Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Idli Manchurian

Just before the euphoria of Deepawali, we were hit by hurricane Sandy, causing major devastation along the east coast. Our area was pretty badly hit too. We live a couple of blocks from the waterfront of the Hudson river, right across NYC. Once the water started rising, the streets started flooding at an alarming rate. Within a matter of minutes, the streets in front of our buildings were flooded and street parked cars were submerged. Within moments, most of the area lost power. It was disconcerting - you have to live in or across NYC to experience that sudden loss of electricity when the whole city is plunged into darkness, and all you can see in the darkness, is this monstrous rush of water! Don't get me wrong, growing up in the NCR region of India, I have seen my fair share of power cuts. But somehow, experiencing this in the city that never sleeps was something else entirely! The winds were howling like crazy and the building swayed a bit! We even saw a few swift boats from our window!

By God's grace, things quickly got back to normal,or as close to normal as can be expected under the circumstances. Finally the adults are at work and the kids are in school, the stores are stocked and the gas stations don't have lines snaking around the block!

I know, I know, you must be wondering what any of this has to do with Idli Manchurian! Believe me, if it weren't for the hurricane, I doubt I would have come across this yummy dish! We were well stocked with non-perishables and water in expectation of the storm. Just to be on the safe side, I prepared some idli batter and enough idlis to last me a couple of days, just in case we had no electricity and water. Though most of the buildings in our area suffered loss of power and water supply for days together, we were the few lucky ones to scrape through unscathed. But what that did was, I was left with so many idlis that I did not know what to do with them. I mean, there are only so many idlis you can eat with chutney/gun powder. Another option was idli upma. But after that,  I had mutiny on my hands. Even I was fed up. That's when I remembered my cousin mention that he had eaten idli manchurian at his aunt's place and had loved it. So, I decided to try out this dish. After all, anything is better than eating plain idlis for all your meals 2 days in a row! Boy am I glad I did make this dish! It was a big hit with all of us :)

I used left over mini idlis. By all means make fresh ones if you don't have left overs :). Also, if using regular idlis instead of the mini ones, just cut each one into 4-5 pieces.

Preparation & Cooking: 20 minutes (excluding idli preparation)                      Serves: 3-4


Mini Idlis - 12-15
All Purpose Flour/Maida - ¼ cup
Corn Flour - 2 tablespoons
Pepper - 1 teaspoon
Green Chilli Paste - 3 teaspoons
Soy Sauce - 2 teaspoons
Siracha Sauce - 3 teaspoons
Rice Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Scallions - 1 small bunch, sliced thin
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 teaspoons
Water - to prepare batter
Sesame Oil - 2 tablespoons
Peanut/Sunflower Oil - for deep frying
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch

  1. Prepare a batter of slightly thick consistency using  all purpose flour, corn flour, pepper, salt, 1 teaspoon green chilli paste, 1 teaspoon siracha sauce, 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and a little water.
  2.  Dip the idlis in this batter and deep fry them till they turn golden in color, remove with slotted spoon and set aside on absorbent paper.
  3. Saute the white part of the scallions along with the ginger garlic paste in the sesame oil.
  4. When the onions turn golden brown, add the remaining sauces, a little water, sugar and a little bit of salt. Be careful while adding salt as soy sauce is already added to it. 
  5. Once the gravy thickens, switch off the flame and add the fried idlis to it. Garnish with the green part of scallions.

Yummy idli manchurians are ready. You could eat them as an appetizer, or increase the gravy and eat it with some hakka noodles or rice.


  1. Oh, I am certainly going to try this!!!

    1. Hey Shilpa, will wait for your comments after you try it :)


Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! Feel free to drop a line and keep me motivated...