Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kanchipuram Idli/Kancheepuram idli

The one and only one Kanchipuram Saree I ever had was as exquisite as a Kanchipuram idli. Again, I am not complaining, I just stuck with one and only one as I was not fond of tying it.

Kanchi Idli, which I made to my hearts content seemed like a subtle artwork to have a telltale behind them just like some expensive handwoven sarees lacking the sheen, and may have hundreds and thousands of stories to tell about its origins. It tasted more like a steamed medhu vada, dotted with peppercorns and cumin. 

My understanding about Kanchipuram was limited to my roommate who finished her studies in Kanchi. According to her, Kanchi is worth a visit and one should not miss on the temples of Kanchi as it is fondly called City of 1000 temples. Now my own understanding was all about the sarees, which is hugely famous and occasionally tied just like Kanchipuram idlis are occasionally made in my home.

I even remember once mummy made this Kanchi idlis and the unappreciative kid in me gave her a what on earth look ………... During my term as a kid, even eating felt like a chore that was much alien to me. However, hesitant I was, idlis kept coming to our table every week. Needless to say, I fell for the routine.

Let bygones be bygones. Now I am far from that struggling, fussy, unappreciative kid.  When I became a teenager, someone gave me the idea that eating idlis are not only healthy, but it can keep your skin intact, away from pimples.  Also, by that time, highly experimental lady at home started making amazing Sambhars which kind of clicked my palate. So I am not quite sure if the love of idli started because of sambhar or the worry of me turning into a pimple prone girl.

Now our weeks are not complete without steaming idlis and a small pot of sambar, though Abbey is not a big fan of idlis, I think she will slowly drift into the routine. 

Recipe source here


Idli rice - 2 cups

Urad dal - 1/2 cup

Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp

Cooking soda - a pinch (optional)

Curd - 2 tsp

Salt to taste

For tempering

Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

Asafoetida - 1 pinch

Grated ginger - 1 tsp

Pepper - 1 tsp

Cashews - 10 chopped 

Curry leaves, roughly chopped - 6 Nos.

Oil - 2 tsp


Soak rice in a bowl for 4-5 hours and grind them. Soak urad dal and fenugreek seeds in another bowl for 4-5 hours and grind them. Now combine the batter of rice and urad dal. Add 2 tsp of salt into the batter and give it a nice stir. Let it ferment overnight. 

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, add the ingredients given under tempering. Pour this above the fermented batter, which has risen. Add curd. Add salt and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate if needed and give it a stir. Pour the batter into the idli moulds and steam for 20 minutes (check in between if you are not sure).Remove the idlis and serve with coconut chutney.  


  1. This idli is not for me but for my other half. We sort of can be different in certain types of food we like. I eat loads of rice and he will for sure adore this puffed up and fabulous idli.

  2. Always a big fan of this idlis. Delicious.

  3. Lovely and yummy idlis! :)

  4. Idli and chutney okkee ready allee njan idaa varunnu :)

  5. Kanchi idly, the sarees and story behind is a very nice writeup . I too love this idly very much, but rarely makes it nowadays. Yours look very soft and delicious.

  6. Wow love the cute spongy, fluffy and delicious kanchi. Irresistible chutney to go with this. Yummy.

  7. Sabeena, these look delicious & tempting. Great post!

  8. hmmm...never heard of kanchipuram Idlis...almost a twist to rava idli i feel. Nice recipe.

  9. gorgeous super soft idlis...just canttake the eyes off dear!

  10. Absolutely delicious rice,classic recipe..looks divine.


  11. just a good way to use leftover basmati rice... thanks!



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