Fried Idli

Fried Idli

If you are looking for quick and easy snacks, then look no further than this recipe for fried idli. In just 15 minutes, you can fry this South Indian street food to perfection to enjoy as part of your breakfast, as an afternoon snack, and so much more.

This is a great recipe to use up any leftover idlis and whatever seasonings you have on hand. So set aside 15 minutes, and let's go make some crispy fried idlis!

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Why This Recipe Works

The main reason why you will love this quick and easy fried idli recipe is because of just that - how quick and easy it is to prepare. in less time than it would take you to shop for the ingredients, you can prepare these quick fried idlis when you're hungry any time of day.

Additionally, you'll love how versatile this recipe is. One batch can take you from breakfast to dinner. Serve your idlis with some runny eggs for breakfast, as an afternoon snack with your favorite chutney, or as an accompaniment to your butter chicken at dinner time. These tasty little nuggets are meant for dipping!



Our blend of salt, masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, curry powder, and cumin adds layers of flavor that make this Fried Idli stand out. However, feel free to customize the recipe according to your taste preferences and explore various combinations to create your own unique twist. Other seasoning options include turmeric, green chilies,  coriander, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and mustard seeds.


South Indian fried idli, is a versatile and beloved Indian street food enjoyed as a wholesome breakfast or snack. These spongy, round steamed cakes are made from a fermented batter of rice and urad dal (black gram). The fermentation process imparts a characteristic tanginess and makes them light and easily digestible. You can purchase pre-made idlis, batter, or instant mix to make these delightfully fluffy snacks at home, or you can make them from scratch.  Soak 2 cups of rice and 1 cup of urad dal separately for a few hours, then blend them into a smooth batter. Allow the batter to ferment overnight. Grease idli molds and pour the batter into each compartment. Steam for 10-15 minutes until the idlis are fluffy and cooked through. You can serve them warm with your favorite chutney, and any leftovers can be used with this fried idli recipe the following day.


In the realm of fried idlis, the choice of oil plays a crucial role in achieving both flavor and texture. Opting for oils with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, is ideal for deep frying or pan-frying the idlis. For those looking for a healthier option, coconut oil can be a flavorful alternative, adding a hint of its distinctive taste to the dish.

How to Make Fried Idli

Step One: 

In a bowl, combine salt, masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, curry powder, and cumin. Stir well and set aside. This spice blend will infuse the idlis with a burst of enticing flavors.

Step Two: 

Cut the idlis into uniform 1" cubes and place them in a pan with oil over medium heat. Ensure that the oil is added to a hot pan and that the oil is also hot before you add your idli cubes. This step ensures a delightful crunch in every bite.

Step Three: 

Cook the idli cubes until they develop a golden-brown crust on each side, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.

Step Four:

Transfer the cooked idlis into the bowl of spices and toss them gently to coat evenly. This ensures every piece is infused with the aromatic blend of seasonings.

Step Five: 

Serve with fresh green onions, and enjoy!

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  • If possible, use day-old idlis for frying. They hold their shape better and absorb less oil.
  • Cut the idlis into uniform bite-sized pieces. This ensures even cooking and a consistent texture.

What to Serve With Fried Idli

The versatile nature of these crispy fried idlis makes them a perfect match for an array of dipping sauces and sides. A zesty mint chutney or tangy carrot chutney adds a burst of flavor, complementing the crispy texture of the idlis. If you prefer a spicier kick, consider serving this Indian street food alongside a flavorful sambar – a hearty lentil-based stew enriched with vegetables and aromatic spices. They also make for hearty accompaniments to your creamy butter chicken and gobi manchurian allowing you to sop up all of the saucy goodness of these dishes.


Can I make fried idlis without frying?

Yes, you can make your fried rice cakes in the air fryer using less oil. Preheat the air fryer, spray the basket with some non-stick cooking spray, or lightly brush the idli pieces with oil, and arrange them in the air fryer basket. Cook at around 350°F (180°C) for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through for even crispiness. Check regularly to avoid overcooking.

Is this fried idli recipe gluten-free? Vegan?

This fried idli recipe is both vegan and gluten-free; however, you will want to ensure that the idli used was also made that way. As always, you will want to verify, with any ingredients you use, that there is no cross-contamination.

How long can fried idli leftovers be kept fresh?

Fried idli leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat them in an oven or toaster to retain crispiness. However, for the best texture, it's recommended to consume them fresh or on the day of preparation. Due to this they are not suitable to freeze for long-term storage.

More Indian Food Recipes

In addition to being incredibly healthy, Indian food is also very hearty and flavorful. It's an excellent style of cuisine to cook if you are vegan or vegetarian, as many Indian dishes are vegetarian or easily adjusted to suit these dietary requirements. Check out our collection of Indian food recipes to help inspire you in the kitchen.

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Instant Pot Rajma

Coconut Curry Chicken

Fried Idli

Fried Idli

These crispy fried idli are a quick and easy snack or side dish to serve with your favorite curry. Ready in just 15 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Fried Idli, Fried Idli Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Corrie


  • ¼ teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon masala
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 8 idli
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons green onion chopped (optional)


  • Add salt, masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, curry powder, and cumin to a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Cut your idli into 1" cubes and add them to a pan with oil over medium heat.
  • Cook them until they have a golden brown crust on each side. About 3-5 minutes on each side.
  • Add cooked idli to the bowl of spices you have set aside and toss to coat.
  • Serve with fresh green onion, and enjoy 🙂


Calories: 42kcal Carbohydrates: 5g Protein: 1g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0.2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 148mg Potassium: 42mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0.1g Vitamin A: 18IU Vitamin C: 0.3mg Calcium: 7mg Iron: 1mg



  • If possible, use day-old idlis for frying. They hold their shape better and absorb less oil.
  • Cut the idlis into uniform bite-sized pieces. This ensures even cooking and a consistent texture.
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