Kanchipuram Idlis Have Been Alluring Devotees For Decades
Image Credit: Rajini Rajammal/Facebook, These Kanchipuram Idlis are perfect for World Idli Day!

Idlis are steamed cake preparations which are made from rice flour batter. This batter is poured in idli moulds and steamed. The soft and mushy idlis are usually served with coconut chutney. One of the most popular breakfast items from the Indian platter, idlis have been known to us for long enough now. But do we know beyond our typical rice or rava idlis? Well, seems like we haven’t explored enough. This World Idli Day, let’s take you through the tales of a special idli that has been alluring devotees for years. 

From Prasad to Local Delicacy, Kanchipuram Idlis

Tamil Nadu is home to a variety of delicious foods. Within Tamil Nadu itself, you’ll find region-specific cuisines making the rounds. Chettinad cuisine is a case in point. On one end, you’ll find one of the spiciest fares of the country and on the other, a soft and humble idli being served to the Lord and devotees alike. Yes, that’s how popular Kanchipuram idlis are in the region. They aren’t merely ordinary idlis. It is believed that their history dates back to as far as the Pallavas somewhere between the 6th and 9th century A.D. 

The idlis are served as prasadam at Varadharaj Perumal Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram district. Worshippers flock the temple and line up in huge queues not just to witness the holy Lord in the temple tank which is underground but also gorge on these delicious Kanchipuram idlis. Locally referred to as koil idlis, these are the highlight of the place. A foot-long idlis are prepared at the temple every day for the visitors and you cannot miss out on this local treat. 

While the batter of these is quite similar to your regular idlis, it is the spices involved that make all the difference along with the cooking method. Usually in the shape of a cylinder, the idli batter is filled with peppercorns, asafetida, dried ginger and other ingredients. This is then wrapped in a Mandharia leaf and steamed for as long as three hours. The tedious preparation requires utmost care and precision. 

Now that you know all about these idlis and their significance, we think there would be no better time than World Idli Day to prepare some at home too. Here is a detailed recipe to try.