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Friday, June 11, 2021

Kumbalakayi Idli / Sihi Kumbalakayi Idli / Savory Pumpkin Idli

Kumbalakayi idli is a traditional breakfast dish from the south Indian state of Karnataka. The pumpkin is called kumbalakayi in Kannada. As the title suggests, kumbalakayi / pumpkin is the star ingredient of the dish and hence use Indian variety pumpkin if available, for an authentic flavor. I have used the American one since that is what I get even in my local Indian store. 

Pumpkin idlis come in both savory and sweet versions and today I am sticking to the former though I made both. One can make both for breakfast to balance the flavors or can go with one version. Yes, the sweet version is also made for breakfast and not served as a dessert. These savory idlis I am posting today are an interesting and delicious option for those who are bored eating the regular idlis. Besides, it is an instant version for an added bonus. 
These are gluten-free, vegan and as I mentioned earlier, instant variety idlis. One can skip the usual rigmarole of idli making here which puts off many to try the idlis in the first place. One doesn't need to soak the ingredients, grind them or ferment them in this case. Rice rava is mixed with grated pumpkin, coconut and spices and rested for about an hour or less. The batter is then used to make idlis. There is no need to add any leavening agents here. Rice rava, though a traditional choice can be easily replaced with idli rava. 

These delicious idlis don't need any elaborate side dishes. A simple coconut chutney will be a perfect accompaniment. The leftovers can be refrigerated. They freeze well as well and when needed, just remove them from the freezer and microwave them covered in a glass bowl for few minutes and you will have hot piping idlis to serve.

Ingredients: (Yield 6 idlis)
1 to 2 tbsp. split chickpeas / chanadal / Bengal gram
1/2 cup rice rava / idli rava (I used idli rava.)
1/2 cup grated pumpkin (1/2 cup more can be added.)
1/2 grated fresh coconut (I added 2 fistfuls of coconut.)
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 spicy green chili 
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
3/4 tsp. salt or to taste
Water as needed (I added about 1/4 cup.)
1/4 tsp. ground pepper (I didn't use any.)
Oil to grease idli plates
* Soak Bengal gram in water for a couple of hours or until dal can be broken when pressed between thumb and forefinger. Drain the water used to soak the Bengal gram. (One can soak the dal the previous night and refrigerate to use it in the morning.)
* Rinse the idli rava and squeeze out all the water completely. Add it to a bowl. 
* Pulse the coconut, ginger and green chili to a coarse paste. (This is optional. (Instead one can add shredded coconut, finely minced chili and grated ginger directly to the rava bowl.)
* Add the soaked Bengal gram, ground coconut mixture, grated pumpkin, salt, minced cilantro and 2 tbsp. water to the idli rava bowl and stir well to combine.
* Cover and let the mixture sit for about an hour. If in an hurry, it can be soaked for 30 - 40 minutes.
* Check the consistency of the batter after the resting period. Add 1 - 2 tbsp. of water if needed. The mixture should look thick but if you squeeze it, some water should come out of it.
* Heat water in a idli cooker / pressure cooker / steamer base on medium heat.
* Grease the idli plates and fill the moulds with the batter and press them with fingers to shape them. 
* Place the idli stand in the steamer and close the lid. Don't use the pressure valve if using pressure cooker.
* On low medium flame, steam for about 20 minutes or until when the surface of the idlis don't stick when touched with moist fingers. 
* Turn off the stove and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

* Run a sharp spoon around the edges of idlis and remove the idlis.
* Serve them warm with ghee if desired and coconut chutney.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #123 under the theme 'A - Z' theme. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.


Srivalli said...

Wow I have been wanting to make these Suma, though I had read about the sweet one and was skeptical about it being liked by my spice-loving better half! Now this savory version will surely be an interesting one to make!

Kalyani said...

Would love to try this Sihi Kumbalakayi Idli, Suma ! the sweet-spicy taste must be very delicious with some spicy ginger chutney or sambhar

Ritu Tangri said...

This is something new to me. With so many flavors in it, I'm sure this tastes awesome. My hands are itching to try it.

Harini R said...

OMG! This is a new one to me. Love the addition of pumpkin. I am tempted to try this soon.

Radha said...

This is an interesting idli and love the flavors. Bookmarked to try it.

Narmadha said...

I am loving your idli series. So interesting and innovative recipes. idli looks so soft and perfect to enjoy with piping hot sambar.