I am doing an A-Z Tamil cuisine recipes marathon this whole month and today is the day of the alphabet P. I saw this pulungalarisi idiyappam / string hoppers in one recipe booklet which we get with a popular Tamil magazine. As I have mentioned earlier, I had only flops when I tried following the recipes. This is one such recipe I failed drastically and then did some changes and succeeded. I have discarded all the recipe booklets now. According to the recipe from the booklet, parboiled rice is ground to a thick batter, steam cooked in idli moulds and then pressed in idiyappam press to get soft and fluffy idiyappam / string hoppers. But when I made idlis and tried pressing it through the press, it was so hard to press and it sort of clumped together. I don’t know what I did wrong and as the recipe didn’t mention the steps clearly, I had to stop making it.
I was left with the remaining batter which I made into lovely idiyappam following what my mom taught. Usually string hoppers are made with raw rice. I have explained in detail on how to make the idiyappam / puttu flour in my earlier post. But when using parboiled rice, it cannot be prepared like that. The technique is very different. We need to make a batter and then cook it in a pan with oil until it becomes a sodt dough. This dougfh is then pressed in a idiyappam press and the strings are steamed to get delicious idiyappam. I know that the procedure is quite tedious, but once you are used to it, you will not feel it as a heavy work. In fact I enjoy doing it. I learned these techniques from mom and when I redo it in kitchen, I feel like living those days again. So I love it. These are the techniques carried on from generations and I don’t know whether this will be carried on to our next generation. But still I want to save this for Sruti. It may help her when she grows up.
As my recent craze is millets, I have again used saamai parboiled rice for this idiyappam. You might remember the Lemon sevai post I made this month. After having this idiyappam for breakfast with coconut milk, the remaining idiyappam transformed into lemon sevai. I have wrongly mentioned it as jowar idiyappam, but it is saamai/ little millet idiyappam. There will be no difference felt when you taste it and is highly nutritious and a healthy substitute to the rice based ones.
Par Boiled Saamai / Little Millet – 2 cups
Coconut Grated – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Soak the millet for 8 hours.
Grind it into a thick batter along with grated coconut. Mix salt.
Heat oil in a pan and add the ground batter.
Keep on frying it until it becomes a soft dough. You need to fry it continuously to avoid the formation of lumps.
Cover and set aside until cool.
Apply some oil in your palm and knead the dough until it is soft and pliable.
Heat water in the idli cooker.
Grease the idli plates.
Fill the idiyappam press with a little dough and press it out to make idiyappams in the idli mould.
Steam cook for 10 minutes or until done.
Serve it hot with sweetened coconut milk or use it to make any sevai recipe.