Masala Vegan

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Breakfast Vegan Vegan Recipes

Vegan Quinoa Kanchipuram Idli (Gluten Free)

Vegan Quinoa Kanchipuram Idli

Our love for “Idli” (steamed rice dumplings), as a family is rather well-known by now! “Kanchipuram Idli” is a speciality from the beautiful South Indian state of Tamil Nadu renowned for the beautiful temples, culturally rich architecture and of course, awesome food! It has been many, many moons since I was last there however, memories of all the good times linger. I have substituted cooked quinoa in place of the par boiled rice normally used.

 We need,
  • Cooked Quinoa – 1 cup
  • Split Black Lentil Flour (Urad Dal) – 1/2 cup
  • Warm Water – 1 cup
  • Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 2 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground – 2 teaspoons
  • Cashew Nuts, broken into large pieces – 1 tablespoon (omit for a nut free version)
  • Baking Soda/ Eno Fruit Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coconut Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Black Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida –  1 teaspoon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Non Stick Spray, to grease the pan/ moulds
  1. Mix the quinoa, lentil flour and water together to make a smooth batter. Season with salt and mix in minced ginger and black pepper powder before setting aside.
  2. Heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds. Wait until they pop and take off the heat.
  3. Quickly mix in the asafoetida and cumin seeds into the hot oil.
  4. Mix the spice – oil mixture into the above batter.
  5. Boil water in a steamer and grease either “Idlimoulds or, little bowls with non stick spray.
  6. Mix Eno fruit salt or baking soda (Not both!) into the batter until it looks frothy and bubbly.
  7. Quickly spoon batter into the prepared moulds and sprinkle the cashew pieces on top.
  8. Steam for 15 – 18 minutes on high.
  9. Check if cooked with a skewer inserted in the middle.

Tastes great warm with “Sambar” and coconut Chutney. Happy Cooking 😊




I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I'm found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️


  1. This sounds really good and unique. Definitely going to try this <3

    1. Thank you 😊 This is a family favourite & much requested dish. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  2. Hi! Thank you for stopping by my blog. Could you please tell what you would eat these “Idlis” with? Maybe you just eat them on their own?

    1. Thanks Joëlle, you have a beautiful space. I ate the Idlis with Sambar, but you could eat them plain or, with a Chutney dip too. There are links to both these recipes at the end of my post. Hope that helps 😊

      1. haha I will try my best! I’m a little scared because it looks difficult! but hopefully I will be fine! have a blessed weekend 🙂

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