Watch Video – History of idli: The Popular food was originated within or outside India?: If I say the idli was brought to southern India by Arab settlers, this can raise some questions in our country as the idli, is a kind of food which is a purely Indian food.
And the truth is that source mentioned in the history of food that the modern way of making the idli appear in Indian post-1250 CE.
A food historian, K.T. Acharya speculates that the modern idli is perhaps originated in the region which is in this contemporary time is Indonesia, which is blessed with an age-old tradition of fermented food.
As per the food historian, K.T. Acharya, cooks employed by the Hindu kings of the local kingdom is perhaps invented the steamed idli there, and then they brought the different kind of though, tasty recipe to India during the period 800-1200 CE.
But this theory is being questioned by modern food historians, like, Lizzie Collingham, Kristen Gremillion, Raymond Grew, Makhdoom Al-Salaqi (Syria), Zahiruddin Afiyaab (Lebanon).
References available at the Al-Azhar University Library in Cairo also suggest that Arab traders actually brought idli in the southern parts of the nation.
Now the question is: how did that happen?
Reportedly, the Arab traders used to come to the southern coast for trade, and that pre-dated even the initiation of Islam. The first mosque exterior side of the Arab peninsula was upright by Arab settlers who used to arrived here as traders.
The Arab settlers were very stringent and stubborn in their dietary preferences; mostly people who came here when Mohammed was still alive and they were neo-converts to Islam from Paganism.
They persisted on halaal food, and Indian food was quite something very different to them. To avoid all such confusion regarding what is halaal or haraam in food, they started to make rice balls because this food was easy to make and was the safest option which they can easily consume without any tension.
Post making the rice balls, people on that period slightly flatten them and eat with bland coconut paste ( Encyclopaedia of Food History, edited by Collingham and Gordon Ramsay of Britain, Oxford University Press, and Seed to Civilisation, The Story of Food, by Heiser Charles B, Harvard University Press, 1990).
Eventually, this staple diet idli sees some improvement in the whole subcontinent and from the 8th century onwards, the idli in its modern avatar received its recognition and come into the existences.
Some other sources and references said that the dish idli is actually on its beginning mention in the 10th century Kannada text but could actually the staple food idli was invented much earlier by Indonesian chefs under the Chola empire.
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