Kanchipuram Idli


Idli is a very popular South Indian breakfast recipe and absolutely easy to prepare. Once you have got the rice to urad dal ratios correct, the idlis turn out super soft and tasty. Idli is one of the low calorie breakfast items and is very healthy compared to the other breakfast recipes. Urad dal has the required protein content and rice contributes to carbohydrates. As idli is steam cooked, it has zero oil – making it quite healthy for breakfast.

Today, my recipe is about Kanchipuram Idli which is very different from the usual idli. For those of you who think that idli is a bit bland, Kanchipuram idli is the recipe. The rice urad dal ratio is very different for this idli and once the freshly made batter is fermented, it is tempered with a whole lot of spices. Kanchipuram idli is quite flavorful and tasty as it is. When I was looking for a recipe, I found many variations of it and this is my adaption of the recipe. It is said that this idli is served as Prasadam in Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal temple and hence very popular. Another interesting aspect of this idli is that it comes it different shapes – usually in small cylindrical forms. I used couple of very small steel tumblers to make this idli, but one can prepare it in usual idli mould as well.


To prepare kanchipuram Idli

Makes – ~20 idlis

Time to prepare – 3 hrs soaking time + 8 hrs fermentation time + 10mins cooking time

What I used –

  • Idli Rice, 1 cup (Par-boiled rice)
  • Dosa Rice, 1 cup ( Raw rice)
  • Ural Dal, 1 cup (Whole Urad Dal)
  • Fenugreek Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Gingely Oil/Sesame Oil, 1.5 tbsp
  • Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1.5 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 2 tsp
  • Chana Dal, 1.5 tsp
  • Asafoetida, 1/4th tsp
  • Coarsely Crushed Black Pepper, 1.5 tsp
  • Dry Ginger Powder, ½ tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Salt, as required


How I made –

  1. Wash and soak the rice varieties along with fenugreek seeds and urad dal separately for atleast 3 hours.
  2. In a blender jar, grind the urad dal into a fine paste. Scrape it out to a deep bottomed dish. Grind the rice varieties into a coarse paste. Mix well with the ground urad dal paste. Set aside for atleast 8 hrs to let the batter ferment. The batter would raise in quantity.
  3. Before preparing the idli, beat down the batter after adding required salt and mix well. The batter should be of usual idli batter consistency.
  4. In a small pan, heat the gingely/sesame oil and ghee. Add mustard seeds, jeera, coarsely crushed black pepper powder, urad dal and chana dal. As mustards splutter and the urad/chana dal gets slightly browned, add asafoetida powder and roughly torn curry leaves. Fry for another ten secs.
  5. Add this tempering to the prepared idli batter. Also add the dry ginger powder. Mix well.
  6. Fill this batter in the idli mould and slow cook on steam for about 15-20mins. Slow cooking ensures that the idli is cooked well.
  7. After taking the idli mould out, wait for a couple of minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve hot with coconut chutney and idli podi/chutney powder.


Note –

  • I used mixer grinder to make the batter as the quantity is very less for using a wet grinder.
  • The use of gingely oil/sesame oil and ghee gives a very good flavour to this idli and is highly recommended.
  • This idli can be prepared in usual idli mould or in small steel tumblers. Alternatively, steamed as a large cake by using a flat dish and then cut into desired shapes.
  • The batter stays good for 3days in the refrigerator but not more than that.
  • The taste of this idli is quite different from the usual idli, with urad dal dominating the taste with the flavor of the tempering.

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