I’ve always loved the little cylindrical kanchipuram idlies. Especially the ones served at Woody’s in Bangalore. A short internet search and I was all set to make them myself for breakfast one morning.
Its an easy upgrade from regular idlies and since in our household we eat a LOT of them, I welcomed the beautiful flavour of the added whole spices. Try the Kancheepuram Idly with molaga podi or sambhar. it will make you linger over your breakfast.
Kancheepuram Idly (makes 12 idlies)
Make the regular idly batter as follows
½ cup skinned urad dal/ black gram
1 ½ cups of rice (i use boiled rice, sona masuri works fine too
½ teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
Soak all of the above for atleast 6 hrs. Grind with 1-1/2 cups water to a smooth batter. Some would ask you to grind the lentils and rice separately and mix, but i cant be bothered about this and i have not had bad results to make me want to try. I grind mine in a wet grinder but a regular food processor works fine too. Again i speak from experience.
Transfer to a large vessel and leave to ferment for 5-6 hours. Add salt to taste and Mix well.
for the seasoning
1 tablespoon gingelly oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (jeera/ zeera)
1 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
6-8 curry leaves, torn roughly
2 green chillies (or less) chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste or 1/2 inch ginger chopped fine
heat the oil and splutter the cumin seeds. add the rest if the seasonings except the ginger paste / chopped and stir for a few seconds till aromatic. take off the heat and add the ginger. stir and leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Add this to the idly batter and stir. leave to rest about 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the pressure cooker or steamer by pouring 2 cups of water and bringing it to a gentle boil. traditionally kancheepuram idlies are steamed in a cylindrical mould. you can choose to steam them in the regular idly mould or like me, use small steel tumblers, with a slight coat of oil on the sides to prevent the idlies from sticking to the vessel.
i placed 4 to fit the base of my pressure pan and repeated the process 3 times to make 12 idlies. fill the steel tumblers 2/3 with the batter and steam for 15 minutes.
if using the regular idly moulds, proceed by filling the cups and stacking them one over the other and steam for 10-15 minutes on full heat.