Idlies and dosas are such a quintessential part of a South Indian breakfast that the first dish-related question that gets asked in any household is not “What is for breakfast?”, but, rather, “What is the side dish for breakfast?” One can compare idli versus dosa to that of a serial entrepreneur versus one-time entrepreneur! While one can continue to invent and re-invent unlimited avatars of idlies, the dosa avatar enjoys its glamourous outlook by priding itself to mimic the Western “crepe” clan!
The quote “Good things come in small packages” couldn’t have been any truer in the case of Idlies, a white batter whipped out of rice (traditionally) and lentil (Urud dhal), soaked, ground, fermented and steamed, that makes it naturally gluten, dairy and nut free, and usually had with a variety of dips called chutneys. Known to be the first, ideal solid food for an infant, a panacea for everything from flu, diabetes to COVID. Idli is man’s best friend during healthy and not so healthy times.
Every year, starting 2015, March 30 is being celebrated as World Idli Day It is the inspiration of Eniyavan, a popular idli-only caterer from Chennai, India. He made 1,328 varieties of idlis and a 97lb idli that was cut by a top official to mark the occasion.
To commemorate World Idli Day in the US, Shastha Foods, San Jose and Tamizh Suvai, a San Francisco based Radio show that aims to bridge the Tamil diaspora all over the world, came together to conduct a contest where people could showcase several theme-based idlies and be eligible for Shastha Foods’ gift vouchers. The themes that were suggested initially were:
In less than 48 hours, we had a deluge of idlies being showcased on our Facebook page, beginning with idli Kabab, idli Dango (Japanese style), idli Bite Wings, Yogurt idlies, Spring idlies, Idli Macaroons, Double decker idlies, Masala idles, Easter idlies, Chocolate idlies, Mixed vegetable idlies, Pizza idlies, Waffle idlies, Idli sandwiches and a lot lot more! The hosts were obviously surprised at the idli-ary skills that were at display that they had to summon a committee to judge the winners amongst the 25 entries! Here is a YouTube Interview with Shastha Foods Product Manager Mr. Vaidyanthan (in Tamil), if you’re interested in watching.
- Raj Subramanian – YouTube
- Priya Rajaram – Instagram
- Asha Ambikavijayakumaran – Website
- Savita Sivakumar – Instagram
RJ Sudha is the Founder and the Anchor of Tamizh Suvai Radio, a show that brings in interesting and inspiring speakers each week and strives to connect the entire Tamil diaspora all over the world onto one single platform. She is a Software Engineer by profession and has had more than 20 years of experience leading teams/projects and conducting women empowerment workshops. She left her thriving career to connect to her community closely and leave a legacy behind. She is an active community organizer and has a large social media following on Facebook and LinkedIn.