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top shot of a plate of crispy deep fried idli bites, served with a schezwan chutney dip on the side

Idli Fry (Fried Idli Recipe)

leftover idli recipe to make idli fry (fried idli recipe)
Course Beginner Recipes, Snack, Tea Time Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 leftover idlis


  • 6 idlis usually leftover ones
  • oil / oil spray based on method of frying


  • Cut idlis into small bite sized pieces.

Deep Fry

  • Heat up oil in a kadai, and fry the idli bites, till they turn light golden brown & crispy on the outside.

Air Fry (my go-to method)

  • Spray the air fryer basket with oil (or grease the basket with oil), then add the idli bites in.
  • Air fry at 390 F for 10-15 minutes, till idli bites are lightly crispy on the outside. Time might vary based on kind of air fryer, and the level of crisp you prefer.
  • Serve fresh with a dip of your choice.



  1. Leftover Idlis - You can always make idli fry with fresh idlis, but it's best to use leftover idlis that have dried out a bit, especially after refrigeration. Enjoy freshly steamed idlis with classic white coconut chutney or red coconut chutney. :)
  2. Bite Sized - Do not cut the idli into very small pieces, because there is a higher chance the idli bites will turn overly crispy, and not have the satisfying soft & chewy bite to them. Ideally they should be crisp on the outside & soft & chewy on the inside.
  3. Oven Bake - You can also drizzle a little oil on them and oven bake these idli bites. But I prefer air frying them because it is the quicker, less hassle method in this case, and we prefer the air fried texture too.