Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kaima idli recipe | Saravana bhavan style

kaima idli recipe
Kaima idli recipe, that's very close to Saravana bhavan's Kaima idli, only that this is homemade! You can deep fry or even bake for healthy version.
I had Kaima idli first time in Saravana bhavan, then 2 –3 times in Madras woodlands in some other name like, chilli idli or something similar to that. I have even attempted to try this at home. But deep frying the idlies was my main concern about the recipe when I saw this recipe at Lavi’s blog. Not that I wont deep fry the idlies, but I could not properly deep fry my idli. It was so soft to deep fry and always got stuck to the ladle. So I dropped the idea of trying at home. But that was long time back. Now since we come to learn few basic kitchen tricks, I tried this again. I refrigerated the left over idlies before deep frying and the deep frying part was totally mess free.It came out crispy and golden in colour.

I wanted it spicy and look more like the Saravana bhavan hotel style kaima idli, so added what ever I could figure out in the recipe and the result was very satisfying. I am sure everybody would enjoy this as snack. If you are making for your kid, try to skip chillies and add more of tomato ketchup or sauce to match their taste.

Kaima Idli recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Dinner
Prep Time: 10 mins    |  Cook time: 25 mins    Serves: 2


Leftover idli - 4-5

Onion - 1

Tomato - 2

Green chilli - 2

Capsicum - 1/2

Green peas (frozen) - 3 tbsp

Ginger garlic paste - 3/4 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Biryani masala/ Pav bhaji masala - 1 tsp

Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp

Tomato sauce(optional) - 1 tbsp

Salt - as needed

Oil - as needed

Coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsp

Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Fennel seeds/ cumin - 3/4 tsp


  1. If you are going to make this in the evening/night, refrigerate the idlies from morning. This is for easy deep frying. It absorbs less oil if we refrigerate. The cut into bite sized pieces as shown in the picture. You can also bake it in a preheated oven at 190 deg C (Baking and pre heat temperature same) for 15 mins (or until crisp), turning in between once.step1-kaima-idli
  2. Cut onion length-wise, chop tomatoes finely, capsicum into thin short strips. I used frozen peas, you can use any cooked peas in place of it. Deep fry the idli pieces in hot oil until crisp and golden brown. Set aside in kitchen towel. Heat a kadai with 2 tsp of oil and pop the fennel seeds and add curry leaves.step2-kaima-idli 
  3. Fry onion till transparent and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute. Add chopped tomatoes and salt.step3-kaima-idli 
  4. Fry till it gets mushy. Add green peas and capsicum to it and fry for 2 more minutes. Add chilli powder, daniya powder and pav bhaji masala. Add tomato sauce and fry until all masalas blend well.step4-kaima-idli 
  5. Add the fried idlies and toss well.step5-kaima-idli 
  6. Add 1/4 cup water and boil in high flame, mix well and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Transfer to the serving bowl.step6-kaima-idli


  • Deep frying the idlies is optional, but it gives the idli nice colour and it helps to hold the shape.
  • If the idlies are not refrigerated, the idli pieces get stuck to the laddle while frying. So make sure to refrigerate the idlies.
  • You can replace the pav bhaji masala with garam masala powder too.
  • Its really spicy, so adjust the spiciness according to your taste.
  • If you eat immediately then it will be crunchy and juicy as well. but if later, then it will be only juicy, still tastes great!
  • If you want you can skip tomato sauce and add a tsp of lemon juice. But i love the sweetness from the sauce.
  • Capsicum and green peas helps in reducing the heat while eating.
  • Do not boil for long time after adding water. Just bring to boil in high flame and mix well.
  • 1/4 cup water in last step is approximate. If you feel its very dry, you can add more to make the gravy loose and coat the idlies well.

Serve hot, best it tastes. Hot and spicy kaima idli! Love to have it with onion raita. I could not resist myself from eating until I finish clicking, so had few in kadai which I munched in between clicking 😉.



53 Stars(comments):

  1. Kaima idly looks yummy and is tempting a lot.Pics are superb as usual.

  2. I have never heard of this dish before. now i feel like having some although i JUST had lunch!

  3. This is totally tempting me , craving for kaima idly now though i had my lunch!! Pictures are inviting

  4. Oh nags, same comment from both of us!!

  5. Kaima idli looks great.I have had chilli idli at sangeetha and I am guessing both are same,got to try this!

  6. AWESOME....super drooling post :))

  7. Gosh!!! The idlies look so tempting!! You are making me drool :)

  8. Awesome!! I have always wanted to recreate this after trying in Saravana Bhavan. You have made it seem so simple :) Thanks!!!

