Snacks & Tiffin Items

Pidi Kozhukattai – Steamed rice dumplings.

Pidi Kohakattai with Tomato Gravy.
Pidi Kohakattai with Tomato Gravy.

Pidi Kozhukattai is one of the oldest tiffin items that I remember my grandmother Maduraiamma making for me when I would come from school all hungry and ravenous. I would be waiting to eat the lovely white steaming hot balls of rice, smelling of hing and coconut and  smother it well with her delicious  Molagai Podi dripping with Idhayam gingely oil. YUM!!!  Of course Madurai amma was always liberal with her use of coconut oil and coconut, but what I use is a definitely calorie scaled down version of the same. It`s very fast and simple and needs very little time for preperation. This is her recipe which she passed on to me through my amma, and here it goes for all of you…:)


Boiled Rice          -2 cups

Coconut               – 1/4 cup

Salt, Hing.


Urad Dhal, Bengal Gram, Mustard, Curry Leaves,  Red Chillis.


  • Soak boiled rice for two hours along with 2 green chillis.
  • Grind coarsely in the mixie along with salt and green chiilis adding only adequate water.
  • Add 2-3 spoons of oil to a kadai. Then slowly add the urad dhal and  bengal gram and allow to wallow for a few seconds. When you begin to see them browning, add quickly the mustard and allow to splutter and finally add  the curry leaves, red chillis and hing.
  • Immediately add the ground rice mixture and the dessicated coconut to the seasoning in the kadai. Keep stirring for a few minutes till you see the rice mixture slowly getting cooked and growing harder.
  • When you find it comes to a soft “upma” consistency, switch off the stove.
Dumplings rolled and ready to be steamed.
Dumplings rolled and ready to be steamed.
  • Grease the idli plates and shape this “upma”  in to balls with your palms. Arrange the balls on the plates and stack the plates one above the other.
  • Steam the kozhukattais in the cooker just like the idlis – Switch on the stove on max till you see full steam and then simmer for 8 mins.
  • Switch off and allow to cool for 2-3 mins as the steam may harm your fingers.
  • Remove from plates and serve HOT with molagai podi or tomato chutney or hot tomato gravy.

Hint: This could be made more healthier by additionally soaking 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats along with the rice.  The oats does not alter the taste but you also get your daily dose of fibre. Another option is to add “Flax Seed” or Powdered Flax.

This is another of my entry to Monthly Mingle – Ravishing Rice started by Meetha.

19 thoughts on “Pidi Kozhukattai – Steamed rice dumplings.

  1. Shobs, this is one of my favorites, i can remember my mom doing it in the vengala panai and then steaming it….i used to scourge the vengala panai clean as the kuzhakattai was being steamed…i have never tried to make them by myself before, as i know that i can never get it to taste exactly like hers..and dont want to be disappointed with my attempt…but i am definitely giving ur oats ideas a try…hopefully this weekend…and will let u know how it turns out…i am all excited about it now 🙂

  2. Hi Shobha,

    I remember having small and soft rice ball snacks in ur house, which u made for 2007 golu….. Can u post that one? It was tooo delicious…….

  3. Hi Preetha,

    I think what you mean is the “Ammini Kozhakattai”….thats too easy…ill post them soon. Its always better to post with a picture, so I want to wait till I actually do it. Ill try to make it tomorrow and post it for you allright?


  4. Dear Vidhya,

    When you make wheat rava upma, already the processing of cooking it removes the raw smell is it not?

  5. Thanks a lot for dis recipe.. i ws searching for a long time for this one.. 🙂 luks really yummy!!

  6. Hi Shobha – I have been following your website on/off. Thanks for the upma kozhukatai recipe. It came out really well. We used to also call it uppu urundai!

  7. hi shoba it’s too good thanks, and i want to do some special tamil festival saamayals specially nombu etc. can you help me thanks bye

  8. Hello (Ms.) Shobha,
    The picture itself is so clear, real and nice. romba tempting-aa irrukku. Thank you for posting it. From the way you have explained I can make out you must be an expert in the art. Obviously the reader must have ‘some’ cooking experience to learn from you; for example, you have said,” When you find it comes to a soft “upma” consistency, switch off the stove” – the reader must know at least that much! I will try it tomorrow. I did not want to wait until I try to thank you.

    – FMR

  9. Can you please post any recipe for wheat rava upma pidi kozhakkattai? Your arisi upma recipe is so good, but still i want to try with wheat rava too! kindly reply me………….


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