Idli Manchurian
Idli Manchurian, a delicious snack made using the leftover idlis is a fusion food of Indo Chinese and South Indian Cuisine. The process of making this manchurian is similar to Paneer Manchurian, but idli pieces are used instead of paneer cubes. First, the batter coated idli pieces are shallow fried or deep fried until crispy and then tossed in the machurian sauce. If you have leftover idlis (or fresh idlis) and 20-25 minutes of time, then follow the below given recipe with step by step photos to make a mouth watering afternoon snack.
Ingredients for Batter:
5-6 Idlis (use leftover idlis for better result)
1½ tablespoons Maida (all purpose flour)
2½ tablespoons Cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper Powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon red Chilli Powder, optional
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Oil, for shallow frying
Ingredients for Manchurian:
1/4 cup finely chopped Onion (1 medium onion)
1/4 cup finely chopped Capsicum (1/2 capsicum)
1½ teaspoons finely chopped Garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped Green Onion, optional (keep white and green part separated)
1/2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Red or Green Chilli Sauce, optional
1½ tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
1/2 teaspoon Cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 2½ tablespoons Water, optional
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Oil
Note:You can deep fry the idli pieces instead of shallow frying in step-5. If you are in a hurry, just shallow fry the idli pieces without coating with batter until light golden brown(don’t make the batter, skip step-3 and step-4).
  1. Chop all the veggies and keep aside until required.
  2. Cut idlis into small bite-size pieces. If possible, use leftover idlis for the best result. If you are using fresh idlis, keep them in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes before cutting to prevent them from crumbling.
  3. Take 2½ tablespoons cornflour(cornstarch), 1½ tablespoons maida, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Add water little by little and make a smooth batter. It should have dripping consistency and not be very thick. Add 4-6 idli pieces in the batter at a time.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan or tava over medium flame for shallow frying. Use a non-stick pan or a heavy based iron pan to prevent sticking. Coat the idli pieces evenly with the batter and place on heated pan.
  6. Shallow fry them until light golden brown and crispy from all sides. Flip 2-3 times in between to shallow fry them evenly. If you like, you can deep fry them instead of shallow frying.
  7. Transfer them to a plate over paper napkin.
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium flame. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped onion and green onion(only white part). Sauté until it turns light pink. Add 1½ teaspoons finely chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger. Sauté for a few seconds.
  9. Add 1/4 cup finely chopped capsicum and salt. Sauté for a minute.
  10. Add 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon red or green chilli sauce and 1½ tablespoons tomato ketchup. Mix well.
  11. Add cornflour-water mixture(1/2 teaspoon cornflour mixed with 2½ tablespoons water).
  12. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder.
  13. Mix well and cook until mixture turns thick, it will take approx. 2-3 minutes.
  14. Add shallow fried idli pieces and green onion(only green part).
  15. Mix well and cook for a minute. Taste for the seasonings and add more if required. Turn off the flame. Idli Manchurian is ready for serving. Serve it hot for better taste.
Tips and Variations:
  • Don’t increase the amount of soy sauce as it may change the taste.
  • You can deep fry idli pieces instead of shallow frying.
  • Don’t make the manchurian in advance, as it turns soggy after some time. Always serve it hot for better taste.
Taste:  Mild spicy with crispy idli pieces
Serving Ideas:  Serve idli manchurian as an afternoon snack or with vegetable hakka noodles in the dinner.

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