A British professor’s tweet has south Indians coming together on the social media platform. No, the history professor wasn’t discussing colonialism, or even cricket. The academic’s dig at the humble idli, a staple breakfast (alright, lunch, and dinner too), calling it ‘the most boring thing in the world’, has south Indian flooding his timeline.
Quick to realise his controversial opinion, Edward Anderson attempted some south Indian pacification.
p.s. Before the whole of south India attacks me, can I just say that I love dosa and appam and basically all south Indian food. But idli (and puttu for that matter) are insufferable.— Edward Anderson (@edanderson101) October 6, 2020
But it was too late.
Coming from someone who relishes boiled un-masalafied beans and toast for breakfast?— Leo Saldanha (@leofsaldanha) October 7, 2020
Yes, my son, there are some who are truly challenged in this world. Civilisation is hard to acquire: the taste & refinement to appreciate idlis, enjoy cricket, or watch ottamthullal is not given to every mortal. Take pity on this poor man, for he may never know what Life can be. https://t.co/M0rEfAU3V3— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 7, 2020
Idlis are the perfect carrier food. They're not overpowering in taste, the fermentation makes them super healthy, and they're the perfect mix of carbs and lentil protein. You can make them into upmas and usalis, chop them up and fry them for use in Chaat, and eat them as is. https://t.co/Xh24vzPfMT— Manasvin Rajagopalan has the QE (@SouthAsianBuoy) October 7, 2020
My Tamil blood is ready to defend idlis— Manasvin Rajagopalan has the QE (@SouthAsianBuoy) October 7, 2020
Edward, that rumbling you hear is the South Indians mobilising the army. What have you done?!!!!— Rajesh Mehta (@RajeshBKDM) October 6, 2020
You've made a grave error that I hope will haunt you for life— Khemta Hannah Jose (@khemta_h_jose) October 6, 2020
Some offered suggestions on how to eat idlis.
Ppl assume idlis are flavorless, because most idlis aren’t fermented enough or salted just right - and are often mushy and compact (when the batter is ground too much) rather than airy and slightly grainy. A idli by itself with ghee is brilliant— S H R (@sriharshu26) October 6, 2020
Try having fresh & warm - Idlis with— Terence (@terence_fdes) October 6, 2020
Red or Green Coconut Chutney
Or Even with a Spicy Beef or Mutton or Chicken Kheema
I can wallop 8-10 Idlis
Note: Idlis need to be “perfect” - porous & soft & not ever hard
My mother bakes idli muffins with various spices: a tasty alternative.— Sadie (@nonneemouse) October 6, 2020
While Edward asked for forgiveness (well, sort of) by ordering a plate of idli, there were many who came out in his support.
I’m a South Indian and I agree with you.— Advaid അദ്വൈത് (@Advaidism) October 7, 2020
And i'm going to get killed for this.
Now do biriyani and also piss of the rest of India : )— Peter Griffin (@zigzackly) October 7, 2020
(Yeah, idlis are not top of my list either.)
100%. And to those who say 'it's the accompaniment that matters', the same accompaniments can be had with much better carbs!!!— Vinay Aravind (@vinayaravind) October 6, 2020
But the outrage over idli quickly spiralled into a sambhar war over which state makes it best.
have to entirely agree! but at the peril of pissing off all the mallus on twitter I will add, malayalis really do not know how to make sambar and chutney for the idlis or dosa for that matter!!! kannadigas and tamils ( in that order) win hands down! https://t.co/g5AVVm6ZKx— T M Krishna (@tmkrishna) October 8, 2020
Heart in Coimbatore, and so I'll say this. Those who've not eaten Annapoorna sambar idli at 7 am might not love idli. The perfect combo is idli from Sagar Ratna Mangalore with sambar and chutney from Annapoorna. Ratna Cafe podi idli, deivam. :)— Subha Jayanagaraja (@subhajrao) October 8, 2020
You call that sweet concoction that Kannadigas make sambar? Sambar has to be arachivittu. But even that cannot rescue idlis from being boring— Natasha (@nuts2406) October 8, 2020
Only the coastal kannadigas make that so called sweet sambar.— Pradeeepks (@Mailpradeepks) October 8, 2020
South karnataka esp old mysuru make Chutney from gingelly to horsegram powder
They have also plate idli or chibilu idli or bamboo stuffed idli which is totally different.
Don't generalise sambars into one Karnataka
I totally agree that Kannadigas make nicer sambar. Comes from someone who lives in a household that makes sambar made by both the states.— Shilpashree Jagannathan (@shilpajn) October 8, 2020
I'm a seamless transitioner between mallu and tamizh..and tamizh chutney-sambhar for idli-dosai wins hands down. Mallu is nowhere close. Mallu cheriya-ulli and molagu chammanthi on the other hand- heavenly! Kannadiga sweet sambhar - awesome!— Elizabeth Seshadri (@lizsesh) October 8, 2020
No offence but it should be Kannada followed by Andhra .. Andhra chutney and idli is far superior— Anirudh (@anirudh_89) October 8, 2020
Idli is idli whether in Tamilnadu ,Karnataka or Kerala. Soft, fluffy,dry ..it is lifeless/tasteless. Sambar is best made in North Malabar.— jyothi menon (@JyothiNair76) October 8, 2020