Dear Idli Maav

I must admit you are life saver..especially for a lazy and working mom like me….and I am extremely thankful and grateful to God that God gave me a child who likes idlis…

You know maav, earlier, I used to buy you off the local guy here, but now, I have realised that you are so sweet, that you agree to be made even in a mixer….and yaa yaa…I know what the skeptics say about how the maav is better when done in a grinder than done in a mixer…

But hey, they dont know our little secret na..that if you have a brat who doesnt care too much about taste and a man in the house who is not even bothered what you feed him, even if the idlis turn out to be like stone..its totally fine eh?

and no no, you are not like turning into stone idlis..but unfortunately you and me do share a yo-yo relationship….sometimes you convert your self into this snow soft idlis while sometimes you give out idlis that can challenge the stone mason to break it with him hammer and chisel…but I swear, I am not complaining…

and just imagine soaking 3 cups of boiled rice and 1 cup of urad dal..and then after some hours grinding you in the mixer and add a bunch of salt, mix it with my hand..and viola!  you are ready after few hours of fermentation!

You are one of the finest inventions of mankind…

Sudden guests in house…make idlis…

hungry in the evening…make idlis

Daughter’s tiffin box to be filled…make idlis

Too many people coming for lunch…make idlis

sometimes I think, I do abuse you…but you arent complaining na…

When I was a kid and amma would make the maav to last us for 4 days…I would continuously crib..what Amma..only idlis for tiffin for two days 😦

But honestly, boss, now I have realised my mom has a LOT OF BRAINS EH? I mean, this is the easiest thing to keep handy in the house na..and what more..its nutritious..

Do you know, Maav, that your idlis are rated among the top breakfast/tiffin items globally since you provide with a lot of good stuff…(dont ask me to write it down, what if it gets into your head eh?)

and then…you are very accommodating too..not too many maavs can be so accommodating…

you agree to be converted to dosa..and then to utappa..and then so many other variants..masala dosa, cheese dosa, onion uttappa…you rock my dear!

I am all at awe at your ability to convert yourself to anything and yet maintain your unique status in life…I wish I could be like you!

Well, just salutes from me okie?

I repeat, for a lazy mom like me, you are a life saver 🙂

Big hugs



About R's Mom

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94 Responses to Dear Idli Maav

  1. Mathangi Vijay says:

    So so true RM.. Idly Maav is the life savior for a working mom. Turn it into as many forms as possible: Idly, Dosa, Uthappam and do some pepper and Kadi patha thadka and make kuzhi paniyaram with the small holed Pan I have. I just love the convenience of having Maavu ready when I am returning late from work. First thing I brought with me to Singapore was Grinder as I know I cannot survive without it. My son loves Dosas and it is pretty convenient for me so I have not complaints 🙂

  2. summerscript says:

    I love love love this post!! Idli Maavu is my life saver too!! 😀

  3. My Era says:

    Wow! for me making idlis is a big project as in I plan it atleast a day ahead. I guess I could write a similar letter to paranthas of all sorts and stuffings 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      arey I usually soak on Saturday, grind on Sunday..its a weekly thing..especially after R has started going to school because its easy tiffin for me to make 🙂

  4. Not sure what Maav means, I guess you are talking about Idli batter yeah??
    Well, really it is a life saver, I don’t prepare it from scratch as it is hard to get it fermented here so I use Gits Rava idli & Rice idli instant packets…
    During weekends when I am too lazy to make breakfast I just make idlis, when in weekdays I am too lazy to prepare lunch for office, I just make idlis..
    Hubby is like R, he just loves idlis, fresh ones, fried ones from leftover, sometimes stir fry the leftover halves in some onion-tomato or in Indo-Chinese style with ginger, garlic, capsicum & onion.. yummm!!! 🙂

  5. chaitali says:

    hahaahah RM, idli maav may come out of the idlis to give u ashirwad :))

  6. Big hugs to idli maav? hehehe!!

    You are so right, , a big bowl of idli batter is the most wonderful thing to stock in the fridge. You can do so much with it in a matter of minutes.

    You use soaked boiled rice for the maav? Must give it a try…have been using unboiled rice so far.

  7. I love your post. Very applicable to someone like me:). You see my write ups on IMC, do check out my blog flyingbubbles. Love to have you visit…

  8. Amit says:

    I hate idlis! 😦 But I like Dosa. 🙂
    Mom makes idlis very frequently and then something else is prepared for me. Even if I want to, I cannot eat more than one idli out of respect.

