Kanchipuram Idlis...another great way of having the normal idlis but with a spicy flavor added to the batter to make it even more delicious than the regular idlis. Normal white soft idlis are bland and need some accompaniments to go with it, where as Kanchipuram idlis make dense full heavy idli flavored liberally with cumin, pepper, ginger and dry ginger powder. Some green chilies are also added and some toasted cashew nuts for a crunch.
These idlis have acquired the name obviously from the temple town of Kanchipuram where it is offered as a prasad / naivediyam to the Lord.
Every once in a while we make this to have a different kind of breakfast or tiffin food.
The batter is thicker and more coarser than the regular idli batter , also steamed in plates, steel cups or the steel pressure cooker separator to make one big cake like and the required shapes are cut out to serve as individual portions.
While these idlis are normally made with rice and udad dal, I used millets to make it healthier . This is a great way to avoid white grain and also make a healthy steamed breakfast.
Am sharing recipe for both methods so follow which ever suits you . In case millets are not readily available in your area, you can switch to the usual rice udad dal recipe.
But do try the millets based and you will not see any difference in the taste.
To make Millet based Kanchipuram idlis take 2 cups of kodo millets ( kodra, /also known as Varagu arisi in Tamil ) and 1 cup of udad dal. The rest of recipe remains the same. You can also try with other millet varieties.
Regular Rice and udad dal combination//
1 cup par boiled rice
1 cup raw rice
1 cup udad dal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee or sesame oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp ginger powder ( sukku powder/ dry ginger powder)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger.
1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chana dal ( soaked separately and not added to grind with batter )
1 tsp split udad dal
1 tbsp cashew nuts split
3/4 cup sour curds.
Soak the dal and rice /millets separately just as we do for idli/dosa batter. Let it remain soaked for 4 hours.
Then seperately grind the udad dal and fenugreek seeds to a thick foamy batter. Grind rice/millets separately to a coarse batter. Mix both batters well by not adding too much water as we need a thick coarse grainy batter, also we will add the sour curds later at the time of making the idlis. Leave to ferment overnight or for 8 hours.
After fermentation, add the thick sour curds, add a the tempering of mustard seeds, chana dal, split udad dal,, cashew nuts toasted golden and other spices to batter like cumin seeds, ginger powder, fresh grated ginger, green chillies, pepper cracked. Add salt and mix well and gently.
Steam in greased idli plates, dhokla plates, or even in idli moulds, steel cups or steel tumblers.
Steam for at least 15 minutes as it takes a while for the thick batter to cook.
Adding sour curds is optional as the batter will ferment naturally , but adding it will give a sour taste too like khatta dhoklas..so it is your choice.
All the pics are that of millet based Kanchipuram idlis.