Idli Lovers, Have You Tried These 6 Lesser Known Idli Types?

Idli is a quintessential and beloved dish in Indian cuisine, hailing from the southern regions of India. It is a staple breakfast item that has also found its way into the hearts and plates of people across the country. This fluffy and steamed rice cake has a rich history that dates back centuries and has become synonymous with Indian culinary heritage.

The history of idli can be traced back to Vaddaradhane, a 920 CE Kannada language work by Shivakotiacharya, where it was known as "iddalige." Initially, idli was made by fermenting a mixture of black gram, which provided a nutritious and easily digestible meal. Over time, idli evolved with various regional influences, resulting in a plethora of idli variations with unique flavours, ingredients, and cooking methods.

While the traditional idli, made with rice and lentils, remains the most popular version, there are lesser-known types of idlis that showcase the culinary diversity of India. There is a world of idlis beyond the conventional, each region adding its own unique touch to this cherished breakfast item. So, the next time you savour idli, remember the rich history and the endless possibilities that make it an integral part of Indian cuisine.

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Here are 6 lesser-known types of idlis you ought to try:

Ragi Idli:

Ragi, also known as finger millet, is a nutritious grain widely cultivated in India. Ragi idli is made by replacing a portion of the rice with ragi flour, resulting in a distinctive flavour and a delightful earthy hue. It is a healthy alternative for those looking to incorporate more whole grains into their diet.

Kanchipuram Idli:

Originating from the temple town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram idli is a flavorful variant known for its unique blend of spices. It includes the addition of ginger, pepper, cumin seeds, and curry leaves, giving it a distinct aroma and a slightly spicy taste.

Palak Idli:

Palak, or spinach, is a leafy green vegetable packed with nutrients. Palak idli is a vibrant green variation that incorporates finely chopped spinach into the idli batter. This colourful idli not only adds a nutritional punch but also appeals to the eye.

Quinoa Idli:

With the growing popularity of quinoa as a healthy grain, quinoa idli has emerged as a contemporary variation. By substituting a portion of rice with quinoa, this idli becomes a protein-rich and gluten-free alternative, appealing to health-conscious individuals.

Rava Idli:

Rava, also known as semolina or sooji, is a coarsely ground wheat product commonly used in Indian cuisine. Rava idli is made by combining rava, yoghourt, and a tempering of mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, and cashews. It results in a lighter and quicker version of idli that doesn't require fermentation.

Poha Idli:

Poha, or flattened rice, is a staple ingredient in many Indian breakfast recipes. Poha idli incorporates soaked and ground poha into the idli batter, giving it a soft and fluffy texture. It is an excellent option for those seeking a light and easily digestible idli variant.