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Idly is a quintessential South Indian breakfast dish which evokes a wide range of emotions in people. The cakes are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice. The fermentation process breaks down the starches so that they are more readily metabolised by the body.
Idly's history is quite contentious. Some food historians believe that the precursor to modern Idly was the "Iddalige" mentioned in "Vaddaradhane" a 920 CE Kannada language work which was made from Urad Dal batter. Noted food historian K T Acchayya speculates that Idly originated from Indonesia where Fermentation was quite popular.
No matter what the history is, Idly is by far the most loved and safest breakfast dish in South India. Consumed with a piping hot cup of Sambar or with coconut chutney, Idly is enjoyed by both the young and the old