This silky smooth and melt-in-the-mouth Kanchi idli may not look like your regular idli. But, they are made using almost the same ingredients as regular idlis.
Kanchi idli is mostly prepared in the vicinity of the iconic temple of Kanchipuram and is often enjoyed as a temple offering. The idlis are cooked in the shape of the dome of the temple. For this, moulds are made using bamboo sticks. Plantain leaf is placed in these moulds before pouring the idli batter.
However, now steel moulds are easily available in the market. You could scoop the idli using spoon and enjoy with sambar and chutney. Here is how to make Kanchi idlis.
1 cup brown rice
1 cup raw rice
1 cup urad dal
3 tbsp cashews
A pinch of crushed pepper
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp asafoetida powder
A pinch of crushed cumin
Four sprigs curry leaves
Soak the brown rice, raw rice and urad dal the previous day of preparation
Grind these separately; do not make it smooth
The batter should be coarse with fine particles
Now mix all the batters
Keep the batter aside for it to rise
The batter should be allowed to sit overnight before making idlis
If on a tight schedule, you could add a tbsp of yoghurt to speed up the fermentation process
Add cashews, pepper, cumin, asafoetida powder and curry leaves in the risen batter
Pour the batter into the bamboo or steel moulds
Wrap the mould using plantain leaf to prevent leakage
You could also make these idlis in regular idli steamer in case you do not find the mould
The main difference is the time of cooking; while regular idlis would be cooked in just fifteen minutes, Kanchi idlis take up to two hours
Even though it takes longer to cook, Kanchi idli taste better than the regular idlis. The idlis that are made in bamboo moulds would have beautiful designs on its edges. You could scoop the idli using a spoon, just like eating halwa. Even though Kanchi idli could be eaten with sambar or chutney, it tastes best with chutney powder mixed with sesame oil, mint chutney or shallots chutney.