Friday, February 5, 2010


Idiyappam or string hoppers is a culinary speciality in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is also popular in certain areas of Sri Lanka.It is also called noolappam or noolputtu from the Tamil/Malayalam word for string, nool.It is generally served as the main course at breakfast together with a curry (potato, egg, fish or meat curry) and coconut chutney. I'll give you three versions of it,- sweet, savoury and healthy.

As you enjoy this traditional recipe from my mom's kitchen, do whisper a prayer for her. She has been ailing recently and is just back from the hospital yesterday.

For the dough-
2cups fine rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
3-4cups of boiling water

  • Pour boiling water into the rice flour and stir with the straight end of a spoon.
  • Collect the dough together. It does not require much handling.

The dough

Traditional Idiyappam maker

  • Grease the insides and place the dough inside.

  • Turn the screw and the strings will come out.
  • Steam the iddiyappam.
  • You can also steam them in idli moulds for smaller servings.

For the sweet topping-
Grated coconut
Grated jaggery
Crushed cardamom

For the savoury topping-
split gram
mustard seeds
green chillies
1red chilli
Heat oil, split the mustard seeds add rest of the ingredients and roast.

For a healthy version
Add 2tbs of finger millet (ragi) powder in the dough. You can have it with a sweet or spicy topping.



  1. I love that you've made these three different versions and all three sound excellent!

  2. This must be fun to make. It looks like the rice vermicelli that we always eat which is in dry form when we buy them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow! looks heavenly .DO drop by

  4. I prefer to have these with palm sugar and steamed shredded coconut.

  5. I will be keeping your mom in my thoughts! Hope she is doing better.

    All three versions of this look delicious (although I am partial to the sweet version :p).

    That noodle maker looks ideal! I could so use one of those to make my own spaghetti.

  6. Oh stop it! I forgot all about these! While living in Malaysia we would go to the Tues night market "pasar malam" and eat these while walking around. My mouth is watering!

  7. I have what I call a Sev maker which looks exactly like your string hopper maker. I'll have to dig it out and try it again. I've avoided using it because I didn't like deep frying. Steaming I can do. I'll ask my son-in-law if he has ever used one. A prayer is on its way for your mom.

  8. Thanks for sharing these, Shirley.
    I truly hope your Mom is feeling better. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

  9. These look fun to make and eat,my kid would love the sweet version :D

  10. oh wow I adore this my mum in law made it when she was here in the summer, will have in India in Sept, u have to be strong to make it!!

  11. Wow, that is cool how you make the "noodles", I am sure that I'd love them because I love rice noodles...thanks for the step-by-step pictures...very informative and fun to look at ;-)

  12. I miss idiappams a lot, can't even find the frozen ones here:( back home used to have these for bf, lunch and dinner. Love these with chicken curry or fish curry. Next time when I visit India I am gonna get this cute gadget. Loved both the sweet and savory topping.

  13. Your photographs are beautiful.

    Your recipes sound wonderful.

  14. hi Shirley,

    My family and I loved this recipe and I've already made it twice. :) Thanks Shirley for sharing this!

    The one change I made the second time is that I put green chillies and ginger in the boiling water, let it simmer for a while, sieved it and then kneaded the dough with it. I did this coz the first time, the green chillies didn't mix that well. Maybe u could consider that too.

  15. Ekta,
    You have an Idiyappam press? That's great. Thats a cool variation indeed. Happy to know the family enjoyed it.

  16. Yes, I used the one we used to use to make sev. We rarely have deep fried stuff and had put this press away somewhere. Dug it out for this recipe. It never occurred before to me to steam the strings! :)
    Besides, my husband doesn't like nachni porridge. Making spicy nachni noodles is a great way of ensuring he takes it!



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