Jam Idli: A Fruit Fix With Fermented Rice And Pulses

Idlis are steamed rice cakes. This is a great recipe to pack in lunch as it is non-messy and easy to pick and eat. Children are automatically drawn to sweet food so we have added a swirl of jam to it. This makes the kids excited to join in the cooking and eager to see the results.

History of Idli and Jam:

The word idli can be seen in ancient literature as iddalige or Iddarika. The idli as we know it today was invented by the marriage of Hindu Kings and Indonesian Queens around the 9th century. Before that, the major portion of idli batter used to be black gram, making the idli grey in colour.

Rice was grown in South India only three thousand years ago so clearly, it could not be a part of the original ingredients forever. The rice dumplings are made of a mixture of rice, urad and methi Dana soaked for a generous amount of time. This mixture is steamed the next day.

Idli was never meant to have a taste of its own and was more of a carbohydrate fix. The chutney was the part you could go for the taste. Much later, semolina and curd mix idli was also introduced as a variety.

Jams originated in Rome when sugar first entered Europe around the eleventh century. Till then, honey was used to preserve fruits. But now, the European habit of using fruits as desserts could come in a preserved form.

The first written recipe for jam is recorded in the first known cookbook; De Re Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking).

Today there are a variety of jams, made of chunks of fruit (chopped or crushed), cooked with sugar until the fruit reduces down and thickens to a spreadable consistency. This is an all-time favourite spread for kids. In this recipe, idli and jam are combined. Idlis are a great breakfast option anyways because they are extremely healthy and great for gut health.


For Idli Batter-

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Urad dal: ½ cup
  • Fenugreek seeds: ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Jam: 3 teaspoons
  • Oil: 1 teaspoon


  1. Put the idli steamer to boil along with water
  2. Take a bowl and cream the Jam to soften it a bit and then fill the piping bag with the Jam
  3. Grease the idli moulds with a little oil, pour the idli batter into the moulds and top the batter with a little Jam
  4. With a piping bag, make a jalebi-like shape or ripple of the jam in the batter
  5. Steam for 8-10 minutes till the idli is cooked 
  6. Pack

The delicious fusioned idlis are ready to be served.