Saturday, December 3, 2016

Idli puranam, avatharas and side dishes.

Idli puranam, avatharas  and side dishes.

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A.Idli puranam

Idli the steam  cooked   fermented  batter    made  by grinding rice and black gram dhal is one of the important breakfast items in the three   southern states of  THamizh  Nadu, Karnataka and And Andhra Pradesh ,In Kerala also it is poular but not as much as in the   other states. There is a general belief that  it might have originated  from Tamil  Nadu. I was surprised to know that  the oldest references   to Idli come from the state   of Karnataka. In 920 AD  several Kannada references refer it  has been rreferred   as “Iddalige by one Shivaloka charya. He says that this  item was prepared  from only  by making Batter by grinding  only Black gram dhal,In 1025  AD Lokapakara  mentions that  it was made   by grinding Black gram Dhal soaked   in curd and spices The great Chalukya king  Someshwara III who ruled over parts of Karnataka includes Idli as a breakfast   item in his book Manasollasa(1130 AD),This book is in Sanskrit  and Idli is called as  Iddarika,Here again Black gram Dhal only was used. In some parts of Karnataka  this recipe is followed and  the people call it  Udhina  Idli (Black gram dhal ) idli..
    The art  of steam cooking   by tying a cloth over the top of vessel  partially  filled   with water was being practiced at this time.Possibly because of this Huing Shang the Chinese  pilgrim mentioned that  India did not have   vessels  , suitable  to steam cook.This practice is still practiced  in  South  Canara   district and  parts of Tamil nadu. The konkanis settled in Mangalore   make cups out of leaves of screw pine   to make idli,.  IN South Canara    district they also use cups made of Jack fruit tree leaves   and call it Kadubu. The Original Kanjeevaram Koil idli was made on Mandhara leaves.
   The present recipe of Idli has  been  mentioned in  the  year   1250 AD. A food historian called  K.T.Acharya  indicates   the possibility   that  it  might have  its origin  in Indonesia, where   steam cooked dishes   are popular, There was a similar dish there  Kedli  (Other historians were  not able   to find a dish by that name in Indonesia.) Sri Acharya feels that the Chozha kings who  ruled over Indonesia   between 800 AD and 1200   AD might have  brought it to India.
   A Gujarathi work    of 1520 AD  menr tions about a dish called  Idari   or idada which is a precursor to their  very popular dish Dokla, In this dish  it has been clearly mentioned that Udada dhal   and rice were  used to mke the batter. Some parts of Gujarat   was  ruled by Chalukyas for some time and  the Maharasghtrian kings who ruled over Gujarat  later   ruled  THanjavur. Idli has been mentioned as separate dish in Tamil Nadu some time in the 17th centuary.
    There is also a mention of  early arab settlers   eating a  flattened  batter made  of powdered rice with ground coconut as  side dish. This might have  induced the Indians who were  making Idly only with black gram   to change over to the present formula.
    Maha Periyava   in one of  his writings says that Idli originated from Iduthal (pouring)  and  I feel since  Avi  denotes cooking   possibly its original name was  Ittu Avi  .

   Grinding Dough for idli became a tedious affair    and so some intelligent person invented Idli Rava     which can be added to well ground Black gram dhal  , thus bringing down  the work involved

    When south Indians settled   in USA   especially the cold areas   they found it difficult to ferment the dough    to the required level .  Lot of very intelligent research was   done by our ladies  there. I saw one lady who used   to grind the dough , h keep it in the oven  with some heat for a few minutes   and swiych off the oven,. Next day  the Idli would have fermented in side oven  to the required degree.

   This in short is what  I could get   about  the history of Idli.Here are some of the Avatharas that Idli has taken 

B.Idli avatharam

1.Kanchipuram Idli
        This is a very popular form of Idli   seasoned with  Pepper  , cumin etc , The  modern recipe for this is given in

    I understand   this Idli originated   from the Kanchipuram Varadarajar   Kovil idli    whose   recipe   is given in

2.Rava Idli
     I understand that this great dish was invented   in Karnataka    during second world war when  it was difficult to get   rice  .  It is purely prepared  by Whest Rava . The recipe for this is given in
   With market being flooded with several  instant Rava  Idli recipes, , it is very easy to make Rava  Idli at home,

3.Masala   idli
     Here some spices and powders are added  to make idly more spicy. The recipe for this is given in

4.Iyengar Idli
     The Tamil Nadu Iyengars   have a  wonderful and slightly different recipe  for Idli  . This is given in

5. Thatte idli
       This is a very typical  idli which is famous in Karnataka  , Its recipe is given in

8.Mini idlis
      This is the same as Idlis but   several small  idlis  instead of big idlis are made  .This is the ideal to be eaten as Sambhar Idli  , as one spoon can accommodate  little sambhar and one Idli. One of the avthars of this mini idli is POdi idli, whose   recipe is given in

9. Idli Uppuma 
     Idlis have to  consumed hot and fluffy. But suppose   some idlis are   left over  , Our housewives   convert  them in to Idli Uppuma  . The recipe is given in

10.Idli fried
      This is definitely one of the modern Avathars  of Idli. It is normally very tastey   and very oily  . The recipe   is given in

11 . Sandwhich idli
         While pouring in the idli plate pour just half  quantity. Cook it slightly  . Either put Idli pos di or chutney over   every idli and then pour the remaining idli dough in every plate. Cook it fully. You can even put Masala  instead of Chutney  , For such idlis no   side dish is necessary. One of the variation is given in recipe

12, Oats Idli
     People are   becoming more and more health conscious   and they have developed in Idly using oats  . The recipe is given in

13.Sabu  dhana   or sago rice  idly   this is another   great variation. The recipe for this Is

14.Vermicilli  Idli  -  This is prepared by  using Semia  . the recipe is given in

15.Noodles idli  -Some people would have thought  , if it can be prepared by  using sEmia , why not using Noodles. Here is the recipe

16 Chinese  Idli  - If all this   why not  Chinese  idli . The recipe is given in

17.Carrot /Beetroot / Palak Idlis
         Any of these vegetables  grated   slightly fried   and put in  Idli batter (Taking  care to slightly more salt and then cooked.Instant carrot/Beet root/Palak instead   idli  powder  is being marketed  by a  company

C.Idli  side dishes

1,The  most popular side dish is  the Milagaui podi/ Masala powder/Kara podi  /chutney powder mixed   with either  Gingelly oil or ghee .

2.The next important    side dish   is  chutney  . Some of the recipes   for chutneys are given below:-

3,Sambhar . This is normal Sambhar  prepared little thin .I could find  recipe for  Idli sambhae in

4.A very poupular    side dish for Idli in mangalore hotels is simply   curd.

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