  9. chipmunk says:

    I agree the whole thing you say 🙂 I will eat idli 24/7 and no matter how hard or soft I will like them 🙂 Keep the dhaal in freezer for forty five minutes, it will give you soft maavu 🙂 🙂 people who ate idly will feel its advantage only after there marriage 🙂 my mom tells my sister the very same statement but to me she will never open my mouth 🙂 🙂 and for a change we spell them as Italy 😀

  10. Oh yes, idli maav is a saviour here too. 🙂 I usually buy the ready-made maav from a departmental store nearby, or MIL and mom supply it to our place when they make it in large quantities. I am somehow not very sure about making it on my own at home. I should try it out sometime.

    You are so right – I love the way the idli maav can mould itself into so many forms, from idlis to uttapams and so on. Earlier, there used to be two different kinds of batter – one for idli and one for dosa. That distinction has gone away now, I guess. We use the same batter for both. I have heard of a lot of people doing the same, too.

    • R's Mom says:

      Gah! I am jealous of the MIL/mom sending across 🙂 you should make it in the mixer rey…its pretty easy to make..go on make a batch and surprise the parents eh?

  11. Deepa says:

    Hey RM,

    What a post!!!!! ComeSundays, if I don’t grind the batter and stock it in the fridge, the rest of the week will surely not pass by smoothly! Yeah I too used ot curse my mom for the never-ending spree of idlis once the maavu was ground, now I can totally totally relate to it :))))

  12. Pepper says:

    Idlis have been my first love. Right from childhood. Nothing gives me more joy than soft idlis laced with molaga podi. My family actually teases me saying I chose to marry a South Indian only because I knew idlis were a staple in their home. When my MIL was told about my love affair with idlis, she didn’t believe it. She thought I was saying this just to butter them. Until she saw me eat idlis for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days on end. 😀

    When I tried telling Mint how much I love them, all I could think of was saying ‘I love you as much as I love idlis’.

    When Mint visited me in UK, he was traveling from India. I told him I would ONLY talk to him if he got me idlis from his home. So he carried a box for me. They came in his flight from Chennai to London. I relished even those cold idlis that had traveled to a new continent.

    Okay, so you get the picture 😀 I love idlis – truly, madly, deeply.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t dared to make the maav myself. And no, I dislike mixer wala idlis, which is why we hardly make the maav at home,. I am too snobbish when it comes to idlis. Which is why I am considering buying a grinder now.

  13. Jazz says:

    I completely agree with you RM. My mom used to make lots of this batter for us when she had to go out of town.

    And back in Chennai, we used to get this every other day from the local shop for a quick breakfast. Very simple to find and it really must be the top rated. After coming to US, I panicked for breakfast ideas but soon found out the simple recipe using the blender, which came out fine. But I don’t have the idli cooker, so tried it in the microwave, which was good too.

    And the side dishes for the idli/dosa, how simple is that too, pickle or podi or chutney or simply ghee. 🙂

  14. Some folks
    talk about Kalpavruksha,
    but here’s
    someone called Kalpa-Anna
    a wish-food,
    like Darupadiki Thali
    goes on and on and on…..

    Like a favourite aged grandma,
    she sits
    cosily by herself,
    cooly covered,
    yet sometimes rising in curiosity,
    always thinking
    of how to help the family.

    as a puffed up idli,
    bashfully going
    to aiiyo pieces
    in the sambaar,
    at the dining table
    in lieu of dinner…

    as suffocated idlis
    in a little girl’s lunch box,
    waiting to emerge
    and chat with
    paratha types in
    other dabbas….

    sometimes smiling
    as an extra side dish
    with a celebrated chutney
    when sudden
    atithees arrive….

    she so gives of herself,
    thinning herself flat
    on a hot tawa,
    and again
    worrying and covering
    the potatoes
    who despise the angry tawa…

    she gets a bit more social,
    and enjoys it
    as onions,
    insist on visiting her on the tawa.

    Long time ago,
    Udad and Rice
    had a massive fight.

    Stubborn folks,
    they didnt listen,
    and were cursed by
    the Big Idli Up There.

    “Go forth on Earth,
    and stay United,
    spread yourself thin everywhere,
    be of use
    to mothers in a hurry
    kids in school,
    and hungry families..
    to show all
    what good you can do….”

    They actually listened,
    and guess what!
    Madame Rawa, and Mr Adai
    actually followed them !

    • R's Mom says:

      and what a lovely story I can tell R tonight…of how the urad dal and boiled rice had a fight 🙂

      Muah to you Suranga..this is the cutest comment ever :):)

  15. garima says:

    RM tussi great ho…kitne humble or observant ho,really!idli batter ko bhi thankyou bol rahe ho.
    I too love idli and masala dosa,though i prepare it very rarely that too with reliance ready made batter.

