Yes you heard it right, International Idli day..
Every year, since 2015, World Idli Day is celebrated on March 30 after a Chennai-based idli caterer named Eniyavan decided to dedicate a day to these rice cakes.
History of Idlis.
According to historians or food researchers, idli originated in Indonesia, Indonesia is well known for its ancient tradition of fermented food. It is said that during the period of 800-1200 CE idli came to India in the form of steamed idli. The name idli is said to be derived from the Kannada word ‘Iddalige’. Also, the Sanskrit Manasollasa of 1130 AD has ‘Iddarika’, that mentioned it a dish made with urad dal. Tamil people started calling it as ‘Itali’ in the 17th century.
Idli is a favourite dish of most people with a reputation of being soft and white as jasmine. It is very low in calorie, healthy and cost friendly. No matter what you make for breakfast Idli is the best choice always. Other snacks will not be a match to this wonder food.
Idli and sambar are the most loved food of the people of South India. It is also the best nutritious food. Breakfast should have a lot of protein, carbohydrates, calcium. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And Idli, being a popular south Indian snack, is high in nutrients and is a great option for breakfast.
“Idli” had emerged as the most popular snack today. Many restaurants definitely serve Idli in the morning as breakfast. And of course, most of the customer’s demand is also Idli. Along with Idli urad vada or Medu vada is also served. Medu vada is like a twin snack for Idli.
Idli is not only available in restaurants and hotels. It can be made easily at home. Selling Idlis on the street daily is a way of earning for many people. Many people sell idlis on bicycle carriers across the city. Idli business is the one of the profitable ways for many people to earn for their livelihood.
How Idli is made?
One of the main reasons for the popularity of Idli apart from being healthy it is very easy to prepare. To make Idli, four parts rice (Idli rice or parboiled rice or normal rice) to one part whole white lentil (black gram, Vigna mungo) are soaked separately for at least four hours to six hours. You may add spices such as fenugreek seeds. After the soaking, the lentils are ground to a fine paste and the rice is ground coarsely, then they are combined. Next, the mixture is left to ferment overnight during which its volume will more than double. Then the idli batter is put into greased moulds of an idli tray for steaming. A more traditional method is to use leaves instead of moulds.
Now, many versions of instant idlis are used. A lot of groceries stores sell readymade batter for the convenience for working people. Ready mix powders are also available. And you cane make idlis using many other ingredients, and avoid soaking, grinding and fermenting.
Some of the varieties of idlis are
There are said to be 185+ Idli verities. Yes, it is clearly evident that verities of idli are very popular across the globe.
Bajra / Kambu / Pearl millet idli.
Black Urad dal.
Karnataka idli using idli rava.
Black rice idli.
Raw rice idli / pacharisi idli.
Different types of Idlis using variety of stuffing.
Nowadays countless varieties of idlis in variety of shapes and flavours are available. Like plate idli or tatte idli, Burger idli. idli chili, chocolate idlis have appeared. Colourful idli made using different vegetables, vegetable idli made with different grains, vegetable idlis made with greens, sanna idli of the undivided Dakshina Kannada district, plate idli of Mandya-Mysore region, mallige idli, Madurai idli, Guntur idli, Kanchipuram idlis etc. are soothing the taste buds of the people.
Idli is so close to us that idli is an integral part of our lives.
Some facts of Idli
In 2013, Eniyavan, a resident of Coimbatore , created a Guinness World Record for making an idli weighing 128 kg. It is not to be denied that idli has topped almost all our breakfast menus. Eniyavan demonstrated 1,000 variants of the fluffy, fermented urad dal-rice dumpling to create an awareness about idli, Eniyavan’s credentials as an idlivangelist are impeccable.
Health Benefits of Idli
Idlis are very low cholesterol, no fat, and no saturated fat. Consuming less than 16 grams of saturated fat and 300 milligrams of cholesterol lessens your risk of different cardiovascular disease and stroke. Salt in each idli does contain about 65 milligrams of sodium which is very normal.
Each idli contains 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 8 grams of carbohydrates. It is perfect and essential for a light snack, Healthy adults required 50 grams of protein and 225 grams of carbohydrates daily. Adequate protein facilitates muscle repair, as well as carbohydrates, provide energy. Fiber promotes healthy digestion daily requirement of fiber for men is between 28 and 34 grams of fiber and for women between 22 and 28 grams.
So, Idlis are most healthy and essential snacks for everyone. Idli can be given for babies also. It is safe for them as it is not likely to choke them. It is easy to digest and easy to eat. The best part is that idlis are considered as a baby weaning food, and babies and toddlers like this recipe.
Idli is mainly served with the sambar that goes with it usually has toor dal with some protein and some vegetables providing vitamins, including vitamin C. The coconut chutney provides the fats which are easily assimilated and digested, proven heart friendly.
Let us also celebrate today with idli eating.
The best way to celebrate this day is to make our own idli. It is easy to do so. If you don’t have time to make idli yourself, then you can just purchase some from a store. For sure, lots of stores will be offering idlis during the celebration of this day because they expect a lot of people to buy idlis from them. Share Your Celebration of World Idli Day with me by sending comments with photographs.
” Happy Idli Diwas”
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