Chellamani Snack – a Spiced Fried Idli with Tomato Chutney

A remix of leftover idli batter spiced with shallots, ginger and green chilies and served with a chutney of choice  – Chellamani Snack.


Chellamani Snack


What is the most commonly prepared food in the kitchen of South Indian homes? Well, apart from the curd rice, that would be the quintessential ghee laden dosa and the idli.  They are often served with idli podi a, a spicy dried powder which is often referred to as gun powder by my kids because of its spice. Most women make idli batter for a week and store it in big containers in the fridge so that it is available any time of the day, any day of the week.

I normally make idli batter for 2 to 3 days and keep it refrigerated. However by the third day I have an almost empty container in the fridge and three hungry faces staring at me. I end up preparing an alternate breakfast and the left over batter never sees the light of the day. It gets washed away in the sink and is soon replace by ample fresh made batter. There are many ways to use left over idli batter. One is to add some water and make it dosa batter, or you can make oothappams or even better Chellamani Snacks. I saw this first in a write up in Malayalam Manorama. I have been intrigued ever since. It makes for a quick tea time snack and makes use of that last cup of batter in the container. It is delicious and simple.


Chellamani Snack


Source – Vanitha

  • Leftover Idli Batter – 1 1/2 cup
  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Butter milk – 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ginger –  2 tsp finely chopped
  • Curry leaves = 1 sprig chopped
  • Shallots – 2 small finely chopped
  • Green chillies -2 finely chopped
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Wash and soak the rice for 4-5 hrs. Drain the water from the rice.
  • Grind the rice along with the buttermilk to make a smooth batter.
  • Combine this rice mixture along with the idli batter and the salt. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Take a small pan and heat up some oil.
  • Splutter the mustard seeds. When the mustard pops add the shallots, ginger,green chilies and the curry leaves a saute well till the onions become translucent.
  • Add this seasoning to the prepared batter.
  • Heat oil in an unniyappam pan. When the oil heat up, drop a small ladle of batter into each unniyappam mould and fry till a light golden brown in color. Turn it only once during frying.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Drain on absorbent paper and serve with a chutney of choice or just plain ketchup.
  • I served it along with a simple tomato chutney.


Chellamani Snack


  • 3 Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder or 6 red chilies
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad dal
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves


  • Take a little oil in a pan and saute the onions till translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy.
  • Add the chili powder, fenugreek powder, asafoetida, salt and sugar and cook till the raw smell is gone.
  • Let this mixture cool. Once it has cooled, grind this to a nice thick paste.
  • In another pan take some oil and splutter the mustard and urad seeds. Add the curry leaves and stir till they have wilted.
  • Add the ground tomato mixture to the seasoning. Stir for two minutes.
  • Serve with your Chellamani snacks.

This is my entry to Love Your Food – Don’t Waste it – an event hosted by Food Corner. This is a very innovative concept where we try and utilize as much of the foodstuff we have at hand with out wasting anything, thus effectively reducing wastage and expenses.



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