Idli upma is a quick and simple South Indian breakfast made with steamed idlis, spices, curry leaves and peanuts. This 10 mins super quick dish is a great way to use up your surplus idlis. I had always wondered why would anyone want to make Idli upma instead of enjoying hot idli with sambar or chutney. Because that’s how my family always loved idlis. Since I never cook excess foods, there is almost never leftovers in my home. So I had never made this.
Recently I heard my mom say she made idli upma because she was bored with the regular idlis & it turned to be super delicious with some lemon juice squeezed over it. So sometime ago I made some extra idlis only to try my mom’s Idli upma recipe and yes it turned out super delicious. Since then I have been making this often.
Chilli idli, Idli fry, Idli manchurian, Masala idli, Kheema Idli are the most common ways to use up left overs. But this Idli upma is the quickest that one can make under 10 mins. This can be enjoyed for a evening snack or quick breakfast.
How to make idli upma
1. Crumble the idlis. For this recipe, we need cooled and preferably refrigerated or frozen idlis work well. Idli made using rice and not idli rava taste best for this. I have used about 6 large idli. I use this Idli recipe.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin, when the mustard begins to crackle, add chana dal & urad dal. Dals lend a good aroma to the upma. You can also skip them.
3. Fry peanuts until golden. I prefer them in any of my upma recipes, if you do not like you may skip. But without dals and peanuts upma will turn out bland.
4. Add chili, ginger, curry leaves and onions. You can skip ginger if you do not like. Saute for 2 to 3 mins until the onions turn slightly transparent.
5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp water to the pan. This step brings out the flavor of onions, curry leaves and green chili like in the regular rava upma. Water also helps to soften the chana dal and urad dal.
6. Sprinkle hing and turmeric. You can skip turmeric, we use turmeric (atleast a bit) for all savory foods, so used it here.
7. Add crumbled idli, coconut and coriander leaves. Coconut adds a different taste to the idli upma.
8. Mix everything well and sprinkle salt if needed. If your idlis do not have a slight sour hint, you can also add a tsp of lemon juice. Cover and cook on a low heat until the mixture turns hot.
Serve Idli upma as breakfast or snack.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 6 Idli
- 2 to 3 tsps oil
- ¼ to ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin / jeera
- 1 ½ tsp chana dal
- 1 ½ tsp urad dal
- 2 tbsps Peanuts or cashew nuts
- 1 pinch Hing / asafoetida
- 1 onion small to medium , thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 to 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies chopped or slit
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- Salt if needed
- 1 tbsp Coriander leaves
- 2 to 4 tbsps grated coconut fresh or frozen (optional)
- Firstly to make idli upma, crumble the refrigerated idlis. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and allow cumin and mustard to crackle.
- Next add dals, peanuts and fry until the peanuts are golden.
- Add onions, curry leaves, green chilies and ginger.
- Saute just for 1 to 2 mins until the onions turn slightly pale.
- Sprinkle 1 table spoon water and add turmeric and hing.
- Add the crumbled idlis, coconut and coriander leaves. Mix everything well.
- Lower the flame and cook covered until the crumbled idlis turn hot.
- Adjust salt as needed.
- Serve idli upma hot.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes