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Soft Steamed Idiyappams (String Hoppers)

Soft Steamed Idiyappams (String Hoppers)

Idiyappams or string hoppers, also known in different regions as Semige, Noolputt are a South Indian staple. This rice flour based string pancake is steamed and eaten with everything from breakfast to curries to chutneys or even just coconut milk. With a simple mix of ingredients and no fermentation required these can be made with ease at any given time.

Yields: 10-12 Idiyappams

Prep Time: 15 minutes   |   Cook Time: 15 minutes

Utensils Required

  • Idli Steamer
  • Idiyappam / Chakri Press or Sev Sancha
  • Saucepan / Kadai
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Serving Spoon


  • Rice Flour - 1 cup
  • Water - 1 ½ cup
  • Coconut Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt 1 tsp or to taste


  • Put the water in a deep saucepan and add in the salt. Turn on the heat and let the water come to a boil
  • When the water begins to boil add the coconut oil and lower heat to a medium flame
  • The water should be simmering slightly. At this point add in the rice flour gradually while constantly stirring with a serving spoon
  • At this point the mixture will start to thicken and form a dough. Make sure the flame is on low and that the dough is smooth and without lumps
  • Once the dough is formed remove it to a mixing bowl and let it cool. The dough need not become completely cold as that may make the Idiyappams rubbery
  • While the dough is cooling grease the Idli trays and the inside of the Idiyappam press with some coconut oil. If you do not have coconut oil you may substitute it with any other oil. However, for the authentic taste we recommend you use it if available
  • Knead the cooled dough in the mixing bowl to ensure it is smooth and to shape it to insert into the Idiyappam press
  • Using a spoon or your fingers tuck the dough into the cylinder of the Idiyappam press and screw on the rotator top
  • Turning the rotator at a steady pace pipe the dough from the press directly onto the greased Idli plates. You may even pipe them onto a lightly grease plate and transfer them to the Idli plate if you find that to be more comfortable
  • Bring some water to a boil in the Idli Steamer. When the water has begun to boil you can carefully insert the Idli plates
  • Let the Idiyappams steam for 12-15 minutes on a medium-high flame
  • Once done, remove the Idli plates and let the Idiyappams cool off slightly
  • Serve up your delicious Idiyappams with some Kerala Vegetable Stew or any curry of your choice    

Note on Substituting the Steamer: If you do not have a Steamer, fear not. Your humble pressure cooker can be used to steam as well. For the Idiyappams you will require an Idli rack which can be purchased from any kitchen store or online. Simply put a little water in the cooker, place the idli rack in while making sure that the idiyappams are not touching the water and use without the whistle. In 12-15 minutes it should steam your Idiyappams perfectly!

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