Chilli Idli/ chinese Chilli Idli

Chilli Idli is a Chinese influenced adaptation of South Indian Idlis. Must have been the result of an innovative experiment with left over Idlis. Sure, it is a great idea if you want an Idli makeover. I was fascinated to see this when Kochumolchechi (my cousin, with magic hands), prepared this dish and wanted to try it out immediately. The result was just awesome. Left over Idlis were transformed completely and with more zest and appeal like in my Fried Idli in Curd. Like other Indo Chinese recipes like Gobi Manchurian, Szechuan chilli chicken, Chilli Fish, Honey Chilli Chicken, Fried Rice, Chicken noodles, Garlic Fried rice, Chili Paneer or Soya Manchurian, this is also a crowd puller.

Deep frying is a concern though because of health issues, but once in a while indulging in fried goodies is fine and to make sure you don’t over indulge, make small quantities. Another option is to tawa fry the Idlis in little oil. I have tried both versions and let me tell you that I liked the deep fried recipe the best. Another version is using batter fried Idlis. You can mix flour and cornflour like in other Chilli recipes and deep fry or use rice powder and chilli mix batter for making crispy fried idlis. I have not tried it yet, will try and let you know. Chilli idlis are most enjoyed alone, like a snack or appetizer. So keep those left over Idlis in the fridge, and we will transform it within no time. Please check how to make Soft Idlis for making Idlis. You need to refrigerate them for better results. Shall we start?

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


Idli: 4 nos.
Onion: 1 – 2 nos
Ginger: Small piece
Garlic: 6 cloves
Green Chilli: 2 nos.
Capsicum/ Bell Pepper: 1 no. (small or half)
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
Soy Sauce (Dark): 1 tbsp
Tomato Sauce: 1 tsp
Red Chilli Sauce: 1 tsp
Sugar: a pinch
Corn Flour: 1 tsp
Water: ½ cup
Spring Onions: little


Keep left over Idlis in Fridge for some time till cold. Cut into small squares. Deep fry in oil immediately till golden brown and keep aside. Heat oil (use little oil from frying) in a Kadai, add finely chopped garlic, ginger and round cut chillies and sauté for a minute. Cube the onions and add them to Kadai and sauté for one full minute. Add Chilli and Pepper powders and immediately add Capsicum/ Bell Pepper and Sauté for one minute. Mix all the sauces together with pinch of sugar and add this to the kadai. Stir well. Add corn flour mixed in water to the Kadai and keep stirring. Adjust salt. When it starts thickening add the fried idli cubes. Mix well till the sauces are coated on idli pieces and add chopped Spring Onion. Mix well and serve hot. Enjoy the yummy yummy chilli Idlis!!


  • Idlis should be kept in the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.
  • Always deep fry idlis on high flame or it will absorb oil.
  • Don’t stir idli cubes immediately after putting in oil, to retain the shape.
  • If you want it spicier, add one more green Chilli or ½ tsp Chilli pdr.
  • You can increase the water and sauce measure if you need more gravy.
  • Serve hot always.

Try this yummy Chilli Idli and let me know how you like it. God Bless!!

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