Hyderabad: Idli, with a dash of spicy peanut chutney and a bowl of sambar or podi was how millions of South Indians have been eating every morning, in fact, for lunch, brunch or any hour of the day.
But, if you thought that there’s just one way to make this wholesome vegetarian dish or there’s only one variety, you’re mistaken! Spot a menu in the tiffin centre and don’t be surprised if you see at least ten idli varieties.
From tawa idli to cheese idli to butter idli, this must-figure in most breakfast buffets has come a long way. There has been no dearth of varieties of this mother of all comfort foods being churned out by food ventures. All thanks to ingredient availability and convenience factors.
Though the basics of making a steamed rice cake stay the very same, the avatars differ, from pepper idli, Chinese chilli idli to the Kanchipuram idli, moong dal idli, curd idli, ghee idli and idli upma, the list is endless.
Bhattad Ki Idli – Rambharose Bhandar in Narayanguda is one of the go-to places for many idli lovers in the city. The eatery, for the last two decades, has been dishing out idlis by the hundreds in an amazing variety and taste.
“We serve fried idli, tawa masala idli, tawa masala cheese idli, garlic idli, cheese garlic idli, butter idli, and ghee idli. However, there is a regular one as well and it surely has its dedicated followers,” says the owner Yogesh Bhattad.
“Tawa masala variety is a favourite among youngsters,” he says, adding that it was made with a medley of fresh or leftover idlis tossed in sautéed onions, cilantro, curry leaves and some podi.
Be it any time of the day, you can find huge crowds flocking Varalakshmi Tiffins opposite DLF gate in Gachibowli to savour the signature karampodi ghee idli. Interestingly, they do not serve sambar with their idlis. Instead, what you can expect is delicious peanut chutney. Ghee Idli in Manikonda is also pro in giving their idlis a twist. Button idli, ghee dip idli, and Guntur ghee karapodi idli are all must-try here.
You can even find several innovations and variations done at roadside carts serving tiffins. Raghav, who runs a roadside tiffin stall at Dilsukhnagar, says: “In households when there are leftover idlis, it gets transformed into fry idlis. All one has to do is cut the idli and fry them. And that’s how new varieties are being created all the time.”
Pepper idli that he serves is his customers’ favourite. Also, he is on the verge of introducing ragi and corn idlis which will be good for sugar patients.
The thought of why idli should be only in one flavor is leading many eateries in the city to innovate, and the results are being well received by the people. Not just youth, even traditionalists have a taste for idlis in its many variations.
Idli, like the old Bruce Lee-linked joke goes, is not deadly anymore, but a tasty medley of styles and flavours now.
What’s On The Menu
Bhattad Ki Idli – Rambharose Bhandar
- Butter Idli – Rs 65
- Fry Idli – Rs 80
- Ghee Idli – Rs 65
- Tawa Masala Idli – Rs 100
- Garlic Idli – Rs 90
- Cheese Garlic Idli – Rs 110
- Tawa Masala Cheese Idli – Rs 100
Ghee Idli, Manikonda
- Karampodi Ghee Idly – Rs 85
- Ghee Dip Idli – Rs 100
- Guntur Ghee Karapodi Idli – Rs 75
- Tawa Idli – Rs 100
- Ghee Idli – Rs 65
- Button Sambar Idli – Rs 50
- Button Ghee Karam Idli – Rs 75
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