Brisk Breakfast · Easy LunchBox Series. · No Need of Onions!!! · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Quick & Easy Idli Upma.(Upma snack made from idlis and seasoning with spices.)






In my school days when I was a little girl, one of the things I used to hate was Idlis. I guess, I always felt that the Idlis by themselves have no taste whatsoever and derive the overall effect, by what goes on the side. Even today I feel its true. So whenever Amma used to pack idlis for lunch, some how she would find that the would come back completely untouched,with a nice sprinkling of sand on them!!! Whenever she would ask me, It seems I would tell her that when my friends were playing, the sand got in to the box!!! Now when I think about it, I realize how naive I must have sounded. Did I assume her also to be so naive??? This would happen ever often, that finally she stopped giving me Idlis for lunch.

Much later, when I was at the hostel for my post graduation, I realised how heavenly  Idlis can be!!! There used to be this “Mobile” Idli Shop near my college hostel. He would simply take a plastic plate, grab a piece of banana leaf and place three piping hot idlis on them and serve them with a side of sambar and coconut chutney. My joy knew no bounds and I was so tired of the hostels spicy greasy food, I welcomed simple Idlis. I knew that they could never upset my stomach. It was always a safe bet. Many days,we would pack a few extra idlis and bring them to the hostel to make Idli Upma the next day. As I was making them for breakfast this morning, I remembered lessons that life had taught me , with the humble “Idlis” over the years….


3-4 Leftover Idlis.

1/2 Onion Chopped fine.


1/2 spoon of Red Chilli Powder.

1 1/2 – 2 spoons of Idli Gunpowder or Idli Molagapodi.

1/4 spoon of Karuvepalai Podi or Curry Leaves Powder.


A spoon of oil, mustard seeds, broken urad dhal, curry leaves, hing.


  • Crumble the Idlis in to little bite sized pieces and set aside spread out on a plate. If you feel that the Idlis are a little dry and rough, sprinkle a teeny bit of water and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  • When the Idlis are still hot, sprinkle a tad more of salt, red chilli powder and hing.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when its hot, add the urad dhal, mustard, hing and curry leaves.
  • When the mustard splutters, immediatelyadd the chopped onions and give it a quick stir and allow to slightly become a pinkish brown.
  • Add the  the crumbled and spiced  pieces of Idlis.
  • Allow to stir well and let the powders mix well.
  • After a few minutes, add the spoon of Idli Molagapodi as well as the Karuvepalai Podi and mix in it.
  • Allow 2 minutes for them to mix well and switch iff heat.
  • Serve Hot garnished with curry leaves and a dollop of ghee for the kids!!!


Another version is to saute onions after seasonings, before adding the crumbled Idlis. Personally, I dont prefer it as I add the Molagapodi to it. But that gives a completely different tryst to the taste.

Easy N Tasty Idli Upma being sent to Divya`s Show Me Your Breakfast Event at her blog.

13 thoughts on “Quick & Easy Idli Upma.(Upma snack made from idlis and seasoning with spices.)

  1. I personally prefer idli upma to idli. And as you said, as we grow, we tend to like idlis more for its convenience than the taste.

  2. Wow this is a very innovative way to use up idlis..must try it!! Love the word Gunpowder…haa…I never knew that is what it was called.

  3. Idlies always were bland for me too,but a dash of coconut chutney …and i used to eat these like gluttons.During those days ,the food wasn’t globalized so much as today, and hardly something from OTHER CUISINE was made. But i am glad that my mom decided to make these fluffy pillows at home and since then it was such a regular breakfast or even dinner for us
    Upma sounds great way to finish of remaining ones, esp. if there is no chutney left 😉

  4. hi shoba,
    I love idli upmas, we make it slightly different,liked ur version looks good. It’s a great all time eat .Thanks for sharing ur recipe.

  5. Wow,

    We hardly had any idli upma growing up because there wont be any left over idlies!!.. Although am not a great fan of idlies i like them revamped! This looks just so yummy!!My mom-in-law makes wonderful idli fries! Idli fry and tea on a wet and soggy rainy day…heaven!

  6. Hey Shobs,
    I absolutely hated idlis, and would never touch them, and my mom’s version of idli upma is to saute the idlis with some onions and tomatoes with Sambhar powder and pronto this wud get gobbled up in no time 🙂

  7. Hi Poorni,

    Thats a good one…We always find ways of dressing up things we dont like , in to a form that we do like…


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