Monday, August 13, 2012

Tandoori Idly

Tandoori idly, I have eaten this idly more than dozen times. i have seen it in menu's only in pondicherry hotels. right from my childhood, it is my favorite dish. though I wanted to share the recipe for tandoori idly years back, the time came just today.

Tandoori means marinating with yogurt and spices, and then cooking in a tandoor oven. so the idly has to be marinated in curd and tandoori masala, after marinating, the idly should be fried. then gravy should be poured over the fried idly. though fried, the idly turns soft on soaking in the gravy. according to me, it’s pointless in frying the idly. also i hate to fry something well cooked. if you prefer frying idly, do that.

You can call this dish as a mock tandoori chicken. the idly gets soaked well in the gravy and the flavor and taste will be so good. never try this with left over idly. even in that case, reheat the idly and pour the gravy over it.

Tandoori Idly

Prep Time10 mins 
Cooking Time: 25 mins  
Recipe CuisineIndian
Recipe TypeBreakfast


Idly – 8
Onion – 1
Tomatoes – 2
Ginger – Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Cashews – 5
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water – ½ cup
Masala powders or use tandoori masala – 2 to 3 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Chilly powder/Sambhar powder/Madras curry powder – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi – 2 tsp

To Garnish:

Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Cashews or peanuts – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)


Prepare idly and cut them into half. with a help of fork or tooth pick prick few holes on the idly.

To prepare the gravy, heat a pan, add oil, and then add chopped onion and sauté till it turns translucent. then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till it turns soft. then add ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes off.

Now start adding tandoori masala or the masala powders one by one, turmeric, chilly powder, dhaniya powder, cumin powder, garam masala and kasuri methi to the pan and mix well. once the masala powders are well mixed with onion and tomato let the flame be in slow, and keep mixing, so that masala’s do not get sticked to the bottom of the pan for about 1-2 minutes till the raw smell of the masala goes off. remove the pan from flame and let it cool. add cashews and little water to the masala’s and grind them into a fine paste.

Heat another pan, add the grounded masala’s and add water as per the consistency you want. add salt and chilly powder as per your taste and let it boil. once it boils for 2-3 minutes remove the gravy from flame.

Once the gravy is ready, place the idly on plate and pour the gravy over it, cover the idly with the gravy. sprinkle some chopped cashews or peanuts over and finally add chopped coriander leaves. do not miss this; it makes the dish visually so impressive also a byte of nuts here and there makes the difference!

Serve with lemon wedges, onion slices or onion raita.


I tell you all an idea, if you have left over idly from morning breakfast, prepare more amount of gravy, so that you can use it for this tandoori idly for evening snack and also use up the gravy to prepare aloo masala or pea’s masala or paneer masala for dinner. just add 2 tsp of fresh cream to the gravy at end. it’s done. no one will spot the difference ;)

Also do not use the sour idly batter and make sour idly. this will not work with sour idly. idly should be so soft and fresh.


  1. hearing this for the first time..very interesting..looks yumm..

  2. Wow this sounds new to me...will def give a try. Looks so tempting!

  3. :) this is a really different item with idly. tempted to try it for dinner! will update on how it goes!

  4. Very innovative idea. I always have it with the idli podi. Something to try next time.

  5. Very interesting dish with idli. On seeing this is FB i thought as Dum Aloo:)

  6. very interesting. I have heard chili idli, idli manchurian... This one is new, but it looks very yummy. Bookmarked


  7. Quite interesting recipe, never heard of it!

  8. Wow this looks awesome.. can't say I've heard about it before.. Can't wait to try! :)

  9. I have eaten this idly in Hotel Surguru, Pondicherry many times. I was searching for the recipe since so long. Thanks for sharing. Will try for sure.

  10. Yes I just love this dish very much and this available only in hotel sarguru in pondicherry. Must have dish


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