Chettinad Thalicha Idiyappam - Savoury Version of String Hoppers

Idiyappam / Idiappam is a Chettinad delicacy. The difference being in the way it is served - either sweetened with sugar and coconut or seasoned with buttermilk and onions.  It becomes soft with the addition of buttermilk and the taste is unique and different. Nowadays, plain discs of Idiyappam are served with Paaya / Kurma. I remember enjoying them with Pineapple More Kuzhambu, Potato Palya (Kizhangu that we serve with Poori) and Sambhar @ Dasa Dosa on TTK Road in the nineties. The first two I distinctly remember, as it was a novel combination that was delicious (I am yet to replicate it at home)!

Die hard Chettiars will never enjoy it plain! It is blasphemous. "Thalikkaliya?" - would be the query. It is a must in any 'Virundhu' menu. A new bride is often adjudged by her ability to make long noodle-like strands of soft, well seasoned Idiyappam and the perfect Vellai Paniyaram. Generally 1 cup of flour is measured per person. While making large quantities, it is better to mix 1 cup of flour at a time. A warm dough is easier to press; and by the time the first batch cooks we can have the next one ready.

The savoury version is generally served with Pachadi / Kosumalli. Our favourite side-dish though is Cabbage Sambal.

Oil - 1 Tbsp
Mustard – ¼ tsp
Urad Dal – ¼ tsp
Dry Red Chillies – 2
Curry Leaf - 1 sprig
Small Onions - 10, sliced (optional)
Sour Curds – 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Basic Idiyappam – from 1 cup of flour

Mix beaten curds along with salt in 2 to 3 cups of water.
Dunk the steamed Idiyappam in; and immediately take it out squeezing all the water.
Gently separate the strands and keep aside in a shallow bowl.

Heat oil and season with mustard seed, urad dal and curry leaf.
When the dal changes colour add sliced onions and sauté with a pinch of salt until cooked but crisp.
Take off heat and add to the Idiyappam. Toss well to mix evenly.

Invariably some dough gets left behind in the press. Amma made this cute little bird. The chilli beak lends it some spice and on the whole a yummy treat!!!


Good info. I never tried wth curd soaking method lovely variayions

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