Idli Manchurian

Idli Manchurian

What do you do with left over idlis? In my home, they take the form of Upma as a quick tiffin on a busy day, Fries as a tea time snack and Manchurian as a starter to serve friends on a rain filled day.

This unusual yet unique fusion food that takes an Indo Chinese avatar is soft on the inside with a crisp exterior. Tossed in sauces and combined with bell peppers, the end result makes it hard to identify that the main ingredient is our humble Idli.

Idli Manchurian Recipe

Prep & Cooking Time: 30 mts

Serves 4-5 persons

Cuisine: Indo-Chinese



6-8 left over idlis, cut each into 8-9 pieces

2 tbsps maida/all-purpose flour

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste

a little less than 1/2 cup warm water

salt to taste

For sauce:

1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped

1/2 capsicum, finely sliced

1 tbsp finely minced garlic

1/4 tsp finely minced ginger

1-2 finely chopped green chillis

1/4 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)

1/2 tsp soya sauce

1/4 tbsp chilli sauce

1 tsp vinegar

1 1/2 tbsps tomato sauce

1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)

salt as required

1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil

1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves OR finely chopped spring onion greens

1 Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel.
2 In a bowl, combine maida, cornflour, salt, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and water to make a thick paste. Dip the idli pieces into the batter such that its well coated. Place each piece that is well coated with the batter into the hot oil. Do not crowd the vessel. Reduce flame and deep fry till it turns lightly brown. Increase the flame towards the end of the cooking process and fry till it turns golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper and keep aside.
3 Heat oil in a large wok and once the oil is piping hot, add the chopped garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the green chillis and ginger and stir fry on high for a few seconds.
4 Add the whites of spring onions and stir fry on high for 3-4 mts, constantly tossing them. Add the sliced capsicum and stir fry for another 3 mts. They should retain their crunch.
5 Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 4-5 tbsps of water and cook for 2 mts.
6 Add the deep fried idli pieces and combine. Toss on high flame for 1-2 mts. Turn off heat. Garnish with the chopped spring onion greens or coriander leaves.

Idly Manchurian

Idli Manchurian

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 4

 Main Ingredients:

  •  idli
  •   spring onions
  •   garlic


  • Nivedita

    Thank you so much for coming up with an innovative idea for using left over idlis.
    Will surely try!!!

    • Sailu

      Idli Manchurian is definitely not my innovative idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sandhya

        Hey sailu,
        I think you shouldn’t care about the are putting a lot of effort in referring, experimenting and sharing ur yummy recipes with us. that’s more than enough! u r helping beginners like me. I was once upon a time the worst cook but after trying ur recipes, my hubby says that i am the best! all thanx to u.

  • Sudha

    Wow, what creativity? The picture is yummy…Will sure try it soon.

  • Vidhya

    Idly Manchurian looks super yummy Sailu.

  • Sharmilee

    Nice idea to finish off the leftover idlies….luv it!

  • nidhi

    What the hell..yakkk..sailu pls dont try all came worst and taste is yucky

  • Subha

    Nidhi, Glad you tried the recipe. But, please watch what you say here. Everyone’s taste buds are NOT the same. We should thank Sailu for coming up with those innovative ideas.

  • sheba

    This sounds awesome…mallu-chinese!!! My oldest son is not too fond of idlis..this sounds like something I can entice him with.

  • Kavitha

    Nidhi, hope you might be in your learning period of cooking. Don’t give up. You can also cook yummy food from yucky food. All the best.

  • smita wagh

    Nidhi, 1stly don’t call any food items made at home, with love & care “yucky”, if u don’t like it don’t appreciate it but 4 god’s sake don’t condemn it.

  • Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal

    Simply loving it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sunanda

    Hi sailu,

    can we do this with rawa idlis.

    • Sailu

      Why not? I am yet to try with rava idlis though. Do try and leave your feedback.

  • Anu

    Tasted this mouth-watering manchurian in some hotel and was wondering how to do it!!! Now I have the recipe and this weekend it will be in my menu.. Thanks Sailu…

  • lucky

    Hi Sailu garu,

    It looks yummy and I am sure it would taste yum yum yummy… Thanks for posting such a lovely recipe. really very very innovative… Yesterday I tried out tomato soup, it turned out very nice.

    Thanks, lucky

    NIDHI – Please do not comment food items as “Yakkk”. If you do not like any recipe, just don’t try it. In case you try and it turns out disaster, try to check where u went wrong.

  • Priti

    Thanks Sailu for yet another colourful and novel recipe.

  • rajani

    Hats off to your iddli monchuria. Thank a lot…..Sailu.

    • p.sreelatha

      Thanks Sailu for yet another colourful recipe,& i prepared it, has a yummy taste.

