Cocktail Idli

Cocktail Idli is tiny or mini sized idli mixed with a melange of spices and is an ideal party appetizer. In other words a fancier way of serving regular idli. Whenever I make a batch of idli batter there is plenty more left after serving a meal. I usually make guli appa (savory cakes made in a pan with indentation)  or Uttapam (thick pancakes) also called Dodna in Tulu.

Many years back when I was shopping for idli maker in India my sister Sujatha insisted I buy the bullet idli or mini idli maker. She told that Niki would love the mini idli just like her daughter did. She was absolutely right.

Little did I know that this dish seasoned with the simplest of pantry ingredients will make it so irresistible and will be loved by my guests I entertain often.

I use homemade chutney powder to season these tiny beauties. I always make a batch of curry leaves chutney powder and store in an airtight container. Chutney powder is so versatile that it can be used in many different ways. I use it on top of dosas and uttapam or as a dip with any kind of dosa.

Talking about the benefits of curry powder, firstly they are made with lentils which are packed with protein, curry leaf is a rich source of iron, red chilies is an excellent metabolism booster and a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that eating red chilies can prevent heart attacks and strokes and above all they are easy to make and tasty too.


6- 8 People

Prep Time

10 minutes to make chutney powder, 5 minutes getting ingredients together

Cook Time

About 15 minutes to steam idli, 10 minutes to season idli

Total Time

About 45 minutes, excluding time to make idli batter

  • 2 cups idli batter
  • 6 -8 tbsp chutney powder

    To make chutney powder: 

  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • 8-10 red chilies
  • 6 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • Small ball of soft hing, about the size of chana
  • 1 tsp amchur, optional
  • 1-2 tsp jaggery or sugar, optional
  • Salt to taste
  • Roast the dals in oil for 4-5 minutes. Keep aside.In the same pan add red chilies and hing and roast for another 2-3 minutes until crisp. Keep aside. Add curry leaves and roast until raw smell goes away. Cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and powder finely in a coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container and use as required.
    For Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar, optional
  •  2 tbsp oil plus 1 tsp oil

Step 1
Steam idli in the idli maker by lightly greasing with 1 tsp oil.

Step 2
In a pan add oil and the dals, mustard, cumin, curry leaves and red chili. Once the mustard cracks add salt.

Step 3
Add chutney powder and steamed idli in the pan and mix well. Cover the lid and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. 

Serve hot as is or with chutney of your choice.

Notes: My idli maker makes 18 mini idlis at a time., 2 cups of batter yields about 36 mini idlis.

This can also be served on toothpicks on a platter.

You may skip sugar if you are on a sugar free diet.


  1. Veena

    Perfect for party. Will definitely try this 👍

    • Fusion Kitchen Tales

      yes it is and tastes delish. thank you!


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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.

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