Idli is a steamed dish and this is the reason why it is considered absolutely safe to be taken on a regular basis. It is also to be noted that there are different ways of making idlis and this is the reason why there are different varieties of idlis available throughout the world and especially in South India.
Idlis can be made in different sizes and shapes and they are also available in different flavors depending on the area where they are made in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Types of Idlis and their Ingredients
This is a fluffy and soft type of idli made of batter that is ground to extra fine consistency. This idly variety works very well with seafood and meat gravies and also with chutney and sambhar.
The Kancheepuram Idli owes its origin to the Vardarajaswamy temple town where it is served in the form of temple prasad. This coarse idli is made using 2:1 rice: urad dal mix and is traditionally cooked in huge vessels and then sliced. Idli moulds are not used for making this type of idli. The idli batter is stored overnight and then it is mixed with cashew, ghee, jeera, Bengal gram, ginger powder, peppercorns and curry leaves before being steamed. Kancheepuram idli is a flavoursome idli that does not require any accompaniment.
Moode or Kadubbu
These are cylindrical idlies which are quite common throughout Udupi. There are different terms used by the locals for describing this idli type and they are Mude or Moode, Gunda and Kadubbu. This is an exclusively shaped idli cooked in different moulds. There are conical moulds used for crafting these idlis with jackfruit leaves. These idlis are also prepared in Kedige or pandanus leaves that add a subtle flavor to the idlis. These are super soft, flat idlis that come in the size of small dosas and are cooked in specifically designed mud pots mounted on top of the other.
As is suggested by the name, Thatte idlies are basically steamed in plates which are generally served with tarkari saagu.
The batter for making Rava idli does not require fermentation. This type of idli is cooked immediately and it tastes very different from the traditional idlies.
Bite-Sized Mini Idli
The bite-sized mini idli can be described as small cocktail idli which can easily be tossed using idli powder along with curry leaves. This type of idli can even be tossed in deep fried spice mix. These idlis can even be dunked in bowls of sambhar with some ghee.