Nutritious And Tasty Steamed Dishes To Try At Home

Growing up in an Indian household, the aroma of freshly steamed dishes often filled the kitchen, bringing with it a sense of comfort and warmth. Steaming is a traditional cooking method that preserves nutrients and enhances the natural flavours of ingredients. It’s a healthy alternative to frying and sautéing, making it ideal for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. From the soft idlis  to the delicious dhoklas prepared for tea time, steamed dishes have always held a special place in our hearts and on our plates. Here are six Indian dishes you can cook in a steamer, perfect for any meal. 


Idli is a staple South Indian breakfast dish made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. These soft, fluffy cakes are not only delicious but also easy to digest. To make idlis, pour the fermented batter into greased idli moulds and steam for about 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar for a nutritious start to your day. 


Dhokla is a popular Gujarati snack made from fermented chickpea flour (besan) batter. To prepare dhokla, mix besan with yogurt, water, and spices like turmeric and green chili paste. Allow the batter to ferment, then add a pinch of baking soda before pouring it into a greased steaming tray. Steam for about 15-20 minutes until the dhokla is light and spongy. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies, and serve with green chutney. 


Momos are steamed dumplings popular in North-Eastern India and Nepal. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, chicken, or paneer. To make momos, prepare a simple dough with flour and water, and roll it into small circles. Fill each circle with your choice of filling, then fold and seal the edges. Steam the momos in a bamboo steamer or a regular steamer for about 10-12 minutes. Serve hot with spicy chili-garlic sauce. 


Patra, a Gujarati delicacy, is made from colocasia leaves (arbi ke patte) coated with a spiced gram flour paste. Roll the coated leaves into tight rolls, then steam them for about 20-25 minutes until they are firm. Once steamed, slice the rolls into pinwheels and temper with mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and curry leaves. Patra is a perfect combination of spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavours. 


Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian sweet dumpling made during Ganesh Chaturthi. The outer shell is made from rice flour dough, and the filling is a mixture of grated coconut and jaggery. Shape the dough into small cups, fill with the coconut mixture, and close the edges to form a modak shape. Steam the modaks for about 10-15 minutes until they are cooked. Serve warm, drizzled with ghee. 


Panki is a Gujarati dish made from fermented rice and urad dal batter, similar to dosa batter. The batter is spread thinly on banana leaves and steamed until cooked. The unique part of panki is the subtle flavour imparted by the banana leaves during steaming. Serve hot with green chutney for a light and flavourful meal.