5-minute Crispy Roasted Idli Fry

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Crispy roasted idli fry – Turn your leftover idlis into this delicious, ghee-laden snack that doubles up as breakfast. Your kids will love it, and so will you because 5 minutes is all it takes. 

Roasted Idli ghee in a black bowl
Idi Ghee Roast

Got leftover idlis that no one wants to eat or made a batch that ended up being too hard? Here’s a solution for you – make this crispy roasted idli fry.

All you need to do is chop the idlis and sauté them in ghee infused with aromatic cumin seeds along with a tiny bit of sugar. We love this dish so much that we deliberately make extra idlis so that we can use the leftovers to make this tasty treat. 

That’s what my mom used to do, and I have been continuing that tradition πŸ™‚

What do you do with leftover idlis? Leave a comment below and let me know. 

If you are looking for easy and delicious breakfast recipes, here are my top picks,

  1. Lemon vermicelli – This delicious and tangy Semiya Upma (Lemon Vermicelli) is just what you need to start your day. It is filling and comes together in 15 minutes from start to finish.
  2. Rava Upma – a semolina-based breakfast dish that takes less than 30 minutes.
  3. Rava idliHere is a quick recipe to enjoy those lovely soft fluffy instant rava idlis whenever the mood strikes. Serve with coconut or peanut chutney for a delicious and healthy meal.
  4. Buttermilk dosa – Buttermilk dosa – Delicious and soft, this dosa is perfect for breakfast, snacks, and even lunch. Learn how to make it in a few easy steps.
  5. Kapparutti (Kappa rutti or Kappa rotti) – This soft in the center and crispy on the sides 4-ingredient dosa or pancake from Mangalore is a culinary delight. Try it out today – no fermentation required!
  6. Non-Sticky Sabudana Khichdi – This step-by-step recipe will show you how to make sabudana khichdi that looks as great as it tastes. No more clumpy or sticky mess!

Note: If you have had trouble making soft idlis, I have the perfect recipe for you. Read Failproof recipe to make soft and melt-in-the-mouth idlis.  

An overhead shot of Idli fry in a black bowl
Idli Ghee Roast
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An overhead shot of Idli fry in a black bowl
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Crispy roasted idli fry / Idli ghee roast recipe

Turn your leftover idlis into this ghee laden delicious snack that doubles up as breakfast too. Your kids will love it and so will you because 5 minutes is all it takes. 
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Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2



  • Cut each idli into 3 pieces.
  • Place a shallow pan on medium heat and add ghee to it.
  • When the ghee melts away, add cumin seeds. The cumin seeds will start to sizzle in a minute.
  • Add the cut idlis along with sugar and gently mix them.
  • In about 2 minutes, flip the idlis to the other side and let them cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Once the idlis turn golden brown take it off the heat and serve immediately.


Note –  If your idlis were refrigerated and are hard, microwave them for about 15-30 seconds to soften them.
To make a masala version of roasted idli follow the steps below – 
  1. Follow steps 1-3 from the recipe above.
  2. After the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin, coriander, and chili powder along with salt (~1/4 teaspoon).
  3. Mix well and add the idlis. Cook till the idlis turn golden brown and are evenly coated with the masalas.
  4. Serve immediately. 
Read the post…For helpful information on ingredient swaps, storage tips, meal prep ideas, and variations!

Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.


Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 222mgSugar: 2g
Diet: Nut-free
Course: Breakfast
Method: Stovetop
Keywords: Crispy, ghee roast, leftovers
Cuisine: Indian

This post was first published on January 17, 2015, and has been updated with text and step by step pictures on July 7th, 2020. 

An overhead shot of idlis served in a white bowl with juice
Crispy roasted idlis

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  1. Hi, your idli recipe link is not working. It’s only showing the ingredients link. Is there any other way to access the idli recipe. Thanks.