Idli has a universal appeal and makes for a wholesome meal any time of the day. Though the dish finds its origin in a South Indian kitchen, today you will find it being widely enjoyed across India (and abroad). In fact, idli is possibly the second most popular dish, defining the cuisine of South India – the first being dosa. Now that you know how to make soft and fluffy idlis at home, it’s time to take a step forward and try your hands on the regional versions. You heard it right. Traditionally, idli is a steamed cake made with fermented rice and dal batter. But if you explore, you will come across multiple recipes, with unique variations to it. One such instance is Kanchipuram idli.
About Kanchipuram Idli:
From the very name, you can understand that the dish belongs to Kanchipuram – an ancient city in the state of Tamil Nadu. Regionally, it is referred to as kovil idli and includes several spices including hing, cumin, and curry leaves amongst others. According to food historians, kovil idli makes for a popular Naivedyam (bhog) offered at some temples in Kanchipuram. People also prepare it at home and pair it with sambhar and earthy coconut chutney for a scrumptious and wholesome breakfast.
Idli Vs Kovil Idli: What Is The Difference:
There are two major factors that differentiate kovil idli from any regular idli – ingredients and cooking technique. Let’s take a closer look.
– Ingredients: Unlike the regular one, kovil idli is spicier and includes various masalas in the batter. You add it while fermenting the batter.
– Cooking technique: The traditional way of making kovil idli differs from regular steaming. It is steamed in a bamboo basket, lined with banana leaf or bauhinia leaf (leaf of mountain ebony plant). Bamboo and the leaf add some earthy and smokey aroma to the dish.
Also Read: Hard Idlis, No More! Avoid These Common Blunders To Make Them Perfectly
How To Make Kanchipuram Idli | Kovil Idli Recipe:
The quintessential kovil idli batter includes parboiled rice and sona masuri rice, but you can simplify the process and make it with your regular idli batter. Just add a tadka of ghee, hing, dry ginger powder, curry leaves, cumin seeds, green chilli, black peppercorn, and soaked chana dal to the batter and let it ferment overnight.
Once done, you are free to steam the idli and enjoy. To get the earthy, smokey note, we plate banana leaves in the idli cavets and put the batter on it for steaming. Click here for the detailed recipe.
Try this spicy version of your regular idli and let us know how you liked it. For more such unique idli recipes, click here.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.