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Idli Upma

  • Veg
  • 15 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy



Idli upma is a combination of two dishes. Idli is a savory rice-lentil cake, and upma is a breakfast with spices, vegetables, and semolina. In our recipe, we are bringing the two together, and we replace the semolina with precooked or leftover idli. This will create a quick, delicious and healthy, low-calorie breakfast.

By adding green peas and carrots, we will include not only more vitamins and minerals, but also texture, flavor and beautiful colors.

Idli upma can also be made for lunch or dinner as a side dish or for a snack in between.

The recipe is a blueprint that can be used to adapt the dish to the contents of your fridge and your preferences.

In most South Indian households,idli is a staple, and you will always find some in the fridge. In case you don’t have any leftover idlis, you can get the ready-to-go mix in most supermarkets in India and South-East Asia.

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How to make Idli Upma

  1. Heat the oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and the lentils.
  2. When they change color add the onions and sautè until they become translucent.
  3. Add ginger and carrot and stir for a minute.
  4. Add tomato, peas, chili powder, salt, and turmeric; cook for about 3 minutes until the tomatoes lose their shape.
  5. Crumble the idli into the pan, coat well with the mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve. 

The dish is delicious on its own but goes well with chutneys, sambar or fresh raita.

Since it is a breakfast recipe, you might consider to serve it with a fried or poached egg on top.

Idli upma is also delicious in an omelet. You need to do it in two batches: remove half of the mix from the pan, add the beaten eggs and fry it to your preferred consistency. Now make the second batch or serve as half original idli upma, half omelet.

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