Idiyappam: The Noodles and Spice for Breakfast

What is idiayappam?

You’d recognize them as thin noodles squeezed out of a presser, steamed and arranged on your platter as swirls or balls. They come alongside spiced lentils, curried meats, or some other spicy side dish. The dish is also called string hoppers.

Idiyappam is a traditional Sri Lankan and South Indian specialty. The name derives from the Tamil words idi, meaning “broken down”, and appam, meaning “pancake”. It is said that the dish is already known in ancient Tamil country around 1st century AD. However, the origin may stem from Sri Lanka, northern and eastern Sri Lanka, where a similar rice flour noodle is served with sugar and coconut, and sometimes banana too, and is known as idiyappam. In India, it is a common breakfast dish served both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and southern areas of Karnataka.

Idiyappam is made of rice flour or wheat flour, salt and water. The process consists of mixing rice flour or idiyappam flour with water and/or coconut milk, and pressing the dough through a sieve or presser to make vermicelli-like noodles. The noodles are steamed over boiling water for 5 minutes, and till a steady, strong flow of steam is seen escaping. Remove the idiyappam to a casserole dish and continue to press out and steam the remaining dough. After steaming, the addition of juice from the aromatic pandan leaf is used as flavouring.

Since idiyappam is prepared without much spice, if any, the dish has a fairly neutral flavor, making it a good match for many Indian side dishes. That is why it is often used as a base to serve other flavorful side dishes, much in the way that rice might be eaten with spicy side dishes. It is also eaten plain or with a pinch of finely grated coconut.

Idiyappam recipe is a healthy and a rich cuisine, which consists of nutritional values such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Also, idiyappam is only healthy if it is steamed.

Healthy, Spicy Noodles in Bellevue

Over in Bellevue, when craving for South Indian food, sample something healthy yet with a bit of spice. Try our idiyappam, our gluten-free rice noodles with sambar or kuma, as you like it.