South Indian Idli Upma Recipe
This is a simple and easy recipe which every South Indian worth his/her salt would make and for the most simplest of reasons -  leftover idlis! The logic being there would be hot piping idlis for breakfast as a regular feature and then there's bound to be leftovers. This upma is almost always the first thing that comes to mind when there are leftover idlis. Well, not so in my house as I already mentioned here, but nevertheless I make these for myself when the husband has had enough of his idli fries (which is rare, if truth be told!).
South Indian Idli Upma Recipe
This is one of those dishes which doesn't  really deserve a post all for itself, but keeping with the nature of this blog, I thought I might as well. You can add as many vegetables to this or as little. Treat it like a pilaf or treat it like a stir fry. Anything and everything goes (almost).  Mine is a very basic version. You can call it a lazy (wo)man's version cos that's precisely when I make these. Frozen vegetables are a blessing and can be used to their full potential in this. Get the idea and go get creative in the kitchen. Its as accommodating as that. Its great for breakfast, light lunch or a light dinner.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • About 8 medium leftover Idlis (See how to make South Indian Idlis)
  • 1 tsp Idli Chutney Powder, or as per taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal (split, skinned Black gram)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup boiled peas (or frozen peas)
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • pinch Asafoetida
  • 3-4 Cashews
  • Salt to taste
  • Few sprigs Cilantro to garnish
1. Crumble the idli pieces.
2. Add the chutney powder to the idli crumble. At times I tend to add some 1 tsp Ghee and the powder to help the powder stick well to the Idlis. Its not really necessary to add it separately but I personally find that adding it first, gives them more flavor. You can skip this step if you do not want it to be spicy, esp. when feeding little kids.
3. Mix them well until combined.
4. In a skillet, add 1 tsp Ghee/oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When it starts popping, add the Urad dal, cashew pieces and curry leaves.
5. Next add in the onion and cook until soft. If you are using frozen peas (like I did), add the peas along with the onions. Helps to thaw and cook along with the onions. If boiled, you can add it towards the end.
6. When the onion and peas are cooked, add salt, turmeric and asafoetida. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the crumbled idlis to the onion-peas mixture.
8. Mix until combined, reduce the heat and cook for another few minutes (about 5-6min)  with a closed lid so that the idli can absorb the flavors.
Serve it hot, garnished with cilantro. South Indian Idli Upma Recipe

Recipe Reference

from my kitchen notes

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1 Member Reviews

By Sundari on Jan 24, 2012

i have done this upma and had moved on to make a stirfry upma with these idlis the same procedure but i add finely sliced cabbage and capsicum, carrot all like how it is done for noodles very finely sliced and now with some olive oil and then i add the tomato and garlic sauce and some soya sauce and add these veggies and saute them well adding some white pepper and salt just enough for the veggies as there is salt in the idlis now once these veggies have softened i add the idlis and mix well and let it blend for a few minutes now garnish it with some spring onions plenty as my children love them and serve colorful stirfried upma to them....sundari kannan


By nitin sonawane on Dec 2, 2013

very nice recipe

By dhivya on Nov 22, 2013


By dhivya on Nov 22, 2013

Thank u :-P

By dhivya on Nov 22, 2013

thank u I like this receipe :-P :-P

By jaz on May 28, 2012

wow, that's really creative. I'm going to try it. :-)

By Courtney Desormeaux on Apr 25, 2012

This looks really yummy. Seems like I might have a hard time finding some of the ingredients though. Never made Indian food before.

By tanarit1 on Jan 27, 2012

I wonder if this can be made from a regular white bread, sort of like Indian-flavored stuffing?

By vanamala on Jan 24, 2012

Nice dish :) is regular dish in my kitchen

By Priya on Jan 24, 2012

My fav it.

By Madhuram on Jan 23, 2012

Dhivi, I don't know if you have tried out this method of crumbling the idlis. I store the idlis in the fridge, then cut each idli into quarters and then pulse it in the mixie for short durations. The idli powders so beautifully without any lumps. I follow the same method for preparing usili too.

Oh I actually have, not intentionally though! But sounds like a good idea. Will do it next time around Madhu