Thonnai Idli Recipe (Dried Leaves Idli)

Steamed rice dumpling flavoured with methi seeds and tempered with Indian spices.

Neeru Srikanth
Thonnai Idli Recipe (Dried Leaves Idli)
1066 ratings.

Try this Thonnai (dried leaves) idli with your regular idli batter. They give a nice flavour to your recipe. Temper your regular idly batter with ghee, gingelly oil, mustard, pepper, cumin seeds, cashews, bengal gram, urad dhal and curry leaves. Ferment it overnight, pour them in your thonnai to steam for 15 minutes and finally tie them for a minimum of 30 minutes to get this flavourful thonnai idli. I just use my regular idly proportions and temper them with spices which are almost similar to Kachipuram idli. This is quite easy when we pack it in our lunch box or even during your travel. The smell and softness is naturally preserved.

Pack Thonnai Idli in your lunch box along with South Indian Coconut Chutney or Tomato Onion Chutney. You can also have it for a tasty and healthy breakfast.

If you like this recipe, you can also try other idli recipes such as : 

  1. Ragi Idli Recipe
  2. Healthy Spinach Idli Recipe
  3. Karuveppilai Podi Idli Recipe

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu
Course: South Indian Breakfast
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep in

360 M

Cooks in

60 M

Total in

420 M


4 Servings


    For the idli batter
  • 3 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup White Urad Dal (Whole)
  • 1 teaspoon Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
  • 1 tablespoons Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls)
  • Salt , to taste
  • For tempering
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1 teaspoon Chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal)
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon White Urad Dal (Split)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Black pepper powder
  • 1 inch Ginger , finely chopped
  • Cashew nuts , Few
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 4 teaspoons Ghee
  • 4 teaspoons Gingelly oil
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (hing)
  • Others
  • 1/2 cup Thonnai (dried leaves)

How to make Thonnai Idli Recipe (Dried Leaves Idli)

  1. To begin making the Thonnai Idli Recipe recipe, soak the items mentioned under ‘For the Idli Batter’ for 6 to 8 hours except salt.

  2. Grind them slightly coarse than regular idli batter in a mixer grinder. Take a mix and grind cumin seeds & pepper into a coarse consistency.

  3. Take a tadka pan, add ghee and gingelly oil. Once heated add hing and mustard and let it splutter.

  4. Add urad dal, bengal gram, ginger, cashew, cumin & pepper powder and curry leaves and let it get cooked.

  5. Mix it with the idli batter. Let the idli batter ferment for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

  6. Make sure the thonnai is cleaned with a wet cloth. No oil needed to be applied.

  7. Once fermented, pour it into the 3/4th of Thonnai.

  8. Arrange them in a pan which can fit into pressure cooker or idly pan. Make sure the idlis are tightly arranged one next to each other.

  9. If idlis are loosely arranged the thonnai will open up easily.

  10. Steam the idlis for 20 minutes, take out and let it cool for just 5 minutes.

  11. Pack Thonnai Idli in your lunch box along with South Indian Coconut Chutney or Tomato Onion Chutney. You can also have it for a tasty and healthy breakfast.