A few tweaks can transform the good-old idli into something colourful, spicy and interesting

Idli is generally considered safe food, as it is steamed and can be had anytime, anywhere. It is made of rice and urad dal. Traditional idli is quite common in South Indian homes, but after giving some tweaks to this traditional favourite, you may feel a slight change in taste. Here’s a modified version of the idli, which is easy to prepare.

Hot and sour idli


6 idlis

1/2 tbsp maida

1/2 tbsp corn flour

1 onion sliced

1 tomato sliced

1 capsicum sliced

3-4 garlic pieces sliced

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2tsp coriander powder

1/2tsp garam masala

1 tsp tomato sauce

1/2 tsp chilli sauce

1/2 tsp soya sauce

Oil to fry

Salt to taste


In a small bowl, add maida, half a teaspoon of salt and corn flour. To this, add a pinch of saffron food colour. Add water and make into a thick paste. Keep it aside for some time. Slice idlis into fine pieces. Coat sliced idlis in flour paste and fry using a medium flame. Drain and reserve in a kitchen tissue. Take another pan and heat one teaspoon of oil. Add garlic and the remaining sliced vegetables. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt and saute it for 5-10 minutes. Add tomato, chilli and soya sauce and give a quick stir. Add fried idlis. Mix it gently and turn off the flame. Transfer into serving plate and garnish with onion rings and coriander leaves.

Idli sandwich


1/2 cup moong dal

1/2 cup channa dal

1 cup urad dal

1/2 finely grated coconut

Salt to taste


Soak all dals for a full night in water. Then drain the water and grind the dals into a paste. Now mix salt as per taste in the dal paste and keep it aside for at least ten hours. Add coconut. Grease idli plate with ghee or oil and fill each plate to approximately 3/4 full. Steam till idlis are soft and firm. Allow it to cool. Slice each idli into half and sandwich the two halves with any chutney of your choice.

Idli cutlet


6 idlis

1 cup idli batter

1 tbsp bread crumbs

1 tbsp idli podi

1 tsp mango pickle powder

2 potatoes boiled and mashed

Oil to fry

Salt to taste


Slice the idlis into half. Now make an opening in the halved idli for mashed potato and pickle powder filling. idliUse idli batter to seal the opening. Roll idlis in bread crumbs and idli podi to spice it up. Deep fry in oil with medium flame till it turns golden brown in colour. Serve with tomato sauce.

Sweet idli


1/2 cup urad dal

3/4 cup semolina or rava

4 tbsp finely grated jaggery

1/4 tsp cooking soda

1/2 cup finely grated coconut

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp finely sliced cashew nuts and raisins

Salt to taste

Milk as per requirement


Soak dal in water for five hours. Then drain the water and grind the dal to a fine paste. Keep it aside for four hours. Roast rava on a dry griddle till it changes its colour, and then mix it with dal, along with salt and soda. Add enough milk to form a thick and smooth batter. Mix one and a half teaspoon of ghee. Mix together coconut, cardamoms, jaggery, cashew nuts and raisins. Fill the half-greased idli plate half with batter, spread on top a little of coconut mixture, then again sandwich the mixture with the batter, and steam till idlis are soft and firm. Remove them from container and serve with a dash of hot ghee on top.