Fried idlis are a great way to use up those extra idlis that you may have leftover from a previous meal. This easy recipe transforms old idlis into a delicious evening snack or a quick breakfast. The fermentation process that breaks down the rice in the idli batter results in soft and spongy idlis that are perfect for frying. You can either deep fry the idlis or use an air fryer to get a crispy and golden brown finish. To give the fried idlis an extra burst of flavor, try adding some South Indian spices, such as red chili powder, chaat masala, or Pav Bhaji masala powder.
Fried idlis popular dishes in South Indian cuisine and have become a staple in many South Indian homes.You can serve hot and crispy fried idlis with coconut chutney or green chutney on the side for a true South Indian experience.
Masala idlis, on the other hand, are a more elaborate version of the regular idli. You can make them by stuffing the idli with a spicy masala filling. You can also make them by stir-frying regular idlis with masalas. The masala often consists of vegetables and spices like ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder, and green chillies. You can serve masala idlis with sambar, potato masala, and chutney for a delicious breakfast or snack.
Idlis have become popular not only in South India, but also in other parts of the country. They have even adapted to Chinese recipes such as idli manchurian and chili idli. The use of soy sauce and other Chinese spices gives these dishes a unique flavor and shows the diversity and adaptability of Indian cuisine.
History of Masala and Fried Idlis
The origins of the idli can be traced back to ancient India, where it was a popular breakfast dish. South Indian households make idlis from a fermented batter of ground rice and black lentils, and steam it to form a soft and spongy cake. Fermenting the batter, originally using natural sources of bacteria, gives the idli its characteristic texture and flavor.
Ingredients For Fried Idlis and Masala Idlis
These include ingredients like rice and urad dal idli batter or sometimes rava batter (semolina) that form the foundation of the dish. The idli batter gives the fried idlis a soft and spongy texture.
Spices and seasonings
These include ingredients like mustard seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves, red chili powder, sambar powder, and garam masala powder that add flavor and aroma to the dish. These spices and seasonings contribute to the cultural significance of the dish and give it a distinct South Indian character.
These include ingredients like green peas, bell peppers, and green chillies that add flavor and nutrition to the dish. The vegetables also contribute to the texture and appearance of the dish. However, since we are not making masala stuffed idlis but a stirfry, so we will only add onions, ginger, curry leaves and lemon.
These include ingredients like lemon juice and coconut chutney that add flavor and balance to the dish.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Fried Idlis:
Cut the leftover idli lengthwise into thin slices.
Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the idli slices to the pan.
Fry the idli until they are golden and crisp, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Remove the fried idli from the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Finally, sprinkle a pinch of salt and chaat masala over the fried idli.
Serve the fried idli with coconut chutney or green chutney on the side. Enjoy!
Step By Step Instructions For Masala Idlis
In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil, once heated add mustard Seeds.
Once the mustard seeds start to pop add a few curry leaves, add chopped ginger.
Then add 1 chopped onion, and cook onion until soft.
Now cut up the pre cooked idlis into pieces.
Add Idlis to the onion mixture.
Then add salt, dry mango powder, and red chili powder, add 2 tbsp grated coconut, if using.
Mix the idlis with masala until they turn nice and golden.
Once they are crispy, add 1 tbsp coriander leaves
Mix everything well together.
Before serving add lemon and serve.
Enjoy them hot with a squeeze of lemon and chaat masala.
Serving Suggestions For Fried or Masala Idlis
You can serve fried idlis and masala idlis in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences and the occasion. Here are a few serving suggestions for these dishes.
As a snack
Fried idlis and masala idlis make for a delicious snack that you can be serve at any time of the day. You can serve them as is, or with a side of coconut chutney or green chutney for dipping.
As a breakfast or brunch dish
Fried idlis and masala idlis can be served as part of a South Indian breakfast or brunch spread. They can be accompanied by other dishes like idli upma, idli rava, and idli podi for a complete meal.
As a side dish
Fried idlis and masala idlis can also be served as a side dish with dal fry, sambar and chutney. They can be accompanied by other dishes like idli manchurian and idli pieces in tomato sauce for a more elaborate meal.
As a party appetizer
Fried idlis and masala idlis make for a great party appetizer that can be served with a variety of dips and sauces. You can also try adding some cheese or vegetables to the masala filling to create a more sophisticated version of the dish.
Storage Suggestions For Fried and Masala Idlis
To store fried idlis and masala idlis, follow these steps:
Cool the idlis completely before storing them. If the idlis are still warm, they can release moisture and become soggy when stored.
Place the idlis in an airtight container or resealable bag. This will help to keep the idlis fresh and prevent them from drying out.
Store the idlis in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The idlis can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months, but they may lose some of their texture and flavor when thawed.
To reheat the idlis, place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until they are heated through. You can also heat the idlis in a pan over medium heat until they are warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fried idlis are a variation of the traditional idli that is made by slicing the idli into thin pieces and deep frying them until they are crisp and golden brown.
Masala idlis are a more elaborate version of the regular idli that is made by stuffing the idli with a spicy masala filling made with vegetables and spices.
Yes, you can use fresh idlis to make fried idlis. Simply slice the idlis into thin pieces and follow the same frying instructions as you would for leftover idlis.
Yes, you can use an air fryer to make fried idlis. Simply place the idli slices in the air fryer and cook them at a high temperature until they are crisp and golden brown.
Yes, you can add vegetables like green peas, bell peppers, and green chillies to the masala filling for masala idlis. This will add flavor and nutrition to the dish.
Yes, you can freeze fried idlis and masala idlis for up to 2-3 months. However, they may lose some of their texture and flavor when thawed.
Yes, you can make masala idlis using rava (semolina) instead of idli batter. This will give the idlis a crunchy texture and a different flavor from the traditional version.
Yes, you can use soy sauce in the masala for masala idlis to give them a unique flavor. However, this will also change the cultural significance of the dish and give it a more Chinese influence.
Yes, you can make masala idlis in an air fryer by stuffing the idlis with the masala filling and cooking them in the air fryer until they are heated through.
It is difficult to provide an accurate estimate of the number of calories in fried idlis as it depends on the size of the idlis, the amount of oil used for frying, and the type of oil used. In general, fried idlis are likely to be higher in calories compared to regular steamed idlis as they are deep fried in oil. A rough estimate is that one medium-sized fried idli may contain around 150-200 calories. However, it is always a good idea to check the nutrition information on the idli batter packaging or consult a nutritionist for a more accurate estimate.
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I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
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