Kanjivaram Idli is a spiced up version of the plain idli. While the ordinary idli needs accompaniments to add to its inherent taste…some may say its bland avatar..Kanjivaram Idli has enough zing in it to make it a tasty bite by itself. Ofcourse the added traditional accompaniments like sambar, milagai podi (gunpowder or spice powder) and various chutneys embellish its natural peppery taste!
For the batter
Idli par boiled rice 1/2 cup
Raw rice 1/2 cup
Urad dhal (whole) 1/2 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
For the seasoning
Sesame/Til Oil 2 tablespoons
Ghee 3 teaspoons
Mustard seeds ½ teaspoon
Urad dhal (broken) 1 teaspoon
Bengal gram 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper 2 teaspoon (crushed)
Cumin seeds/jeera 1 teaspoon (crushed)
Ginger 1” piece grated
Green chillies 1 to 2 finely chopped (optional)
Hing/asafoetida 1/4 teaspoon
Cashew nut 10 broken into 2-3 pieces
Curry leaves 1 teaspoon shredded
Coriander leaves 2-3 teaspoon finely chopped
Method for the batter
1. Soak rice (both raw and idli/par boiled rice) and urad dhal separately for 6 hours.
2. Blend urad dhal until light and fluffy.
3. Blend rice to a grainy/coarse paste.
4. Mix both the batters together and add salt. The consistency of the batter should be of dropping consistency, neither watery nor thick.
5. Leave the batter in a warm place for 6-7 hours or overnight to ferment.
Before making the idli, add seasoning.
• Heat the oil and ghee together, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
• Add the urad and chana dhal and sauté until it becomes golden brown.
• Add the broken jeera and pepper powder, grated ginger, chopped green chillies (optional), hing/asafoetida, broken Cashew nuts, shredded curry leaves and sauté for 20 seconds.
• Add the seasoning and chopped coriander to the batter and mix well.
• Pour the batter into idly moulds and steam for 10 minutes. Pierce the idli with a skewer and if it comes clean, switch off the heat.
• You can steam the idlis in well greased stainless steel cups or small tumblers or in the pressure cooker separators or a shallow vessel. Cut this into pieces and serve.
The traditional accompaniments for Kanjeevaram idli is the spice powder or milagai podi. Coconut chutney and brinjal kotsu are tasty accompaniments!