Polenta Idli

Polenta Idlis via http://underthebluegumtree.com The nominated letter for this month’s Alphabakes challenge is “I” and as hosts Ros from “The More Than Occasional Baker” and Caroline from “Caroline Makes” have already put the kibosh on the use of “icing” that leaves….erm…..well let’s just say it makes things very tricky.

Actually, I was going to make iles flottante but having made far too many desserts recently , I scrabbled around for a savoury recipe and came across these lovely polenta idli by Sweet Artichoke.

Idli are, according to Sweet Artichoke, little South Indian steamed savoury cakes. To make proper idli, you really need a proper idli pan and whilst I have a whole host of random kitchenalia, an idli pan is not amongst them.

Attempting the recipe using dariole moulds instead met with mixed success. Idli made my way were much bigger than Sweet Artichoke’s version and rather than her delicate fluffy cakes, my idli were rather dense. To be honest I could have built a small architectural structure with them if I had wished, they were that solid.

But sturdiness aside, I have to say that the spicing of these idli is beautiful. The fragrance that rises up as you toast the spices in the pan is stunning and whilst I can’t claim to cook a lot of Indian food, to me the balance of flavours was spot on. Sturdy as they were, I still enjoyed them, dipped into an assortment of chutneys.

Either in future I am going to have to track down a proper idli pan or I am thinking I might fold the spice mix through my favourite Hugh F-W cornbread recipe instead. I also reckon the spice blend would make a wonderfully aromatic side dish if cooked simply with some basmati rice. Polenta Idlis via http://underthebluegumtree.com For the recipe and to see what a proper idli should look like, visit Sweet Artichoke’s post here.


  1. LOL – I did pop over to Sweet Artichoke’s blog and yes yours do look a bit more ‘substantial’ but you still manage to make yours look very tasty. I wonder if they would work in a Madeleine pan – might be easier than trying to find an idli pan.

    • You’re very kind with your choice of words, Angela😉 Yep, a madeleine pan is a great idea and probably would make a similar size cake to a the proper idli. The only thing is that the idli are steamed so it has to be something that will fit in a steamer. I am wondering what would happen if I baked the idli instead…..

  2. Thanks for your comment and for trying this recipe🙂 Your idlis look delicious.
    Idlis mould are indeed not easy to find, and before I got mine, I used to cook them either in muffin silicone moulds or in glass ramekins.
    Madeleine pan is a good idea, too. I kind of like the idea of a “fusion” shape …

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