Kanchipuram Idlis or Kudalai Idlis are idlis that are mildly spiced with pepper, cumin and dry ginger. These are traditionally steamed in "Donnai" or Lotus Leaf Cups. These leaves lend a special fragrance and aroma to the idlis. But don't worry if you can't find one, steam them like regular idlis in your idli moulds or even in deep flat dish and cut them into pieces. These should be served immediately else they become slightly hard on cooling. Read notes.
This is my mother's recipe who in turn learnt it from one of her close friends. These idlis were a hit with my kids, as they were mildly spiced, they had just plain without any side dish. And we enjoyed with some sambar and molagai podi.
Makes about 24 idlies
What you'll need
- Raw Rice – 2 cup* (see notes)
- Urad Dal – 1 cup
- Black Pepper – 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Dry Ginger Powder – ½ tsp
- Ghee/Melted Butter – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Soak the rice and dal for 3 to 4 hours.
- In the Mixie jar or add the black pepper and cumin seeds and add the rice and urad dal little by little and grind to idli batter consistency by adding water.
- Allow this to ferment for 8 to 24 hours, depending on the place and weather conditions. It took 24 hours for me. The batter should rise well just like idli batter.
- Before making the idlis, add the dry ginger powder and ghee/butter and mix well.
- Grease idli mould, pour a ladle of batter in each groove.
- Steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Serve immediately with chutney and sambar.
- Instead of 2 cup raw rice you can use 1 cup raw rice and 1 cup idli rice.
- Proper fermentation is very important to get soft idlies
- You could add a pinch of baking soda to get softer idlis.
- Also, since these are made of raw rice, you have to eat them immediately as they become hard on cooling.
- You could use grated fresh ginger, if you don’t have dry ginger powder.
- These idlis are traditionally steamed in Donnais, but you can steam them in regular idli moulds or even in deep plates (thalam) or cooker pathram. Add about 3 to 4 ladles of batter and steam for a longer time.