Upma Pidi Kozhukattai / Kaara Kozhukattai (Steamed Savory Dumplings with Rice Flour)

‘Upma Pidi Kozhukattai’ or ‘Kaara Pidi Kozhukattai’ is one of the quickest, easiest, and healthiest breakfast/dinner/snack options in South Indian cuisine. Sometimes when you’re in a tearing hurry in the morning (or evening, or anytime of the day) and looking for a quick but healthy dish to make, this qualifies. Although the traditional method involves soaking of the raw rice for sometime, you can easily substitute that with readymade rice flour, or instant kozhukattai flour, thereby eliminating the need for soaking (Read ‘TIPS & TWEAKS’ at the bottom of the post for no-soak method). Don’t you love recipes that are versatile? 😀

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These are nothing but steamed rice batter dumplings, tempered with an assortment of spices, fresh grated coconut and lentils. This is light on the stomach, while being really delicious and quite filling. You can serve this as breakfast in the morning, as an evening snack with coffee, or as a light dinner. I served this with one of my favourites, a gorgeously red spicy tomato chutney – this combination is simply out of the world 🙂

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Read on for the recipe!

Ingredients

  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup (for grinding)

Tempering

  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Green chillies – 2 , finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 5 to 6, chopped
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida / hing – a pinch
  • Fresh grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Method

Soaking

  1. Wash raw rice and soak in water (just enough to cover it) for about 30 minutes.
  2. Now drain the rice. Add in exactly 1 cup of water, and grind to a smooth paste. Set this aside.

Tempering

  1. Add the oil in a non-stick pan and allow to get hot.
  2. Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and allow to splutter.
  3. Add hing, cumin, channa dal and urad dal to this.
  4. One dals are golden, add the green chillies and saute well.
  5. Add in the salt and mix well.
  6. Now add the smooth rice paste, and keep stirring on a medium flame.
  7. You will see the batter cooking, and in the process thickening quickly.
  8. Once it has thickened and solidified into a mass of dough, switch off the stove.
  9. Now add grated coconut and mix well so that it is evenly incorporated in the dough.
  10. Allow this to cool down a little.

Steaming

  1. Take clean and dry idly plates, and grease them with a drop of oil in each cavity.
  2. