Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thought For Food Series 1: Idli

YUM....

Breakfasts in South India are a yummy affair. You can choose from a variety of offerings, which are delicious and healthy at the same time. Idly is one of them, a popular breakfast snack not only in south India but all across India, it is one of my favorite breakfasts. For the uninitiated, it is a savory cake two to three inches in diameter made from fermented batter of rice and lentils. The batter after being fermented is put into specially molded trays that are in turn placed inside a pressure cooker. The batter gets cooked by the steam and out come the steaming hot idlis, supple but shapely.

Traditional South Indian meals are served on banana leaves which is a pragmatic and charming practice; there is a certain subtle taste that the banana leaves lend to the meal. Idly usually is served with accompaniments like chutney and sambar. Chutney is a blend of various spices and condiments where as sambar (not seen in the picture) is a vegetable stew with a hint of tamarind.

Now comes the best part, savoring the delicacy. Here it is the case of to each his own. I have seen people eat idly in a lot of different ways. Some like it mishmashed with the sambar and chutney the idly lost and assimilated in the hodgepodge best eaten with bare hands. Some prefer forks and spoons making little pieces of idly and dipping it in sambar and chutney in turns. I like to eat idli with my hands, dipping the idli in the sambar and letting it soak the essence, and then brushing it past the spicy chutney; it tastes yummylicious.

Happy Eating Folks!

P.S. – Now that I am roaming around a lot I get to try a lot of authentic traditional food, so will be posting about more dishes with yummy pictures. This particular picture was taken in Parambikulam before a trek. The plate is not mine, but my friend Nishka's. I had ordered dosas, which were delicious too! More about dosas some other time though.

14 comments:

lakshmi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lakshmi said...

i would anyday prefer dosas to idlis tho I have grown to appreciate mom's idlis after being forced to taste it outside at times!
in tamil nadu(mostly in homes), we eat idlis with something called "molaga podi" which is the most yummmy thing.
so wenever anyone goes to a south indian house and has idli/dosa remebre to ask for molaga podi
@sur: do u remember having it with dosa at my place?

backpakker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
backpakker said...

My favourite would be a combo of idli-vada with molagapodi and chutney ..even better is fried cocktail idli

Sur said...

@lakshmi - yes, I too like dosas, but somehow I love idlis for breakfast. yup, I remember "molaga poodi", sometimes in eateries they serve that, but very rare.

@backpakker - Hey! even I like the fried idli with a hint of lemon! yummm... going for breakfast now! :)

Aareet Krsna said...

I miss Indian food!

Interesting blog :)

desh said...

vada's for me :-)

i would love to do some research on Sambhar's some day though, its like its taste changes in every district of south india :-)

some places whch I like,

Brahmin's Basvangudi (great idli)
Food Street (nr. jain college)

V.V.Puram (plate or thattu idli)

MTR (extremly heavy rava idly, served with Ghee :-))

Shree Krishna Cafe (Koramangala, good idli with Tamil style sambhar, you get podi idli too)

Some Idli bar in indiranagar which serves Idli manchurian :P(still to try this out)

Pal V said...

i agree fully... i love south indian food a lot and each word u said is true.... i have explorred this too and must say, i liked andhra food more than all other traditional south indian food like tamilian, malayalam or kannad...

KARTHIKEYA K.S.M. said...

if interested look in to the ebsite www.kangayambull.com

workhard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
workhard said...

Hi, you have a nice blog, pretty interesting..I love eating on banana leaves, especially the fresh ones..

Haiku Poems

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酒店經紀找茵悅

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raj said...

nice blog.... for idli sambar lovers...good work.
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