Left-Over Recipe| Upma From Left-Over Idlis, My Style

Whenever we have idlis left over at home, idli upma is sure to be on the menu the next day. I know, idli upma is not something new in Indian households, but every household has a different way of making it. I make it in a few different ways too. There is one particular recipe for idli upma that I follow quite regularly, though, which I have arrived at after a lot of trials and tribulations. And this special recipe of mine is just what I am here to tell you about, today. πŸ™‚


Here’s how I make the idli upma:

Ingredients (serves 2):

8 medium-sized idlis, left at room temperature for at least 8-10 hours, crumbled (If you have freshly made idlis and would like to make upma, leave them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, so that they get harder and easier to crumble)

2 green chillies, slit length-wise

A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons oil

A pinch of asafoetida

2 teaspoons of mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

3-4 tablespoons dosa milagai podi (commonly called ‘gunpowder’ – we use a pretty mild home-made podi, so 3-4 tablespoons of the same is fine; if you use a spicier version of the podi, adjust proportion accordingly)

Salt, to taste (be careful with the salt as the idlis and dosa milagai podi already contain salt)

2 tablespoons sugar (we like the addition of sugar in our idli upma – you can skip it if you don’t think you will like it)

Red chilli powder, to taste (I add about 1 teaspoon, but if you think the spiciness of the green chillies and dosa milagai podi is enough, you can skip this entirely)


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  2. Now, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida to the pan and let it sizzle for a couple of seconds.
  3. Then, add the finely chopped onions and green chillies to the pan. Fry on a medium flame till the onions turn brown.
  4. At this stage, add the crumbled idlis, salt and red chilli powder to taste, sugar, turmeric powder and dosa milagai podi. Mix well.
  5. Let everything cook on a medium flame for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  6. When the upma is almost done, add the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  7. Serve immediately.


  1. You could substitute the fresh coriander leaves with torn curry leaves.
  2. You could add a dash of lemon juice at the end, after the upma is ready, mix it well and serve hot.
  3. If you have paruppu podi handy, you could use that in place of the dosa milagai podi. You would need to increase the amount of red chilli powder you add in that case, though, because paruppu podi is usually bland.

I hope you will try out this version of idli upma soon! Whenever you do, don’t forget to tell me how it turned out!

What do you do with left-over idlis? How do you make idli upma at home?

ETA on March 31, 2016: Apparently, yesterday was World Idli Day. How fitting that I chose to write about idlis yesterday on my blog, without even knowing the fact!

10 thoughts on “Left-Over Recipe| Upma From Left-Over Idlis, My Style

  1. Hi, I make a lot of Vaghareli Idli mentioned above and also loved the chinese version which my MIL made once. Will try your version soon. Can you give me the recipe for gunpowder?


    1. @Sneha

      Hey there!

      I am afraid I can’t help you with the recipe, because I have never made gunpowder at home myself. It is my mother and MIL who keep me stocked. πŸ™‚ The day I learn how to make it at home, I will post the recipe here.

      That said, gunpowder aka dosa milagai podi is commonly available in stores across India.


  2. Hi TGND, I loved your recipe of “Idli Upma”! We usually cut the leftover idlis into little cubes and temper them with a little oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves… that’s it and yes a bit of garnishing with coriander leaves! It’s called “Vaghareli Idli” in most of the Gujrati households..I need to try your recipe soon now πŸ™‚


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