  9. It looks really delicious and yummy..perfect for evening snack..

  10. Hearing for the first time... Kaima idlis look tempting...

  11. pictures are great ! cannt we do the frying part in Kuzhipaniyaram pan?

    1. Yes you can try that, even u can try over any nonstick pan/ dosa pan.

    2. intially i planned not to fry :) just because of ur picture i changed my plan to fry but in kuzhipaniyaram !

    3. See laavanya's comment below, sounds interesting :)

  12. I tried this in Sarvana bhavan once and loved it totally... Thanks for sharing this recipe

  13. Very tempting Recipe,had many times but never tot to post:)It came out very well for you...

  14. Looks very tempting, perfectly done..

  15. Looks very inviting and delicious...Love to try this..

  16. I have only made fried idli and sautéed with veggies to make it interesting. The khaima sounds fab idea. Next time I will make extra idlis for this!

  17. This is my husband's favourite.. but not done for a while.. So tempting.. Yummy looking Idli

  18. Looks yumm..I have tasted the idli chaat in komalas..this one reminds me of that...

  19. never heard about kaima idli before...looks so tempting....

  20. I always order this at Saravana bhavan too.... Love this dish.... but when i make this at home i bake the idlis in an oven after tossing with some oil and chilli powder.... it gets nice and crisp without the hassle of deep frying. The photo is so tempting Raks and it looks exactly like the one in the restaurant :-)

  21. Lovely recipe. Will baking work after adding a tablespoon of oil to the cut idli pieces work instead of deep frying?

    1. Please refer the above comment. It will help i think...

  22. Photographs are excellent like the dish..well organised.

  23. My mouth watering right now..looks very delicious...

  24. We love the kaima idli from Saravana Bhavan... Thanks for idea on chilling the idli before frying - great help!!!
    Ongoing Event - Breakfast
    Ongoing Event - Tried and Tasted - Raks Kitchen

  25. Looks very appetizing. I have only had fried idli's but not the rest on it in the combo. Never heard of this dish, but would love the bowl, Please.

  26. Looks tempting... raji, you have got nice color too

  27. tempting and super inviting .. .

    Ongoing event:
    Know your dairy - Milk Events
    in my blog.

  28. so tempting.. so yummy

  29. drool drool :P :P looks just like a platter from saravana bhavan! Wish winter gets over soon so that I can ferment some idli batter and make this right away :)

  30. Love to finish that whole plate,irresistible kaima idli.

  31. wow...kaima idli looks so tempting...loved its color, texture everything perfect and inviting...great pics as always!
    i too never tried deep frying idlis...thanks for the tip, will try this for my kids

  32. Like your recipe raks, will try it soon! Thanks for the Link Love!!
    Pics really make me hungry!

  33. Absolutely delcious preparation.

    today's recipe:

  34. This is my fav anytime...looks delicious, lovely clicks too!

  35. I call this chilly idly manchurian and I love them. Its true when u fry it ,it does taste better.Nice click.

  36. Love kaima idly, would love to have this..u r s perfect.

  37. LOOKS YUMMY...........

  38. totally mindblowing recipe... mouth watering to taste immediately...superb clicks raks

  39. HI raji

    can u pls tell how to treat a kal tawa before we start using it to make dosa

  40. I always order this when I eat out and the if the hotel as it....I am planning to y this soon....thanks for posting it.

  41. I made kaima idli using this recipe and it was v good...thank you!
    just one ques though; the idlis were crisp after deep frying but became soft on mixing with the veggies. do the idlies need to be fried with cornflour? have you ever had them soften a bit before serving?

    please keep posting more such recipes!

  42. Your recipe is looks awsme, you give the easiest way to prepare this recipe, from your recipe tips many people gets advantage. Regards,

  43. Hi raks.. I just love kaima idlis.. And im planning to try it out today at home. But we dont include onion garlic. So can i make it without onion garlic will it taste good?

  44. Brilliant recipe.Had left over baby corn,carrots,mushroom and the veggies listed above.BOOM.Super hit.Thxs.

  45. Tried this recipe yesterday.. We all loved it...


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