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Indian Travel Food Idli, Dosa, Upma recipes


Last Updated : Mar 15,2018




Indian Travel Foods – Top Idli, Dosa, Upma Recipes

Like parathas, puris and theplas, idlis, dosas and upmas are also all-time favourite travel foods. While these used to be more popular in South India earlier, nowadays this distinction is fading as people are beginning to enjoy foods from across the country. It is common to find these foods being sold by vendors on trains as well as in railways stations in South India.

Even in the remotest railway stations in South Indian, you will find vendors carrying bamboo baskets loaded with idlis wrapped in banana leaves. If you have just a few rupees on hand, you can have a wholesome meal of idlis doused in til oil and a tongue-tickling dry chutney powder called Malgapodi Powder (or malgapodi). Being a fermented and steamed food, idli is believed to be very healthy and safe. So, nobody thinks twice before buying a pack and relishing every mouthful of it! While idli is normally served with chutney and sambhar, while travelling it is customary to serve it with dry chutney powders as one does not have to worry about leakage or spoilage. Idlis is also easy to make and pack in large quantities; so many people prefer to carry it along while travelling in large parties. If you make the batter beforehand, then all you need to do is steam the idlis, let them cool, coat them with til oil and pack them. If you expect to keep the idlis for a whole day, then it is common to also apply some malgapodi on the idlis along with the til oil. As the idli soaks in the oil and the spice powder, it gets tastier by the hour! You can keep it for a day or two without worrying about spoilage.

Dosa is also a good travel food. The dosas cooked with ghee, oil or butter, get a special flavour and texture as they cool, which is quite different from how they taste when hot and fresh. When preparing dosas for travel, it is important to make them slightly thicker than usual and also a little moist. If you ask elderly women in South India, they will share with you the secret of making ‘travel dosas’. You need to spread the dosa on the tava. After it cooks on one side, take very little water and sprinkle it on the dosa before turning around to cook the other side. These soft and fluffy dosas will stay good for a day or two. Allow them to cool completely, then wrap in banana leaves (or foil paper if you can’t get leaves), and store in an airtight container. Relish the dosas with dry chutney powders, or with tomato or onion pickle.

You can also pack upmas while travelling but they will only be good for a day, unlike idlis and dosas that can be had almost two days. You can make tasty upmas with semolina, broken rice or poha. Be generous with the oil used while cooking so that the upma won’t become lumpy. After cooking, allow the upma to cool completely, drizzle a little oil or melted ghee if it appears dry, and break the lumps, if any, with the back of a spoon. Now, pack in your container. Since the upmas are quite tasty by themselves, tempered with spices and spruced up with ingredients like onions, tomatoes and veggies, you do not need any special accompaniment. At the most, you can take along some banana chips or dry chutney powders if you are very particular. Otherwise, you can just enjoy them plain!

Try your hand at making the traditional Idli and Dosa, the spicy and famous Kanchipuram Idli, the quick and easy Upma, or other varieties of idlis, dosas and upmas featured in this collection. These are made with commonly available ingredients and flours, and are easy to make, so you can make them without sweating for too long in the kitchen. However, since most idlis and dosas require fermentation, plan ahead to make the batter. Pack these dishes with dry chutney powders and perhaps a cup of curds or buttermilk, to relish a wholesome and tasty meal on the go!

Points to remember when packing Idlis, Dosas and Upmas
1. Allow the idlis to cool, coat them with til oil and then pack.
2. Make the dosas soft and slightly thick. Let them cool before packing.
3. Wrap the idlis and dosas preferably in banana leaves or in foil wrapper. Then store them in your containers.
4. Don’t make the upma too dry. After it cools completely, drizzle a little oil or melted ghee on the upma and break up the lumps with the back of a spoon. Then pack in an airtight container.
5. Serve these dishes with dry chutney powders like milagai podi (malgapodi) or tomato pickle and, if possible, a cup of buttermilk or curds.

Try Our Other Indian Travel Food Recipes…
18 Indian Travel Food Dhokla Recipes
29 Indian Travel Food Dry Snacks Recipes
21 Indian Travel Food Paratha Recipes
19 Indian Travel Food Rice Recipes
18 Indian Travel Food Sabzi Recipes
Indian Travel Food Sandwiches Recipes

Happy Cooking!

