Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Idiyaappam - Very Tamil String Hoppers

I first came across the name string hoppers in the manual that came along with my very first Sumeet mixer-grinder. Read the recipe and wondered how different that was from the sevai/shavige we usually make. Then I realised that was just the idiyaappam we relish outside home, in restaurants.

I make sevai very often as my husband loves it, having been a regular breakfast on Sunday mornings at his parents home. My sister was the one who pointed out that idiyaappam will be a quickie compared to the usual sevai, if you keep the flour readymade. The flour can be made in big quantity and stored for quite a while. Then the task is a breeze and you can have it with your favourite side dish. I keep the powder in stock in my pantry.

Given a choice, I will incline to sevai as they are softer. But if I am looking for a quick yet filling dish, I would go with idiyaappam.

To prepare the rice flour:
Wash and soak raw rice for an hour.
Drain and spread on a clean cloth for a few minutes.
Pound to a very fine powder in the mixie. If you have the facility of a commercial mill, you may get the grinding done there in larger quantities. You may do the pounding in small batches until all the soaked rice has been powdered.

Heat a heavy, rounded bottom pan. Roast the rice powder on a medium flame constantly tossing around until you are able to draw a line dropping the powder through your fingers.
Seive for lumps and these lumps can be powdered again.
Allow the roasted powder to cool before storing in clean air tight containers.
This can be stored at room temperature for a couple of months.

Idiyaappam Ingredients:
Powedered and roasted rice flour 1 cup
Water 1 and 1/3 cups (sometimes a little more depending on the age of the rice) (usually 1 cup is the measurement given in many books, but I have found that the dough dries up quickly, hence add more water.)
Gingley oil or any cooking oil 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste.

How to proceed:
Take the measured water, salt and oil in a pan and bring the water to boil.
Remove from the fire.
Insert a long handled ladle in the water and drop the rice flour in. Give one brisk stir and cover the pan tight.
Leave for about 20 minutes allowing the dough to cool.
Open and using cool water/little amount of oil for your palms, mix the dough kneading it applying some pressure. Knead to a smooth lump free dough. If necessary increase the oil by another teaspoon.
Prepare two or three flat plates that may fit in the steamer with ease. Fit the murukku press with the disc that has fine pores.
Pour some water in the steamer and heat it.
Make fist size balls of the dough, put a ball in the cylinder of the press.
Pipe out the dough on one of the plates in an evenly distributed circle.
Place the plate inside the steamer and allow two minutes of steaming.
Open the lid and remove this plate. Meanwhile, press the next and steam. Repeat the above steaming process.
While the second is being steamed, allow the first idiyaappam to cool just a bit and remove from the plate. This plate is now ready for the next ball of dough to be pressed on.
Place the steamed idiyaappams on a wide plate, slightly apart until ready to serve.
Idiyaappams can be served either hot or just about warm with hot kurma, sweetened coconut milk or stew. I make the ceylon kootu to go with idiyaappams.


  1. Aaha,, Lovely and comfortable food. Would have tasted great.

  2. Wow.. Idiyappam looks perfect and delicious.. beautiful presentation !!

  3. Idiyappam looks delicious. I love them with potato stew.

  4. I remember bharani(my saudi friend) making this nd me relishing it over n over...:D as I cud not make Shevai Then..
    As for shevai we need a different utensil... and the mixing method was too different...
    Now m waiting to relish both :D

  5. Perfect idiyappam recipe. Very well illustrated, comfort food and easy to make too. Thanks for sharing.Would certainly try ur version.

  6. I just love this a lot. Used to order for it every time I visit restaurants for breakfast. Simple and harmless food :)

  7. slurrrrrrrrrrp! Idiyappam is my hot favourite and u know what, u will not believe we get perfectly made idiyappam packets that r ready to eat here and you buy the packet and put in the freezer and when u want to have it just take how much ever u want and thaw it and put in microwave oven for just 3-4 minutes and u get like home made perfect idiyappams.So I always keep stock of idiyappam packets in my freezer shelf always since I am an ardent fan of this dish. I just have to prepare a side dish for it. anyways ur idiyappam looks perfect and delicious and thanks for sharing the recipe and I hope to make it as per ur recipe sometime.

  8. True Indu, We used to get them ready-made while living in Malaysia neatly packed in tens. These days, I make them.....No alternative.

  9. Idiyappam looks great, very nice recipe!!!

  10. BEautiful pictures , string hoppers with that kootu omg i am so much tempted.

  11. Now seeing those beautiful idiyappam, I'm sure I will soak rice tomorrow and send it to the mill to pound.

  12. Hi Lata
    Nice, lot of effort needed to make home-made idiyappam, nothing to beat it, also it is easy! to relish with lovely side dish..Happy Cooking! Jayanthi Sekar-Jayz Kitchen

  13. Wow , looks so perfect .. have never tried idiyaappam though I make sandhagai ... but making idiyappam sounds easy and in ur pic it looks so soft and yummy

  14. Oh!, I love these, I don't have a maker, Amma has one at home!, this is our summer special, when ever we went home, the whole day Amma makes this for the whole family with different variations!, Next time when I visit India I am planning to get one maker!

  15. am going to buy that idiappam press during my visit to India next them..

  16. Lovely... I need to ask my Mallu friends to make me one.. I dont have the equipment....

  17. This is always in my breakfast very often as my hubby too loves it,but I buy a readymade idiyappam flour...since its very handy and gives soft idiyappams too,I stick to it ;) Love it very much!

  18. I love this so much that I have this atleast thrice a week now that I am in India.Here we use the idiyappam press and the batter.Will try ur method once I get back.Lovely step by step procedure.Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe

  19. yummy Idiyappams Lataji!!!Bought an Idiyappam Press this time!!!Pounding rice is a bit touf!!!Lemme try!!!!

  20. wow idiappam looks so good. feel like having it. good to see ur recipes.

  21. hi
    1st time here as the name there is realy a flavour in ur recipes. we like south indian dishes u also enjoy the punjabi taste. my blog

  22. Idiyappam with ishtu is a great combo. The ceylon koottu sounds very similar to ishtu.


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Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.