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Masala Idli is a simple recipe made by coating onions and tomatoes with the flavour of sambhar powder. This dish isn’t limited to breakfast, it can also be served as an appetizer, evening snack, or a convenient lunch box treat for kids. Making idlis often leaves us with extras, and this is the ideal way to put them to delicious use too.


4 Servings
  • 8
    Steamed Idli (leftover)
  • 2tbsp
  • 2sprigs
    Curry Leaves
  • 1tsp
    Mustard Seeds
  • 2
    Dry Red Chillies
  • 1
    Onion (chopped)
  • 1tbsp
    Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2
    Tomato (chopped)
  • 2tbsp
    Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 1/2tbsp
    Sambhar Powder
  • 1tsp
    Salt (as per taste)
  • 1/2cup
  • 1tbsp
    Lemon Juice


  1. Cut the leftover idlis into quarters and set them aside.

  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

  3. Add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves to the hot oil. Allow them to splutter.

  4. Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste, and saute them until they become translucent and fragrant.

  5. Add chopped tomatoes and stir them in. Cook until they become soft and mushy.

  6. Add desiccated coconut, sambhar powder and salt to the mixture and mix well.

  7. Next, add water and lemon juice to the mixture, stir and cook for a minute.

  8. Place the idli pieces into the pan and toss them with the masala. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, then turn off the heat.

  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve Masala Idlis hot.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Leftover idlis are ideal for this recipe as they hold their shape better and absorb less oil.

  2. Fresh idlis can be used as well, but they may stick to the pan due to their softness.

  3. Feel free to use other spice powders like pav bhaji masala powder etc.

  4. You can add your choice of finely chopped veggies to this masala idli recipe like capsicum, carrots, or green beans.

  5. The number of servings for this recipe may vary depending on the portion size served.

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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