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Khushboo Idli – The Dish Named After A Celebrity

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Khushboo Sunder started her career as a Child artist in Bollywood with the 1980 movie The Burning Train. She acted in a few more Bollywood movies including a few in a leading role. But her big success came from Tamil cinema. Few actors have had this kind of success the way Khushboo had with Tamil films. In the height of her career, since was the craze around her, that many things were named after her. Khushboo Sarees, Khushboo Coffee and the world famous Khushboo Idli.

This Idli originated in Madurai by some big fan of Khushboo. With a simple description of being Soft and Spongy like Khushboo’s cheeks. This’s a fairly new invention. Compared to the history of Idli, many centuries ago. But has achieved near iconic status like the actor herself. I think there’s substance to the dish, beyond its gimmicky name.

Khushboo Idli Recipe

I first came across the Khushboo Idli in Bangalore. I’d gone to Shivaji Military Hotel on a Monday many years ago. This was pre-Zomato days and I didn’t know they were closed on Mondays. On my way back, I spied a Karnataka Fisheries Department Stall in Jayanagar. Selling Fish Curry, Fry and other fish items. Along with the Fish Curry, I got something they were calling Khushboo Idli. It was plumper than a regular Idli and looked different.

It tasted nice and the name got me intrigued. Further digging into the subject and I realised that there was a Kannada counterpart to this. Called the Mallige Idli. Mallige means Jasmine. The Idli’s supposed to be white like Jasmine. I suspect the same for Khushboo Idli.

The reason for the extra whiteness comes from Sago or Sabudana added to the Rice and Urad Dal mixture some recipes also add Castor seeds. I suspect, many recipes also add a bit of Baking Soda to make it fluffier.

Here’s a recipe of Khushboo Idli.

Happy cooking and Chowder-on!

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