Ain’t these Cocktail Idli Kebabs  good looking? A nice way of transforming left-over idlis into a cool party snack.

Cocktail Idli Kebab

There are two meanings to the word “Inspiration”. The first one says it is the process of being mentally stimulated to do something creative. The second is the drawing in of breath or inhalation. Woah! This coincidence is too profound! The thing you do to stay alive physically and mentally being called the same?

May be, that is the reason one can draw inspiration from almost anything. A tragedy or an awe-inspiring beauty can inspire you the same way. The end result could sing different tunes, but they both inspire a person.

Idli Kebab

If cooking is an art, then a recipe comes from an inspiration. It could be something you ate, saw or feel. While some recipes stem from one’s love for a particular food/taste, some stem from a dislike. This cocktail idli kebabs recipe of mine stems from my dislike for idlis (I know! First I told you about my dislike for watermelons here and today, I confess to my idli-dislike! Being a south Indian from where the idli originated! Blasphemy!) !! 😛

Leftover idli recipe

Let me clarify. Idlis are amazing. They are made of fermented rice and lentil mixture and are steamed. Could there possibly be anything healthier?? Especially when served with Sambar (a veggie-lentil stew). However, I ate a life-time’s quota of idli’s as a kid (so much that I was nick-named idli! But that’s another story for another day). So, I really do not enjoy them anymore. A bowl of hot sambar? Sure, I’ll have a teeny idli with it because I like sambar but…. Not my choice of breakfast! Nachiket? He can eat his weight in Idlis! 😀

Considering what I just told you, I am sure you understand how left-over idlis are a big no-no for me! Here it is –inspired by my dislike, a makeover for leftover idlis,  Cocktail Idli Kebabs. Here is the recipe for

Cocktail Idli

Cocktail Idli Kebabs


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3-4



    For Idli Kebabs
  • 6-8 medium sized idlis
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/8 cup green peas (I used frozen peas)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil + oil for roasting the patties
  • 1/4 cup boiled potato (if required)
  • For Chutney
  • 1/4 cup roasted channa dal (phutane/putnala pappu)
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1-2 green chilies (bird eye chilies)
  • Salt to season
  • Water as required
  • For tempering the chutney
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)


  1. For the chutney, blend all ingredients for the chutney in a blender using water as required. Set aside.
  2. For the chutney tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add asafetida and urad dal and roast till urad dal turns golden. Turn the heat off and set aside.
  3. Mash the idlis and set aside.
  4. To make the kebabs, heat oil in a pan. Add chili powder, garam masala and turmeric into the hot oil.
  5. Roast for about 10 seconds, add the frozen green peas and grated carrots. Add the salt and mix well.
  6. Add the mashed idlis, chopped cilantro and mix well. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  7. Make kebab like patties with the mashed idli. Although I have not used, if you find it difficult to shape the idlis, mix with mashed potatoes to help bind.
  8. Roast the kebabs on a pan/griddle using oil. The idlis tend to stick to the pan, keep flipping them carefully with the help of oil.
  9. Transfer small amounts of chutney into shot gasses. Drizzle the tempering over the chutney.
  10. Poke a toothpick/skewer into the kebabs and let the idlis rest across the shot glasses.

My Take:

Since idlis are not flavored in themselves, the flavours that can be used for the kebabs are abundant. Try your hand at a flavor of your choice

You can also make some tomato chutney or mint chutney to go with the kebabs.

Yummily Yours’


Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Great idea yaar n looks amazing. Great presentation. I do fried idlys n idly upma with the leftover. I totally get you regarding eating idlys. I too had enough 🙂

  2. Very innovative Prashanti…..Idli in a new avatar….beautifully made…

  3. wow…very creative idea dear…Inviting photography too…great job!

  4. Awesome… I m going to make some idlis, not eat them, just so that i can try your recipe the next day!

  5. I’m not much of a cook but seeing these amazing pics and such creativity in converting normal food into magical, coupled with your playful words to describe it, inspires me to at least peep into my kitchen now. Simply love your take on daily food!

    • Thank you Bhavita. I find cooking therapeutic. If I was able to convey that through my blog, there is nothing that makes me more happy. I appreciate your feedback . Thank you Bhavita 🙂

  6. I just can’t eat idlis as it is….This is indeed a great idea . They look sooo.. very appetizing.. simply luv ur pictures..

    • I never knew there are so many who understand my dislike for idli! 😀 Thanks Ragini. Would love to hear from you when you try them 🙂

  7. By just seeing the pics of this post, I could have never guessed that this chic looking dish was idli kebabs!! Amazing post my dear.

  8. Idli Kebabs is such an uber recipe…totally fancy!! I would have never imagined other than making fried idlis..Very creative Prash.. I would love to receive your blog updates.

    • Thank you Priyanka 🙂 It would be my pleasure if you subscribe to receive email updates. Over on the right side bar. You can also follow the updates on FB/Pinterest too. See you around 🙂

  9. wud definitely try idli kababs and let u know .. mean while I wud like to have the recipe for fried idlis…

    • 😀 I am not fond of idlis Ragini. When I make them for my husband next time an have leftovers, I shall post more recipes including fried idlis.

  10. What a clever idea!!!!! I never thought of using idli this way! I love rava idli and this recipe will work great with it!

  11. Recently, I had a word with my friends if anyone of them need an microwave idli maker 😛 Mine is screaming in corner of cabinet since long… Hubby doesn’t love idli and so I don’t make it anymore 🙁 But this is a great way to make him like it too!!! Let me get that idli stand out and try out this appetizer/snack 🙂

  12. What a great way to use the leftover idlis. I always make masala idli or idli Manchurian but this is a different and nice way…loved the idea.

  13. Awesome, brilliant, creative idea Prash!

  14. Pingback: PHULKA TACOS – WHOLE WHEAT, HARD SHELL TACOS - Yummily Yours'

  15. Pingback: DOSA RECIPE & HOW TO SERVE DOSA FOR A PARTY - Yummily Yours'

  16. They really look very good..i will surely being trying them. Thanks for the recipe. I will be mentioning you on my blog once I recreate this dish my way! 🙂

  17. Pingback: MASALA IDLI | STEAMED RICE CAKES - Yummily Yours'

  18. Pingback: 100+ Diwali Ideas - Cards, Crafts, Decor, DIY and Party Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *