Kanchipuram Idli

Kanchipuram Idli, spiced idli, spiced rice cakes, idlies steamed in banana leaves plantain leaves, plate idli
Kanchipuram Idli is a spicy steamed rice cakes. Kanchipuram, otherwise known as Kanchi, is a city in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram is a traditional centre of silk weaving and handloom industries for producing Kanchipuram SarisThe Kanchivaram Idli, represented with the place, is usually the spiced version of the normal Idly. And most important is the batter, which is steamed in leaves, such as plantain leaves or Maloo Creeper leaves (Mandarai in Tamil Language, the language native to Kanchi). The batter cooked in these leaves not only enhance the taste but also adds flavour.  And one more importance of cooking in these leaves is that the food remains fresh for a longer time. For more authentic traditional way, the leaves with the batter should be steamed in a idly steamer made of brass.


For the Batter -

1. Parboiled/Idli Rice - 2 and half cup
2. Black Gram/Urad Dal - 1 cup
3. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp.
4. Salt to taste 

For Tempering - 

1. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
2. Black Gram/Urad dal - 1 tsp.
3. Bengal Gram/Channa Dal - 1 tsp.
4. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
5. Cashews - 5 to 8 no. (cut into small pieces)
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Pepper corns crushed - 1 tsp.
8. Curry leaves - 3 to 4 leaves
9. Turmeric - a pinch (optional)
10. Oil/Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 tsp.

Cooking Method:

1. Clean and soak the black gram and rice separately for 4 to 5 hrs. 

2. Grind them separately as black gram blends quickly than rice. Blend both into fine and thick batter adding water. Keep it aside in a warm place for 7 to 8 hours for the fermentation. During cold weathers the fermenting time may take longer.

3. Once the batter rises and is fermented, add salt and baking soda to it and mix well.

4. For tempering, heat/ghee oil in a pan, and add mustard seeds, followed by all ingredients in the list. Once done, pour this in the batter and again stir it.

5. The batter should be steamed in idli steamer or can be steamed in a cooker without the whistle. This can also be steamed in the microwave also.  It will take around 10 to 15 minutes. If the thickness is more then it might take little longer time. It can be in any shape, may be a plate idli, the normal idli or a cup idli. It can also be a glass shaped idly too (provided you have the steel glass to cook this).

6. To check whether the idlies are done, you can do a toothpick check by inserting into it and when it comes out clean then the idlies are done.

Kanchipuram Idli, spiced idli, spiced rice cakes, idlies steamed in banana leaves plantain leaves, plate idli


1. Let the batter be little thick not too watery. Otherwise the idlies will not be cooked well and does not be fine too.

2. I just added very little turmeric and steamed some part with no turmeric. If you want to go for the intense colour then you can increase the turmeric quantity to 1/2 tsp.

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