Idli Chilli | How to make Idli Chilli from Leftover Idli

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Idli Chilli is a delicious Indo-Chinese fusion dish in which leftover Idlis are fried and tossed in spicy, sweet, tangy sauces along with few herbs and vegetables and garnished with crunchy spring onion greens.

Idli Chilli is a popular street style desi fusion recipe which is popular mainly in South India.

Over the years as Indo-Chinse cuisine became popular, many roadside food stalls started serving lip-smacking Indo-Chinese fusion food such as Chinese Bhel, Chinese Pakora (Fritters), Chinese Spring Dosa and many others. 

But among them is one of this crispy lip-smacking recipe of idli Chilli. In the evening, all along the Indian streets specially in South India you will find one or other carts that would serve this flavorful dish.

Idli Chilli is a delicious way of using leftover idlis. At my home, we purposely prepare huge batch of idlis, so that the leftovers can be given a nice makeover in the form of Idli upma, fried idli, idli manchurian, shallow fried idli, idli chilli to name a few.

Like wise being a totally desi Chinese addict, I can’t help but use these idlis in making some super tasty idli chilli.

Idli chilli is quick and simple recipe to make. It’s vegan and gluten free recipe.

This is a sweet, tangy, spicy vegetarian recipe. Crispy from outside and soft from inside.

One thing you need to make sure is that, prepare this idli chilli just before serving, as the fried idlis tends to get soggy over time due to addition of sauces and veggies.

You can have this idli chilli as a snack or as a starter for your Indo-Chinese meal.

Personally I like to use Ching’s Sauces in making any kind of desi chinese recipes. And Maggie Tomato Sauce. I tried using different tomato sauces but never got that zing which I get from using maggie sauce.

You may also check some of these related recipes:

Chinese Bhel

Snack Recipes

What is a Slurry? How to make Cornstarch Slurry

Food FAQ’s

Let’s see how this popular Indian street food snack of Idli Chilli recipe is made using deep fried leftover Idli and colourful veggies along with some tongue tickling sauces in your very home kitchen.
Idli Chilli | How to make Idli Chilli from Leftover Idli

Serves: 2 Persons
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cooking level: Moderate
Taste: Spicy Sweet & Tangy

Ingredients required for the recipe:

  • 7-8 nos. Leftover Idlis
  • 2 tablespoon Garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Ginger finely chopped
  • 2-3 Green Chilies cut length wise
  • 1 Onion, cut in cubes and layers separated
  • 1/2 Green Capsicum cut in cubes
  • 2 tablespoon Red Chilli Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Tomato ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon Soya Sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
  • Salt if needed
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4th cup Spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Oil for cooking
  • Oil for frying Idli

How to prepare Indo-Chinese Style Idli Chilli:

  • Cut idlis into cubes and deep fry till they turn nice brown & crisp. 
  • In a bowl add sauces, red chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar, soya sauce and mix well. Keep this mixture aside.
  • In a non-stick pan or wok, heat oil and add finely chopped garlic, ginger & green chillies.
  • Sauté till raw smell of garlic fades away. Do not brown the garlic.
  • Add onions and capsicum and sauté on high flame for 2 minutes.
  •  Now add sugar, black pepper powder, sauces that we mixed in the bowl and salt if needed. 
  • Add fried idlis and mix well. If the mixture is too dry sprinkle little water and cook for a minute on high flame.
  • Now add finely chopped spring onions and toss gently. Keep some for garnishing.
  • Desi Chinese Style Idli Chilli is ready. 
  • Garnish with some spring onions and serve hot as a snack or as an starter for your meal.


I did not have to use extra salt as already all the sauces contained it. So be sure to taste first before adding salt.

I already put all the sauces in a bowl first, so that while preparing the dish it saves times as compared to adding every spoonful individually.  

You many also make a gravy version by adding 1 cup of water ad 1/4th cup of cornstarch slurry.

Check out how to make cornstarch slurry.

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