Mini Idlis Magic

I was planning a party for friends and had some left over idli dough in the fridge that I wanted to use up. Instead of serving the predictable idli-sambar-chutney combo, I turned them into these delectable little towers. The different flavors, tastes and textures make for a party in your mouth! Enjoy!


Mini Idlis, Molaga Podi (Gun powder/Spice powder), Orange/Red colored bell peppers, Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, Fresh Lemon Juice, Freshly ground black pepper, Salt, Dried Oregano, Extra Virgin Olive oil.


  1. Use store-bought/home made dough to make 24 mini-idlis with very little water. Steam them and cool completely.
  2. In a big bowl, add 3 tbsps of Molaga Podi or popularly known as Gun powder (typically a roasted and ground lentil and red chili mix). To this, add 5 tbsps of oil and mix well.
  3. Once the idlis are cooled completely, add them to this Molaga Podi/oil mix. Coat all the idlis with the spice mix evenly, cover and keep aside at room temperature.
  4. Cut up orange/red colored bell peppers into 1″ squares. Add 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Keep refrigerated.
  5. Cut up fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/2″ squares. Add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1/2 tsp of  extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp of  freshly squeezed lemon juice and keep refrigerated.
  6. When ready to assemble, spread the basil leaves on a plate and season with a pinch of salt, black pepper and a slight drizzle of lemon juice.
  7. Use a bell pepper square as a base to build up: bell pepper square, basil leaf, marinated mozzarella cheese, another bell pepper square and top finally with the mini idlis. Secure this appetizer tower with a strong toothpick.
  8. Line them up on a platter and serve immediately.

Notes for the chef:

  • Idlis can be made at least 4 hours ahead of time and allowed to marinate in the molaga podi mix so they can absorb the flavors. Longer, the better! However, ensure that they are kept at room temperature.
  • You will need twice as many pepper squares as the idlis. Since I was making for a party, I had 24 idlis and 48 bell pepper squares)


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