Idli Panzanella

Nearly every Saturday breakfast is at Adyar Sangeetha.  We seem to eat the same things we eat at home (though not all on the same day), ash ildi, gau poori., s. dosa and me something purportedly healthy - ragi dosa, cholam dosa etc...  (with the level of oil they use, fat chance).  They don't make better puris or idlis than I do, but they make an awesome coconut chutney.  Every weekend I try to fight for breakfast at home, I mostly fail.  Today was a wonderful exception.  I had 5 - 6 idlis left over from yesterday, a small bowl of cooked Rajma, spring onions, Roma tomatoes and green capsicum.  I decided to make a new version of panzanella.  Took all of 30 minutes!

Idli Panzanella

Pan 1
5 - 8 idlis cubed
1 cup cooked rajma
1 green chili
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp caraway seeds or anise

Grill or Phulka Tava (used to finish off rotis)
2 bell peppers, washed, dried and rubbed with a teaspoon of oil (green or red or yellow)
2 roma tomatoes, washed and dried

Pan 2
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp urad daal
2 - 3 springs curry leaves
4 spring onions chopped, white and green parts
1 red onion finely diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder

Juice of 1.5 lemons
Coriander to garnish. (Optional)
1/2 tsp mint masala (Optional)

Heat oil in Pan 1, when hot add the caraway/anise (Rajma is said to be gassy, this is a counter measure)
Add the chili, rajma and idlis and fry until lightly browned.

In the other burner, place the phulka tava and put one capsicum on it
Turn it occasionally with tongs until backened all over 2 - 4 minutes
Place capsicum in a brown bag or between sheets of newspaper
Roast the second capsicum similarly.
Roast each of the 2 tomatoes.
When the vegetables are cool to handle, rub off the blackened layer and dice the capsicum and tomatoes

In Pan 2, heat oil, add mustard jeera, when the pop add the daal when it turns reddish add the curry leaves and then the spring onions and onion.  When they turn soft, add the chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well.

Now add the diced vegetables, Pan 2 to pan 1.  toss.  add lemon juice and salt as needed. toss.  garnish with coriander.


Excellent for a brunch.  Just have some fruits (banana and oranges today) and coffee alongside.

I bought a mint masala box from fabindia almost a year ago.  I need to use it up, adding it to almost anything I make these days.

Traditional panzanella uses old bread and olive oil.  If you use cold pressed peanut/sesame/coconut oil, it will add a unique flavour to the dish.

I am posting this to Srivalli's cooking under 30 minutes challenge.


  1. The rajma and idlis were precooked and ready.
  2. You could use pre-roasted bell peppers.  Not common around here. 
  3. Roasting tomatoes on the grill/tawa optional;  I tried it on a lark.
  4. I have no clue about the time it takes to roast on a grill!
  5. You can still do it inside thirty minutes if you make fresh idlis, start the idlis while you do the grilling and Pan 2.
  6. You could still cook the idlis fresh and do it in 30 minutes, just do Pan 2 and grilling first.  Last Pan 1; Also cut the idlis and toss with half the oil before you fry in the remaining oil.  Fresh idlis are soft and exhibit a tendency to fall apart, hence the change.
  7. Parallel processing on 3 stoves, I did mine in about 20 minutes.
This IS a complete meal - moist from lemon juice, tomatoes and generous amount of oil, complete with Protein from Rajma and Idli, carbs from idli and lots of fresh vegetables.  It tastes even better when it is a few hours old.
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