Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Home India Idli is not an authentic South Indian Cuisine, might have migrated from...

Idli is not an authentic South Indian Cuisine, might have migrated from Indonesia!

The Sanskrit Manasollasa of 1130 AD has ‘iddarika’, but it is representative of being made from urad dhal flour only

  • In Tamil Maccapuranam, the ‘ itali’ made only a late appearance, in 17th century AD.
  • History credits that Arab traders often used to visit the southern coast for trade, even before the advent of Islam in the country
  • The Sanskrit Manasollasa of 1130 AD has ‘iddarika’, but it is again representative of being made from urad dhal flour only

In a shattering revelation to everyone who has believed Idli to be an authentic South Indian cuisine, the truth could be that the soft, fluffy rounds of rice might have migrated to India from Indonesia or have been brought along by Arab settlers.

According to K.T. Acharya’s (a prominent food historian) theory, idli’s are a relatively new introduction to Indian cuisine, quoted The Hindu.

He points out that the word idli might have been derived from ‘iddalige’, as mentioned in a 920 AD Kannada work, but the suggestions are that this was made from an urad dhal batter only, which was neither steamed for fluffiness, nor fermented.

The Sanskrit Manasollasa of 1130 AD has ‘iddarika’, but it is again representative of being made from urad dhal flour only.  A century later, in Karnataka, idli is described as being ‘light, like coins of high value.’

Follow NewsGram on Facebook: NewsGram.com

In Tamil Maccapuranam, the ‘ itali’ made only a late appearance, in 17th century AD.

All these references point to these three facts:

  • Rice wasn’t used with urad dhal
  • There was no fermentation of the mixture initially
  • The batter wasn’t steamed for fluffiness

According to The Hindu, Acharya claims that it was only after 1250 AD that idli was made the way it is prepared today. He further points out that this absence of the present way of preparing idli could then possibly mean that idli is a migrated food item and most probably from Indonesia.

variety of idlis on display at Planet Fun in Vijayawada.Image source: www.thehindu.com
Variety of idlis on display at Planet Fun in Vijayawada.Image source: www.thehindu.com

The food is known to be an Indonesian dish because various Hindu kings from the country would often travel to India in search of a suitable bride. They often brought their cooks along, who in turn brought with them a technique that changed the nature of this breakfast delight forever.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

Indonesia also has a long tradition of fermented products, like tempeh (fermented soy cakes), kecap (the recipe we get ketchup from) or something called kedli, which Acharya explains, is like an idli.

However, other references available at the Al-Azhar University Library in Cairo suggest that Arab traders in the southern belt brought in the idli after they married and settled down in those parts.

History credits that Arab traders often used to visit the southern coast for trade, even before the advent of Islam in the country. The first mosque outside the Arab peninsula was built by Arab settlers who initially came as traders.

The Arab settlers were very particular about their diets. A majority of them migrated here when Mohammed was still alive when they were relatively new to Islam from Paganism.

They insisted on halaal food, and Indian food was quite strange to their taste. To avoid all such dilemma about what is halaal or haraam in food, they started making rice balls. Post making the rice balls, they would slightly flatten them and compliment it with bland coconut paste.

Later, it was improved upon, and from the 8th century onwards, the idli in its contemporary avatar came into being.

-prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

ALSO READ:

STAY CONNECTED

18,992FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,781FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Here’s How you can Manage Flu at Home

The monsoon has begun, and while it brings relief from summer heat it also brings perils of humidity. With the rain showers comes the...

Top Selection Criteria for a Voltage Stabilizer

In our power grids, voltage fluctuation is a common phenomenon. But it also is a concerning one as it can harm sensitive electrical appliances...

Dalai Lama Turns 85, Tibetans Dedicate Year 2020 to him

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as Tibetan government-in-exile, on Monday announced to dedicate this year...

Here’s What to Expect When You Catch a Flight from the Airport

Hustling sounds, frequent announcements, savvy travelers glued to their gadgets, emotional families waiting to receive or see-off their loved ones-- it's perhaps the opening...

A Must have Adventure Bucket List

The worldwide lockdown due to coronavirus has brought a screeching halt to every industry, including the travel and hospitality. With restrictions on international travel...

Picture Perfect Living Room Decor Ideas

A cosy and comfortable sofa set, a coffee table for tete-a-tete and a perfect TV unit to keep the entertainment mode on, all these...

‘Covid’ Now the most Searched Word of 2020

The term 'Covid' - the commonly used shorthand for Covid-19 or Coronavirus disease caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus - is the top word...

Beauty of Indian Culture: William Dalrymple on his Experience Living in India

India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations with the oldest culture in the World. The Indian culture varies like its...

Recent Comments