Left-Over Recipe| Chinese-style Idli

What do we do when we have loads of idlis left over, and are bored of the usual idli upma? We look up some food blogs and make a variation of this chilli idli fry. And then, we decide to call it Chinese-style Idli. πŸ™‚

Here’s how I made it…

Ingredients (makes enough for one person, as a stand-alone breakfast, lunch or dinner item):

4 leftover idlis, cut up into cubes

4 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons of oil

2 small onions, chopped finely

1 medium-sized capsicum, chopped into large pieces

Salt, to taste

Chilli powder, to taste

A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely

2 tablespoons green chilli sauce

4 tablespoons tomato sauce

2 tablespoons soya sauce

A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled


1. Heat the 4 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Drop the idli pieces into the hot oil and saute for a while on a low flame, till they turn crispy on the outside. Keep aside.

2. Grind the ginger and garlic into a paste, in a mixer. Keep aside.

3. Now, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan. Add the ginger-garlic paste and onions and fry for a minute or two.

4. Add the capsicum and saute for about 5 minutes, on a low flame. Do not let them get overly cooked; let them retain their shape and crunch.

5. Now, add the soya sauce, tomato sauce, green chilli sauce, and salt and red chilli powder to taste. Mix well.

6. Now, add the sauteed idli pieces. Mix well, ensuring that all the idli pieces are evenly coated with the sauce.

7. Switch off the gas. Garnish with the chopped fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.


1. Be careful while adding the salt. The idli has some salt in it already, and soya sauce is salty too.

2. If you want the dish to be slightly more sweet, you could add a spoonful of sugar while adding the sauces and salt.

3. Be careful with the red chilli powder, as well. Since you are already adding 2 tablespoons of green chilli sauce, adding an overdose of red chilli powder will make the dish too spicy to eat.

4. The original recipe calls for the use of red chilli sauce, but I didn’t have it. I used green chilli sauce, instead.

5. The original recipe also calls for deep frying of the chopped idli. I didn’t want to do that, so I used the above method. Not too healthy, but healthier than deep frying, at least. A middle way to appease the taste buds and not gain a whole load of weight in the process. πŸ™‚

6. I am sure adding spring onions would have taken the taste of the dish to another level altogether. I didn’t use them, since I didn’t have any.

7. Use leftover idlis to make this dish – they’re easier to cut into pieces and saute. If you want to use fresh idlis, refrigerate them for a couple of hours before you cut them up.

Now, I am curious. What do YOU do with the leftover idlis, in your kitchen?

15 thoughts on “Left-Over Recipe| Chinese-style Idli

  1. I make Idli upma…crumble idli…green chilly onion, curry leaves sautΓ© and add the crumbled idli..top it off with molaga podi. Love it..

    This sounds very interesting..will remember for next time..

    loving all your food discoveries..wish I was in Blore to try out all these..

    Love to your daughter



    1. @Bhavani

      Thank you so much, Bhavani! πŸ™‚ Glad you are liking my foodie posts.

      I make idli upma the same way as you do. When I get bored of that, I try to make some variation – for instance, this Chinese-style idlis. πŸ™‚


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