Masala Idli – A Breakfast Makeover

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning – start of another relaxing weekend. You are thinking hard about what to make for breakfast. You have had enough cereals, muesli and sandwiches during the week. You want to have something more interesting but you are still a little tired from the week to make an elaborate breakfast sweating in the kitchen. You want to avoid rich and deep fried foods – the breakfast should be healthy. But it is also a weekend – so breakfast should also be tasty and appealing too!

So, what do you cook?

Masala idli is the perfect answer to your ‘what to cook for breakfast’ problem. It is quick, healthy and most importantly yummm. Idlis are tossed with crunchy onions, tangy tomatoes, peppy peppers and tempered with aromatic mustard seeds, curry leaves and sambhar powder – this colourful makeover of idlis will certainly make your mornings brighter!

This dish is best prepared from left-over idlis but you can always make fresh idlis if you don’t have any left-overs. Please follow the recipe Eggplant Sambhar – the Perfect Lentil Soup  to make idlis using a ready made batter.

  • Serves: 2-3
  • Preparation time: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 15 min

What you will need

  • 8 idlis leftover or fresh
  • 1 medium onion chopped lengthwise
  • 1 medium tomato chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 capsicum cut into cubes (red/green)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1-2 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sambhar powder
  • Salt as required
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

How to make it

  1. Prepare the vegetables. You can use only green capsicum or mix red and green capsicums. Chop the idlis into bite size pieces.IMG_7261
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil. When hot, add 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
  3. When they crackle, add cumin seeds. Once they sizzle, add a pinch of hing.
  4. Next add the green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute.IMG_7262
  5. Stir-in the ginger garlic paste.
  6. When the raw smell is gone, add the onions. Saute for a minute. You do not have to cook or brown them as we want the onions to remain crunchy.
  7. Next add the capsicum followed by tomatoes. Again, do not cook the capsicum or tomatoes, lightly saute them.IMG_7263
  8. Add turmeric, salt and sambhar powder. Some people add pav bhaji masala instead of sambhar powder. Mix spices well and cook for 2 minutes.IMG_7265
  9. Add the idlis and coat them well with the mixture.
  10. Add 1/2 cup water and cover with a lid. The water is required to soften the left-over idlis. If you are using fresh idlis, you can just sprinkle few drops of water. The masalas also coat well with water and steam.IMG_7266
  11. Cook for 2 more minutes on low heat and then remove from the heat.
  12. Let it rest for 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Masala idli can be enjoyed as breakfast or as a tea-time snack.



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