What To Do With Leftover Idli Batter? 7 Interesting Ideas
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Idlis are one of the staple foods of Southern India. However, their nutrient value, taste, and varieties have made them a go-to breakfast option in the rest of India and in some parts of the world as well. But more often than not, there is always some leftover idli batter that you might not know what to do with.

If you wait for the next morning, chances are that the batter might turn sour and would not be fit for your next round of idlis. But wait, instead of throwing it away, there are so many dishes that can made from it. Be it variations of idlis for as an evening snack or a completely different meal for your lunch. Here are 7 ideas to make the best use of the leftover idli batter.

Idli Chaat

Combine the specialities of Northern and Southern India, and you get an incredible idli chaat. 

To make this fusion, make some more idlis from the leftover idli batter and slice them into bites. Transfer these bites to a large bowl and add some curd with the spices like chaat masala, pepper, red chilli powder, and salt. Then, add tamarind (imli) chutney and green chutney and mix all of the ingredients till the idlis are well-coated. Next, add some chopped onions, tomatoes, and pomegranate on top and dive right in!


Punugulu is a South Indian snack that’s often made in the kitchens to put the leftover idli batter to use. To prepare this evening snack, take the idli batter and mix it with chopped onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and green chillies as per preference. Now, deep-fry it, and you’ll get idli fritters with their snackable crispy crust and a soft core. Pair them with red or green chutneys and you get the perfect snack.

Masala Idli

Masala idlis are a great option for a quick and savoury lunch as well as for a spicy evening snack. All you need to do is take the leftover idli batter and make more idlis.

Now, cut them into three or four pieces and roast them with some chopped vegetables like onions, carrots, capsicum, peas, etc. In the same pan, add your favourite spices and mix well. And there you go, your nutritious meal is prepared that’s convenient to carry as well.


Upma is another traditional Indian delicacy that is usually made from semolina, but the leftover idli batter will work just as well. For upma, you’ll need to make a fresh batch of idlis and crush them. Then, heat up a saucepan and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, chopped onions, peas, and other vegetables as per your choice. Cook them for a while and add the crumbled idli along with spices like turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Don’t forget to add some roasted peanuts to add a crunchy factor, and you’re all done.

Stuffed Idlis

To make a nutritious lunch or dinner from the leftover idli batter, you can add a twist to the traditional idlis that might have had as breakfast. To make stuffed idlis, take the idli batter and add a layer of it to the idli mould. Then, make a filling of mashed potatoes, cheese, and other vegetables and place it in the centre. Cover the filling with some more batter as the top layer and steam it just the way you make traditional idlis. And you get a more fulfilling batch of idlis that can be enjoyed with curd, chutney, or even sambar.

Chinese-Style Scallion Rice Pancakes

Chinese-style scallion rice pancakes are a famous Chinese street food that can be made from leftover idli batter. To make these Chinese delicacies, you need to mix them better with sliced scallions (spring onion) and salt to taste. Next, heat up a non-stick pan add a spoon of the batter to the pan and spread it to make an even circle. Let the batter cook till the bottom of the circle is crispy and then flip it till the other side is cooked as well. Take it out on a plate and you get a delicious rice pancake!

Rice Cheela

Rice cheela is another go-to traditional Indian dish that is widely appreciated thanks to its rich flavours. For a delicious rice cheela, take the leftover idli batter, add chopped onions, green chillies, and salt to taste, and mix it to get a uniform batter. Then, take a non-stick pan, pour some of it into the pan and let it spread out in a circle. Let the bottom layer cook, and then flip and wait till the other side is crispy as well. Take it out on a plate within a few minutes and your rice cheela is ready to eat. You can pair it with a green chutney or curd for a more sumptuous version.