Idli, the one food item that one can find in all south Indian homes, has come a long way. Of course, no south India can imagine a breakfast without either Idli or dosa. While dosa has had many variations recently, Idli was mostly enjoyed with podi, sambar, and peanut chutney.
But times are changing, food habits are changing, and the demographic composition of Hyderabad is changing. So, the ubiquitous Idli is now being sold in quite a few variations. And one must thank the bandi-walas for doing the needful.
If one goes to established south Indian eateries, at least 9 out of 10 people order Idli before moving on to other items. Well, that shows how intertwined Idli is in the hearts of south Indians. Today, one can find various types of Idli at food stalls and bandi-walas. These include pepper idli, tawa idli, butter idli, ghee idli, podi idli, cheese idli, rasam idli, tawa masala idli, and fried Idli.... Then there are fancier items such as Chinese Idli, Kanchipuram idli, moong dal idli, idli upma, among others.
The bandiwalas say while the older lot still prefer the simple, good old Idli with peanut chutney and sambar, the younger lot opt for fancier variations. The most popular is fried Idli with podi, onions, and chilies.
Soon, the bandiwalas say they intend to introduce millet idlis and corn idlis, both of which are good for sugar patients. Indeed, Idli has come a long way!