Chilli Idli

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Here’s the ultimate way of using the leftover idlis at your home and creating a yummy and satisfying Indo-Chinese dish with the. This Chilli Idli is also a vegan recipe, is super easy to make, with all your basic ingredients and gets done quickly too. Chopped idli pieces tossed in an umami sauce, make for a delicious snack.

chilli idli served in a ceramic bowl with a spoon in it and text layovers.

Idli is an important snack or breakfast dish, not just South Indian households in India, but also in a lot of homes in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the Konkan region as well. Given my South Indian roots, it is also a popular choice at my home too. This spicy Chilli Idli is a super tasty way of using leftover idlis.

At times I steam extra idlis, just to make this recipe of chilli idli. Since I had made this only for myself, I have made it spicy. So this recipe serves just one portion. Though you can even double the recipe. This recipe also goes well in tiffin box. So if preparing for kids, then skip or reduce the green chilies.

This is a spicy chilli idli recipe. I have not deep fried the idlis and have pan fried them. I always pan fry the idlis while preparing idli chilly. If you want you can deep fry the idlis. 

Try this recipe of Chilli Idli with leftover idlis or fresh idlis and you’ll know how amazing it is. Other than being scrumptious and simple, it brings the much-needed change in flavors in the usual everyday meals, without being overtly difficult to make as well.

A few more recipes where you can use leftover idlis are:

  1. Idli chaat
  2. Masala idli
  3. Idli upma 
  4. Fried Idli
  5. Idli manchurian

You can use mini idlis or slice the idlis in cubes and then use. I used a mix of both mini idlis and chopped idlis. The recipe is quick and gets done within 20 minutes.

Serve idli chilly as a starter snack or a brunch.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Chilli Idli

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Then add 2 cups chopped idlis or mini idlis.

idli to make chilli idli recipe

2. Mix the idlis with the oil. Then on a low to medium heat, begin to pan fry the idlis.

idli to make chilli idli recipe

3. Keep on tossing and turning them at intervals to evenly fry them.

idli to make chilli idli recipe

4. Pan frying idlis take some more time than deep frying.

idli for making chilli idli recipe

5. Fry the idlis till they are crisp and golden.

idli for making idli chilli recipe

6. Remove them on a plate. Also remove any of the fried idli crumbs from the plate.

idli for making idli chilli recipe

Making chilli idli

7. Then heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan. When the oil becomes hot, then add 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger and 1.5 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies.

making idli chilli recipe

8. Stir fry on a medium-low or medium heat for some seconds.

making idli chilli recipe

9. Then add ¼ cup chopped onions or spring onions whites.

onions for making idli chilli recipe

10. Stir fry till the onions turn translucent.

onions for making chilli idli recipe

11. Then add ¼ cup sliced capsicum.

capsicum for making chilli idli recipe

12. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, till the capsicum is half cooked.

capsicum for making chilli idli recipe

13. Then add ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder.

making chilli idli recipe

14. Also add ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon sugar or add as required and salt as per taste. Do add less salt as soy sauce, red chilli sauce will also be added which also have salt in them.

making chilli idli recipe

15. Mix very well.

preparing chilli idli recipe

16. Next add 1 teaspoon soy sauce or add as required.

preparing chilli idli recipe

17. Then add ½ teaspoon red chilli sauce or add as required.

preparing chilli idli recipe

18. Mix the sauces very well with the rest of the stir fried ingredients.

preparing chilli idli recipe

19. Add the pan fried idlis.

chilli idli recipe

20. Stir and mix the idlis very well with the rest of the mixture. Then switch off the heat.

chilli idli recipe, idli chilli recipe

21. Serve chilli idli hot or warm as a snack. If you want, then you can garnish with some chopped coriander leaves or spring onion greens while serving.

chilli idli recipe

If you are looking for more Idli varieties then do check:

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chilli idli recipe, idli chilli recipe

Chilli Idli

Spicy indo Chinese recipe of chilli idli fry. A tasty way to use leftover idlis.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Cuisine Indo Chinese
Course Snacks
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 1 person
Units

Ingredients

  • 1.75 to 2 cups chopped idli
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1.5 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped green chillies , add as required
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon sugar or add as required
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or add as required
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli sauce or add as required
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onions or spring onions
  • ¼ cup sliced capsicum (bell pepper)
  • salt as required
  • vinegar – add as required (optional)
  • some chopped coriander leaves or spring onion greens, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

pan frying idlis

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Then add 2 cups chopped idlis or mini idlis.
  • Mix the idlis with the oil first. Then on a low to medium flame, begin to pan fry the idlis.
  • Keep on tossing & turning them at intervals to evenly fry them.
  • Fry the idlis till they are crisp and golden.
  • Remove them in a plate. Also remove any of the fried idi crumbs in the plate.

making chilli idli

  • Then heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan.
  • When the oil becomes hot, then add 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger and 1.5 to 2 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies.
  • Stir fry on a medium-low or medium flame for some seconds.
  • Then add ¼ cup chopped onions or spring onions whites. stir fry till the onions turn translucent.
  • Then add ¼ cup sliced capsicum. stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, till the capsicum is half cooked.
  • Then add ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder, ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon sugar & salt as per taste. do add less salt as soy sauce, red chilli sauce will also be added which also have salt.
  • Mix very well. Next add 1 teaspoon soy sauce & ½ teaspoon red chilli sauce. 
  • Mix the sauces very well with the rest of the stir fried ingredients.
  • Add the pan fried idlis.
  • Stir and mix the idlis very well with the rest of the mixture. Then switch off the flame.
  • Serve chilli idli hot or warm as a snack.

Notes

  • Reduce or skip the green chilies as per your preference.
  • You can also use fresh idlis. But let them come to room temperature before pan frying them.
  • You can shallow fry or deep fry the idlis if you want.
  • Recipe can bed doubled or tripled. 

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This Chilli Idli post from the archives first published in November 2016 has been updated and republished on January 2023.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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15 Comments

  1. Hi Dassana,
    I really like you website a lot.
    Apart from the fact that your recipes always result in great food, I love how neatly everything is explained, first the ingredient list and quantity, then the method again with ingredient quantity and finally the pictures.
    It’s my goto page for all food 🙂
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Ritu, thanks a lot. Glad to read your feedback on the presentation. The recipe card with ingredient list and instructions in this post and on some more post is before the step by step photo guide. However in many other recipe posts, it is after the step by step photo guide is here. Just thought of letting you know. Thanks again and most welcome.

  2. Hi dassana,
    We tried this for lunch today with leftover refrigerated idlis & it turned out so delicious. Its taste was along the lines of scrumptious restaurant snacks. Yummy yet quick to prepare- hence a perfect snack recipe.
    Thank you5 stars

    1. Welcome Ruchi. Glad to know that you liked this chilli idli recipe. Thanks for sharing this positive feedback.

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