Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kancheepuram Idli / Kanjivaram Idli

Think Kancheepuram and the first thing that comes to your mind is the beauty of the Kancheepuram / Kanjivaram sarees. These are an absolute must at most South Indian weddings, especially Tamilian ones.
Last year, I was with my mother-in-law, shopping in Kancheepuram for my brother-in-law's wedding. The main road, called Gandhi street I think, is lined with Kanjeevaram saree stores and there are some small stores that specialize in silk dhotis for men as well. We were there on an auspicious day, to buy the 'muhurtam' saree for the bride.

It was tiring just watching so many many yards of beautiful woven sarees in so many vibrant colours. We stopped for some tea and idlis at a fairly popular restaurant there and shockingly, they did not have kancheepuram idlis ! I was really disppointed.

kancheepuram idli1

A slight twist on the regular rice idlis, these Kancheepuram idlis have it all spiced up ! This one is from Chandra Padmanabhan's book - Southern Flavours
Her family is from Kancheepuram, and this a century old recipe so I'm guessing, its as authentic as it gets.
I have had a variation that also has soaked chana dal in it, but this recipe did not have it. Makes for a nice breakfast with some coconut chutney

Kancheepuram Idli

Recipe Source: Chandra Padmanabhan's Southern Flavours

What you need -

1.5 cups parboiled rice / idli rice
1 cup urad dal
1/2 tsp asafoetida / hing
1 tsp pepper corns coarsely crushed
1" piece ginger, cut into tiny pieces (or 1.5 tsp dried ginger / saunth powder)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp salt
a few curry leaves
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp oil

What you do with it -

Wash the rice and urad dal and soak it for 2 hours
Drain and grind to make a coarse batter gradually adding 1/2 to 1 cup water. (The book says 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 cups water, which I felt was too much)
Transfer to a large container. Mix in the asafoetida powder, pepper corns, ginger and cumin seeds. Allow it to ferment for 12-15 hours. (The book says 24 hours, which again, with the heat in my part of the world, would have been way too much)
Heat oil and ghee, add curry leaves and allow to splutter
Add this along with the salt, to the batter just before making the idli
Smear oil on a flat round vessel or use the dhokla plates and pour in the batter. Place in an idli steamer / dhokla steamer / pressure cooker without weight and allow it to steam for 20 mins
Turn it over onto a plate and cut into wedges and serve with coconut chutney
The tip in the book says it must not be made in the usual performated idli mould. This plate works best.

8 comments:

Priya R said...

lovely recipe and miss them

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

nicely done...
VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

Anh said...

I would love to try this out!! They don't serve this kind of things at Indian resto :(

Gauri said...

You know, since I have come to Bangalore I have been thinking of eating these, but looks like I can now make them on my own :)
As for the kanjeevaram sarees,the more I have the more I want.
I went with MIL to chickpet and we dint know where to stop looking each one was better than the other!!

Lavi said...

idli looks perfect! last week i had a chance to eat these kancheepuram idli straight from kanchi temple. liked it a lot and have to try!

Anu said...

Idli looks so authentic and yummy..

Tadka Pasta said...

Chandra Padmanabhan is my favorite author for South Indian recipes. This recipe is not there in my book, looks really fluffy and soft, must try!

dassana said...

i like the kancheepuram idlis. i have had the idlis in the south indianv restuarants in mumbai. but what they serve there are made from semolina and not rice. the idlis are steamed in banana leaves and served hot. i think this must be an authentic recipe. i also have one of Chandra Padmanabhan book and her recipes are too good.

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