Idlis Steamed in Jackfruit Leaves

Idlis are steamed in jack fruit leaves baskets during any special occasion, during festivals in Konkani homes. These idlis made in jack fruit leaves are called khotto, hitt in Konkani. These idlis in jack fruit leaves are considered pretty special in Goan cuisine. They are served for breakfast with coconut chutney and with a sambar at times on those special days. If not are served as part of the spread for a lavish festival lunch.

Idlis Steamed in Jackfruit Leaves

Idlis Steamed in Jackfruit Leaves

Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: Breakfast, SnacksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3/4 cup split black lentil (urad dal)

  • 1.5 cups of rice semolina (idli rava, rice rava)

  • Salt to taste

  • 10-12 jackfruit leaves baskets


  • Grind the batter for these idlis on the previous night of preparation.
  • And to make a batter, soak urad dal for a minimum of 30 minutes. Wash them well and drain all the water.
  • Grind them using as little water as possible into a smooth paste. I suggest using a wet grinder over a blender, for a super smooth batter.
  • Transfer the ground batter into a big vessel. Add in rice semolina, salt and mix well. The batter tends to rise on fermentation so use a bigger vessel.
  • We need a semi-thick batter and not a very thick batter. The batter should fall off the ladle easily. So, add a little water if required. Be careful not to add excess.
  • Keep the batter closed aside and allow it to ferment overnight for a minimum of 7-8 hours on hot days and 10-12 hours during winter. If you live in a cold region look for tips to ferment the batter below.
  • Just before you steam these idlis in the morning, give the batter a nice mix as the semolina would have settled down at the bottom of the vessel.
  • Get your steamer going and once the water is rolling hot start filling the batter into jackfruit leaves baskets.
  • Pour the batter into jackfruit leaves basket by folding one of the 4 leaves of the woven basket. Use a ladle or your hand, whichever you are comfortable with.
  • Place them one by one into the steamer, close and steam them for 20-30 minutes on a medium flame depending on the size and number of idlis you’re steaming.
  • After steaming, open the lid and put it back on with a little space for steam to escape. Don’t close it fully to prevent steam from trickling onto the idlis.
  • Serve steaming hot idlis by peeling the leaves after 5 minutes of steaming. They otherwise tend to break into pieces if you try to peel them soon after steaming.
  • Serving suggestions:
  • Serve steaming hot idlis with loads of coconut oil on top and just enjoy them!
  • Serve hot or cold idlis with lots of coconut oil on top and with a spicy pickle.
  • Serve cold idlis with a steaming hot tomato rasam and coconut oil on top.
  • Serve steaming hot idlis with a steaming hot sambar, oil on top and enjoy.
  • Serve steaming hot idlis with a spicy coconut chutney, mango chutney and gulp them down with a drizzle of coconut oil on top.
  • Serve steaming hot idlis with a coconut, ginger chutney, oil on top, the traditional konkani style. To make a coconut, ginger chutney, grind a coconut chutney using grated coconut, tamarind, green chilies and salt. When it’s almost a coarse paste add in half an inch of ginger and grind for a minute. Serve the semi-coarse chutney with steaming hot idlis with coconut oil on top.
  • Serve cold idlis powdered with coconut oil, chopped onions and a dry coconut chutney on top. Mix well and enjoy! To make a dry coconut chutney, grind together grated coconut, green chilies, tamarind, a piece of asafoetida, salt into a dry, coarse chutney without using any water. They taste amazing!
  • Serve hot or cold idlis with a payasam made using coconut milk and jaggery!!


  • Fermentation needs warm temperatures. So, in summer the batter ferments very well and doubles or triples in its quantity within a few hours. With drop in temperatures you would have to ferment them for longer.
    But in cold places, the batter has to be kept in a warm place for it to ferment. If your oven has light, then turn on the light for a few hours with the batter in the oven. Once the oven is warm, turn off the light and let the batter undergo fermentation.
    If your oven does not have a light, then preheat the oven to warm, turn off the oven. Then keep the batter in the oven to ferment.
    You would have to experiment and keep a watch to get the right amount of fermented batter depending on the temperature in your place.

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