Saturday, November 9, 2013

Classic Idiyappam | Sandhagai | Instant String Hoppers with Panchamirtham and Coconut Milk

Santhagai/White string hopper is a very authentic recipe. Just a short note on how special this recipe is in our region…The newly married couples, before the bride n groom stepping to groom’s house, the married girl parents send her daughter by making a special vegetarian virunthu/feast and sandhagai is in the top of the menu on that day along with Panchamirtham n coconut milk. They never miss this recipe in their menu and nowadays savory version
of this sev is also common in that function. I already have Lemon Kambu and Ragi Sev recipes but waited to prepare and record this version at Mom’s place :-). The pictures shown below are the traditional santhavai manai my grandma is preserving still but bit unconditional, so we prepared it with my mom’s tall stainless steel Idiyappam Presser.
They don’t use instant flour instead soak n grind the Idli rice (without urad dhal and fenugreek) and make idlis’. Also this batter doesn't need to ferment. Just blend and make idli’s immediately. Press it when the idlis are hot and you will get thin white string hoppers in few minutes :-)
Ingredients for an authentic Version
Idli Rice - 2 Cups
Shredded Coconut - 2 -3 Tbsp (Optional)
Salt - 1/4tsp
  • Soak the rice at least 5 hours(Pic 1) and grind with coconut to smooth batter.
  • You can use mixie/blender too.
  • Add salt and necessary water, check the consistency in pic 2, it shoud be watery like dosa batter.
  • Heat the idli pan with water and pour the prepared batter.
  • They won't puff up like usual idlis and will cook in 5-6 mins of time when water in the pan is already boiled.
  • Remove the hot idlis when stick inserted at center comes out clean(pic 3) and immediately press it in already oil greased sandhagai press (pic 4 & 5).
  • Its already cooked so no need to steam again.
  • Store the soft idiyappam's in hot pack or cover it with wet cloth till you use (Pic 6).
  • Best to go with Cardamom flavored coconut milk and panchamirtham.
How to make Coconut Milk
Blend the shredded coconut, water in a food processore/mixie and extract the juice twice. If you have juice extractor attachment then use it. Add sugar and cardamom powder as needed to the extracted coconut milk. Makesure the milk is thick.

Add well ripen bananas,sugar/jaggery and cardamom powder, mix all together, optional to add kalkandu,chopped dates or pomegranate with it.

I know many of you are away from home country and using handy murukku press to make instant sev like me, so I have shared the instant idiyappam using store bought rice flour…Regarding the press use the very tiny hole, you can check the pictures here.

How to make Idiyappam using Instant Rice Flour
Rice Flour or Idiyappam Flour - 2 Cups (If using Rice Flour you can add some coconut powder)
Salt - A Pinch
Water - 3/4th Cup (you may not need the whole)
  • Mix the flour and salt (Pic 1).
  • Boil the water, when boils vigorously, add the water in batches to flour and mix well (Pic 2).
  • Keep kneading till they hold it shapes, the dough should not stick and also it should not break/leave crack (Pic 3).
  • Put it in the sev press and rotate in circular motion over the idli/steamer plate in small rounds.
  • If using idli pan, grease the idli plate or cook sev over wet idli cloth, it takes 5-7 minutes to cook.
  • I used electric steamer, add water in the pan and keep the steamer plate over it_Pic 5) .
  • Select Steam option, by default it takes 10 minutes after water starts boiling(Pic 4).
  • But i removed it after 7 minutes of cooking (Pic 6), anyways it depends on the dense of the idiyappam you pressed.
  • Store the soft idiyappams in hot pack or cover it with wet cloth till you use.
  • Best to go with Cardamom flavored coconut milk and panchamirtham.


  1. love the presser.. So tasty iddiyappam

  2. Oh this is getting so much interesting love the wooden press and the idea of using the steamer for idiyappam.

  3. This is something I was exactly looking for.Love the way you have written,love that antique press

  4. This is one of my fav dish, I ask my mom to make it when ever I go home. Nice clicks.

  5. I always want to make idyapam! thank u for sharing detailed recipe both the ways also love the panchamirtam

  6. I have not seen that press so far. looks so nice. I have heard idiyappam comes out great with that press ..

  7. Wow..your granny's press looks awesome..Its good that it is still in condition, may not be working too.

  8. The process of making these clear and lovely idiyappam seem not easy yet I am loving the outcome. For me, its being comfortable with the store bought ones.

  9. Omg, that traditional wooden press looks fabulous.. Loved both method Sis, beautiful post.

  10. new method dear...i remember my grandmother's wooden press....lovely

  11. wow thats so perfectly made idiyappam :) nice to see and know about the olden idiyappam press :)

  12. Love fav...very nice to see the traditional one....very valuable thing right ....keep it safe

  13. can you tell me the name of the press..looks cool..wnt to get one from market...and your illustration is too good.


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