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The Idli

The Idli is an Indian rice cake popular in southern India. It is also a staple food for breakfast and snack. Although there are no records specifying when and where in India it originated, the cooking of the first idli can be traced back in old writings to the 920ADs. In the 17th Century, rice was added to the idli’s ingredients because it was thought to make the fermentation process faster. Today, Indians bring idli wherever they go. They are sold almost everywhere in India especially in the southernmost provinces.

Made with grounded and cooked leftover rice, daal, salt and oil, the idli can be made by separately soaking the daal and rice in water overnight. After that, the rice and daal are grounded to a pasty consistency. Water is then added. If the mixture is too thick, more water can be added. Mixing is continued until the consistency is thin and smooth. The mixture is then left standing for a couple of hours, after which some salt is added. The idli is then greased and moulded with oil and pressure-cooked or steamed until it is fluffy. All leftover idli can be recycled to make new idli again by repeating the cooking process.

Different condiments and side dishes can be eaten with the idli. You can even add ingredients like carrots, spinach, corn and peppers to the idli while cooking so that it will look more appetizing and taste better. Almost any sauce can be eaten with the idli, like the sambar, a tamarind-based sauce with coconut milk, or the chutney, a relish made from different pickled fruits and vegetables. The idli can also be eaten with curd and topped with spring onions or raw onions for a more intense flavor. The fluffy idli will be sure to tickle your senses once you’ve tasted the hot delicacy that literally melts in your mouth.

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