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Idli Upma

- Submitted by Dahlia on 30th May 2016

(Upma With Leftover Idli, Quick Leftover Recipe, 10 Minute Recipe)

Idli Upma

I did my graduation in a premier college where only very strict vegetarian food was served. My hostel menu included 4 days of upma: rava upma, semiya upma, aval upma and samba godhumai upma. Except for 10% of the students, everyone protested against the continuous upma breakfast. One day our warden, who is actually a very strict lady, decided to come and ask us for our suggestions to improve the breakfast menu. Many students were asking for their own favorites like puri, parotta, bread stew etc. One girl suddenly got up and shouted ‘Idli Upma’. To cut the story short, we never got any of the suggested breakfast and survived on the same old menu. Coming to the moral of the story, even those people who do not enjoy regular upma love to have Idli Upma.

Whenever we make idlis, we purposely make some extra to enjoy some idli upma for dinner or evening snack. The crumbled idli bits get partly roasted. The aroma of the seasoning and the crunchy onions makes it so tasty. You need idlis that have cooled down, possibly leftover idlis from morning or the day before. Fresh hot ones will not crumble up easily. 

Recipe for making Idli Upma

Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 5 min
Serves: 2


  • Idli – 6-8
  • Onion - 1
  • Green chilies – 2 or 3
  • Salt – just a little

To Temper

  • Oil - 1 tblsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Dry red chili – 1


  1. Crumble the idlis with hands. Fresh idlis will be sticky.  I usually refrigerate for some time to harden the idlis, cut into pieces and then pulse it in the mixie/blender to get crumbles.
  2. Heat a kadai, add oil for tempering. Coconut oil tastes best but you can use any oil on hand.
  3. Pop the mustard seeds. Add the channa dal and urad dal. Fry until golden brown. Add the dry red chili and curry leaves.
  4. Add chopped onion, slit green chilies and turmeric powder. Saute until it just sweats, it should not brown.
  5. Now add the crumbled idli and idli podi. Adding idli podi is optional but I like it this way. If the idlis have dried up too much, sprinkle little water.
  6. Fry for couple of minutes and check for salt. If needed, add a pinch of salt and mix. Switch off and enjoy when it is still hot.

Idli Upma

Serving Idli Upma

  • This can be eaten as such and tastes very good. It can also be eaten with sambar or coconut chutney.
  • As with all other upmas, it can also be had with sugar.


  • To make it healthier, you can add vegetables like grated carrots or green peas.
  • I have added idli podi, you can add some grated coconut instead which gives a little different flavor.

More Leftover Recipes

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Comments (1)

Person Favorite foods   (June 4, 2016)
Good article about recipe and also you may get challa upma recipe from

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