What to Serve With Idli – 15 Best Sides

What to Serve With Idli, you ask?

Did you know that idli, a popular South Indian dish made from fermented rice and lentils, is often enjoyed with a variety of delicious sides?

In this article, I will share with you 15 of the best sides to serve with idli.

From tangy chutneys like coconut, tomato, and cilantro, to comforting sambar and coconut milk curry, these accompaniments will take your idli experience to the next level.

So, get ready to explore the wonderful world of idli sides!

What to Serve With Idli


You can’t go wrong with coconut chutney to accompany your idli. It’s a classic and versatile chutney that adds a burst of flavor to every bite. Made with fresh coconut, green chilies, ginger, and a hint of tanginess from tamarind, this chutney is a must-have for any idli lover.

The creamy texture of coconut blends perfectly with the softness of idli, creating a delightful combination. The subtle spice from the green chilies adds a kick, while the tanginess from tamarind balances the flavors. Whether you prefer your chutney mild or spicy, coconut chutney can be customized to suit your taste buds.

It’s quick and easy to make, and it complements idli beautifully. So, next time you enjoy a plate of idli, don’t forget to indulge in some delicious coconut chutney.


Sambar is a delicious and traditional South Indian dish that complements idli perfectly. I love the combination of soft and fluffy idlis with the flavorful and tangy sambar.

The rich aroma of sambar fills the air as it simmers on the stove, made with a medley of lentils, vegetables, and spices. The first spoonful of sambar, with its vibrant red color and hearty texture, is a burst of flavors in my mouth.

The tanginess from tamarind, the heat from the spices, and the earthiness of the lentils create a harmonious balance that elevates the taste of the idlis. The sambar not only adds depth and complexity to the idlis but also provides a satisfying and wholesome meal.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is a creamy and flavorful dip that pairs perfectly with idlis and dosas. I absolutely love the combination of the smooth coconut, fragrant curry leaves, and the slight tanginess from the tamarind. It’s like a burst of flavors in every bite.

Making coconut chutney is super simple too. All you need is grated coconut, roasted chana dal, green chili, ginger, curry leaves, tamarind, and a bit of salt. Just blend everything together with a little water until it becomes smooth and creamy.

The result is a delightful chutney that complements the soft and fluffy idlis and crispy dosas perfectly. It adds a refreshing and cooling element to the meal, balancing out the spiciness of other accompaniments like sambar.

Trust me, once you try coconut chutney with your idlis or dosas, you’ll be hooked!

Tomato Chutney

Tomato chutney is a tangy and flavorful condiment that pairs well with a variety of dishes. It’s one of my favorite condiments to make because it’s so easy and versatile.

I love the vibrant red color and the burst of tanginess that comes from the tomatoes. To make tomato chutney, I start by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices in a little oil until they are fragrant. Then, I add in chopped tomatoes and cook them down until they are soft and jammy.

Onion Chutney

If you’re looking for a flavorful condiment to spice up your meals, onion chutney is a delicious option that you can easily make at home.

I absolutely love the tangy and slightly sweet taste of onion chutney. It adds a burst of flavor to any dish and takes it to the next level.

To make this yummy condiment, you’ll need some onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a few spices. Simply sauté the onions until they are caramelized, then add in the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for a while.

The result is a thick and chunky chutney that pairs perfectly with dosa, idli, or even as a spread on sandwiches.

Trust me, once you try this homemade onion chutney, you’ll never go back to store-bought versions.

Mint Chutney

To make a delicious mint chutney, simply blend fresh mint leaves with yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

This vibrant and flavorful chutney is perfect for adding a refreshing twist to any dish.

I love how the coolness of the mint leaves complements the tanginess of the yogurt and the tartness of the lemon juice. It’s a delightful combination that enhances the taste of any meal.

Whether I’m serving it with idli or any other dish, this mint chutney never fails to impress.

The bright green color adds a pop of freshness to the plate, and the burst of minty flavor leaves a lingering sensation on my taste buds.

It’s a must-try for all chutney lovers out there!

Peanut Chutney

You can easily make a delicious peanut chutney by blending roasted peanuts with coconut, tamarind, and spices.

I love making this chutney because it adds a unique flavor to my meals.

First, I roast the peanuts until they turn golden brown and release their aroma. Then, I combine them with grated coconut, tangy tamarind pulp, and a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, and red chili powder.

I blend everything together until it forms a smooth and creamy consistency. The result is a rich and nutty chutney that pairs perfectly with idli.

The peanuts add a satisfying crunch, while the coconut and tamarind add a hint of sweetness and tanginess.

This peanut chutney is a must-try for all peanut lovers out there!

Vegetable Kurma

When making vegetable kurma, remember to sauté the onions and spices to enhance the flavors. This step is crucial in creating a delicious and aromatic curry.

