Corn Meal Idli


  • Cornmeal – 2 cups
  • Curd – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
  • Eno Fruit Salt (Regular) – 3/4 (three fourth) teaspoon
  • For seasoning:
  • Oil – 3 to 4 teaspoons
  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
  • Bengal gram dhal – 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper and Jeera – Crushed coarsely 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 2 to 3
  • Fresh ginger – a small piece chopped finely
  • Cashewnuts – few (Optional)
  • Carrot gratings – 1 or two tablespoons for garnishing

Coarsely ground corn is called “Corn Meal” and it is available plenty in all the shops.

Cornmeal contains a long list of nutrients and loaded with lots of health benefits. Corn is an excellent source of vitamin B1, vitamin B5, folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorous, manganese and more. It is gluten-free and beneficial for managing diabetes. The fiber in cornmeal lowers cholesterol levels too.


  1. In a thick bottomed kadai, put the oil and when it is hot add mustard, urad dhal, bengal gram dhal, pepper and jeera, green chillies and chopped ginger and fry till the dhals become light brown. Then add corn meal to the seasoning and fry just for few seconds or till you get a nice smell (Need not fry for a long time).
  2. Cool it and add salt.
  3. Add beaten curd and soak for only 5 to ten minutes. Put the fruit salt on top of the idli batter and pour one tablespoon water on the fruit salt. Then mix well. If necessary add little water and make the batter like idli batter. If the curd is too sour, then add one cup curd and one cup water.
  4. Pour water in the idli cooker and bring to boil. Grease idli plate and put few carrot gratings. Then pour the idli batter over the carrot gratings and steam cook it for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the plates from idli cooker and using a sharp knife or spoon, take out the idlies.
  5. Serve with any desired chutney.


  1. Kamalaji,
    You give different recipes with high nutritive values- Hats off to your recipes

  2. ShobiVatsan

    hi kamala

    i dont have the below one with me

    Eno Fruit Salt (Regular) – 3/4 (three fourth) teaspoon

    will this affect the outcome of the recipe ???


    • Hi Shobi Vatsan,

      Adding Eno fruit salt will soften the idli. If you do not have it, then you can add a pinch of Cooking Soda. Without that also you can prepare, but the idli will be slightly hard.

  3. Corn meal idli looks soft and delicious!

  4. ShobiVatsan

    thanx ….

  5. I tried this last week, taste was ok but it was too hard… i dont know why… is it because i have added the corn meal seasoning to curd immediatly after frying ?

    • Hi Prabha,

      Reason may be – adding hot fried corn meal (without ooling) to the curd or not enough raising agent (like “Eno Fruit Salt”) or cooking soda. Another reason may be the variety of the corn meal used. Some variety is very fine and it will make the idli hard. You have to use coarsely ground (like rawa) corn meal for the idli.

      • Hi Kamala,

        As you said i have used a fine variety of corn and instead of Eno fruit salt i have added a pinch of backing powder… i will try to find the correct ingredients and i will let you know.

  6. ShobiVatsan

    Hi kamala jee

    I just tried ur recipe and the outcome was really fantastic …usually the oats idli or the semiya idli those all stuffs doesnt raise and it will all be nice but not fluffy..this was really the way like the pic u have posted …and btw the baking soda works .. ! As u said .. ! thanx ! Happy cooking !

  7. Will try, as the pic looks grt. Do we get cornmeal in India

  8. i need a diet food with spicy taste can u give any tips to reduce body weight

  9. Aswathy Ramaswamy

    I made this, but i think the 10 minute soaking is not enough. Also may be the quantity of eno was not sufficient. Taste was good, was soft in first minute, then the corn meal started going back to its raw state and in fifteen minutes, it became just like new from packet. guess i need to soak it for more time and add a little more eno. but it sure is easy and different and tasty. Thanks madam for the recipe..

  10. can we u corn flour instead of corn meal

  11. meenu Goyal

    hi kamala ji,
    your recipies look great.i needed some suggestions from u.
    i am hosting a family dinner for 20 people nd want to keep my menu completely south indian.i live in delhi so maybe some of the authentic ingredients might not b available.please help me deside a menu which wuld b appreciated.
    thank u.

    • Hi Meenu Goyal,

      South Indian Dinner – consists of variety rices / vadai / desert like payasam/kesari etc. Also for dinner people serve idli/dosa/vada also.

      Tamarind Rice/sambar rice / curd semiya /plainrice and rasam/vadai/papad/chips / curd pachadi or sweet pachadi – for desert you can go for kesari or payasam. Chapati is also commonly served in South India now. You can go for chapati and any spicy kurma.

  12. Purushothaman.J

    I have used tinned corn using mixer i grinded. The paste was so soft, than i added equal quantity of idly rava (broken rice). Then i followed the procedure mentioned by you excepting Eno salt. Not added Eno salt. The result was fantastic, it was buffy & soft. i really enjoyed . I am in Saudi Arabia & from Chennai, whenever i need cook south Indian dish i follow your web pages. Thanks & good to have such web for the youngsters to follow. i need your response about addition of idly rava.

    Best Regards,

  13. HI Kamala

    I am going to try this tomorrow morning. I am planning to keep it for the whole night.

    I will let u know about the result.

    I am staying in Botswana (Near South Africa) and a pure vegetarian..If this works well I am going to have good break fast every morning

    Thank youuuuu

  14. I would like to know an alternative to Eno salt. Can we grind the dried corn coarsely and prepare the corn meal at home?
    Please suggest.

  15. vasundhara

    Hi kamala,

    Is this corn meal is called polenta.. Bcos I got polenta and I also made idli like this.. It came soft but I think since the batter was bit watery the batter was spilling out of the idli stand.. Can u pls clarify whether corn meal is also called polenta..

  16. Hi Kamala,
    Can I do this without the Eno salt ?

    • Eno salt is added as “Raising Agent”. If you do not add, idli will not raise and become hard. However the taste will be same. If you do not mind hard idli, you can prepare it without eno salt. Or you can add a pinch of cooking soda instead of eno salt.

  17. Hello mam,
    Corn meal n benzi Rawa both are same

  18. Sorry ma’am bansi Rawa

  19. Looks yummy and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

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