How to Make Colorful Idly and Dosa

Two Methods:Making colorful idlyMaking colorful dosas

Idly is one of the most served traditional breakfast meals in south India, along with dosa. By making it little more colorful than usual, it can become a very special meal for a very important celebratory breakfast or just because you'd like it to be more interesting for a change.


  • 3 cups idly batter
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 10 red chillies
  • 1/4 cup beetroot pieces
  • 1/4 cup (or less) carrot pieces
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup (or less) curry leaves or mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup, oil - as required
  • Water - as required

Method 1
Making colorful idly

Flavoring the idly batter

  1. 1
    Make sure the idly batter is ready to use.
  2. 2
    Sauté the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies with 2 to 3 drops of oil together.
  3. 3
    Grind the sauteed mixture. Mix the ground ingredients in with the batter.

Coloring the idly batter

  1. 1
    Separate the batter into three bowls. This will allow you to make three different colors.
  2. 2
    Prepare the first and second colors. Boil beetroot and carrot in separate saucepans or vessels. Puree each cooked vegetable separately. Add water while pureeing, if required.
  3. 3
    Make third color. Grind the coriander and curry leaves into a paste-like consistency by adding the required amount of water.
    • Coriander and curry leaves can also be replaced with mint.
  4. 4
    Mix the beetroot paste with one lot of batter in a separate bowl. Repeat for the the carrot paste in one batter and the coriander-curry leaves paste in the last batter.

Making the idly

  1. 1
    Pour oil onto the idly plates. Pour the beetroot batter on one plate, carrot batter on another plate and coriander batter on the third plate.
  2. 2
    Heat the idly cooker with the water in the bottom. Set the idly plates inside the cooker in order to steam.
  3. 3
    Close the lid. Let it steam for around 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. 4
    Serve. When steamed, the colorful idlis are ready to serve.
    • Note: These idlys goes well with the onion chutney and coconut chutney.

Method 2
Making colorful dosas

  1. 1
    Use the procedure outlined above to color dosas. Follow the above procedures, but add in the modifications in the following steps.
  2. 2
    Note the following changes to ensure that the dosas will be a success:
    • Add little more water to the beetroot batter, carrot batter and the coriander-curry leaves batter.
    • Make sure that the batter is neither too watery nor too pasty, otherwise it will stick onto the pan.
  3. 3
    Heat the dosa pan/tawa. Spread the batter with the wooden or steel ladle. Add oil to the edges of dosa, as much required.
  4. 4
    Wait until the dosa is cooked. This should not be more than a minute; adjust the heat accordingly, to ensure that the dosa will not be sticky.
  5. 5
    Gently flip the dosa. Serve it hot with onion or coconut chutney.


  • To make more crispy dosas, add little bit of rawa (semolina) to the batter.
  • The same colorful dosas can also be made with rawa dosa and rawa-vermicelli (broken) idli batter.

Things You'll Need

  • Idly plates
  • Idly cooker
  • Dosa pan/tawa
  • Ladle
  • Dosa stick

Article Info

Categories: Breakfast | Indian Cuisine