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
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.
- 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.