Idli Masala| How To Use Leftover Idlis

What do you do when you have a few idlis left over? I usually end up using them the next day to make Idli Upma or Chinese-Style Idli. Sometimes, I go ahead and make Idli Masala – a delicious confection spiced with pav bhaji masala, loaded with veggies, served with a generous dose of cheese.

Here’s how to use leftover idlis to make some delish Idli Masala, my way.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  1. 4 day-old idlis
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. Red chilli powder, to taste (optional)
  5. 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  6. About 1-1/2 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, or to taste
  7. 1 tablespoon oil
  8. 1 medium-sized onion
  9. 1 small capsicum
  10. 1 small carrot
  11. 2-3 green chillies
  12. 1 cube Amul processed cheese
  13. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  14. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  15. 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  16. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (til)
  17. A dash of lemon juice, or to taste
  18. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves


  1. Crumble the idlis. Keep aside.
  2. Now, we will prepare the veggies to use in the Idli Masala. Peel the onion and chop finely. Chop the capsicum finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Peel the carrot and grate it medium-sized. Chop the coriander finely. Keep aside.
  3. Grate the cheese finely. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Now, turn the flame to low-medium, and add the cumin, asafoetida, green chillies and sesame seeds. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, ensuring that the ingredients do not burn.
  5. Add the chopped onion and capsicum and the grated carrot to the pan. Cook on medium flame till the vegetables are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch.
  6. Add the crumbled idlis to the pan, along with salt to taste, red chilli powder and sugar (if using) and pav bhaji masala. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  7. Switch off the gas, and add in the lemon juice and the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  8. Transfer the idli masala to serving plates. Serve garnished with grated cheese.


  1. Skip the red chilli powder entirely if you want the idli masala to be only mildly spicy.
  2. You can add in any other veggies of your choice – finely chopped beans, tomato, cabbage, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini would be great additions. Here, I have used just a couple of vegetables that I had handy in my refrigerator.
  3. Use day-old leftover idlis for best results. If you are using freshly made idlis, chill them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before beginning to make this idli masala.
  4. Using the sugar is purely optional, but I would suggest adding it. It gives a lovely, rounded flavour to the idli masala. You can use raw cane sugar instead of refined sugar.
  5. Chana masala or garam masala can be used in place of pav bhaji masala, too.

You like? I hope you will try this recipe for Idli Masala too, and that you will love it as much as we do!


Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Working With Leftovers’.

I’m also sending this post to Fiesta Friday – 221, co-hosted this week by Jenny @ Dragonfly Home Recipes.


18 thoughts on “Idli Masala| How To Use Leftover Idlis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s