Time for tiffin
With a menu filled with yummy, affordable idli iterations and other South Indian snacks, a new veggie takeaway ticks all the boxes
If there is one quotidian tradition we sorely miss about our earlier work stint in Chennai, that would have to be the delicious, twice-daily repast called 'tiffin' in the local parlance. This included a short, mid-morning and a teatime snack that is punctuated by strong filter coffee and a smorgasbord of scrumptious treats that was often highlighted by a mind-boggling variety of our favourite South Indian snack — the idli.
While there is no dearth of Udupi restaurants in Mumbai that try their best to satiate those basic idli cravings, it is the sheer lack of more local and regional idli iterations like the Kanchipuram and thatte idli that gets to us. The newly opened, all-veg Idli Didli Doo seeks to remedy that. And it does so with aplomb, offering over a dozen versions of the steamed rice cake — some traditional and a few that cheekily defy convention.
The menu here is so extensive that we feel the need to try it out on two separate occasions. We pick up the first order ourselves from the tiny Shivaji Park outlet. For our second order, we call in a few days later via a food delivery service provider. At both times, each item comes individually labelled and packed in hermetically sealed silver foil pouches to retain heat and maintain hygiene at the same time.
Chocolate idli waffle
We start off with the thatte idli (Rs65) that is a fluffy, quarter plate-sized single idli that, just like all the other varieties on offer, is accompanied by a drumstick- and brinjal-redolent sambar and two fresh-tasting chutneys (coconut and tomato-chilli). The mustard seed and curry leaf-speckled Kanchipuram idli and the red-tinted ragi idli (Rs65 for two) are equally scrumptious.
The bite-sized mini rasam idli (Rs65 for five), with the thin, lemony rasam is perfect for a particularly rainy day along with a steaming shot of filter coffee (Rs15 for a half cup). Seeing the rarely-found-in-Mumbai paniyaram (Rs80 for six) on the menu, we could not help ordering a portion of the ball-shaped dumplings that are also known as paddu in Karnataka, and made from idli batter in a specially indented griddle pan. The neer moru (Rs40) is a refreshing, South Indian take on traditional chaas and a cooling antidote to the fiery tomato-chilli chutney that we dunk our crisp medu vada (Rs55) into.
Wanting to go a little 'off-piste', we try the rather wacky Italian idli fry (Rs105) that sees chopped up bits of regular idli tossed in a hot pan with a squirt of olive oil and served with a sprinkling of herbs like oregano and shavings of cheese. Carrying the experimental leitmotif a bit further, we try the chocolate idli waffle (Rs155) that almost tastes like a sour buttermilk waffle, thanks to the tangy idli batter it is made with.
We end our marathon with a ghee-enriched bowl of utterly satisfying kesari (Rs55) also known as sheera to us Mumbaikars. This one is all good things a sweet send-off should be — memorable and more-ish. Just like our twin tiffin sessions have been.
At Idli Didli Doo, Devkunj Building, Shivaji Park, Dadar West.
Time 9 am to 8 pm
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