This is the simplest of all South Indian snacks, literally! Only takes max 10 minutes to get a batch ready for at least 5-7 people and can be planned ahead of time. It’s way healthier (and tastier) than most of the deep fried stuff we have like Samosas, Chaat etc. and in no way less in terms of taste. It makes a great travel food too, which is also light on stomach and doesn’t bloat you up. Mind you, this is not the deep fried snack called “Idli Fry” that we get in restaurants. Rather a shallow fried/ pan fried version of the same. So it won’t be super crispy, but will do the job just fine. Of course, it’ll be much healthier too.
I had this Shallow fried Idli first time at my SIL’s. you remember my recipe for Peanut Coriander Chutney? Well ! have a look here if you don’t. That was and still is the quickest and tastiest Chutney I have had ever. And it tastes amazing with these Pan fried Idli bites. So anyway, my SIL prepared and packed this whole Dabba of these Idlis with Peanut Chutney for the breakfast. And I was like- we have just had tea and snacks, we won’t even need this snack till the noon time. But so wrong that I was.. the whole Tiffin was finished within an hour of us leaving from the house. It was THAT addictive !
There doesn’t exist a specific “recipe” for this dish. Rather, just a stir fry sort of, made with minimum spices. But it makes such a great Kids’ snack that you would want to make it again and again. I specially keep some freshly made Idlis aside, only to enjoy this snack later on. try it on, if you haven’t yet..
Prep Time: 7-8 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people
Cuisine:- South Indian, Snacks
Spice Level: Mild
Recipe Level: Easy
Shelf Life: Up to 12-15 hours at room temperature, up to 3-4 days in the Fridge
Nutritional Facts:- Rich in Fibre, Carbs
Recipe Source:- My SIL’s recipe.
What you need?
- 7-8 leftover Idlis ( Assuming these are medium sized Idlis )
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 3-4 dried red chilies
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste
- A few curry leaves
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds (rai)
- Juice of a lemon – optional
- A handful of fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
- Chop Idlis off in cubes, keep aside
- Heat oil in a wide pan, and trhow in the Mustard seeds. When they start splutter, add in the dried red chili and curry leaves. Sauté for half a minute
- Add in spices and fry just for 10 seconds. Add in the Idli pieces and fold in gently taking care not to break the pieces apart
- Cover and cook for next 3-5 minutes stirring once-twice in between. Switch off the flame
- Squeeze some lemon on top, and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with Peanut Coriander Chutney and this tangy Tomato Chutney
Tips and Notes:
- The quantity of spices and oil is based on my assumption that your Idlis are the usual medium sized ones made at home. If you are using Restaurant bought Idlis, then they are slightly bigger in size and you should adjust the seasoning accordingly
- Since these are not deep fried, these can be kept for binge later. They won’t get soggy as their deep fried version.
- Squeeze lemon juice only if you are going to consume them immediately. If you are planning to keep them for travel, lemon juice might spoil the taste so avoid it.
- You may add some vegetables like Bell Pepper (capsicum) or green peas into this stir fry as well, making it a wholesome meal.
- I have used Mustard oil since my SIL did, and I loved the taste since then. I haven’t tried any other oil in this recipe, so if you do that let me know how you find it.