This has reference to N.K.A. Ballal’s article “Musings on World Idli Day” (Star of Mysore dated May 10). I believe the name ‘idli’ itself suggests its origin.
My conjecture is the word ‘idli’ is derived from ‘hittalli.’ In Kannada ‘hittalli madiddu’ means prepared out of paste of a cereal. It is easy to see how hittalli morphed into ‘idli’ — Hittalli> Ittalli> Iddali> Idli. So, the idli was a recipe of Karnataka!
The word could not have come from Tamil Nadu because in Tamil, the paste of a cereal is called ‘mauv.’
– Dr. K.C. Bhat, Gangothri Layout, 11.5.2018
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