Pumpkin Idli is an extremely delicious traditional Karnataka dish. Pumpkin Idli can be made quickly without fermentation and is very healthy, vegan and gluten-free. This, being the season of pumpkins, one should definitely not miss trying out this pumpkin idli, known as sihi kumbalakayi idli or kadubu in Kannada.
When I was thinking of all the possible recipes that I could make for this pumpkin series, the thought of pumpkin idli just crossed my mind.
Whenever I come up with any new recipe, I google to check if it already exists, so that I can get to know the keywords for the post’s SEO. Likewise, I googled pumpkin idli and to my surprise, I learned that this is a very traditional Karnataka recipe, famous in the Udupi-Mangalore cuisine.
The recipe of pumpkin idli that I had in mind was a bit elaborate. As I believe in sharing easy and simple recipes with you all, I did not want to stick on to my elaborate method, rather try this recipe that seemed to be very easily doable.
What makes this Pumpkin Idli an instant recipe?
We all know how healthy an idli is, right? The versions, accompaniments are endless. People are getting so creative everyday and bringing out different varieties that anybody would love to try.
As much as we all love the traditional fermented rice and urad dal idli, we would not want to miss trying out easy and quick idlis that do not need fermentation, right? Remember, I am NOT talking about using eno or baking soda etc., just to cut down on time.
This pumpkin idli does NOT call for the need of curd or eno or baking soda or any other raising agent. It only needs idli rava or rice rava (known as akki thari in Kannada), grated pumpkin and spices. The rice rava or idli rava gets cooked quickly and that is what makes this an instant, no-fermentation idli. This will not work if you are using rice batter.
Important Points to remember while making Pumpkin Idli
The pumpkin idli mixture does not actually have a binding ingredient or base. So, the amount of water that it holds is very less.
As the grated pumpkin had moisture in it, I did NOT use any extra water while preparing the mixture. If your mixture seems to be too dry, just sprinkle some water. Adding too much water will make the idlis turn soggy.
Add salt just before making the idlis. Adding salt and letting the mixture rest, will cause the mixture to leave too much water, which you do not want.
Tip: After preparing the mixture, take a handful of it and squeeze it. You should just see a few drops of water oozing out and not more. In case you find it to be too much, just squeeze and remove the excess water everytime you place the mixture on the idli plate.
How to make Pumpkin Kadubu instead of Pumpkin Idli?
Alternatively, pumpkin idli can be made in the form of kadubu (resembling the shape of gujiya/kajjikayalu/karjikayi).
For this, cut the plantain leaf into small sizes. Grease each of them with some oil.
Place the mixture on the plantain leaf, fold it gently. This will give it a nice kadubu like shape. Place it on idli plates (thatte idli kinds or the plain plates). Steam cook for 15-20 minutes in medium-high heat.
Once done, gently peel off the plantain leaves and remove the pumpkin kadubus.
The flavour of plantain leaf makes this all the more delicious.
So with all that said, let us now move on to the recipe of pumpkin idli, shall we??
Step-by-Step instructions to make Pumpkin Idli
1. Wash the idli rava/rice rava. Drain the water completely. Set aside.
2. Wash and soak chana dal in warm/hot water until it turns soft.
Peel and grate pumpkin. Add this to the bowl with washed idli rava.
3. Next, add cumin seeds, crushed pepper, finely chopped chillies, finely chopped coriander leaves, and curry leaves. Mix everything well. Do NOT add salt or water here. Let this rest for about an hour.
1. After an hour, drain the water and add soaked chana dal, salt and mix everything well.
Take a handful of the mixture, squeeze to check the amount of water. Only a few drops of water should come out. At the same time, make sure it is not too dry. Sprinkle water if it is dry.
2. Boil water in an idli maker/pressure cooker. Grease the idli plates. Take a handful of the prepared idli mixture in your hand and put it on the greased cavity of the idli plate. Press it gently with your palm so that it gets a good shape. Repeat the same for all the idli plates.
3. Place the idli plates in the idli maker/pressure cooker. Close the lid and steam cook this for 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat. Remember to not use the whistle, if you are using a pressure cooker.
4. Once done, remove the idli plates and let them cool for about 2-3 minutes. Then, carefully unmold the cooked idlis from the idli plates and serve hot with ghee and coconut chutney.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all. I would love to hear your feedback on this. When you try it, kindly post your valuable comments below or share it with me personally on Instagram / Facebook, or post it by tagging me. You may also pin this on Pinterest.
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Similar recipes to try:
Pumpkin Idli | Instant Pumpkin Masala Idli | Sihi Kumbalakayi Kadubu
- 1 cup idli rava / rice rava
- 2 cups grated pumpkin - , peel the skin and grate
- 2 tablespoons chana dal (split bengal gram)
- 1.5 teaspoons black pepper - , crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds - , whole
- 2-3 nos. green chillies - , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
- 4-5 sprigs coriander leaves - , finely chopped
- 4-5 nos. curry leaves - , finely chopped
- salt - to taste
- cooking oil - , to grease the idli plates
- Wash the idli rava/rice rava. Drain the water completely. Set aside.
- Wash and soak chana dal in warm/hot water until it turns soft. You can skip using chana dal, but I would recommend using it. It gives a lovely taste and texture.
- Next, in a wide bowl, add washed idli rava, grated pumpkin, cumin seeds, crushed pepper, finely chopped chillies, finely chopped coriander leaves, and curry leaves. Mix everything well. Do NOT add salt or water here.Let this rest for about an hour, so that the idli rava softens a bit and the flavours get incorporated well.
- After an hour, drain the water and add soaked chana dal, salt and mix everything well. Take a handful of the mixture, squeeze to check the water level. Only a few drops of water should come out.At the same time, make sure it is not too dry. Sprinkle water if it is dry.
- Boil water in an idli maker/pressure cooker. Grease the idli plates. Take a handful of the prepared idli mixture in your hand and put it on the greased cavity of the idli plate.Press it gently with your palm so that it gets a good shape. Repeat the same for all the idli plates.
- Place the idli plates in the idli maker/pressure cooker. Close the lid and steam cook this for 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat. Remember to not use the whistle if you are using a pressure cooker.
- Once done, remove the idli plates and let them cool for about 2-3 minutes. Then, carefully unmold the cooked idlis from the idli plates and serve hot with ghee and coconut chutney.
- Make sure the pumpkin you are using is firm and not soggy or over ripened.
- The flavour of pumpkin will be very mild after cooking the idli. So, do not overdo the spices, as we do not want to lose the flavour of pumpkin completely.
- You can make this just plain pumpkin idli and skip all the spices or reduce the quantity.
- This pumpkin idli will be soft but crumbly in texture. A little more crumbly than the regular rava idli. So, be gentle while unmolding the idlis or serving them.
- If your rice rava is too coarse, you can just pulse once to make it a little fine. But, do not make it too fine.