Idiyappam recipe, a south Indian steamed dish with rice flour as main ingredient. It is prepared mostly for Breakfast.
This is known with many names through out the world. Rice noodles (fresh), string hoppers, in Tamil, Idiyappam ( இடியப்பம் ) & nool puttu (நூல் புட்டு) as well as nool appam.
It is well known in Malaysia serve it with Gula melaka and call it Putu Mayam (Not to confuse with puttu).
Disclaimer: This post have affiliate links through which I may earn from qualifying purchases. All the products are just similar ones that I use. Not endorsing particularly.
It often have rice flour as main ingredient. But there can also be variations, with millets and other flours. You can follow various methods available to prepare the dough.
Traditionally, fresh rice flour with raw rice is used to prepare. But most easy and common way is buying idiyappam flour available commercially.
My mom prepared idiyappam flour specifically and stores it for later use. She passes every year when I visit her.
You can see how to make rice flour in my website. It can be slightly coarse in texture for idiyappam.
My mom's way of preparing idiyappam flour is bit tedious, but gives softest results. She process the rice flour in several steps where she soaks, grind to flour, sieve, steam and again sieve, dry it and stores.
The process of steaming gives the extra softness, but you can prepare it simply as in my post too.
Idiyappam press - This is available in various materials.
I have 3 different press - Wooden press, screw type stainless steel and brass one.
Wooden press gives best looking thin idiyappam just the way it has to be. It is also easy to handle for me. So I always use it.
This press has no interchangeable plates. It is fixed and only makes idiyappam or sev (ompodi).
It needs maintenance just like a wooden cutting board:
- Never let it soak in water.
- Dry immediately with a kitchen towel and then sun dry it.
- Apply oil and keep it shiny.
Pros: Friendly to hands. Gives best looking thin idiyappam
Cons: You can only use it for making idiyappam, sev. Needs little care to maintain it.
Amazon affiliate link for wooden idiyappam maker
Watch quick video on How to make idiyappam in my YouTube channel
The screw type also is the easiest to use, less effort. But the plate has larger holes than the wooden.
I actually love thicker idiyappam than thin as it is best for idiyappam varieties. But Vj & Aj loves thin idiyappam so I too make the same.
Pros: Easy to press through, less effort to squeeze as well as maintaining is easy. Dishwasher safe.
Cons: Gives thick idiyappams.
Amazon Affiliate link for steel press
The bass/ bronze metal ones look posh and it is same as wood. My MIL and myself bought this in Kumbakonam temple street.
We actually requested for a wooden top pressing part for saving our hands from pain.
It is a good idea and I love using this only to make murukku and other snacks not for making idiyappam.
Pros: Looks traditional, posh, gives thin idiyappam
Cons: It is slightly harsh on hands, needs effort to squeeze if the dough is not in right consistency. Cleaning needs special attention.
Steamer - I use my idli pot itself for steaming. You too can use which ever steamer is available with you.
Though you can grease the idli plates and steam the idiyappam on it, you can also have these cool gagets.
I find my idiyappam gets cooked in no time and gives soft fluffier results when I use my mesh.
Just like how there is a texture difference in 'Thuni idli' and the idli plate idli.
Idiyappam steamer bamboo mesh - One of my Mamis got this for me and I am so grateful that I came to know one such thing exists.
You can see this in my oldest posts and still I use the very same, it is eco friendly and durable as well.
You can buy it online, but also find in small shops randomly. Srilankan shops have it too abroad. I have seen even here in Singapore little India.
Idiyappam steamer stand - If not, you can also buy this stand. It gives faster steaming time.
Amazon affiliate link for Bamboo steamer
Amazon affiliate link for Steel stand
In Singapore I use Baba's Idiyappam flour. It is available in all Indian shops
But whenever I travel to India, mom passes me her homemade flour. Other than that, MIL passes me a brand called Bharathi. It's a Chettinad brand and gives best results.
Incase while making dough, the dough is stiff and dry, keep extra hot water ready and sprinkle little hot water to make it right.
If water is more in dough, sprinkle flour to correct the consistency. This could make the idiyappam bit dry and brittle but manageable.
Why idiyappam is sticky and not able to separate the threads?
If you want to prepare idiyappam variety, you may need to separate the strings.
Why it happens? Few things to note:
- While making dough, if the dough is over cooked, this will happen. Reduce your water temperature slightly while making dough.
This is because some flours gets easily cooked, so too much temperature makes the flour get over cooked.
The dough will looks so thick and pasty when it happens, so you can understand that way.
- Over cooking the idiyappam - It takes less than 2 minutes for the idiyappam to cook. That is after water boils and steam rises, exactly 2 minutes for a layer of idiyappam to cook.
If you keep cooking more than that, it will turn sticky.
- Too much layers of squeezing over and over. Make sure to squeeze just maximum 2 layers and steam for less time.
Why idiyappam hard to press?
Same reason as above. The dough gets over cooked while making. Reduce water temperature.
