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A Guide to Making Yummy Kanchipuram Idli

Idli is one of the greatest breakfast foods that is simple, traditional, filling yet wholesome! Idli is a household name in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Popular all over the country, it is Tamil Nadu where you can get to taste a wide range of idlis which include Rava Idli, Khushboo Idli, Ragi Idli, Sambar Idli, Baby Idli, Oats Idli, Oats and Barley Idli, Kanchipuram Idli, Brown Rice Idli, Thinai Idli, Stuffed Idli, Masala Idli, Fried Idli and last but not least, Idli Upma (made from leftover idlis across the Tamil households). Among the long list of varieties of Idli, Kanchipuram Idli is 'something-different-and-something-special' and it is our pick for this (scrumptious) write up!

Kanchipuram Idli

Kanchipuram Idli, often referred as Kanjeevaram Idli or simply Kanchi Idli is legenadary among the Tamil speaking population and especially, the Idli buffs! As a matter of fact, if you go and ask a Tamilian to list a few things that are famous in the temple town, apart from religious sites, the first answer is so obvious, that is, Kanchi pattu pudavai / Kanchipuram silk sarees and the second answer, by all odds, would be the Kanchipuram Idli. It all started at the illustrious Kanchipuram Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple as it was in this temple madapalli that this (divinely authentic and toothsome) idli was first introduced. Kanchipuram Idli is offered in this temple as prasadam - a religious offering usually consumed by the devotees.

KAnchi Idli

The traditional Kanchipuram Idli has come a long way that it is served across many restaurants all over the world. In terms of appearance, Kanchipuram Idli is definitely unique from the rest of idli varieties and the same is applicable when it is about taste. The secret behind the taste is very simple that it has got just the perfect proportion of all ingredients and bluntly, nothing else! It is as simple as it is that even the tiniest change in the amount of ingredients added will give an impact in the end product. Traditionally, Kanchipuram Idli is steamed using dried mandharai leaves which largely contributes to the extraordinary taste. Let's get down to business and see about the ingredients and method of preparation involved in making yummy Kanchipuram Idli.

Kancheepuram Idly

Note: Every restaurant and household follow a different direction for making Kanchipuram Idli. Unlike methods of preparation will also add to the difference in the taste. Given below is one of the most followed recipes of Kanchipuram Idli.

Parboiled rice - 1/2 cup
Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Urad dal (ulutham paruppu) - 1/2 cup
Chana dal (kadalai paruppu) - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

For Seasoning
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Ghee (nei) - 1 tablespoon
Pepper corns (milagu) - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds (jeeragam) - 1 teaspoon
Ginger (inji) - 1/2 inch, grated
Curry leaves (karivepillai) - a few
Asafoetida powder (perungayam) - 1/2 teaspoon

For Steaming:
Mandharai leaves - a few

Method of Preparation:

KAnchi Idli

  • Soak the urad dal & chana dal and rice separately for at least 180 minutes
  • Drain the water and now grind the dals first by adding a little water and remember, it has to be coarser and not too smooth
  • Now, it is time for grinding the soaked rice, again, make it coarser
  • Mix the ground dals and rice to make the batter which is a little thicker than the dosa batter (mix by hands and not by spoons and that is the traditional way)
  • Add salt and now the batter is all set for fermentation, best to keep it overnight, if not, leave it for at least 8 hours
  • In the morning or after eight hours, before steaming the idli, it is time to season the idli batter
  • Add the ghee and oil together in a fry pan and roast the curry leaves, grated ginger, asafoetida, cumin seeds and pepper
  • Now, add the roasted mixture in the fermented batter and get ready with your idli cooker or normal cooker with idli plates or moulds, whichever you use to make regular idli
  • Place a few pieces of mandharai leaves in the mould before pouring the idli batter and it is some serious steaming time, usually it takes 10 to 15 minutes
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney or idli milagai podi and it will be a heavenly experience!

Also Read:

Food in Kanchipuram
Vegetarian Restaurants in Kanchipuram

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