March 16, 2017

Kanjivaram Idli | Kancheepuram Idli | Kudalai Idli

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The name Kancheepuram/ Kanjivaram is synonymous to Pattu Saree popularly known as Kanjivaram Pattu. The handloom industry with skilled workers make the best of  Silk Sarees that are woven with beautiful and intricate designs ,styles and motifs.

Next to Sarees,the city is known for the very many temples and most importantly the famous Varadaraja Perumal Temple where this idli is offered as Prasadam to the Lord.

These idlis are slightly different as compared to the regular idlis as the batter is ground slightly coarse in texture and tempered with some spices like pepper,ginger and curry leaves.Also,traditionally these idlis are steamed in Dhonnais (cups made out of dried leaves) .
The other name for Kancheepuram Idli is Kudalai Idli as it is steamed in the Dhonnai.

Knacheepuram idlis can be served with Coconut chutney and Sambar .Many people like the combination of Tomato Khara Chutney with these idlis.

Preparation Time : 10-12 hrs ( Soaking Time : 3-4 hrs | Fermentation Time : 8-10 hrs)
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : Makes about 16-20 idlis
Complexity : medium high

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1 cup idli rice
1 cup regular raw rice ( I used Sona Masuri)

**you can also use 2 cups raw rice and skip idli rice if making for prasad /neivedhiyam

1 cup udad dhall

To Temper
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp jeera/cumin
1 tsp udad dhall (optional)
1/2 tsp channa dhall (optional)
2 tsp ginger powder/ chukku/shunt
2 tsp pepper powder
pinch of asafoetida
finely chopped curry leaves
2 tsp gingelly oil/sessame oil/til oil


Wash the rice and dhall separately until the water turns clear. Soak them separately for atleast 4 hrs.

Grind the udad dhall first using very little water until it feels fluffy and almost doubles in volume.
Take it out in a separate vessel that is wide enough. Next add the rice to the grinder and grind it well but not very smooth.let it be a little coarse. Add this to the udad dhall batter and mix it well using your hands.
Please Note,using hands to mix the batter helps in fermentation process as our body heat is transferred in the process of mixing. Leave it aside for fermentation . It will take 6-10 hrs depending on the outside temperature and season.
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Freshly ground batter

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Well fermeneted batter.
How to prepare Idlis ?

Prepare the tempering using jeera, mustard seeds,udad dhall,channa dhall and asafoetida.
Add the tempering along with the finely chopped curry leaves,dry ginger powder ,pepper powder and salt.Mix well.

**the original temple version doesn't use channa dhall and udad dhall as part of tempering . I added the dhalls for the crunch.  You may skip if you wish to .

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Grease the idli plates with a little oil and prepare the steamer/ pressure cooker by then with sufficient water. Pour the batter into the greased idli moulds and steam for 16-18 minutes.

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Steamed Idlis
Soft and fluffy idlis are ready to be served.

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Note :Alternatively,you can also grease a round mould and steam the batter in it and cut in desired shapes .Just like how you would do for a cake or dhoklas.

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Incase, you feel the batter is not risen well, you can add some eno fruit salt before steaming. Take care to add eno only to the quantity of batter to be steamed and not to the entire batch of batter.


  1. These idli sound amazing. I love the addition of the tadka.. will have to try this. I have always made plain idli.

  2. A nice fluffy and soft kanjivaram idli recipe. The first time I had kanjivaram idli was a memorable one as I was intrigued by it being steamed in a banana leaf. I like the explanation you have given to how this idli is called kanjivaram idli.. interesting read Priya.


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