Guys, have you seen an Idly steamer that was used before cookers to make idlys? Looks like it is still being used at some places. I found one at a relative’s house recently. Guess what, this Idly steamer makes puffed idlys that are thicker, instead of the flat idlys we are get from a cooker. And the idly tastes nice – not sure if this is because of the homemade flour (vs. readymade flour we find commonly nowadays), or the steamer.
Notice that the idly plates have holes underneath. They put a cloth over the plates and then pour the flour. I was told that such plates with holes were used with cookers too earlier, but even the oldest ones I remember were without holes. Probably, the idly puffs and expands on the top because of the steam that provides additional heat by percolating through these holes (just a guess). Of course the steam comes from the water put underneath, just like a cooker.
This steamer can hold a maximum of two plates with five idlys unlike the cooker that can hold more plates. The reason for this post is: Why were the steamers replaced by cookers when the idlys are clearly better in the idly steamer? Have you guys seen a steamer before – this is the first time I am seeing one.
BTW, idly has never been my favorite dish. But sambar idly (idly soaked in sambar) has always been! And I also like idly upma, kaima idly, etc. Do you people like idly?