The Idli
In praise of Idlis.
No matter how you serve Idli, it has a great appeal as universal food. The Tamils created it. The world created dumpling of all kinds. Kenyans have corn flour Ugali. The Zimbabweans have their Sadza. The Indonesians had their extinct Kedli. But Idli is Idli, none to match or excel. When Africans are in India, they do not miss their Ugalis and Sadzas. They have the perfect substitute, the Idli. A German national heard of the famous Idli shop in Chennai. He got off at the Chennai Airport and headed straight to the Idli shop for his fill of the spherules.
All enjoy the ubiquitous Idli, the steamed, biconvex, fluffy-white, circular, mouth-watering, ambrosial food. Dunk it in aromatic South Indian Sambar. You are transported to gastronome’s heaven. With dollops of chutney, Idli is the panacea for the morning, noon and evening. Dip it in the unctuous Idli Powder. It slides down the gullet smoothly. Has anyone claimed antipathy to Idli? I know of none. Idli is so adaptable that it keeps good company with Sambar, Chutney and Idli Powder.

The baby's first solid meal is Idli. All breakfasts are diddlies before Idlis. Yes, it is that great. When you are well or ill, you can always live on Idli. A good Idli, steaming hot, plain hot or cold, is always fluffy, the Sine qua non of a perfect Idli. It can be eaten with fingers, spoon or fork.
The preparation and fermentation of the dough are essential. In the hands of the neophytes, the creation may be a bouncing ball and not its fluffy self. A bouncing Idli on a banana leaf will elicit the ire of the most sedate Tamil at the dining table. It is better to leave him hungry than to offer him ricocheting spherules.
Idlis underwent miniaturization into bite-size, delectable, teeny-weeny, itsy bitsy dollops.

The Idli