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How would you like your idli to be served? As soft roundels with sambhar and chutney on the side or served like a popsicle with sambhar and chutney as dips? It seems the jury is still out.
After his tweet about a nameless Himalayan pool as a destination for the ‘ultimate swimming experience’, industrialist Anand Mahindra has once again got tweeps clamouring, this time about the future of the popular south Indian breakfast, ‘idli’. Recently he tweeted about ‘idli on a stick with sambhar and chutney as dips’.
Bengaluru, India’s innovation capital can’t stop its creativity from manifesting itself in the most unexpected areas… Idli on a stick—sambhar & chutney as dips…Those in favour, those against?? pic.twitter.com/zted3dQRfL— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) September 30, 2021
While some have reiterated the idea as ‘innovative’ …
Idli on a stick, with sambhar and chutney. Might cause riots in south India, but it's a good idea - kids don't wash hands before eating these days. pic.twitter.com/FzGiXPxAOH— Rakesh Thiyyan (@ByRakeshSimha) September 30, 2021
Brilliant innovation! This will make idli a global food instead of limiting it to just Indians. Every now and then it takes a genius to improve something that seemed perfect yesterday!— D (@D1lyp) October 1, 2021
The marketers are always looking at innovative ways to sell... here is the evergreen Idli in a new format ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¤ pic.twitter.com/N7PsLZiHab— Alok Jain âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¡ (@WeekendInvestng) September 30, 2021
… others are furious, and even horrified.
Idli is such a lovely and perfect dish. The best snack. Some stupid people have the time to find a way to destroy it. Idli on sticks. What next? #Bengaluru #Karnataka âÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¦@MitaliLiveâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ© pic.twitter.com/V5kjE9r91x— DP SATISH (@dp_satish) September 30, 2021
Idli on stick. What next upma and poha in ice-cream cones? pic.twitter.com/j6JyH0aAmb— SanghiDenticoðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³,ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ©ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ©ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂï¸ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ (@priyathedentico) October 1, 2021
Never thought a day would come to see our beloved idli on a stick :( https://t.co/rFp0gQpWwG— Dinesh Unnikrishnan (@Dinesh_Unni) October 1, 2021
While some believe it is not a major issue as the originality of the food is maintained, others fear that the change in shape will change the texture of the food.
The Bengaluru restaurant reportedly serving this dish remains anonymous. However, this is not the first time that the idli has been subjected to experimentation. One of the popular dishes found in many Indian restaurants is Schezwan idli, where the idlis are cubed and tossed in the fiery Chinese sauce.
Experimenting with food is probably as old as civilization, when man first realised that roasted meat tasted better than the raw version. If it was not for an experimental streak, we would not have many of the interesting dishes, such as sandwiches or galouti kebab. In recent times, knowledge gained through molecular gastronomy has revolutionised the way chefs looked at food and resulted in creative cuisines. But the popsicle idli debate has once again raised the question how far can one go in the name of experimentation or ‘innovation’.
Take the favourite street food panipuri (also known as golgappa and phuchka). Initially, the sellers would try to up their sale by replacing the ubiquitous mashed potato and tamarind or mint water with curd, jelly, etc. But who would have imagined that this mundane street food would make it to the grand dining tables with fillings ranging from chocolate to chicken? You cannot walk down the streets of Mumbai suburbs without noticing the umpteenth vendor dishing out Chinese Bhel. The ‘dosa’ has not been spared either. Or the Tibetan dumplings popularly known as ‘momo’ for that matter (did you know there are chocolate filled momo available?)
Fanta Fry Omlette (with Cheese obviously)— Kunal Thakur (@kunalthakur2020) September 13, 2021
Recently, the digital world was aghast when a Youtube presentation first revealed that a street side eatery in Surat was selling ‘Fanta Omelette’. According to a report in The Indian Express, ‘Served with pav (bread), the eggs are paired with a gravy made up of the soda drink along with spices, mashed potatoes and green chutney. The omelette is then garnished with loads of cheese and served hot with the remaining soda on the side.’
Readers may recall a global debate which had erupted some time back about pizzas being dispensed from vending machines.
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Meanwhile, this is not the first time that the ‘idli’ has gotten embroiled in a debate. Around a year back, idli lovers took to the digital media protesting against British historian Edward Anderson pronouncing "idlis are the most boring things in the world.” “Definitely not boring,” he quipped this time.
Definitely not boring. https://t.co/VHqpHKqU9d— Edward Anderson (@edanderson101) October 1, 2021
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