Idli Reheating 101: Discover the Best Techniques to Enjoy Perfectly Warmed Idlis

How to Reheat Idli: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Basics of Reheating Idli:

Idlis are a popular South Indian delicacy made from fermented rice and urad dal. Known for their soft texture and unique taste, idlis can be enjoyed not only as a breakfast item but also as a snack or main course. However, if you have leftover idlis that need reheating, it’s important to know the right method to retain their original deliciousness.

Gather Your Ingredients:

Before starting the reheating process, ensure you have the following ingredients ready:

Method 1: Steaming Idlis:

Step 1: Prepare the Steamer:

Fill your steamer with an inch of water and bring it to a boil.

Step 2: Arrange the Idlis:

Place the leftover idlis on the steaming tray while ensuring they are evenly spaced apart.

Step 3: Steam It Up!

Carefully place the tray inside your steamer over boiling water. Cover with a lid to create steam. Let them steam for about 5 minutes until they become hot throughout.

Step 4: Serve Hot!

Method 2: Reheating Idlis in Microwave:

Step 1: Arrange the Idlis:

Place the leftover idlis on a microwave-safe plate or bowl. Make sure to leave enough space between them for even heating.

Step 2: Sprinkle Some Water (Optional):

If you prefer softer idlis, sprinkle some water over them before reheating. This will add moisture during microwaving.

Step 3: Cover and Microwave:

Cover your plate or bowl with a microwave-safe lid or damp paper towel to prevent drying out. Microwave them on medium power for around 30-45 seconds per idli until they are evenly heated throughout.

Step 4: Serve Hot!

Carefully remove from the microwave, as they might be hot, and serve immediately with your favorite accompaniments!

Note: Remember that microwaves vary in power, so adjust heating time accordingly to avoid overheating or making them too rubbery.

Add Flavors Before Reheating:

If you want to enhance the flavors of reheated idlis, here’s what you can do:

  • Tadka/Tempering Method:
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, and dried red chili. Once it splutters and turns aromatic, pour this tempering over your steamed/idli pieces.

  • Toasting/Grilling Method:
  • Lightly toast each side of reheated idli on a preheated non-stick pan greased with ghee/butter until golden brown spots appear.

  • Sautéed Method:
  • In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and finely chopped onions. Sauté until onions turn translucent. Add the reheated idlis to the pan and gently mix them with the onion mixture until well-coated.


Knowing how to properly reheat idlis ensures that you can enjoy their delightful flavors even after they have been refrigerated or kept overnight. Whether you choose steaming or microwaving methods, following these simple steps will help retain their softness and taste. Experimenting with additional flavoring techniques can elevate your reheated idlis to new levels of deliciousness! So next time you have leftover idlis on hand, don’t hesitate to give them a second life by following our quick guide for reheating perfection. Enjoy!

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