Jackfruit Idli (Ponsa Idli)

Jackfruit Idli (Ponsa Idli)

Delicious, sweet idlis made from ripe jackfruits are a must make, every jackfruit season during the summers. Traditionally, jackfruit idlis are steamed in banana leaves, teak leaves for an amazing aroma & taste. Jackfruit idlis are best had steaming hot with loads of ghee on top. They taste great once they cool down too & as time passes. They taste the best after a few hours of making. Jackfruit idlis are also steamed in idli moulds/cups. (if you can't find banana leaves) They are either served for breakfast or as a tea time snack.

A smooth-to-little-coarse batter is ground using rice, ripe jackfruits, grated coconut, jaggery, salt. This thick batter is then placed on a banana/teak leaf & the leaf is folded. Or the batter is added into idli moulds and they're steamed to make delicious sweet jackfruit idlis. Banana & teak leaves impart their smell & flavour to jackfruit idlis.

The same batter is used to make another Udupi, Mangalore delicacy. Delicious jackfruit fritters, called as mulik in Konkani, mulika in Kannada. These sweet jackfruit fritters are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. My mom usually makes a big batch of this jackfruit batter, deep fries some to make delicious jackfruit fritters. She then cooks the remaining batter to make delectable jackfruit idlis.

These sweet jackfruit idlis are called ponsa idli/ponsa muddo in Konkani. Ponosu means jackfruit in Konkani. They're called ponsa muddo if they're steamed in banana leaves or in teak leaves. They're called halasina hannina kadubu in Kannada.

It's usually rainy season, when my mom makes these delicious jackfruit idlis for us at home. It'll be raining heavily outside while we're having steaming hot jackfruit idlis inside. :) What a combo!! Little pleasures of life! :) By then we would have had enough of jackfruits, enough for that jackfruit season, enough jackfruit for that year. And while there's still a surplus of ripe jackfruits to be emptied, that's when my mom would make jackfruit idlis for us. Also, ripe jackfruits by then wouldn't be very sweet, as rain water would have gotten into them. They aren't very delectable then, that's when my mom made these delicious jackfruit idlis out of those jackfruits for us. 

Here's the recipe to make delicious jackfruit idlis. 


  • 15-18 ripe jackfruit pods
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Steaming/cooking time: 20 minutes

Preparation Method:

1. Soak rice grains for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, deseed the ripe jackfruits, finely chop them and keep them aside. Tips on how to chop & prep ripe jackfruit

3. Wash the rice grains well after 30 minutes of soaking and drain out all the water completely.

4. Grind the rice grains into a coarse powder without using any water. Then grind it along with chopped jackfruit, grated coconut, salt, powdered jaggery into a smooth-to-little-coarse paste, without using any water. We need a thick batter.

First grind rice grains a little and then grind it with ripe jackfruit. Or else the rice grains may not breakdown as easily as the jackfruit does.

5. The more jackfruit you add to the batter, the better your idlis will taste in the end.

6. Adjust the amount of jaggery you add according to your palate, depending on how sweet the ripe jackfruits are & also how sweet you would like your idlis to be. The more jaggery you use, the more watery your batter gets.

7. Jaggery & jackfruits on grinding give out enough water content to make a paste. When ripe jackfruit is ground with jaggery, chances are they'll give out excess water & make your batter runny. If your batter gets runny, then add in spoonfuls of semolina (rava, sooji rava - small sized, not chiroti rava) to get the desired thick consistency. The batter has to be thick in the end. Mix in semolina with the batter and allow it to stand for 5 minutes, so that semolina soaks up. Then steam the batter.

8. Transfer a ladle full of batter into idli moulds/cups and steam them for 20 minutes. If you're steaming them in banana leaves or in teak leaves, look for tips below. 

9. Serve piping hot idli's with a big dollop of ghee on top for breakfast or as a tea time snack. I love them once they cool down, especially after a few hours of making. 

If you are steaming the batter in banana leaves:

Please use banana leaves that aren't too tender or are too mature to steam idlis in. They'll be brittle & will tear off. Use medium mature banana leaves, you know this from the texture and size of the leaves.

1. Wash & make rectangle pieces of banana leaf. 

2. Then wilt them over a high flame for few seconds so that they don't snap & tear while folding them. Here's a video I made to help.

3. Add a ladle full of batter in the middle of the banana leaf, spread it a little lengthwise. Fold the banana leaf on 2 sides & place them into the steamer. Here's a video I made to help.

4. Layer them one over the other in a steamer & steam them for 20 minutes. Here's a video I made to help.

My mom used to cut them into tiny pieces & pack them in our lunch box.

If you are using teak leaves: 

Give them a good wash & follow the steps as mentioned above. Teak leaves impart a red colour to idlis. Please use teak leaves that aren't too tender or are too mature to steam idlis in. They'll be brittle & will tear off. Use medium mature teak leaves, you know that from the texture and size of the leaves. Here's a video I made to help.

Steamed jackfruit idlis look like these:

Side Note: 

1. The sweeter your jackfruits are, the better it is. The lesser the jaggery you would have to use in that case. More jaggery you use, the more watery your batter gets. 

2. You can also add chopped cashew pieces to the batter for some crunch, with every bite of idli.

3. From the above batter prepared to make idlis, you can also make some awesome mulik, crispy, sweet fritters. 

4. Don't throw away, store the jackfruit seeds and you can make a yummy side dish (called as bikanda sukke) out of it. 

5. If you liked this recipe and are a jackfruit fan then you might also like ponsa payasu (jackfruit payasam).

A tiny video to help :

Find more Konkani cuisine breakfast recipes here.

Tags: Konkani cuisine, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, Jackfruit idli, Ponsa idli, breakfast, ponsa idli, halasina hannina kadubu, vegan, vegetarian, breakfast, snack, kids breakfast