  16. Ashwathy says:

    a man in the house who is not even bothered what you feed him, even if the idlis turn out to be like stone..its totally fine eh?
    WHAT! 😯 R u serious???

    I use store bought maav 🙂 So I m even lazier than you in this aspect 😛 But I make dosas… neither me nor hubby can stand idlis! 😛

  17. sandhya says:

    LOL! You had me at the first two sentences. Idli maav is the one thing all my friends know I have at home if they ever drop in without informing. I know they are my friends because they never tire of the predictable food I make for them- idlis or dosas. Or, in the case of Choxbox – thalipeeth! In fact, when the spouse is travelling, we mother-daughter can survive on alternate days of the various avatars of idli-dosa, supplimented with plenty of curds and fruit. 🙂

  18. Rahul says:

    I could’nt have found a more enjoyable fun read on idlis as this one, as I too love idlis any time:)

  19. ashreyamom says:

    thankfully i too have a daughter who loves idli, but demands sambar with it.. so i need to stock sambar too.. idli batter is life saver.. but b’cas of mix of tamil and telugu kitchen we have to make normal idli or rave idli based on sty of FIL at home. i prefer normal idli, as it is ildi for first two days, then turns into dosa for next two days, finally into bonda.. :).. 5 days a week goes of with single batter made on weekend.. thanks to grinder and refrigerator.. :)..

  20. shail says:

    Yay to iddlis. I love them.

  21. Deeps says:

    LOL, RM! If maavs had a two legs, I’m sure they would have come running to you to give tight hugs and sloppy kisses! They would be forever indebted to you for making them look so good and adorable! :lol:. Gosh only you can think of writing such posts! Amazing!

    Loved this hilarious post! Oh, please ask ‘maavs’ not to take offence..I meant hilarious in a very good way,ok? 😀 😀

    • R's Mom says:

      Glad you loved the post…oh the maav gives me sloppy kisses everytime I make it thanks to the hands touching the face to remove the strands of hair which irritate the nose right at the time, I am making the maav!

  22. DI says:

    I love Idlis, and by default the maav. I buy Chennai chef maav which also works very wel for dosai! 😛

  23. sudhagee says:

    Loved your post, RM. 🙂

    Today morning I was thanking my mother for having made a batch of idli maav before she left for Pune. I don’t like idlis (or dosais for that matter), but they were a lifesaver today morning. And I plan to make uppu appams with the left over batter. Yumm…

  24. Sumana says:

    You are not being fair to dosa maav na RM ?? MIL keeps both stuffed in the fridge every weekend. I have to thank her loads for it. Mom does variations of idly with maavs and it is tasty. Recently read Rujuta’s book on Don’t loose mind… and found that Idly, Dosa, Upma are some of the most nutritious breakfasts.

  25. Nidaa says:

    Love Idlis but hate sambhar. We have it with a bowl of coconut chutney & a bowl of fish/chicken curry. Bite the edge off and dip idli first in the chutney & then in the curry. Yumlicious!! (Hailing from Calicut, Kerala… So non-veg daily is must :D).
    But idlis too need 2 day ahead-planning no? What if you prepare the maav, and when the day comes you dont feel like having idlis.. wont it go waste?

    • R's Mom says:

      my Appa would love to have idlis like that I am sure 🙂

      Arey in my house, its done for R’s tiffin box na…so its always in the fridge and no, I never give the choice of food to the guest…I have idlis, you want to eat, please do 😉

  26. Jayashree says:

    Idli maavu is a life saver here too…..unfortunately, if I make idlis two days in a row, the daughter starts complaining…..what amma? idli today allllsooo???

  27. rohini26 says:

    My idli batter gives a lot of trouble in the fermentation stage. It never rises overnight, like all the recipes say it should 😦

    • R's Mom says:

      try this one
      1. 3 cups boiled rice
      2. 1 cup urad dal
      3. Soak for 4 hours seperately
      4. Do the urad dal in the mixie first..ekdum finely. Take half a cup of urad dal adn count till 100 till you do the mixing and then again the other half cup
      5. Do the rice in 3 parts as well, counting till 100 is the key 🙂
      6. mix both, add salt and use your HAND to mix it all well (the bacteria in the hand is supposed to be the best fermenter okie?)
      7. Keep overnight, it SHOULD rise
      if it doesnt, call RM, she will come and scold the maav okie?

      • Kavitha says:

        AND at point 6 I suggest mixing it vigorously. It will DEFINITELY give soft idlies.

