Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Idli Upma ~ Leftover Special

One thing I always looked forward to on my way back home from school during my school-days was the snack that was waiting for me at home.Amma made different snacks daily for us kids-something which can be tagged in the “naalu mani palaharam*”slot.My walking speed naturally increased when I reached the house gate and then it would be a mad rush throwing the bag on the bed,cleaning up and changing into home clothes and rushing to the kitchen to see what was cooking.Once she had made piping hot samosas and I came straight from the door and put my hand into the plate without washing my hands.As I was about to put it into my mouth,amma held my hands and said-first wash your hands,clean up and then eat.I was so angry and upset that I didn’t change and sat on my bed-irritated and fussy till my hunger reached its peak level and my brothers did not help matters one bit by eating right in front of me and making me smell the samosa and all that..;-)I surrendered…all’s well that ends well!!

Even today,if there’s something which I totally look forward to eating,it is those palaharams* and I don’t think any bakery-food can beat that.I always think of preparing some healthy snacks along with tea and even though nothing beats those deep-fried bajjis and samosas and cutlets,in these days of healthy eating,those are all “indulgences” which should be had once in a fortnight or so.

Few days back,I had decided to make raw-jackfruit bajji(deep-fried,I know) with the fresh batch I had bought from Kerala.But something made me raid the fridge and lo behold! What do I find there??Some leftover Kappa Puzhungiyathu and Idlis from the morning breakfast.Decided to make Kappa Puzhukku.But then,I was not sure if hubby would like it so I made some Idli Upma too(he loved both).Amma gave me this recipe which was given to her by our friend and neighbour Tara moushi.Truly a keeper recipe-easy and tasty and can be made under 10 minutes if you have leftover idli.

Idli Upma ~ Leftover special


Idli – 5-6 ,cut into small cubes

For the seasoning

Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Jeera – ¼ tsp
Urad dal – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


In a kadai,heat oil and splutter mustard seeds.
When they start popping,add the jeera,urad dal and curry leaves.
Add the chilly powder and immediately add the cubed idli(chilly powder should not become brown,so add the idlis real fast)
Add salt and mix well.
Keep the flame on simmer and let the idli become slightly roasted an all sides.
Serve hot!!
Check out another variation of Idli Upma here.

*Naalu mani palaharam - 4'o'Clock snack/Tea-time snack.

*Palaharam-Malayalam word for snack.


  1. I don't think kids these days are like that...We are also the kind u said...hungry and eager to eat the yummies ma used to prepare...Btw nice way to use up the left over idlis. I just fry them with mulaga podi and oil..my daughter eats that with ketchup!!!

  2. true..these little, home-made delicacies are any day better to soul less bakery goodies! I crumble the idlis and make upma. Your's looks neat!

  3. My mother never made any of these at all at home. I always think I have to make to this whenever I see in other blogs but I make just few Idlis at a time and they all are gone in one day! :D

    Looks delicious, enjoy! :))

    Looking forward food art.

  4. Brilliant idea to make a good meal out of the left over Idlis. Divya, I always thought the sanskrit word Palaharam meant, pala = fruit, aharam=food, synonym for fasting. Never knew it was another word for a snack. Thanks :)

  5. I always do this with leftover idlis..Love them..

  6. Divu, idli upma so perfectly done..made me nostalgic..my kids love idli fry..i cut the idli horizontally n fry both sides with tsp oil for each pc..yours looks perfectly done! (dont know abt the other upcoming idli recipe wt kappa..wd wait to see it as well..never made kappa at home-want to try it too)

  7. woo this looks kool...wht v used to do is crumble it...then mke it upma..urs looking tempting..

  8. My fav pallaharam too, we use to fight for this upma. Always a good one!

  9. You know, When we were kids, I think we enjoyed deep fried food without feeling any guilty. That's why I doubly miss those childhood carefree days!!:-D
    Your idli upma looks good. We make something simiar with leftover white dhokla too.

  10. I love Idly fry. I make them too whenever there is left over batter. Its pretty rainy here and this made me crave! send them over will you !:)

  11. Aaaah.. My mom was working but my dad used to leave from work at the same time as our school and he usually made something for us. He used to make juice and dosa etc. We make upma by crushing the idli's completely.. A slightly different method. Will try making with chunks next time.. Will extra roast it to make it crispy too :D I am not an idli lover but love the snacks made out of it..

  12. i love idli upmas...once i felt like having them so badly that i actly made fresh idlis and made upma out of them!! i do add some onions to it...but these look delicious too!

  13. Idli upma looks prefect.I never have leftover idlis.Once in a while whenever i have them DH and kid love them fried.I think next time i should try this option.Thanks for sharing.

  14. my mom ued to make this too..love it..looks yumm

  15. Divya, great idea.. Pic looks like potato fry! mmm.. yummy:)

  16. Also, i think you missed my award message. Do pick urs from my blog :)

  17. Thats indeed a nice idea! Looks perfect and delicious!

  18. hmm good idea..looking like alu chips :)

  19. Hey I loved your write up. its so true nothing can beat homemade food that too which mom makes. This upma is always made when we make idli, i like it cause its easy to take to work too the next day

  20. Hey Divya,
    I love to make Idly upma with leftover idlys...but here is the way i make it.i put the leftover in the fridge so tht by morning i can make it sort of powdery(exact upma form),I do the seasoning the same way with jus enough gingely oil for the seasoning.but instead of chilly powder i use idly powder (ingredients being 1 part R.chilly 1/2 part channa dal & 1/2 part udad dal.ground with salt to taste)
    then i add more oil to taste and as much crispness as needed..
    I thought mayb u could try this which is equally tasty if not tastier cause of different type of chilly powder..
    Just happened to stumble on ur blog..will keep a watch now on..



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