Idli Fry

When you have little kids at home there tends to be a lot of cooking done, especially if you are the type who prefers to give them homemade stuff. This also means that there are some hits and plenty of misses - leftovers happen in abundance as many of the things don't get eaten after the initial taste check. Thankfully I do scale down proportions enough for two meals but sometimes I run out of luck in that department and I have food in excess sitting in the fridge. I am not much of a recycling champion - just when I need those bright ideas they never seem to pop into my head. Last week after serving idlies with chutney and sambhar I realised that there were still many uneaten ones that I didn't know what to do with them. There had to be some way to re purpose them and the husband quickly came up with this idea of frying them. Although I am not a big fan of deep fried food, especially fried idlies I gave my nod of agreement and set to work. These crunchy slices of idlies were a pleasure to eat, obviously. Some indulgences cannot be guilt free and I guess as long as these indulgences don't happen on a daily basis they can be forgiven :)

When we were in Mumbai Roshan used to rave about this little Udupi restaurant in Laxmi Industrial Estate from where he used to order some Mangalorean goodies for tea time - podis (deep fried potatoes or sweet potatoes coated in gram flour batter and other kinds of bajjes (bhajiyas/pakodas)) and especially the idly fry. The restaurant definitely knew how to re purpose the leftover idlies from breakfast - cut 'em up and fry 'em - so delicious when served with some coriander chutney!

Since the weather here in Dubai has been marvellous since the past few weeks, especially when it rained a few days ago we decided to fry up the idlies and enjoy them desi style - with some chutney, ketchup and a hot cuppa chai for company - an indulgence which only the experienced will relish :)

While the weather is still lovely in most parts of the world this is something you can make to cheer yourself up. Make sure that the oil is hot enough (not smoking hot) so that the idlies fry up beautifully and don't absorb any oil. Oil drenched fried idlies are a turn off - trust me but if the slices are fried just right they taste awesome! Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside! Enjoy!

Idli Fry
Prep time: Nil | Frying time: 5-6 mins

1. Cut each idli into 3-4 slices
2. Heat oil for deep frying in a wok/kadhai. Let the heat be on a medium high. When the oil is hot enough gently slide in the pieces of idli without over crowding the pan.
3. Fry until golden brown (use a slotted spoon to flip them around to ensure evenly browned/fried pieces). Drain off excess oil and place the pieces on absorbent kitchen tissues.
4. Serve hot with ketchup or coconut chutney

To test the readiness of the oil dip a wooden skewer or toothpick into the oil
If you have an air fryer you can fry up these idlies with just about 1-2 teaspoons of oil and they will taste just as great -guiltfree and crunchy, however, they may not brown evenly on all sides if you place the pieces in a ceramic bowl.

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