        I have a tip if using on a grinder. I soak for adai (soak together 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup mixed dal) whenever i soak for idly.

        grind the rice soaked for idly first
        grind the urad dal
        grind for adai

        in this way you can reduce the wastage because after ‘vazhichufying’ the adai maavu, we can add a cup of water to clean the container and add that to adai maavu

        kanjoos Kavitha 🙂

        • R's Mom says:

          LOL on the kanjoos are too cute 🙂

          But you know what, I am so lazy that if I make idli maav, I dont make adai..infact adai is once in a month thing in our house 🙂

      • rohini26 says:

        Ok thanks for the ‘idly batter for dummies’ instructions – I really needed them. Shall try it this way.

  28. Akhila says:

    Our Ammas are certainly smarter than us 🙂 Being a working mother idli maavu was ( and still is, even after retirement) the staple of the house. As, one batch was getting over, she would make the next batch. The fridge was never out of idli maavu. Not only for it’s various avatars, it was the life saver when sudden guests arrive at home.
    I love idlis and dosas but hate using the grinder. As long as I lived with my mom & MIL, I would take up the job of cleaning rather than grinding. Don’t ask me why. I used to use the mixer when I needed maavu for just the 2 of us, hubby & me.
    My daughter is a BIG fan of idli & dosa with milagai podi. Using the grinder is the only way, I can make maavu so that it can last for a week. Sigh! I still don’t like the grinder, but have learnt to embrace it 🙂
    Now, whenever I tell my Amma that I made idli maavu, she just smiles 🙂 You win Amma!
    Can you please share your milagai podi recipe? I always get mine from MIL, but since I have started using the grinder for some years now, can Milagai Podi be so difficult? 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      Salutes to your Amma!

      Molaga podi is not tough at all honestly

      1. 1 cup of channa dal
      2. 1 cup of urad dal
      3. Roast of the them seperately since their surface area is different, they will need different heat time…
      4. Switch off the gas, and then in that hot kadai, add one drop of coconut oil, dried red chillies to taste, and hing
      5. LEt all of them get thanda
      6. Grind each of them coarsely then mix all of them, add salt and grind again
      Finished 🙂

  29. Idlis, YUM! One of the first things I learned to cook 😀 My mom says I should had been born in South India, seeing the way I LOOOOOVE pretty much any dish that has to do with rice – whether that be rice itself, or things made out of it, like idlis, dosas, uttapas…mmm (mouth started watering already!).

    Idli batter totally rocks! Though it is a pain to make when you don’t have a grinder (never had one, or know how to use it) or a really good mixer, especially when you live in a wintery country, like we do 😦

  30. anisnest says:

    hi-5 RM.. I also make the idli batter in mixer.. amma tried to convince me a lot to get a grinder but last 5 yrs had managed with mixer.. on summer i make idlis once a week but on winter I have very tough time to maker it ferment 😦 Adi loves Idli too esp. with coconut chutney as side dish.. 🙂

  31. Smita says:

    ha ha ha ha ha ha

  32. sjscribbles says:

    Hey RM – Just another “lazy working mom/wife” who uses the mixer and stocks Dosa- maavu for the entire week. M is a big fan of dosa’s and the dosa’s get converted to – Egg Dosa, Cheese Dosa, Egg-Cheese Dosa, Chicken mince dosa (prepare the chicken mince pre-hand and spread on the cooked dosa before folding – a yummy delicacy with steaming hot chicken curry with potatoes), Karam paniyaram (Using the Kozhi tawa), Masala dosa with Potato palya ! Onion Dosa, Carrot Dosa (Grated carrot with coriander on top) , Uttapams + Veggitable kurma
    Idly pays a rare visit at my home RM !
    I use the mixer na – so i grind the maavu with a lot of water so making idly’s is not ideal.
    Whenever i want to make idly sambar – I would just buy idly maavu from an indian grocery store…

  33. sjscribbles says:

    ofcourse the Onion Chutney, Tomato chutney, Kothumalli chutney, Coconut chutney adds to the variety RM !

  34. 😦 I dont think I have tasted them .. and now I am not happy ..

  35. Swaram says:

    I luv idlis and so does everybody at home 😀 And I swear by my grinder for the good maav 😛 Never even tried the mixer for it 😉

    Brat is a sweetheart 🙂

  36. Spirit says:

    My mom would so agree with everything you have said here :-)…

    Truly one of the finest inventions of mankind…

  37. You cracked me up girl with this post 🙂 I mean your thoughts , you are thanking Idli maav 🙂

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