Try to squeeze when it is warm. Dip the dough in water quickly and press to ease it, for troubleshooting.
To get consistent results, find a good quality brand of idiyappam flour (or prepare your own rice flour with good quality rice).
Stick to the same brand and find the right water temperature and knacks according to the quality of rice flour.
Do let me know in comments section if you have any further questions, happy to share what I know.
You can serve with:
- Sweetened coconut milk in a bowl, either with jaggery / or sugar. Flavor it with cardamom.
- Mild kurma or stew.
Check out the recipes:
Idiyappam recipes :
- ½ cup Rice flour or idiyappam flour
- Water as needed
- 2 teaspoon Sesame oil Divided
- Boil water firstly in a sauce pan. For ½ cup flour, I boiled 1 & ½ cup water, though fully may not be required.
- Let it come to rolling boil, meanwhile, take flour, salt and a teaspoon of sesame oil in mixing bowl.
- Add the boiling water little by little and mix using spatula to incorporate it to the flour.
- Once crumbly, carefully add water and knead in mashing way using the spatula itself.
- When dough is formed without any dry flour, keep covered for 5 mins.
- After that, once enough to handle, grease your hands with sesame oil. Knead well.
- The dough should be smooth, non-sticky without any cracks.
- Keep always covered to avoid drying. Especially when you make large quantity.
- To make idiyappam, take required portion of dough, just to fill ¾ of the press.
- If you fill fully, it is hard to squeeze, so just ¾th or little more than that.
- Either over a greased idli plate or the idiyappam steamer, press the idiyappam as a layer or two.
- Boil water in idli pot/ steamer, place it inside. Close lid.
- Meanwhile you can grease the other and squeeze over it, fill the press again.
- By now the idiyappam would have got steamed (depends also on the pot size. Mine is small so gets cooked super fast in between this time itself).
- If your idli pot/ steamer is big, then you can place several numbers of the idiyappam mesh together and steam.
- So adjust cooking time accordingly. How ever, after steam rises it is just matter of couple of minutes.
- Immediately take out and invert over a plate and store in a hot pack/ bowl/ casserole.
- If you want to prepare variety idiyappam, you can separate the strings when it is warm itself. Just gently shake to break roughly.
- No need to do it completely as while you mix, it will get separated by itself.
- Make sure to use good quality rice flour if you want to use homemade rice flour.
1. Boil water firstly in a sauce pan. For ½ cup flour, I boiled 1 & ½ cup water, though fully may not be required.
Let it come to rolling boil, meanwhile, take flour, salt and a teaspoon of sesame oil in mixing bowl.
2. Add the boiling water little by little and mix using spatula to incorporate it to the flour.
3. Once crumbly, carefully add water and knead in mashing way using the spatula itself.
4. When dough is formed without any dry flour, keep covered for 5 mins.
5. After that, once enough to handle, grease your hands with sesame oil. Knead well.
The dough should be smooth, non-sticky without any cracks.
6. Keep always covered to avoid drying. Especially when you make large quantity.
To make idiyappam, take required portion of dough, just to fill ¾ of the press.
7. If you fill fully, it is hard to squeeze, so just ¾th or little more than that.
8. Either over a greased idli plate or the idiyappam steamer, press the idiyappam as a layer or two.
9. Boil water in idli pot/ steamer, place it inside. Close lid.
Meanwhile you can grease the other and squeeze over it, fill the press again.
10. By now the idiyappam would have got steamed (depends also on the pot size. Mine is small (Amazon affiliate link) so gets cooked super fast in between this time itself).
11. If your idli pot/ steamer is big, then you can place several numbers of the idiyappam mesh together and steam.
So adjust cooking time accordingly. How ever, after steam rises it is just matter of couple of minutes.
Immediately take out and invert over a plate and store in a hot pack/ bowl/ casserole.
12. If you want to prepare variety idiyappam, you can separate the strings when it is warm itself. Just gently shake to break roughly.
No need to do it completely as while you mix, it will get separated by itself.
If serving as such then you can keep as such. Serve with coconut milk or any other side dish as desired.
Madam, My idiyappam were pump at the bottom. What would be the reason
You mean it is not getting shape and flowing free?
I meant at top the shape holds like idiyappam but at bottom it just like a dough
It happens if the water boiling while steaming touches the idiyappam. Use trivet and make sure you keep it higher without touching water. Hope this helps 🙂
I used idiyappam flour and cooked dough and kept in ifli stand in cooker
Kept for five minutes, idiyappam was cooked . But even after cooling. It did not separate to make variety sevai. Can you suggest what could have gone wrong. Taste was too good and not sticky.
You can reduce the water temperature. Too hot water makes the dough cook completely which will make teh idiyappam stick together after cooking making it impossible to separate. So do not bring to rolling boil, switch off when it is about to boil or keep for 2-3 minutes to cool down before making dough. You can also use regular temperature water towards end (1 or 2 tablespoons) to balance this. Hope this helps you next time 🙂
Thanks for the tip. Tried today and was excellent