This has been my favorite for as long as I could remember. It was a fascination when I was little. To get small sized idlies immersed in yummy sambar. That was nice. Then as I grew up I restricted the places where I would like to taste this delicacy. Even when my mother makes normal idli to go with sambar, she makes a special batch of mini idlies just for me. Every time I go home for the holidays she will make sure I have mini idly and sambar for breakfast.
Man… I miss it now…
Apart from what my mom makes, I love this dish in two specific restaurants only. Somehow those two places nail this dish like no place else.
One is the Hotel Sangeetha located near Kapaleeswarar Temple. The idly they give there just melts in your mouth. And since I am regular there, the servers put a bit extra ghee on my dish and bring it. Although the mini version will be available only in the evenings, the morning sambar idly is just equally divine. So much so that apart from the temple visit I make sure to taste their sambar idly early in the morning at least once every time I visit home.
The other one would be the great Hotel Saravana Bhavan. It is an over-rated place. And the servers there never care whether you want the bill or want to place order or anything. And I mostly never go there unless I am craving for their special 14 idly + sambar. I have no idea what makes it special there. But the taste they maintain for almost 2 decades now. Well that is something commendable right?
It is just a fun thing to sit at these restaurants all by yourself and enjoy a bowl filled with nice spicy sambar with soft idlies immersed in them along with the small onions and topped off with a spoonful ghee. Oh my.. Now I am hungry again… Are you??
If not, here is a picture of the dish.