World Idli Day: Know the origin and significance of South India’s favorite delicacy


Team Udayavani, Mar 30, 2020, 3:53 PM IST

Idli is a very popular South Indian dish that is consumed with coconut chutney and sambhar. World Idli Day is celebrated every year on March 30.

The World Idli Day was started by Eniyavan, a famous Idli caterer from Chennai in 2015. According to reports, Eniyavan made about 1,328 varieties of idlis in 2015 for the celebration. It was also during March 30, 2015, when a giant 44 kg idli was cut by a government employee in order to officially declare the 30th of March as the World Idli day.

Origin of Idli

It is said that, Idli first originated in Indonesia, which is known for its long tradition of fermented food. Later, it came to India in the form of steamed idli during the period of 800-1200 CE. Sources claim that, the word was derived from ‘Iddalige’, and was mentioned in a Kannada work of 920 AD, and it indicates that it was made from an urad dal batter.

The Sanskrit Manasollasa of 1130 AD has ‘Iddarika’, that mentioned it as a dish made with urad dal. Tamil people first mentioned it as ‘Itali’ in the 17th century.

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