Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

idli a speciality of S. India: these are small, round breakfast cakes/dumplings, greyish-white in colour, made from a dough of ground rice and urd dal and then fermented overnight. Idli are steamed in a special pan which has several smoothly rounded indentations. They are often eaten with coconut chutney or sometimes dipped into a spicy mixture called milagain podi which consists of coarsely ground toasted spices and dal.

Idli may be flavoured with garlic, other flavourings such as coconut, or spices.