Chilli Idli
Chilli Idli

Chilli idli is a delicious and spicy South Indian dish made from bite-sized pieces of idli, a popular South Indian rice cake. It’s a flavorful and quick snack or breakfast option that’s perfect for using leftover idlis. Here’s how to make chilli idli:


For the Idli:

  • 8-10 idlis (leftover or freshly steamed)

For the Chilli Idli Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (capsicum), thinly sliced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon red chili sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the Idlis:
  • If you have leftover idlis, cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you’re making idlis specifically for this dish, follow your preferred idli recipe to steam and prepare them.
  1. Make the Chilli Idli Sauce:
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  • Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the thinly sliced bell pepper and green chilies. Sauté for a few minutes until the bell pepper starts to soften.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Pour this sauce mixture into the skillet with the sautéed vegetables. Stir well to combine and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  1. Add the Idlis:
  • Add the bite-sized idli pieces to the skillet with the sauce. Gently toss the idlis in the sauce to coat them evenly.
  • Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the idlis are heated through and have absorbed some of the sauce.
  1. Garnish and Serve:
  • If desired, garnish the chilli idli with freshly chopped cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness.
  1. Enjoy:
  • Serve the hot and spicy chilli idli as a snack or quick breakfast option. It’s delicious on its own or with a side of coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Chilli idli is a flavorful and satisfying dish that’s a fusion of South Indian and Indo-Chinese flavors. It’s a great way to repurpose leftover idlis and turn them into a spicy and exciting snack or meal.