- Submitted by Dahlia
(Gunda Idli, Khotto, Kottige, Kotte Kadubu, Kadabu, Udupi style idlis)
Before I give an introduction about today’s method of making idlis, let me just share some interesting methods of making idlis used by our ancestors. In Karnataka, idlis were traditionally steamed in jackfruit leaves and known as Khotto or Kottige. These jackfruit leaves idlis were also common among the Konkanis known as the Gunda Idli. Many steamed snacks used to be prepared using jackfruits leaves, banana leaves, lotus leaves and therali leaves. The leaf imparts its aroma to the steamed food and makes it very unique. To make idlis using jackfruit leaves (khotto), we need to prepare the batter little thicker than the usual batter to prevent it from seeping between the leaves. Four uniform sized mature jackfruit leaves are taken which are not too tender or too ripe. They are interwoven using tiny sticks, similar to toothpicks to make a cup. The batter is then poured into it and steamed. Once the idlis are removed, the leaf cups can be disposed. No washing needed. I will try to take some pictures of these when I get a chance.
Tumbler Idlis started as an alternative of these Udupi style khottos. People who lived in urban places and could not have access to fresh jackfruit leaves started making the same in stainless steel tumblers. In Tamilnadu, the famous Kacheepuram Idli which used to be traditionally made in lotus leaves are these days made in tumblers or in a flat vessel. I have seen some brands of popular cookware selling tumbler idli set. The set has a steamer pot with 7-8 small steel tumblers. You don’t need to invest in all those. Just use the regular tumblers in your kitchen. One of my friends used to make these tumbler idlis when she first moved to Canada because she did not have the regular idli stand. This idea can be used by North Indian friends, friends abroad or bachelors who do not want to invest in a separate idli stand. It can also be used as an alternative option of presenting the regular idlis made with the idli batter and make it more interesting.
Recipe for making Tumbler Idli
Preparation time: 15-18 hours (including soaking and fermentation)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes : 40 idlis
This idli can be made with the usual basic idli batter, or the idli batter made with idli rava.
- Pour little water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Grease the inside of the tumblers and pour idli batter until it is three fourth full.
- Cover and steam it for 15-20 minutes.
- Gently demold and serve.
Detailed steps for making Tumbler Idlis
Take a deep pot or pressure cooker and add little water. Keep it on the stove and bring it to boil. In the meantime, grease the stainless steel tumblers. I have heard that we can also use glass cups but I have personally not tried it.
Pour the idli batter in the tumblers little more than half the tumblers. Place it carefully in the pot of boiling water.
Put the lid and let it steam cook for at least 15 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, do not add the weight.
The idlis will raise and puff up. You need to next check if the inside is properly cooked.
Prick one idli using a knife or toothpick and see if it comes out clean. If no batter sticks to the knife then the idlis are cooked through. If not, cook it a little longer.
Let it rest for 5 minutes before demolding. To demold, run a knife or spoon around the edges to release the idlis. Turn the tumblers upside down onto a bowl and gently tap so that the idlis fall off.
Serving Tumbler Idlis
- You can slice each idli into small pieces or serve a whole idli as such. Serve with sambar, chutney or idli podi.
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