Idli Manchurian


Since my last post on Upma Cutlets, I have been requested to put up more recipes that revamp leftovers.  So here is another one. The star of todayโ€™s dish – the humble Idli. For those who are curious to know what Idli is – It is a savoury spongy cake that is prepared by steaming a fermented batter of rice and lentils.  It is a traditional breakfast in South Indian households.


So I had some left over mini idliโ€™s sitting in the fridge. You could use standard idlis and cut into quarters.  I recently got my hands on a Microwave mini Idli maker. I am totally in love with it โ€“ so quick and easy to handle compared to the cooker idli stands. I am fascinated with mini versions of food. They look so cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ The quantity was so little; that it didnโ€™t make sense to make another batch of Sambar or chutney. These bite sized pieces would make some delicious starters and so I thought of converting them into an Indo Chinese avatar. Yes, Idli Manchurian!

The popular Manchurian sauce in India was originally developed by a small Chinese community in India to suit Indian tastes.  Manchurian is usually prepared in two parts. The main ingredient (tofu, paneer or veggies) are usually dipped in thin batter and deep fried. Then it is sautรฉed with chopped onion, garlic and a combination of sauces.

In this recipe however I have skipped deep frying the idlis.  I prefer shallow frying which also means I skipped the part to prepare a batter as well.  Making this recipe really quick not to forget delicious. I hope you like it as much as we enjoyed eating it. Too bad I only made a little โ€“ leaving us to crave for more.


30 mini Idlis or 10 Idlis cut into bite size

2 tbsp oil

For Manchurian sauce:

2 green chillies, finely chopped

2 large garlic, finely chopped

1/4 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp chilli sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp cornstarch

Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish

Idli Manchurian Collage


  1. Make sure idlis are cold. It is easier to cut them without getting too many crumbs. Also they absorb less oil when cold.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry idlis until crisp and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate lined with some absorbent paper and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan heat sesame oil and add onion, ginger, garlic on a high flame.
  4. Add the idlis to the pan and stir.
  5. In a smaller bowl combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chilli sauce. Dilute with some water and add the cornstarch.
  6. Add the cornstarch mixture to the idlis and stir constantly until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the vinegar lastly and give it a quick stir.
  8. Top with spring onions and coriander leaves and transfer to a serving dish.
  9. Serve hot.


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Love & Hugs,


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