I am on a Idli trip now. During my childhood, breakfast consisted of Idlis fo 6 days a week. On the 7th day we had Dosai(as we pronounce it, not Dosa). Despite my lean build (then) I could eat n number of Idlis. A good Idli breakfast needs an equally good side dish. In this we had variety - Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Paruppu Thogayal, Milaga Thogayal, Thakkali Thokku, Kathirikkai Kosumalli, Sambar, Vengaya Sambhar, Milagai Podi, Thirakkal (this is a chettinadu special item - made with Potatoes) and some times the previous day's Kulambu.
Idlis must be had piping hot. In our area when people say enough, the host will reply , "Wait, there is a new batch of piping hot idlis. Have one more". And invariably the guest will end up eating more than he had planned. A touch of Nallennai is absolutely necessary for that divine experience.
Having had such wonderful Idlis at home, I wasn't prepared for what the college mess served as Idli. As any good cook would say Idli needs Urad dhal and Rice in the ratio of 1:2. Since Rice is cheaper than Dhal, they add more rice and that make the Idlis rock solid. But my love for Idlis overcame such trivial matters and Idli was the only dish I ate wholeheartedly at college.
Sometime back I came across Santosh's blog on Idlis and wrote an impromptu verse as comment there. Here I reproduce my tribute to Idlis.
Idli on wikipedia