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Recipe# 40159
30 Jun 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A unique dosa that is made with a fermented batter of soaked and ground urad combined with the right proportions of four readymade flours, the 4 Flour Dosa is super tasty and notably satiating! Rather than using high glycemic index rice, this sumptuous pancake is made with fibre-rich flours li ....
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Recipe# 42500
19 Mar 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An instant idli recipe that requires no soaking and grinding, the Palak Rava Idli is a nice variant of the regular rava idli. It is made with a batter of semolina and curds, perked up with an aromatic tempering, and reinforced with a vibrant spinach paste. A pinch of fruit salt helps to give the ....
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Recipe# 1669
04 Jun 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Watch your leftover idlis transform into a scrumptious delight as you toss them with crunchy onions, tangy tomatoes and peppy spice powders. The master stroke in this Spicy Tava Idli recipe is the use of pav bhaji masala, a very popular flavour that is loved by young and old alike! Try t ....
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Recipe# 38658
11 Jul 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Upma is one of the most common Breakfast items, all over India. It is a quick preparation using common ingredients, and so it can be made without much ado. Plus, you can also make it healthier by adding a lot of boiled veggies like carrots, beans, potato ....
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Recipe# 1708
19 Apr 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
These super-soft idlis are made with a combination of readymade idli rava and cooked rice along with fluffy, wet-ground urad dal. It is easier to prepare this idli compared to the traditional one, as you need to soak wet-grind only the urad dal. It is also a relatively foolproof method that is ....
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Recipe# 32834
30 Mar 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
The super soft, super fluffy Poha Idli is sure to steal your hearts! You will find that the batter for this idli is pretty easy to make because we have used a combination of rice semolina and poha instead of whole idli rice. So, the rice portion of the batter will be ready in a jiffy. Then, you need ....
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Recipe# 1695
30 Mar 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Quite different from the usual dosa in appearance and flavour, the Dal and Rice Dosa has a dominance of dal flavour, which combines beautifully with sambhar and chutney. As a more flavourful and aromatic variant, you can add finely chopped methi leaves or drumstick leaves to the batter before ....
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Recipe# 1702
19 Apr 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Kanchipuram is famous for more than silk sarees! In fact, this special savoury idli got its name from that small town in Tamil Nadu. It is offered at the Sri Varadharaja Swamy Temple, and food-lovers are generally prepared to even withstand the hardships of a long queue to buy the prasad of ta ....
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Recipe# 2873
30 Mar 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Bored of making upma with semolina all the time? Here is how to make upma with vermicelli. Kids and adults alike love the silky texture and noodle-like appearance of vermicelli, so the Sevaiyan Upma is sure to be an instant hit with the whole family. What is more, this snack is also easy to prepare ....
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Recipe# 40343
02 Oct 15

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Watch leftover idlis transform into a delectable tiffin treat that your kids will love to munch on. Tossing the idli cubes with ghee and malgapodi makes it spicy and tasty, and also ensures that it stays soft and moist in the tiffin box for around 5 hours. Even when you do not have leftover id ....
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Recipe# 41384
19 Apr 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Tuppa in Kannada means ghee, and that makes the highlight of this recipe obvious! This dosa is a special one, which is often made when there are guests. You can actually smell the ghee from outside the house, and it will make you drool! Since the batter for this dosa uses more urad than usual do ....
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Recipe# 41201
18 Oct 16

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
This peppy cocktail snack features cashew-studded idlis coated with spicy milagai podi. Adding spiced cashews to the idli batter gives the idlis a nice peppy crunch, while tossing it with milagai podi raises the spice quotient. Mi ....
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Recipe# 1704
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Vermicelli Nut idli is the perfect choice for those days when you feel like having idli, but have no batter, or when you wish to have a slightly spicy idli. Made of vermicelli and semolina, tempered graciously with broken cashews, this can be had as a starter or as a full meal.
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Recipe# 534
19 Apr 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Adai is a crisp, golden dosa made using a batter of rice and mixed dals. It has the rich aroma of coconut oil and roasted dals, and a very rustic flavour as well. It is more satiating than regular dosas and makes a great Breakfast . Adai can be enhanced ....
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