Idli Upkari – Guest Post by Anupama Michael

Idli Upkari
Idli Upkari

Anupama Michael (nee Bhandary) is my friend from school days and a treasure trove of recipes. Many of you may remember her from the post on the Udupi Temple Rasam. The other day, I was having Idli Upkari at a restaurant chain called Balaji and (as is usual) trying to fathom what all that went into the making of it. I thought I deciphered the recipe quite well, but the friends with me insisted I was missing something.

So what do I do but  whip out my mobile phone and send a message to Anu who came back in a trice with the recipe. (In my excitement, I asked her the recipe for Bread Upkari but that was OK as the process remained the same.)

I got a chance to try this recipe this past week and here it is. This recipe is an amalgam of what Anu told me and what I saw in the dish I ate. 

The rate at which Anu is giving me recipes, I will have to start a special section for her. :-))

How to Make Idli Upkari

Serves: 4

Time: 15 Minutes (With Idlis already made)


  1. Idlis (Fresh or Leftover) – 8
  2. Grated Coconut – 1/3 Cup
  3. Udad Dal, Minapappu or Husked Black Gram – 2 tsp
  4. Rai, Avalu or Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Cumin – 1/4 tsp
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  7. Onion – 1 Large
  8. Tomato – 1 Small (optional)
  9. Green Chillies – 4
  10. Curry Leaves – 8
  11. Oil – 1.5 tbsp
  12. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste


  1. Cut each idli into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Finely chop the tomato, onion, and green chilli.
  3. In a kadhai or wok, over medium flame, heat the oil.
  4. Add mustard seeds and wait till they pop.
  5. Add the udad dal and fry till it is golden brown.
  6. Add cumin seeds, onion and green chillies.
  7. Fry till the onion is transparent.
  8. Add curry leaves and tomato pieces.
  9. Fry till the tomato pieces are stewed.
  10. Add the turmeric powder, salt and sugar.
  11. Add the idli pieces and mix well.
  12. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
  13. Stir-fry for a minute or two.
  14. Serve hot with some Coconut Chutney.


  • The tomato is just to lend some moisture to the dish. Do not increase the quantity or it spoils the balance. You can, in fact, leave it out all together.
  • I used freshly made idlis to make the Idli Upkari. You can also use leftover idlis.
  • Use the same method to make Bread Upkari.


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.