Idiyappam – String Hoppers/Steamed rice noodles

There are some dishes that feature very rarely in my kitchen..I think that its based on the assumption that it is a labor intensive dish…or health reasons..or I am just intimidated by it. One such dish is poori..I hardly remember when I made it last..The reason for it being deep fried, and me being health conscious. Another is Idiyappam…and although it is one of my husband’s favorite tiffin items..the reason is that whenever I make it, I realize that it isn’t has good as my ‘ammachi’s idiyappam’. (my grandmother). Although both mine and my grandma’s look the same…the method is totally different..Hers are called ‘sandhagam’ and is made by soaking, grinding rice fresh to make the batter and cooking the batter first like idlis before pressing it. Mine are made the easy way by using rice flour. I made this idiyappam last night for dinner…and realized, surprisingly enough that it was’nt a difficult dish. I guess it must have seemed difficult during those times in the kitchen…where I hardly knew how to cook. Those days are long gone…and I am glad I tried this dish.

Ingredients:
2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 cups water
pinch salt
1 tbsp gingelly oil

Toppings(as you prefer):
Coconut milk sweetened with sugar and cardamom
fresh grated coconut

Method:
In a saucepan heat the water with the salt until it comes to a rolling boil. Gently ladle the water into a bowl containing the rice flour. Stir vigorously and quickly until the water is absorbed. Adding a few drops of oil to the flour and greasing your palms, add the dough into a greased idiyappam mould. Press into a greased idli plate and steam until the strings are firm and cooked. Serve hot with topping(s) of choice.

Verdict:
Steaming, hot, sweet and delicious. Very comforting. Our choice of topping has always been sweetened coconut milk. (Just warm half canned coconut milk with half water, with some pounded cardamom pods and sugar, in the microwave, for about 1 minute.)

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