My 314th recipe, "Idiyappam | String Hopper Recipe | Nool Puttu". An easy to make and super delicious South Indian steamed rice noodle. Made simply from rice flour, it becomes the perfect vehicle to mop up delicious curry.
Serve it Tamil Nadu style with Veg Kurma. Or enjoy it sweet along with sweet coconut milk for breakfast / tiffin. Or perfect to serve it Kerala style with a yummy kadala curry / vegetable stew.
Though we are almost towards the end of January, technically, this is still the first recipe for 2017. So I wanted to make a recipe which should be real easy to make. Uses minimal ingredients, tastes delicious and yet something which is healthy for you.
This soft string hoppers recipe perfectly fits the bill. Though a traditional food, it is one of those South Indian Recipes commonly enjoyed these days. By everyone from Sri Lanka to India, etc.
Idiyappam is one of those dishes which has been my favorite right from childhood. My mom used to serve it with sugar and grated coconut for breakfast. As a kid, I used to absolutely love it. It was so soft and literally melted in my mouth.
Also, the noodles shape made it even more fun eating it. Making idiyappam for breakfast was one of the easiest way my mom employed to get me eat breakfast without any qualms. The scenario has not changed any bit now. Idiyappam still remains close to my heart. However, I now enjoy it along with spicy curries as well, as much as I love eating it sweet.
I have been wanting to post this recipe for a long time now. However, the idiyappam press I purchased a few years back had larger sized holes. When I made idiyappams with it for the first time, the strands were so thick. And I did not really like it. I kept searching for a while in Indian stores here, but was not successful in finding a good one.
So when my mom visited me a few months ago, a good idiyappam press was what I had asked her to bring along from India. Now, I am happy that I could make myself some perfect idiyappams. With thins strands of noodles, just like how it should be.
Idiyappam is just a few ingredient recipe with the key ingredient being rice flour. If you want to make the recipe the authentic way, you will have to start with raw rice. Just like how my mom and grand mom used to make
The rice would be soaked in water until soft. Then fan dried to the right moisture level. Then the rice was taken to a flour mill. Where large machines were employed to grind the rice into a smooth flour. My mom would then dry roast this freshly made homemade rice flour to make soft idiyappam at home and the taste would be just sublime.
However, we do not have to go through all the pain now. To recreate this recipe, all you need is a good pack of rice flour. Rice Flour is now a days readily available packaged in supermarkets. And then to the flour just a little water and a bit of salt, oil for flavoring. Then it is as simple as squeezing the dough through the idiyappam press. And then steaming it in an idli cooker.
Even though the recipe is pretty straight forward, to get your idiyappams to be soft and light, there are a few essential tips to follow. That was the very reason why I decided to make a separate post for this idiyappam recipe.
Step wise Instructions
- 2 Cups Water (*refer to notes)
- 1 tsp Oil (preferably Gingelly oil) + more as needed
- 1 ½ Cups Rice flour | Idiyappam flour
- ¼ tsp Salt
- First, add the teaspoon of oil to the water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the flame.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the idiyappam flour, salt and mix well. Add about ¾ Cup of the hot water to the rice flour. Stir with a spatula. Now, continue to add the water little by little to the rice flour and mix well until a soft, smooth and non-sticky dough is formed.
- Once you are able to handle the dough by hand, knead it nicely for 1-2 mins. Grease the inside portion of the idiyappam press. Grease your palm with oil, take a portion of the dough, smoothen it out in your palm and fill it in the press. Similarly, grease the steamer plate. Gently press the idiyappam dough in a circular motion onto the steamer plate, as shown in the pic.
- Steam the idiyappam for about 5 mins, until cooked through. Let the idiyapam to cool down a bit, before gently removing from the steamer plate and transferring to a serving plate.
- Enjoy hot with a side of spicy kurma or sweetened coconut milk.
Notes | FAQ
Vegetable Kurma | Savory Kurma or Sweetened Coconut Milk (Coconut Milk + Sugar + Cardamom pods). Non vegetarians can serve with Chicken Stew / Egg Curry, etc
Sharone Benjamin says
I like the thin idiyappam ones though our idiyappam press doesn’t work. The ones which are thick it’s fine but the thin ones we find it very hard to press. What I could be wrong and how could I fix it
Water quantity depends on rice flour used. If it is hard, you might have to add a little more water and knead it before pressing
Audrey De Jongh says
Thanks so much for this. I loved these when I lived in Sri Lanka for 5 years.
I just bought a hand screw noodle maker especially with this in mind.
I am in South Africa and its winter so I live for my curries.
I am going to try this out and will go back in my minds eye to the wonderful days in Sri Lanka.
this was called "String Hoppers" in Sri Lanka. yum. perfect to scoop up the curry gravy with.
Question: Do you by any chance have a recipe for "Hoppers" the one made from coconut milk and rice flour, and the batter is like pancake batter, you then cook it in a little round pan, like half of a balloon, when its cooked it is crispy rice flavor and toasty, and then you eat it with curries or cook an egg inside for "egg hopper"