Friday, November 30, 2012

Cucumber Idli - Kadamb (Taushe Idli)

Do not know if I have ever confessed but I love one salad vegetable a lot - Cucumbers. This all began when Ma would insist that we eat one salad item as kids (which we hated at that time). I began with Cucumbers and Baby Onions. Few times, I would use Small Baby Onions and slather them in lime juice and salt (the ones we get in South Canara). They are available in the local markets as Bundled Onions (Ghonche Piyav) and are usually sold as a cluster of 20-30 onions. We always had 2-3 of the bundles as reserve stock in my Ammama's (Grandma) pantry comprising of vegetables, lentils, pulses, spices and flours. All the grand kids would compete on who would jump higher to grab the onions from the bundle. She would tie them with Plantain threads (Vayu) and suspend them to an iron rod which was hung between the wooden beams. We had traditional wood ceiling in our grandparents home. She would stock up Chinese Cucumber (Magge) and Ash Gourd (Kuvale) in this fashion.

My Ma made Cucumber Cake in the traditional Aluminum oven with sand at the bottom during our summer vacations. The cake was baked on the gas stove on very low flame cooked for a long period of time. The cake was so big that we would never be able to finish all of it. Some of the portions went to our extended family and friends. She also occasionally makes Cucumber Dosa (Taushe Bhakri) which turns out very tasty. A special variety of Cucumber which are pale light green skinned are best for this variety of Dosa. This is usually available during monsoon season in India. Another item Ma frequently makes is Cucumber Idli. Its also known as Taushe Kadamb. I wanted to steam these Idlis at home on many occasions but the lack of essential ingredient - Turmeric leaves (Haldi Paan) held me back. This time, I had a good stock of them and used the fresh leaves for the Idli. My Ma uses dried Curry leaves stem (Shigir in Konkani) to stitch the Idli containers made from Jackfruit leaves also known as Khotto. I used our good old toothpick to stitch the leaves together. The aroma wafting in the kitchen when the Idlis are steaming is simply awesome. It takes me right back to my parents home. 

The Idli is supposed to be eaten with fresh home made butter (Loni) and is best enjoyed when eaten straight out of the steamer when its piping hot. The essence of Turmeric leaves seeps in the Idli thereby taking it a few notches higher in terms of flavor and uniqueness of this Idli. I have also tried to steam the Idlis in pressure cooker (without the whistle) and they turned out fine. Take your pick for choice of steamer. Either ways, the result should be the same. The preparation is a bit labor intensive but the taste compensates for all the hard work.

~ Taushe Idli - Kadamb ~
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4-6 Idlis

Cucumber (Grated, seeds removed) - 1 and 1/4 cup
Idli Rava - 1 and 1/4 cup
Grated Coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1/4 cup

For Steaming -
Turmeric leaves - 4

For Garnish -
Home made Butter cubes

Contraption -
Idli moulds - 6

Lightly rinse the Turmeric leaves. Cut a tiny portion from the tip and the bottom of the leaf. Dab the leaves with a kitchen towel to absorb any excess moisture. Allow to dry on a mat.
Peel the cucumbers and remove the seeds. Grate it using the biggest holes on the box grater (I use a box grater which has many options for grating). Collect the cucumber water as well and do not discard it.
Once done, measure the amount of grated coconut. Add equal amount of Idli Rava. Add salt and keep it aside. The water from cucumber is absorbed by Idli Rava. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Heat water in an Idli steamer. Lightly grease the Idli moulds with Oil. Once the water in the Idli steamer is hot enough, mix the grated coconut to the previously mixed batter.
Place the leaves inside the Idli mould and pour the batter inside the mould lined with turmeric leaves. Bring the edges together and stitch it with a toothpick. Steam with the lid on for 15-20 minutes.
Check if done using a knife. Leave aside for couple of minutes and unmould by running the knife across the circumference of the mould. Serve hot with a cube of butter.

Step-by-Step Illustration -
1. Rinse the Turmeric leaves, dab the extra moisture with a towel and dry them out in a cool place.

2. Grease the Idli mould with oil, add the turmeric leaves one at time in each mould as shown.

3. Add the batter over the lined turmeric leaves and stitch the two ends of the leaf with a toothpick.
Steam for 15-20 minutes in an Idli steamer.


  1. OMG.. this is a specialty in Odiya kitchen reserved for one special festival meant for the eldest child. I love it - thanks for sharing.

  2. @ Pragyan - Thank you. That's a vital info you've shared.


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