Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Idlis in Jackfruit Leaves (Khotte/ Hittu/ Kadubu)

Idlis are always a savior when it comes to long trips and heavy duty breakfast required especially during festivals, travels, weddings. I love Idlis and much better if they come in Jack fruit leaves. Nothing to beat the aroma of steamed Idlis in Jack fruit leaves (Pansaa Paan). Initially, in cities when we wanted Jack fruit leaves we used to get shocked looks in return much to the amusement of folks. Well, very few houses had Jack fruit trees and getting the leaves was a big problem. You eat leaves??? Well! Ahem, no! Then we had to explain the whole story and then we got to eat Khotte.
Khotte is a Konkani way of steaming Idlis in Jack fruit leaves containers. These containers are hand made at home. Nowadays you get them ready made in Mangalore stores in Bangalore or even street vendors in Udupi and Mangalore. Mom makes the best looking Khotte containers. She stitches the leaves in a very cute, very less spillage and steams them to the perfect level. I am still on the learning curve but can make decent Khotte containers. 4 Jack fruit leaves (pre-washed and dried) are stitched together with thin Bamboo sticks (which are pre-soaked in water for atleast 1/2 hour). They are stitched together to form a container. One by one fill these containers with Idli batter, steam as usual (20 minutes to 30 minutes). Have some chutney to go along and you are set for a filling, heavy duty Konkani breakfast.

Later, while in Bangalore I came to know that they go by the name of Kadubu. Granny said that olden days families were huge and they did not have massive Idli containers to use. Trees and their leaves were made to good use by ladies and ecologically they were more degradable, healthy and consumed less water for cleaning. How smart?

Preparation time: 30 minutes (steaming Idlis) + 30 minutes (stitching Khotte leaves) = 1 hour

Idli Batter - 10 cups
Jack fruit leaves - 4 x 10 = 40 leaves
Bamboo sticks or Curry leaves sticks (sun dried) - 10-15
Water - For steaming Idlis

Contraption - Idli steamer : Available in plenty in India at steel and utensil stores

Make Idli batter using the recipe for Idlis. Take 4 leaves at a time. Stitch them together to form a container. Make 10-15 similar containers. Let the Steamer boil. Place Khotte one by one and cover the lid tightly. Allow to steam for 20 minutes. Remove from heat once completely cooked. Serve with Byadgi Red Chilli chutney.

Suggestions: If the Jackfruit leaves are a big crispy and tight for stitching, soak them in water for some time and then stitch them. That way, it becomes easier. In some Konkani houses, the Khotte is served with a spoon full of Coconut oil and mixed vegetables pickle or any other pickle with broth on the side. This combination tastes very delicious.


  1. The picture of the leafy containers is fantastic!

  2. Looks good AShwini. It has been ages since I had Khotte. Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays and a new year ahead.!

  3. Very interesting. Never heard of idlis in jack fruit leaf. We too make small containers of this leaf and use for side dishes while eating in plaintain leaves. Lovely pic. You have nice recipes.


  4. That is a perfect BLD (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner) recipe. Loooove simple idlis..

  5. @ Nupur - Thanks. Yes, they look simply cute.

    @ Red Chillies - Thanks. I make sure I eat loads of them when I go to India :). Wishing you & your fly Happy Holdays too!! Hav a great year ahead.

    @ Ms. Chitchat - Thanks for the complement. Mom makes ue of these containers for many other dishes for steaming purpose.

    @ Cynthia - Thanks & Happy Holidays to you too.

    @ Pavani - Thank you! You said it -I can have Idlis any time of the day.


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