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Instant idli recipe | instant idli with leftover khichdi | instant idli with chutney

Instant idli with leftover khichdi is a unique and economical breakfast recipe. It is made with mashed cooked khichdi, semolina, and sour yogurt for extra fluffiness. It does not require the overnight fermentation process like traditional idli. This recipe can be prepared in minutes and served with a spicy tomato-onion chutney. It guarantees super soft idlis without fail. Give it a try!

The key to making soft idli from leftover khichdi at home are
  • Firstly, I prepared instant idli using leftover khichdi, which can also be made with leftover rice. I ground the khichdi into a thick paste to easily incorporate it into the batter.
  • I opted for coarse rava (sooji) for the idli, but you can use idli rava instead. Remember to roast the rava to prevent the idlis from becoming sticky.
  • Sour curd or yogurt is a must for this recipe. You can use store-bought yogurt, but make sure to keep it outside the fridge before using it, so it develops sourness through heat.
  • Lastly, instant idlis taste fantastic when served hot with a side of spicy chutney.
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Recipe video 

Instant idli recipe | instant idli with leftover khichdi | instant idli with chutney

Author Nehas Cook Book
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 idli


For instant idli from leftover khichdi

  • 1.5 cup leftover khichdi
  • 1 cup water or as required
  • 1 cup coarse rava - semolina
  • 1 cup sour curd
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 2-3 chopped green chilli
  • Some curry leaves
  • Pinch of hing
  • Some coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp Eno
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Water for steaming

For tomato-onion chutney

  • 2 medium size chopped tomatoes
  • 2 medium size chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 dry red chilli
  • 3 kashmiri dry red chilli
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small piece jaggery
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Some curry leaves


To make instant idli from leftover khichdi, follow these steps:

  • In a mixer jar, add 1.5 cups of khichdi and 1 cup of water. Grind it into a thick paste and set it aside.
  • In a pan, add 1 cup of rava and roast it on low flame until it slightly puffs up. Let it cool down and set it aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the grinded khichdi paste, roasted rava, 1 cup of sour curd, ½ tsp of turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
  • Gradually add 2-3 tbsp of water to make a medium-thick pouring batter. Avoid adding too much water to the idli batter.
  • Whisk the batter for 2 minutes to incorporate air particles and make it light and fluffy. Cover the batter and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • In a tadka pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, chopped curry leaves, and asafoetida. Sauté until the dal turns slightly golden brown. Turn off the heat and add this tadka to the idli batter. Also, add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Add Eno fruit salt and lemon juice to the batter. Mix thoroughly.
  • The instant idli batter is now ready. Grease the idli molds with oil and place a cashew nut in the center of each mold. Fill the molds with batter and place the plate into a preheated steamer.
  • Cover the steamer with a lid and steam the idlis for 12-15 minutes on high flame. Avoid steaming on low flame.
  • Once the idlis are cooked, allow them to cool down and then demold them.

Alternatively, if you don't have an idli mold or steamer, you can use a deep-bottomed vessel (big patili). Follow these steps:

  • In a large vessel, add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Place a greased plate on top of the boiling water and spread the batter on it using a ladle. (Refer to the video for demonstration.)
  • Cover the vessel and steam the idli on high flame for about 4 minutes. Check with a knife; if it comes out clean, the idli is properly cooked.
  • Enjoy the instant idlis with spicy tomato-onion chutney.

To make tomato-onion chutney, here's what you need to do:

  • In a mixer jar, add tomatoes, onions, garlic, dry red chilies, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin seeds, salt, and jaggery. Grind them into a smooth paste.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Sauté them.
  • Add the ground paste to the pan and mix well.
  • Cover and cook the chutney until the oil separates from the sides.
  • Serve the chutney with hot idlis.


  • Grind khichdi into a thick paste so that it easily merges into the batter.
  • Roast rava on a low flame so that it nicely puffs up.
  • The proportion of curd and rava should be equal.
  • Do not add more water while making the idli batter.
  • The consistency of the batter should be medium-thick and pourable.
  • Whisk the batter for 2-3 minutes to incorporate air particles, making the idli light and fluffy.
  • Let the batter rest for 20 minutes so that the rava absorbs water and puffs up.
  • Tadka enhances the flavor of idli and also keeps it moist after it cools down.
  • Steam the idli for 12-15 minutes on high flame. Do not steam it on a low flame.
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