I usually start by heating some oil in a pan and adding the finely chopped onions. As they sizzle and turn golden brown, the aroma fills the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. Then, I add the spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, allowing them to release their fragrant oils.

The combination of sautéed onions and spices creates a flavorful base for the kurma. Next, I add the vegetables and cook them until they are tender. Finally, I add the coconut milk and let the flavors meld together, resulting in a creamy and satisfying dish that pairs perfectly with rice or roti.

Tomato Rasam

The key to making a flavorful tomato rasam is to simmer the tomatoes along with the spices and tamarind juice until they form a tangy and aromatic broth.

I love preparing this traditional South Indian soup because it is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.

First, I heat some oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Once they splutter, I add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. I let them cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

Then, I add tamarind juice and water, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally, I garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with steamed rice or idli.

This tangy and comforting tomato rasam is perfect for a comforting meal.

Potato Masala

To make a delicious potato masala, start by boiling the potatoes until they’re tender and then mash them with some spices and onions for added flavor.

I love making this dish because it’s so simple yet incredibly tasty.

First, I peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes before boiling them in salted water. Once they’re cooked, I drain them and set them aside.

In a separate pan, I heat some oil and sauté some chopped onions until they’re golden brown. Then, I add in the mashed potatoes and sprinkle in spices like turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala.

I mix everything together until well combined and let it cook for a few more minutes.

The end result is a creamy and flavorful potato masala that pairs perfectly with idli or dosa.

Tamarind Chutney

For a tangy and sweet accompaniment to your potato masala, try making tamarind chutney. By simmering tamarind pulp with jaggery, spices, and water until it thickens, you can create a burst of flavor for your meals.

To start, soak tamarind pulp in warm water for about 15 minutes. Then, strain it to remove any seeds or fibers. In a saucepan, combine the tamarind pulp with jaggery, spices like cumin and chili powder, and water. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The chutney will thicken and become glossy, with a perfect balance of tanginess and sweetness. It’s a delicious accompaniment to idli, dosa, or any other South Indian dish.

Cilantro Chutney

You can make a delicious cilantro chutney by blending cilantro, lime juice, green chilies, garlic, and salt until smooth. This bright green chutney is packed with flavors and adds a refreshing kick to any dish.

I love serving it as a side with idli, a traditional South Indian breakfast dish. The combination of the soft and fluffy idli with the zesty cilantro chutney is simply irresistible. The cilantro adds a vibrant herbaceous taste, while the lime juice adds a tangy twist. The green chilies give it a nice heat, while the garlic adds a savory note. The salt balances out all the flavors perfectly.

Whether you’re a cilantro lover or not, this chutney is a must-try accompaniment to your idli.

Coconut Milk Curry

The combination of coconut milk, spices, and vegetables creates a rich and flavorful curry. I love making this coconut milk curry because it’s not only delicious, but also easy to prepare.

First, I heat some oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until they become fragrant. Then, I add in my favorite vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes.

Next, I pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer, allowing all the flavors to meld together. To spice things up, I add a blend of curry powder, turmeric, and cumin.

The result is a creamy and aromatic curry that pairs perfectly with rice or naan. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that I can’t get enough of.

Green Chutney

After exploring the delightful flavors of coconut milk curry, let’s move on to another fantastic side dish to serve with idli: green chutney.

I absolutely love this vibrant and tangy chutney that adds a burst of freshness to every bite. Made with fresh coriander leaves, mint, green chilies, and a hint of lemon juice, this chutney is a perfect accompaniment for idli.

Its bright green color and aromatic flavors make it a refreshing addition to the meal. The coolness of the mint and the spiciness of the green chilies create a harmonious balance of flavors that complement the soft and fluffy idlis perfectly.

Whether you spread it on top of your idlis or use it as a dipping sauce, green chutney is sure to elevate your idli experience to a whole new level.

Avocado Chutney

Let’s try the creamy and flavorful avocado chutney, a perfect accompaniment to enhance your idli experience.

Avocado chutney adds a unique twist to the traditional chutney options. It is smooth, tangy, and packed with the goodness of avocados.

To make this delicious chutney, simply blend ripe avocados with fresh cilantro, green chilies, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. The result is a vibrant green chutney that complements the soft and fluffy texture of idlis perfectly.

The richness of the avocados adds a velvety mouthfeel, while the combination of flavors creates a tantalizing taste sensation.

Whether you spread it on top of your idlis or use it as a dipping sauce, avocado chutney is sure to impress your taste buds and take your idli experience to a whole new level.

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Ben, a culinary enthusiast and owner of RelishedRecipes.com, shares his passion for food and cooking through delectable recipes and valuable tips. Ben delights in exploring international cuisines and inspiring home cooks on their culinary journeys.

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