Idiappam also called string hoppers, are a south Indian favourite. They are famous in southern tamilnadu and are now getting popular in other states as well.
Idiappam is basically steamed rice flour in the form of noodles (kind of like rice noodles). Their taste is exceptional and goes well with non vegetarian dishes especially chilli chicken.

Back in the old days, making idiappams was considered a tedious tasks as the dough had to be pressed though wooden pipers. Now with the availability of easier tools, Idiappams can be made in a jiffy.

Roasted Rice flour is used to make south Indian dishes like puttu, roti,etc. This flour is sieved finely through a sieve to remove chunks. The final roasted and sieved rice flour is used to make the finest idiappams.

Getting into the method of making idiappams,

Things you will need –

* Roasted and sieved Rice flour

* Idiappam piper (I use the brass one which is the easiest to pipe of all other options in the market)

* Idiappam/ Idly stand

For 2 persons, makes 8-9 idiappams.

Ingredients  –

1. 1 cup (250ml) sieved rice flour

2. 1 cup water

3. 1/2 to salt


1. In a wide bowl take 1 cup of flour and a wooden spoon.

2. In another vessel, add 1 cup water and salt and bring to a boil.

3. When the water is boiling(highest heat), add the water slowly to the flour while stirring it with the back of a wooden spoon.

4. You will need less than 1 cup (around 3/4th cup) so add water slowly and keep stirring continuously till all the flour forms a dough like texture. You should be able to roll it into a ball(shouldn’t be watery or too dry)

5. Allow it to cool a little. Fill some of the dough into the piper and tighten the lid.

6. Apply some oil to all the idiappam/idli plates so that the idiappams can be easily removed.

7. In the steaming vessel, add 1 inch of water and allow to boil.

8. Pipe the idiappams by holding it with one hand and turning the knob of the piper with other hand in clockwise direction to form a round mesh. (You will get it with a little practice)

9. Arrange all the plates into the stand and insert it into the steaming vessel. Close the lid and keep on high flame.

10. In 5 minutes, open the vessel and check if the idiappam is cooked by using a fork to lift the edge. If it comes up together it means it is cooked.

11. Lower the flame and remove the stand. Flip the idiappams onto the plate. Serve hot.


* The water should be boiling so that the flour gets cooked evenly.

* Check the water level in the steamer every time you insert the stand so that it doesn’t burn.

* If you are making a large batch, oil the plates after 3 or 4 sittings so that idiappams don’t stick.

* If you notice that the flour is watery, prepare another batch with 1/2 cup flour and mix both to correct consistency.

* You should be able to pipe the idiappams as strings. If they fall as blobs, it means water is excess.