  • Aruna Deepak


    Lovely recipe. Just a small doubt. Wont idly absorb too much oil when deep fried? just a small speculation.

    • Sailu

      When coated with cornflour and maida batter, idli does not absorb too much oil.

  • Saritha

    Nidhi, I was surprised to see the tone of your comment. I’m of the opinion that if you can’t say good about something or someone, then it is better to keep quiet and not spoil the atmosphere.

    Hope you have better experiences in your kitchen!!

  • Penny

    This is a really great idea. Sometimes when I have leftover idlis, I simmer them in sauce – kind of a similar concept. I try to make them, but if I don’t have time I end up using ready-made sauce usually from Tasty Bite. This is something I haven’t quite tried yet. Can’t wait! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • mrs anjali sunil shetty

    looks yummy .. but idli n oil ?

  • Jaya

    Such a delicious manchurian recipe Sailaja…loved it so much and thanks for sharing.
    hugs and smiles

  • kalva

    yummoo. lovely one

  • K

    Is it possible to make this without deepfrying the idlis? So many calories!

    • Sailu

      Yes, you can. Pre-heat oven to 160 C and drizzle some oil on the baking tray. Toss the idli pieces in black pepper pwd or chilli pwd and place on baking tray. Bake for 20-25 mts. During the baking process, remove the tray from the oven and turn the pieces once and bake. Follow the rest of the procedure according to the recipe.

    • K

      Thanks Sailu, I will try this. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • K

        Hi Sailu,

        I tried the baked version like you posted and it was yummy! Thanks. The only thing I did different was to substitute the chilli sauce with Korean Chilli paste and omit the red chilli powder. Thanks for this recipe will surely make it again.

        We also tried the Chicken Masala balls on your blog and it was a hit with my family.

  • Madhu

    Hey Sailu, Thats so different, great thought.

  • Sai Priya

    Dear Sailu,

    Good one!

    Could you clear me a doubt? The Idlis are soft, can we mash the idils and add some vegetables and little bit of chill for spicy touch and then do the further process .

    Dear Nidhi:

    I think you are not fond of home food; if you would be, you would not comment on others.

    Hence forth see that don’t leave such comment or while talking to anyone, such words would not come from your end .

    You should thq her and the friends who are suggesting you to try the recipe.

    This is only a friendly suggestion. I hope you would take in an positive way.

    • Sailu

      I have not tried that method of mashing idlis and using vegetables. The idlis need to be refrigerated and this recipe works with left over idlis that harden on refrigeration. Adding ginger-green chilli paste to the maida batter gives a spicy touch.

  • lalita


    Could you post more healthy foods. Now a days there are many chefs coming up with recipes that are not really healthy. Majority of them are deep fried and ofcourse recipe creation becomes easy with deep frying.
    Thank you.

  • Subbu

    I have read some of your recipes, but I wanted to correct your english. Instead of Combine (kalupu), please use words like sauting or mixing. Nothing to offend you.

  • abalaji

    nice i will try in house


    its very yummy to look at.

  • priya

    i tried it..
    it came out really well..

  • ramya

    Hi Sailu,
    I have been referring to your blog for few yrs now and your instructions are clear and pics are very good.Just found the oppurtunity to comment today. I think the huge drawing factor among the zillion food blogs is that you have creative recipes I like. Good, keep up the good work, I like your zardosi artwork too. Anyway I really dont like idlis, but just hit this recipe out of curiousity and tried yesterday, it took me an hr may be because of the 1st time, but I should say, this is pretty damn good. Couldnt tell it was idli, my husband liked it and my 2 yr old had a bite which is a big deal. I like the idea of baking, because, I need to reduce the calorie intake but still be able to eat yummy food. Hey one que, you had written about the baking process, does that skip the “idli dipping in the batter” process, just bake using pepper powder and some oil on the tray? how does it get crispy? good tip, I will def try soon.
    Thanks girl!

    • Sailu

      Thanks, Ramya. )

      You don’t need the batter at all if going the baking way. Just sprinkle some idli podi OR pepper pwd OR chili pwd and a pinch of salt on the idlis and place on a baking tray that is drizzled with some olive oil.

  • Ananya

    I tried this with rava idlis and it turned out great! Also tried adding schezwan sauce once and voila!! we had idli schezwan ๐Ÿ™‚ thank u!

  • Ems

    Hey Sailu, thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us. It takes effort to do all this – your website is awesome and I can’t wait to try out the other recipes. thanks, very kind and generous of you.

  • J

    Hi Sailu,

    I made this dish as one of the starters for Bhai Dhooj and it was so amazing! Thank you so much for putting up such delectable food! Lots of love from an Aussie foodie! T