Journey In The Search Of Kanchipuram Idli, A South Indian Delicacy

Kanchipuram idli is standard in Tamil Nadu and different south Indian states.


  • Kanchipuram idli has lengthy been related to the Varadharaja Perumal temple.
  • This flavourful idli may even date again to the Pallava generation.
  • The idlis are steamed for just about 3 hours.

Chef Arokyadas on the Welcomhotel GST Highway Chennai is a reticent, virtually old-school chef. At a time when cooks throughout India are playing their lengthy late moments within the highlight, he is a chef who prefers to let his meals do the speaking. The Pallavas, the similar dynasty that built Mahabalipuram’s UNESCO-recognised Global heritage shore temples used to lord over a lot of the world round this lodge. It is now one of the vital global’s automotive production hubs. This is a 50 squarekm centre of excellence that is house to one of the vital global’s easiest recognized automobile manufacturers from BMW to Ford to Hyundai. Additionally it is at this lodge that I started a captivating meals path that took me again to Kanchipuram, the erstwhile capital of the Pallavas and searching for a dish that some native legends recommend dates again to their reign. 

I set out at the one-hour force to Kanchipuram prior to break of day and my first forestall was once the Varadharaja Perumal temple. Kanchipuram is amongst India’s oldest incessantly inhabited towns and was once as soon as referred to as the town of one thousand temples. The Varadharaja Perumal temple is without doubt one of the implementing temples in Tamil Nadu and made nationwide headlines in 2019 when devotees from the world over thronged the temple for a glimpse of Athi Varadhar statue.  The 12-feet tall Athi Varadhar statue is immersed on the temple tank – Anantha Theertham, and brought out for simply 48 days each and every 40 years (final accomplished in 2019). The Kanchipuram idli is the opposite superstar enchantment on the temple and also you wouldn’t have to stay up for 40 years to pattern it. 

(Additionally Learn: This Tiny Tea Stall In Kerala Keeps Ramasseri Idli Alive)

Varadharaja Perumal temple

Temple meals is a huge a part of the whole enjoy of visiting many temples throughout Tamil Nadu. From the Sakkarai (candy) Pongal on the Parthasarathy temple in Chennai to the panchamirtham at Palani, many temples are strongly related to their prasad or choices to the presiding deity. The id of Kanchipuram idli has lengthy been related to the Varadharaja Perumal temple. After visiting the temple, I met Sudha, one of the vital two house chefs in Kanchipuram who makes those idlis on order. She tells me that this flavourful idli may even date again to the Pallava generation (sixth to ninth Century AD). I am not able to look at the intricate procedure that is going into making this idli since each house chefs handiest make this towards orders. Sudha suggests I head again to the temple to take a look at the idli. 


The Varadharaja Perumal temple

I am again on the Prasadam (temple meals) counter on the Varadharaja Perumal temple and I’m crushed through the sheer dimension of the idli (virtually 1 half foot tall). The cylindrical idli is wrapped in a standard Mandharai leaf (Bauhinia Creeper) that still lends a singular flavour. It takes an commercial like precision – that is present in most of the car crops within the house, to make those idlis. Sudha tells me how the batter is poured right into a smartly wrapped mandharai leaf after which positioned in a basket within a tall brass cooker. The idlis are steamed for just about 3 hours. It isn’t simply the cooking procedure, it is usually the components that set this idli aside. Whilst the batter is rather very similar to a conventional idli, it is the seasoning components that come with sukku (dried ginger), peppercorns, cumin, asafoetida that outline the flavours. Additionally it is the coarse texture of the idli – it is virtually the similar grainy texture of a rava idli, which is exclusive. 


Kanchipuram Idli

There are rather a couple of eating places like Sri Saravana Lunch house in Kanchipuram that serve this native delicacy. However now not all eating places serve it on all days and round-the-clock. I might nonetheless recommend making an attempt the temple model (It prices Rs. 400) even though it is rather massive even for a circle of relatives of 4. The conventional packing – wrapped within the leaf, signifies that you’ll be able to lift it again house. The idli has a shelf existence of 2 days and the group of workers on the temple recommended me to not refrigerate the idli. 

As soon as I used to be again on the Welcomhotel GST Highway, Chennai, I looked at Chef Arokyadas’ model that was once rather on the subject of the idli I attempted on the temple. I found out slight permutations within the recipe of Kanchipuram idli – some eating places upload cashew nuts to the idli for example, however the secret is the slight sourness that enhances the spices within the combine. And that is the reason the flavor that took me directly again to my adolescence once I loved my mom’s unique model of this emblematic dish with none chutney or idli powder (aka gun powder). You’ll be able to check out making it at house -you are not looking for the huge brass steamer for this recipe!

(Additionally Learn: Tips To Get Soft, Fluffy Idlis Every Single Time!)


Kanchipuran idli is sluggish cooked or a very long time to infuse the flavours. 

Kanchipuram Idli Recipe:

Recipe Courtesy – Chef Arokyadas, Junior Sous Chef – South Indian Delicacies, Welcomhotel GST Highway, Chennai


Fenugreek seeds: 1/four teaspoon
Parboiled rice: 125 gm
Uncooked rice: 125 gm
Entire white urad dal: 125 gm
Poha (aval): 125 gm
Salt to style
Ghee: 2 teaspoons 
Curry leaves    : 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
Asafoetida: Part teaspoon
Sukku (Dry ginger): 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds    : 1 half teaspoon
Black pepper: 1 half teaspoon 

Wash and soak the uncooked rice, parboiled rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water over evening. Drain the water and grind the combination to a moderately coarse paste. Upload as much as a cup of water for grinding and grind the batter in batches within the mixer. Don’t upload an excessive amount of water whilst grinding. 
Soak the poha for 10 mins in part a cup of water. Grind it to a clean paste and upload it to the batter. 
Warmth ghee in a pan and upload within the overwhelmed cumin pepper combination and curry leaves. As soon as the curry leaves are crisp, transfer off the flame. Upload within the dry ginger powder and asafoetida. Toss neatly and upload it to the batter. 
Upload salt to the batter and blend the entirety neatly to mix. Duvet the pan with a lid and make allowance it to ferment in a draft loose position for Eight-10 hours. 
Steam the idli for 20 mins. Serve with chutney, sambar or idli powder. 

About Ashwin RajagopalanI have found out cultures, locations and felt at house in one of the vital global’s maximum far flung corners as a result of the more than a few foods I have attempted which have been ready with hobby. Every so often they’re conventional recipes and at maximum occasions they have been audacious reinterpretations through ingenious cooks. I may now not prepare dinner frequently but if I do, I believe I am in a cookery display set – matching measuring bowls, et all!

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