Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Idli Upma

Though I was not a fan of idlis as a kid, I simply loved idli upma. There was something about this crumbly, seasoned delicacy that got my attention. There are a couple of variations to this and was primarily used as a method to use up leftover idlis. My paati (grandmother) would just mix the crumbled idlis with idli milagai podi and do a quick seasoning and saute this mixture. Other times she would toss in some chopped onion, g. chillies and skip the podis. What I do is like the best of both worlds... i have everything in my version.. the onion, g. chillies and the Idli Milagai podi :)

What I've observed is that, it's extremely easy to crumble the idlis if they are refrigerated and cold. Do not reheat them before crumbling.


Idlis - 6, crumbled
Onion - 1 medium or preferably Shallots - 7 or 8, chopped finely
G. Chillies - 2 or 3, slit
Idli Milagai podi - to taste (optional)
Carrot - 1 small, cut into small cubes or shredded (optional)
Oil - 2 to 3 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dhal - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Asafoetida - a pinch (optional)
Salt - to taste

1) Heat oil in a pan and season with mustrd seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves and the asofoetida.

2) Toss in the chopped onions, g. chillies and the carrot if using and saute till the onions turn a light brown.

3) Now add the crumbled idlis, salt and idli milagai podi and stir this mixture for a few minutes, till they combine well and the idlis get bit fried in the process.

Tasty Idli upma is now ready... it's hit at home, always.


  1. Amma's told me abt this. Looks great and a wonderful way to recycle leftover idlis! :)

  2. Great one! We do the same too. Easy out out to get those left over idlis used :-)

  3. Amma made this for dinner if we hd lots of idlis leftover. I used to sprinkle sugar over this and devour them.

  4. What I have noticed is that if the idlis are hard and refrigitated, it is difficult to crumble them up. I love idli upma too. My mom makes it with onions and MIL without onions.

  5. I do cook this always it tasts soo yummy

  6. I used to hate idlis too... my mom used to convert left-over idlis into this spicy treat, and I never suspected that this came from idlis! :) Thanks for the recipe.. :)

  7. i usually give it one turn in the mixie to get it crumbled....
    Our parents and grandparents are real clever aren't they....they've found so many innovative ways to avoid wasting food!!!

  8. Hi have converted idlis to a very yummy and quick recipe!! :)

  9. Just to make idli upma..i prepare extra idli's. i add garlic to it. if the idli is not sour i also add tomatoes.

  10. hey lavanya, you know what we share the same tastes. When i was younger, i never liked idli's and mom used to make these yummy idli upma with those onions and the crunchy udat dal and i used to gobble them up. The same scene is going on in my household, the 3 boys of my house dont much care for idli;s but still end up making them, eventually they end up for the next day breakfast for idli upma :)

  11. oh! i too hated idlies when i was a kid but loved idli upma. i guess all the seasonings and aroma is the reason;) looks lovely lav.

  12. They look so good...will try and let u know

  13. I love Idlis but it doesn't ferment nicely in Winter. Idli Upma, never tried it, busy eating Idlies all this time!:D

  14. hey, idli upma sounds good! i like idli's a lot, never tire of them :)

  15. Aha, the best of both that's one yummy looking upma! :)

  16. I loves idli with sambar when i was small. I used to squash my idli in the sambar to the dishust of mt two elder sisters ( they used to sat mommy she is busy smashing up her idlis in her plate)
    I've never ate this but can imagine it taste great

  17. I think I'd like this,Laavanya:-) But first, I'd have to make the damn idlis and I'm so not an idli-person...

    P.S. I'm so glad u did not mention V-day anywhere!;-)

  18. Looks yummy Lavanya! We do the same too! Good use of left overs!

  19. same here..was never fond of idlis as a kid...but idli upma used to be a treat!!

  20. We always used to fight for the idli upma at home. Everyone will love it:) Idli powder (millagai Podi) adding is different.

  21. Laav, I wouldn't get idlys to make upma, since am a fan of it all finishes as my bf, lunch and and.. :D So have to make idlis for making upma for me..:)

  22. Hey laavanya... u know i loved idli upma more than idlies before marriage. But now i make idlies once in a month and I dont get the chance of making upma. I really crave for this and would like to take a spoon from ur bowl.

  23. Hi Lavanya... This is my fav.... great recipe for leftover idly.... Makes me to remember abt my school days...

  24. I want to taste this but I want someone to make it for me :)

  25. A handy tiffen laavanya. Nice. Viji

  26. I found your blog through Susan's I love legumes event and have enjoyed browsing through some of your recipes - hope to try out some at some stage as they look very interesting - thanks!

  27. Wow....this is a nice recipe...I just put some asafoetida, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in oil and add teh crumbled idlis...But this one is a great combination...I am making this today :)...Thanks for the recipe

  28. Makes me want to make some idlis just to have the leftovers for this! :)

  29. It sure is Kalai. Give it a shot.

    Definitely Seema.

    Shankari.. that sounds just like how my husband has them.

    Really red chillies? For me, it's the exact opposite.. well, whatever works :)

    True Sagari. Thanks.

    Sig... i know what you mean :)

    Jayashree, that's a neat trick. They sure are brilliant.

    Thank you Sugarcraft.

    Lavanya.. garlic and tomatoes are a new twist.. will try it sometime.

    Archana.. thanks! My daughter likes this too :)

    Sia, i'm realizing that quite a few of us were like that.. :)

    Thank you EC. Keep me posted..

    Asha, when I keep the oven light on it works quite well.. sometimes I preheat it to 150F and then switch off the oven before putting the idlis in (during winter).

    Richa, nowadays I hardly find enough leftover to make these.. so I have to consciously make extra

    Thank you Namratha.

    Happy cook.. I used to squash my idlis into sambar too.. It tastes heavenly - i agree.

    Thanks Swaroopa.

    TBC, I understand. Convince H to make a batch so you can try this :)

    Thank you Uma and superchef.

    Cham.. the idli podi gives it a nice touch.

    I know what you mean Seena.. i have to make extra just to get here.. :)

    Prema, be my guest... :) Thanks.

    Thank you Sukanya.

    Cynthia, I'd be glad to be the one if you could just drop by.

    Definitely Viji. Thanks.

    Johanna, thank you so much for dropping by and your sweet words.! Hope you like them when you get a chance to try.

    Thank you Supriya.. do let me know when you try it.

    Linda.. i get the exact same feeling sometimes. Thanks.

  30. I was not a big fan of this dish when I was a kid. But many foods that been on that list once are now my favs now.
    I cook it the same way too but it's only for my hubby.Maybe it's time to try eat it.

  31. Hi Laavanya,

    I've blogged your Idli Upma as a model recipe in the 1001 Quickie Breakfast cookbook at

    /Thanks for the detailed recipe



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