Idlis to Go
Muffin-like and stuffed, the tiffin staple gets an update from chef Nishant Vijaykumar.
The South Indian staple, the idli, has always been up for experiments. From the triangular Udipi khotu idli, to the Idli Factory’s pre-packaged bars of podi idli, the ‘tiffin’ item was even hash-tagged by Top Chef’s host Padma Lakshmi with reference to her weight gain. Now the former junior sous chef of ITC Grand Chola, chef Nishant Vijaykumar, has launched Midlies last week — tucked behind his other venture, the nine-month-old Brownie Heaven, on the bustling Royapettah Road.
At the takeaway and delivery outlet, I find myself laden with three boxes — veg, non-veg and dessert — with instructions for reheating in the microwave. Starting with the chicken variations, the muffin-shaped idli stuffed with chicken sukka goes well with the chicken salna that has well balanced flavours. While the white bean pumpkin curry is more like a South Indian squash kootu, the onion and fennel chutney is addictive. Among the vegetarian options, the one with a medu vada buried in it is a hit with their beetroot chutney. For those on a diet, the chef has a health box that features oats, millet, ragi and spinach variations. Coming to desserts, my sense of adventure wanes, and I find chocolate in idli to be a stretch. But Vijaykumar assures, “It’s all in the mind set. You have to think beyond the usual idli and sambhar.” With plans for a dine-in and taking the brand to other cities, Vijaykumar is plotting a new identity for dimsums next.
A box of four from Rs 80 onwards.
— Sabrina Rajan