Idiyappam is a soft, steamed, gluten-free noodles from south India. It is made using rice and by a special process of making the flour. The steamed noodles is served with sweet coconut milk, and coconut milk curry (sodhi). This is vegan.
This idiyappam is very light and easily digestible and hence can be given when you recover from sickness. Also in many places, this is the staple breakfast. I would love to have this anytime of the day though. This noodles is served plain along with lip-smacking curry. They can also be used to make flavored noodles too, like, lemon or coconut or tomato.
The dough is made by mixing the flour in boiling water and it gets partially cooked during this process. Then it is kneaded, extruded as thin noodles and steamed. The extruders can make noodles of varying thinness according to the hole size. The fine ones are very attractive and best, may need a little bit of work to extrude. Wooden ones are traditionally used and they give the best results. They make very fine noodles. A couple of years back my mom got one for me when she visited her native place and passed it on to me. I use the steel extruder too. Both the extruders work great for me.
We make this quite often as weekend brunch. It may take about one and half hour for the entire process of making this idiyappam and curry (will share recipe for this later) for the following measurements and would easily serve six people for brunch. Sometimes, I make a bigger batch and the kids would love to eat it for the whole day.
Any steamer can be used to steam. Idli cooker can also be used. I use idiyappam plates, or the idli plates too. I make it simultaneously in idli cooker as well as pan steamer as this helps to finish the cooking process earlier. Since this is a time consuming process, having a multi-tier steamer is also a good idea. A dhokla stand can be used perfectly inside a pressure cooker for steaming the idiyappam. If using a 10-12inch plate, the entire dough inside the extruder can be extruded into that plate. If using about 7-in. plates, one whole extruder may be used for about 2 plates. If it has too much, the steaming may not be perfect. Extruding too little also leads to more time spent in the kitchen. A perfect balance between the area of the plate and fullness helps in optimal time management for cooking the idiyappam.
Nowadays, idiyappam flour is available in stores and this helps saving time in the preparation. This is a boon to keep life simpler while enjoying the traditional comfort foods we long for. The flour is made using raw rice and shall share the steps for it in another post. We have another variety made from parboiled rice and we call it sevai. I will share the same soon.
This is my post for the letter 'I' and I am doing an A-Z Noodles From around the World for Blogging Marathon. Here are the links for the noodles shared before for the same series.
B - Bibim Guksu
E - Egyptian Kushari
F - Fideua
H - Haluski
Idiyappam flour - 3 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Water - 3 to 3.75 cups
Boil water. Set aside 3/4 cup water. Add oil and salt. Sprinkle 3 cups flour and mix with fork. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
When it is bearable hot, sprinkle the reserved hot water as needed and knead to a smooth dough. This can be done in batches too. Kneading in batches makes it easier.
Once kneaded, make oblong shapes so that it would fit into the extruder. Smear oil on the steamer plates, extrude to fill the plates.
Boil water in the steamer. When it is ready place the plates with idiyappam and steam for 3 minutes.
Once steaming in done, invert into bowls and cover. Repeat making idiyappam and steaming them with the remaining dough.
Any steamer plates or extruder type can be used.
Serve with sweet coconut milk or coconut curry.