Kotte Kadubu or Kotte Idli is a traditional regional recipe from Mangaluru and Udupi. The dish is popularly prepared during the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi and Nagarapanchami celebrated in the coastal region of Karnataka. These Kotte Kadubu are usually huge, scentful balls of rice

These Idlis are packed inside the flavourful Jackfruit leaves moulds instead of cooked in oil-brushed Idli plates. And therefore, make up a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack. The high concentration of phytonutrients present in jackfruit leaves offers the Idlis with a unique nutritious flavour. Turmeric leaves are also used to make Kotte Kadubu moulds. These humble idlis are vegan and gluten-free. So, don’t limit these nutritional and tasty idlis to festive days. Prepare them often to favour yourself and family with these delicious, super soft and authentic rice dumplings.

Kotte means the cup/mould made up of leaves, while kadubu refers to a rice cake. As the name suggests, it is an idli moulded in leaves. These Idlis are also known as hittu or khote in Konkani. Offering kadubus to god is a widely-followed custom that dates back to when agriculture was the major occupation. As the 8-armed Taruna Ganapati, is seen holding the kadabu in one hand, among other weapons. The kadabu also finds reference in the sacred text, Mudgala Purana, dedicated to lord Ganesha. 

Here’s the recipe for Kotte Kadubu.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 2 cups idli rice
  • Salt, as per taste
  • 24 jackfruit leaves
  • Water
  • Toothpicks

Method:

  • Wash the urad dal properly until clean water runs through it. 
  • Put the clean dal into a bowl and add enough water. Soak for 2-4 hours.
  • Now wash the rice and drain the excess water. 
  • In a separate bowl, add rice and water as needed. Allow the rice to rest for 2-4 hours.
  • Take a grinder, and add the soaked dal to it along with some water. Grind finely to form a thick and smooth paste.
  • Transfer the urad dal paste into a large container.
  • Now, squeeze the soaked rice to drain the water. 
  • Transfer it into the grinder with a little amount of water. Grind coarsely. 
  • Move the rice batter in the same container consisting of the urad dal batter. Combine both the batters well.
  • Cover and leave the combined batter to ferment for 10-12 hours or overnight. 
  • Add salt as required and mix thoroughly.
  • The Idli batter is ready. 
  • Now, it is time to make a kotte.
  • Take 24 or more properly washed and clean jackfruit leaves. Chop off the tips.
  • Now, choose 4 evenly-sized leaves and weave (using the toothpicks) them into a lotus-like flower to make a kotte.
  • Pour the Idli  batter into each mould but don’t fill it up to the brim. Steam and cook for 15 minutes or until the Idlis rise.
  • Check with a toothpick if it is perfectly cooked on the inside. Once cooked, allow it to cool down. 
  • Then slowly remove the toothpicks and jackfruit leaves.
  • Plate the idlis on a serving dish and enjoy alongside coconut chutney or piping hot sambar.