Inspired by this post by Shankari, I wanted to try my hand at making Idli manchurian and it came out really well. It's also guilt-free unlike it's deep-fried counterpart: Gobi Manchurian, but still satisfies manchurian-cravings. Shankari mentioned that she baked the idlis and that is what initially drew me to the recipe. I cut the idlis into smaller pieces and tossed them with some chilli powder before spraying some oil and baking them. They are yummy just out of the oven, even before I proceed to make a manchurian of them... I tossed some of the pieces with idli milagai podi and ate them just like that...
There was a little disaster associated with this - I had set some yogurt that afternoon and had it in the oven so it would be warm but totally forgot about it being in when I preheated the oven to bake these idli pieces. When I was ready to pop the idli in I was so horrified to see the vessel with the milk + curd concoction!! I quickly pulled it out but damage had already been done. It hadn't set sufficient but there was some whey that separated out and it was at an intermediary stage of paneer... or so I concluded. In an effort to salvage it, I proceeded to start on a slightly laborious process and something sweet and delectable came out of this disaster :) Will post that later.
Coming back to the Idli manchurian recipe, I did it pretty much like the cauliflower manchurian.
Idlis - 8
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Onions - 1 small or half medium, chopped into 1 inch pieces
Green & Red Bell pepper - about 1/2 cup, cut into 1 inch cubes
Spring Onions - 3, chopped with white and green parts separated
Green Chillies - 3, chopped finely
Ginger - 1 tsp, minced
Garlic - 1-2 tsp, minced
Light Sodium Soysauce - 1 tbsp
(Sriracha) Chilli sauce - 1 tsp, or to taste
Ketchup - 1 to 2 tsp
Cornflour - 1 tbsp (mixed with 1/4 cup water)
Oil - 2 tsp + enough to spray on idlis.
Salt & Pepper - to taste
1) Preheat oven to 375F. Cut idlis into small pieces (I made about 9 pieces with each idli). Toss with some chilli powder and spread on a baking sheet, coat with some oil spray. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or till golden and crispy.
2) Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic, spring onion white and onions. Cook till they are translucent.
3) Add the bell peppers and little salt and sauté till they are crisp-tender.
4) Push the veggies to the edges of the pan and in the middle pour the remaining 1 tsp oil. In this oil, toss in the sauces (soy, chilli & Ketchup) with a sprinkle of pepper and salt, as required. When they are heated through, toss with the veggies and add the baked idli pieces.
5) Now add the cornflour mixed with water to this and toss for a few more minutes till it all comes together and gets a slight glaze.
6) Garnish with spring onion tops and serve hot!