Fiber and Protein packed Chickpeas Idli and Plum Thokku (Pickle)

Chickpeas Idly

I don’t remember exactly how I got this idea of including mashed chickpeas in the idli batter. I guess I was inspired by Red Chillies’ soy bean dosa or my chickpeas poori.

I decided to grind one can of chickpeas (15.5oz) into a smooth paste and mix it with the regular idli batter. A can of chickpeas has approximately 23-25 grams protein and fiber each. That’s a lot of nutrition.

I do agree that to get the entire benefit one has to consume about 40 idlis which are not possible. But I believe that healthy additions like this even in small quantities if done on a daily basis would help us in achieving overall well being. Another bonus if you have kids who don’t eat their legumes this is a nice trick. My son couldn’t tell any difference and he ate more than usual.

Chickpeas Idli

If using idli rava for preparing the batter I use 2 cups of rava and 1 cup of urad dal. (Idli batter recipe). I was going to do the same for the chickpeas idli as well.

But what I did was while grinding the chickpeas I guess I had added extra water and when I mixed it with the idli batter I felt that it was not in the right consistency. So I added another 1/4 cup of idli rava to make it right.

You can use canned chickpeas or soak dried chickpeas in water the previous night and cook it the next day in a pressure cooker. I used a 15.5oz can which is approximately 2 cups of cooked peas. If using canned ones, drain it in a colander and rinse it with cold water and then grind it into a smooth paste adding very little water.

Prepare the idli batter as usual and mix the chickpeas paste to it and combine well with your hand. Canned chickpeas already have salt in it so add accordingly.

Chickpeas idli have a light yellow hue instead of the regular white color, but it tasted like any other idli only even healthier.

Plum Thokku

I got a bag of plums from the store and it was so sour I thought I had to just throw it away. I was wondering what to do with it and suddenly remembered Cilantro’s tomatilo thokku recipe.

Tomatiloes are also very sour than the regular tomatoes. So I decided to make plum thokku substituting plums for the tomatilo. I used 4 plums.

Wash it, cut them in half feeling the pit inside (like you would cut an avocado) and twist it so you would get two halves. Remove the pit and cut each half into cubes like you would cut a tomato and prepare it in the same way you would make tomato thokku. If you don’t have a recipe follow Cilantro’s directions.

Nice tangy pickle is ready in no time. It cooks just like tomatoes and no need to remove the skin.

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  1. Whole Cornmeal Idli Recipe |

    […] Chickpeas Idlis […]

  2. Devi

    Hi Madhu, In case we have the uncanned chickpeas bought from a grocery store, do we have to soak them overnight and boil them?

    I would guess so Devi. Assuming you are soaking the beans overnight, I’m not sure if adding a paste of uncooked chickpeas to the idli batter would taste good. But idli batter is nothing but a batter of soaked and uncooked rice and urad daal. So it may be good too. I’m unable to give you a clear cut answer without trying it.

  3. Meena

    We tried your colorful Idli’s. it came out great. Thanks!!!
    i have a doubt.
    is the chick pea paste is added to regular idli batter?

    Thanks for trying the recipe Meena. Yes the chickpea paste is added to regular idli batter.

  4. Sirisha

    Hi Madhu,

    I came across through your website on Indira’s blog and really liked your recipes. I would like to try this recipe and am wondering if we should add the chickpea paste before fermenting the idli batter or after fermenting?


    Sirisha, I added the chickpeas paste to the idli batter before fermenting. I think it’s not clear in the post. I will change it. Thanks.

  5. Soma

    U always amaze me with your creativity! I was planning to soak some .. for idli batter today.I’ll add the chana this time. That pickle is calling my name:-D I make sweet plum chutneys .. bengali style..

  6. Kay

    The plum pickle looks so good, Madhuram! Plums are fruits that I can eat, I will give it a try soon.

    It tastes good too and like tomato pickle. My friend couldn’t tell that it was plums.

  7. vandana rajesh

    the idlis look gr8 and the chickpea addition sure make them healthier

  8. Lavi

    Intresting Modification! Will try this Power Packed Idli soon..

  9. Bharti

    Good idea!

  10. A&N

    I love the plum thokku. Whatte colour!

  11. Cham

    Plum thokku sounds pretty interesting, delicous way to eat idlis

  12. Uma

    wow, nice idea to add chick peas in idlis. I couldn’t make the difference too! Plum thokku is a nice idea too! looks so good and yum! 🙂

  13. meeso

    Nice looking plate!

  14. DivyA Vikram

    That is a lovely idea!!Great creativity Madhu..

  15. Priya Sriram

    Hi Madhu, I have shared an award with you in my blog.. Pls accept it 🙂

    Wow.. you wow me again and again!! Will def. try it soon! 🙂

  16. Madhu / Ruchii

    Great recipe, including chickpea to idly batter. Looks soft and healthy.

  17. priya

    This is a neat idea.I add a cup of ragi powder to the idli batter to make a healthy version.Off course it has a differnt hue…!

  18. Cilantro

    Thank you Madhuram for the link to my thokku recipe. I will try your version with plums too. Most of the time I end up buying sour ones and this is going to be an easy option to finish them off.

  19. Priya

    Nice innovative recipe.

  20. Anjali Damerla


    What a fantastic idea to use chickpeas in the idli batter!

    I also liked the plum pickle idea.
    Just last week, my kids made me buy a huge amount of plums from the Farmer’s Market. Giving them a ” Pickle Makeover” would be a yummy idea 🙂

  21. Priya

    I tried idlies with sprouted chickpeas, none at home like stopped trying idlieswith chickpeas, urs looks delicious..plum thokku looks terrific, very innovative Madhu!

  22. SS

    Nice combination

  23. Asha

    YUM!! Lovely combo, I left a comment there as well but I would rather come here to your home to look at the yummy dishes! 🙂

    What the heck happened in AI? Why bother with the whole show if they put him back again? Well..2 will be out next week, hope it’s Lil and somebody else! 😛

    Have a great weekend, will be very warm here! 🙂

  24. Lubna Karim

    Oh wow really a yummy twist…Very innovative and yum.

  25. Parita

    Wow plum pickle that sounds interesting, the picture looks mouth watering 🙂