Spicy, Rice Idlis (Sanna Khotto, Sanna Idli)

Spicy, Rice Idlis (Sanna Khotto, Sanna Idli)

Sanna khotto are a Konkani delicacy. A rice batter is ground, it is then mixed with veggies like cabbage and onions, they are then steamed in jackfruit leaves baskets to make delicious sanna khotto. These spicy, rice idlis are served hot as a side dish for lunch, dinner with lots of coconut oil on top. These idlis aren’t served as breakfast. :-)

Tiny baskets are made by weaving jackfruit leaves and they are called khotto in Konkani. The spicy, rice idlis steamed in these khotto are called sanna khotto in Konkani. These idlis are also steamed in banana leaves are called sanna muddo in Konkani. These days people like us in cities who don’t have access to jackfruit leaves or banana leaves very often, can steam these spicy, rice idlis in idli moulds. We then call them sanna idli. 

Sanna khotto/sanna idli/sanna muddo are made using various veggies - cabbage, onions, fresh bamboo, pickled bamboo shoots, thunder mushrooms, tomato & onions, cabbage & onions are added to a spicy batter to make yummm idlis that taste delicious steaming hot with coconut oil on top. Taste great on cooling down too.

Leafy greens like drumstick leaves, water leaf spinach, colocasia leaves, amaranthus, basella etc are used to flavour idlis too. Leaves are chopped and added to the batter alone or along with finely chopped onions.

Here's the recipe to make cabbage, onion sanna idli:


  • 1 cup rice
  • 5-6 dried red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • Coconut oil for serving

Serves: 2

Preparation Method: 35 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Soak rice for a minimum of half an hour.
  2. Grind rice with tamarind, salt, dried red chillies into a coarse paste using as little water as possible. We need a dry batter.
  3. To this batter add finely chopped cabbage, onions and mix well. 
  4. Add this batter into idli moulds. Fill the moulds with batter upto about 1/2 - 3/4th of the cup.
  5. Steam them for 20-25 minutes until they cook through.
  6. Serve the steamed idlis hot with lots of oil on top as a side dish for lunch, dinner with rice and dalithoy.

Side Note: You can make these idlis with just onions, with just drumstick leaves, drumstick leaves and onions, with just chopped colocasia leaves (alva paan in Konkani). They all taste great!

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: sanna khotto, sanna idli, rice idlis, Konkani cuisine, Konkani recipes, Konkani dish, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, alva panna sanna khotto/idli