Here's my first (deliberate) post on typically Indian kitchen utensils, as started by Indira (of Mahanandi fame). I call it deliberate because I did a post a while back, on the ribbon pakoda "press" - an unofficial entry for the "Indian Kitchen" series!
Anyway, this post is about a utensil I'm pretty sure every single South Indian kitchen would have - the idli mould. Grease the depressions in the idli thattu (plate), pour in the idli batter, stack up the plates on the "stem",
and steam the whole thing for 12-15 minutes in a pressure cooker (not using the weight, of course) - and taDAH! steaming hot idlis ready for your morning pleasure.
I remember my mother's idli mould (probably my grandmother's, actually) - the depressions had hundreds of tiny holes. If the idli plates were not washed thoroughly, the holes would retain some of the cooked idli batter. We were living in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, and I would have been maybe 6 or 7 years old.
Our maid then wasnt the most meticulous when it came to washing up, so there was always some dried cooked idli plugging the teensy holes in the idli plates. It used to be my particular pleasure to poke the dry bits out of the tiny holes with a pin. I used to get terribly disappointed if I knew that my mother was doing the washing-up... because I knew there wouldnt be a single hole to unplug, as it were! :)