KOCHI: Big steaming idlis, looking like a slightly puffed out version of the humble dosa, accompanied with different types of chutneys are attracting foodies in large numbers to this nondescript stall at the ongoing Krithi International Book Fair in Marine Drive. These steamed delights are none other than the famous Ramassery idlis. According to Annamalai K, co-owner of Bhagyalakshmi Amma’s, this is the first time they are selling these idlis in Kochi. “The response is overwhelming and people seem to have fallen in love with our specially made idlis,” says Annamalai.
The original shop is located at Ramassery, about 10 km from Palakkad. Annamalai said people of the Mudaliyar community make these idlis. “The recipe is passed down through generations. The distinct style of making and serving makes our idlis unique,” he said. Annamalai is a relative of Bhagyalakshmi who runs the Ramassery idli shop in Palakkad. Her daughter Smitha and other family members have come down to the city to make and serve this special dish.
The Ramassery idli, unlike the normal one, is steamed in a pot. The idlis are also big in size. Annamalai said though it has the shape of dosa, it tastes entirely different and is also rich in nutrients. He said, “In our village, we use wood-fired chulhas to cook the idlis. But since it is not possible to arrange one here, we have to use a gas stove. Hence, the right flavour isn’t achieved.” The idlis are made by placing a thin cotton cloth on the mouth of the pot. The batter is poured in a thin layer on the cloth and steamed for a few seconds. Up to three idlis can be made at the same time using this technique, he added.
Annamalai said, “People from across the state visit our shop back in Palakkad.” The idlis are being sold at Rs 20 per piece along with coconut and chilly chutney. Chammanthi podi too is provided. These chutneys too are unique. Annamalai said a majority of our customers are families. The stall operates from 10 am to 10 pm and will conclude on March 11.