. Place a small amount of the spinach stuffing in the center of each mold.
Cover the stuffing with more idli batter, filling the molds to the top. Steam the stuffed idlis in a steamer for about 10-12 minutes or until they are cooked through. Insert a toothpick into the idlis to check for doneness; it should come out clean. Once cooked, remove the idlis from the molds and let them cool slightly before serving.

Serve and Enjoy:
These stuffed palak idlis are best enjoyed hot, accompanied by a side of coconut chutney or tangy sambar. The combination of soft, fluffy idlis with the flavorful spinach filling is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.