The flavour of Indian Food part 5: Idli and Dosa

25 Dec 2017  Mon

It does not matter in which corner of India you’re in, you will be harried with a plate of Idli and Dosa with Sambhar and coconut chutney. This steaming rice-cake and pan-cake is the soft and crunchy cuisine of south India, it is also a fulfilling and healthy breakfast for the empty stomach.

The main ingredient to make these two dishes is same just the execution of these dishes is different. Idli is steamed and Dosa is shallow fried in a pan but the batters of both the dishes are fermented overnight. The birth of these dishes is subjected to debate among food historians. Its major connections can be found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. According to food historian K.T.Achaya, dosa was already in Ancient Tamil around 1st century AD as per Sangam literature and historian Thankappan Nair connects dosa to Udupi town. In Kannada it is called Dose and Tamil it’s called Dosai.

The lore of Idli is far more interesting than Dosa, It is mentioned in ancient Kannada and Tamil literature. Idli was ‘iddaliage’ to the ancient, this dish was also enjoyed by the mighty southern kings. The Western Chalukya King Someshwara III also mentioned the making of Idli. The literature work in the Sanskrit language mentions Iddarika.

Today we eat these delicious dishes with a different variation, yet the basic or authentic making and flavours of Idli and Dosa remained same. In Mumbai, the most delicious dosa and Idli can be found in Udupi restaurants but don’t underestimate the vender’s selling idli and Dosa on cycle in the morning it. Its taste is bliss for an eager mouth and hungry stomach.

These popular dishes are an intense part of Indian cuisine. To celebrate these authentic dishes India Post has issued commemorative stamps in 2017.

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