Kadubu (Idli Tower)

Tumbler idli, kadubu idli or idli tower is a fun way to make kids eat idli and it is also good once in a while for adults. Besides, if the idli plates are missing, you don’t have to wait. You can just scoop the batter into stainless steel moulds and make kadubu.

Tirumala-Tirupathi is a place everyone would have visited at least once. But I never(never means never) got a chance to go to Tirupathi. Every time I would plan a trip and some thing would turn up making me to postpone the trip. Every one our family has been there except me, from this new born kid to 80 year old gradmas. But after we got married, we had a week to pack up and land in the US. N had no problems with Tirupathi and he has been there many times even on a overnight trip from Bangalore.

Our return flight was on Saturday and on Tuesday, N suddenly wanted to go to Tirupathi before traveling back to the US as a couple. Though it was a hectic trip,I was happy that finally I got a chance to go there. N drove from Bangalore and mid way, the car tyre had a puncture and we had to stop, and it started raining as well. I almost thought I am never going to go see Venkateswara and I said to N that we should go back. But, there was this small repair shop nearby along with a small dhaba on the road. The folks there saw us and said they will fix the problem and till then we can wait in the dhaba. Seeing the food made there, N suddenly wanted to order kadubu(He talks non stop about woodies kadubu).

Eating that steaming hot kadubu with a spicy chutney and giggling in the rain, feeling so relaxed and content is one of my treasured memories. Soon, our car was fixed and we did manage to reach Tirupathi by around 10 pm in the night and finally, I had a chance to see Lord Balaji the next day(after a couple of hours in the queue). Nothing came to my mind as I stood there, just a moment of peace and as I was taking in the deity’s image inside, we were told to move. But I am so glad that we waited that day instead of turning back, it is going to be nearly 4 years and I haven’t made another visit to Thirumala.

The given recipe is the idli batter I made for kanjeepuram idli. But mid way, I changed my mind and made it as kadubu instead. Grinding for idli batter can be found from my previous post on Idli here

Ingredients (To make 3 tall kadubus)

Idli batter- 2 cups
Oil- 1 tsp (plus additional one tsp to grease the moulds)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Chana dal- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- few
Cilantro- few leaves
Finely chopped green chili- 1
Finely chopped ginger- 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped cashew nuts- 1 tsp
Grated carrot- 2 tbsp


Grease the cups or glasses to make kadubu and keep it aside. Make sure that you do not use glass bowls.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, chana dal,chopped green chili, ginger, turmeric powder and grated carrot and stir fry well for 2-3 minutes. Add cashews at the end and just stir fry once.

Transfer this fried contents to the idli batter and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and mix well again. Fill the moulds only to the half of their capacity with this idli batter (as the batter will increase in volume when it steams). Steam the kadubus in a steamer or pressure cooker(without whistle) for 14-16 minutes.

Switch off and let it cool for a minute. Remove the moulds from the cooker. Immerse a knife in water and just go around the mould once. Quickly invert it on to a place. Repeat the procedure for other kadubu idlis.

Serve the tower idlis as they are, or slice them up like tikkis and serve hot with chutneys. We had it for breakfast with plain tomato chutney(thakalli vathakal).

This Kadubu is my entry for Srivalli’s Kids-Delight event. I am also reposting :

Veggie noodle nests. Check out how you can make idiyappams delectable 😉

and egg-tomato thokku dosa for this event.

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14 Comments to “Kadubu (Idli Tower)”

  1. Asha says:

    Glad that you got to see the Tirumala at last just before you flew to US. My parents hardly went to temples but since my grandparents coffee plantation is near Belur and my Uncles were in college in Belur, we played in Channakeshwara temple grounds every Summer. That’s the extent of me visiting temples! Haha. But I want to take my kids to Varanasi one day although my daughter is a self confessed Atheist and son doesn’t mind as long as I am with him. I went to Shravanabelagola, Talacauveri and Halebeedu, love the art and carvings.

    Love Kadubus. Around Hassan, we make thick dough with coarse rice (akki thari), Urad and make round tennis ball size balls and steam them. Making in Katoris is a great way too, easier than sit there and make them by hand! :)

  2. wow..very cute idlis..really nice idea of mixing the tadka and veggies in the batter..nice recipe.

  3. Sumi says:

    my grandma used to make like these when we were kids…I had forgot all about this till this post.

  4. Cham says:

    Finally U made it to Tirumala. Whenever we book our India ticket- we book online sevas. But they stopped from Sept 2009. I don’t know what we will do from next trip onwards…
    I never did this tumbler idlis, my kid loves plain idlis with corian chutney! It should be fun this one :)

  5. simplyfood says:

    This is very interesting.Very innovative too.I think I will dig out my stainless steel tumblers and give this ago.

  6. Sadhana says:

    Tumbler idlis look so cute, sure kids will love the shape.

  7. wow!!! cute and delicious idli’s

  8. Redchillies says:

    I have visited Tirumala once too. Did not know this was called Kadubu idli. in Bangalore Kadubu is a totally different dish. So many differences for one name isn’t it?

  9. notyet100 says:

    even i ahve to go to tirupati,its been so long since i last went,dont knw when i will go there next,…idli looks yum,..

  10. Atlast u got a chance to visit this beautiful temple…i had gone many times before marriage but just once after that…wish to visit again, its just so divine and peaceful place…kadubu recipe is really nice,i didnt know this at all…thanks for sharing it sowjanya….

  11. ruchikacook says:

    Deepa, Sumi, Cham, Simply sensational food-, sadhana, rachana -thanks, it is fun making food look creative nah?

    Ashaji- Halabeedu is a beautiful place..India is Incredible!

    RC- We call this tumbler idli in Tamilnadu :)

    Notyet 100, Sushmaji- Hope you get to go to Tirupathi soon!

  12. Sanjana says:

    Ruchika, idli towers look so cute! Great recipe! :)

  13. Srivalli says:

    Thank you for the lovely entry

  14. lekha says:

    Asafoeteda contains glutene.(you need to use the pure one.)

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