Idli Upma recipe is a popular South Indian dish that transforms ordinary, cold, and leftover idlis into a delicious, mildly spiced breakfast or tiffin (snack). This easy recipe is a fantastic way to ensure that no idli goes to waste while satisfying your taste buds.
Leftovers have a charm of their own, and when it comes to Indian cuisine, the art of repurposing food is both practical and delicious. One such brilliant creation is Idli Upma, a savoury dish that gives a delightful makeover to leftover idlis. Learn how to make this flavorful and convenient South Indian recipe in minutes.
About Idli Upma
Idli Upma holds a special place in South Indian cuisine as a sustainable and economical way to prevent food wastage. It is a very common breakfast dish in many households. Additionally, its simplicity and speed make it a favourite for busy households. This dish embodies the resourcefulness and ingenuity of Indian home cooks.
Idly Upma isn’t just a way to reduce food waste; it’s also a great after-school tiffin option for kids. All you need is crumbled idli. It’s easy to prepare, mildly spicy and has interesting flavours that appeal to young palates. When you are looking for quick breakfast recipes, especially South Indian breakfast recipes and if you have no dosa batter in hand, this upma recipe with leftover idlys is a boon.
One of the biggest advantages of making Idli Upma is its convenience. You can whip up this dish with excess idlis in under 15 minutes, making it a perfect option for those busy mornings or when you want to make an easy recipe or a quick snack.
Idli Upma as Evening Tiffin
Evening Tiffin refers to a light and typically savoury meal or snack that is enjoyed in the late afternoon or early evening. This term is commonly used in South India, including Tamil Nadu, reflecting the regional culinary culture. Evening tiffin dishes are often served with various chutneys, sauces, or accompaniments and can vary from simple and quick snacks to more elaborate options.
Idli, Dosa, Vadai, Bajji, Bonda, Upma, Adai, Kunukku, and Paniyaram are popular evening tiffin items. They are an integral part of South Indian cuisine, and you’ll find them at street food stalls, restaurants, and households across Tamil Nadu.
Idli upma is one of those convenient evening tiffin recipes. Usually, many families prefer having idli for breakfast. There would be a few idlis leftover from breakfast, often converted as upma for evening tiffin.
Why you will love this Idli Upma Recipe
Taste: The blend of spices, veggies, and the inherent softness of idlis make Idli Upma incredibly flavorful.
Versatility: You can customize the spiciness and ingredients of this tiffin recipe to suit your preferences.
Sustainability: Reducing food waste is responsible and rewarding when the result is as tasty as Idli Upma. If you have extra idlis at home, this recipe is the best way to use them up.
Quick breakfast: For someone who is looking for a quick breakfast recipe, this easy idli upma is a perfect choice. The preparation time is very less and the recipe uses simple ingredients.
Ingredients used to make Idli Upma
The main ingredients for this Idli Upma recipe include leftover idlis, cooking oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, green chilies, onions, turmeric powder, idli podi, salt, and fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
How to make Idli Upma using leftover Idlis?
Crumble leftover idlis with your hands.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once mustard crackles, add urad dal and chana dal. Let them splutter.
Add cashew nuts, if desired. Cook till it turns golden brown.
Add curry leaves, green chilies, and chopped onions.
Sauté until onions turn translucent.
Mix in boiled/frozen peas and cook for a couple of minutes. Add turmeric powder, salt if needed.
Sprinkle idli milagai podi.
Add the crumbled idlis and gently mix everything together.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
What to serve it with?
Frequently asked questions
While Idli Upma is traditionally made with leftover idlis, you can certainly use soft idlis at room temperature or fresh idlis. Cold idlis can be used. Idlis from the previous day can be used the next day. Avoid using hot idlis.
Plain idlis or millet idli can be used to make this delicious breakfast.
This delicious breakfast is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Idli Upma is incredibly versatile, and you can make it versatile by adding ingredients like grated coconut, green peas, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, and tomato to those cooked, leftover idlies. You can also squeeze in some lemon juice towards the end for a different flavour.
You can control the spiciness by adding more or fewer green chilies. Dry red chillies can be added in place of green chillies. Red chilli powder or
Idli milagai podi can be added as well. Customize this delicious dish to your preferred spice level.
Idli Upma is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as an ideal breakfast, as a tiffin/evening snack, or whenever you’re craving a quick, flavorful meal. Some days when you have a heavy breakfast, you can pack this idli upma in your tiffin box. Great way to have a delicious yet light lunch.
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Idli Upma recipe with Leftover Idlis | Easy tiffin recipe
- 8 Leftover Idli
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Urad dal
- 1 tsp Chana dal
- 10 Cashew nuts
- a few Curry Leaves
- Asafoetida a big pinch
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt as needed
- 2 tsp Idli Podi optional
- 1/4 cup Boiled / Frozen Peas
- 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves
- Crumble leftover idlis with your hands.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once mustard crackles, add urad dal and chana dal. Let them splutter.
- Add cashew nuts, if desired. Cook till it turns golden brown.
- Add curry leaves, asafoetida, green chillies, and chopped onions. Sauté until onions turn translucent.
- Mix in boiled/frozen peas and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Sprinkle turmeric powder and Idli Podi. Add salt to taste.
- Add the crumbled idlis and gently mix everything together.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.