Idlis Steamed In Jackfruit Leaves (Khotto, Hittu, Khotte Kadubu)

Idlis Steamed In Jackfruit Leaves (Khotto, Hittu, Khotte Kadubu)

Idlis are steamed in jackfruit leaves baskets during any special occasion, during festivals in Konkani homes. These idlis made in jackfruit leaves are called khotto, hittu in Konkani and khotte kadubu in Kannada. These idlis in jackfruit leaves are considered pretty special in Konkani cuisine and are a must for breakfast or lunch during any of the special days, celebrations and festivals in Udupi, Mangalore, Kundapur regions of Karnataka. They are served for breakfast with a coconut chutney and with a sambar at times on those special days. If not are served as part of the spread for a lavish festival lunch.

Khotte are also a very popular daily breakfast in Udupi, Mangalore, Kundapur homes. Steaming hot khotte kadubu with loads of oil/butter on top and with a spicy coconut chutney is absolute heaven! Jackfruit leaves are weaved into tiny basket to steam idlis in them. These jackfruit leaves basket are then filled with idli batter and are steamed to make hittu/khotto/khotte kadubu. You say it's same old idli after eating it? They may be just idli, but don't you dare say that infront of Konkani's. :-) Like I said they are considered special and are worshipped in Konkani cuisine. :-) That's the amount of love and importance these idlis made in jackfruit leaves have. These idlis have a nice smell and taste from jackfruit leaves. They also help you save time and effort involved in cleaning the idli moulds. :-)

I just love devouring on steaming hot hittu with just loads of coconut oil on top! At home we also love eating cold khotto with a tomato rasam or with a spicy pickle. We powder cold leftover khotto and eat it with coconut oil, chopped onions and a dry, spicy coconut chutney made using asafoetida(recipe below). We also serve hot khotto with a spicy coconuy chutney, mango chutney and with a gingery coconut chutney (recipe below). Oooh! And the best part! Eat these idlis hot or cold with a payasam made using coconut milk and jaggery(like chanedali, mugadali payasu)! Yes! They taste just divine! And leftover idlis get turned into a flavourful dish called idli usli/idli phaan or into delish, crispy shallow fried idlis for evening snacks or the next day breakfast. 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup split black lentil (urad dal)
  • 1.5 cups of rice semolina (idli rava, rice rava)
  • Salt to taste
  • 10-12 jackfruit leaves baskets

Serves: 2-3

Prep Time: 60 minutes, overnight fermentation

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Preparation Method:

  1. Grind the batter for these idlis on the previous night of preparation.
  2. And to make a batter, soak urad dal for a minimum of 30 minutes. Wash them well and drain all the water. 
  3. Grind them using as little water as possible into a smooth paste. I suggest using a wet grinder over a blender, for a super smooth batter. 
  4. Transfer the ground batter into a big vessel. Add in rice semolina, salt and mix well. The batter tends to rise on fermentation so use a bigger vessel.
  5. We need a semi-thick batter and not a very thick batter. The batter should fall off the ladle easily. So, add a little water if required. Be careful not to add excess.
  6. Keep the batter closed aside and allow it to ferment overnight for a minimum of 7-8 hours on hot days and 10-12 hours during winter. If you live in a cold region look for tips to ferment the batter below.
  7. Just before you steam these idlis in the morning, give the batter a nice mix as the semolina would have settled down at the bottom of the vessel. 
  8. Get your steamer going and once the water is rolling hot start filling the batter into jackfruit leaves baskets.
  9. Pour the batter into jackfruit leaves basket by folding one of the 4 leaves of the woven basket. Use a ladle or your hand, whichever you are comfortable with.
  10. Place them one by one into the steamer, close and steam them for 20-30 minutes on a medium flame depending on the size and number of khotto's you're steaming.
  11. After steaming, open the lid and put it back on with a little space for steam to escape. Don't close it fully to prevent steam from trickling onto the idlis. 
  12. Serve steaming hot khotto by peeling the leaves after 5 minutes of steaming. They otherwise tend to break into pieces if you try to peel them soon after steaming. 
  13. There are many ways you can serve these idlis. Look for serving suggestions below. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions:

1. Serve steaming hot kadubu or cold kadubu with loads of coconut oil on top and just enjoy them!

2. Serve hot or cold khotte kadubu with lots of coconut oil on top and with a spicy pickle.

3. Serve cold khotte with a steaming hot tomato rasam and coconut oil on top.

4. Serve steaming hot khotto with a steaming hot sambar, oil on top and enjoy.

5. Serve steaming hot hittu with a spicy coconut chutney, mango chutney and gulp them down with a drizzle of coconut oil on top.

6. Serve steaming hot khotto with a coconut, ginger chutney, oil on top, the traditional Konkani style. To make a coconut, ginger chutney, grind a coconut chutney using grated coconut, tamarind, green chillies and salt. When it's almost a coarse paste add in half an inch of ginger and grind for a minute. Serve the semi-coarse chutney with steaming hot khotto with coconut oil on top.

7. Serve cold khotto powdered with coconut oil, chopped onions and a dry coconut chutney on top. Mix well and enjoy! To make a dry coconut chutney, grind together grated coconut, green chillies, tamarind, a piece of asafoetida, salt into a dry, coarse chutney without using any water. They taste amazing!

8. Serve hot or cold khotto with a payasam made using coconut milk and jaggery!! Yum! Serve them with chanedali payasu or mugadali payasu or any payasu made using coconut milk and jaggery.

Side Note:

1. Leftover khotte kadubu is usually powdered and seasoned to make a flavourful dish called as idli usli/idli phaan in Konkani. Or they are sliced and shallow fried to make crispy idlis. 

2. Note on fermenting the idli batter if you live in a cold region:

Fermentation needs warm temperatures. So, in summer the batter ferments very well and doubles or triples in it's quantity within a few hours. With drop in temperatures you would have to ferment them for longer. 

But in cold places, the batter has to be kept in a warm place for it to ferment. If your oven has light, then turn on the light for a few hours with the batter in the oven. Once the oven is warm, turn off the light and let the batter undergo fermentation.

If your oven does not have a light, then preheat the oven to warm, turn off the oven. Then keep the batter in the oven to ferment.

You would have to experiment and keep a watch to get the right amount of fermented batter depending on the temperature in your place.

Find more Konkani cuisine breakfast and tea time snack recipes here.

Tags: Konkani cuisine, Konkani food, hittu, khotto, khotte, khotte kadubu, idlis steamed in jackfruit leaves basket, kottige, gunda, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, GSB Konkani recipe, vegan, vegetarian recipe, South Canara Konkani recipe, Konkani cooking, GSB Konkani cuisine.