The first 20 years of my life, I hated idli. Oh, for my international readers, this is idli. Idli is to a south Indian what toast is to most Caucasians. Anyway, I hated it. What’s there to like – it’s bland, it’s a boring white, it’s not crispy, there’s no oil involved! Boh-ring!
And then I got a job and moved cities. From home, I went straight to this city called Hyderabad where the nearest idli was at least 20 km from where I lived. When you’re a single girl, on your own in a big city for the first time, dependent on public transport, it might as well have been 2000 km. For almost a year, I didn’t eat good idli. The ones I did eat were not even in the same food group as idli. I missed the buggers!
Then wedding happened. And hey, my mother bought me this wet grinder to make my very own batter and all my idli fantasies took flight again. Heaven.
Without further ado, here’s my idli journal. These were made in the course of the last month or so. See. And enjoy.
Idli, with Sambar and chutney. The Holy Grail of South Indian breakfast.
Idli, with Chicken curry. Typical breakfast fare in a Telugu household when the son-in-law is visiting.
Idli, with Peanut chutney. This is my childhood, at my maternal grandmother’s house, on a plate.
Idli, with Pappulusu. Rayalseema fare. Comfort food when you miss Mommy.
Idli, with Kurma. This is my humble idli making the most of a parotta-chapati invasion from the North.
Idli, with Kumbakonam kadapa. Native of Tamilnadu but very joyously adopted into a Telugu household!
Idli, made with oats, with Tomato pachadi. This is my idli adapting to the health conscious 21st century.
These are just the ones I made and had the patience to take a photo of before stuffing my face. There are countless other accompaniments and variations of the idli, it’s actually ridiculous.
So, let’s raise a mug of sambar and a spoon of chutney to this most humble, unassuming of breakfasts – to the humble idli, which let’s the accompaniment take all the credit, while silently being the rock (not literally, mind you) on which they all flow.
Idli for President!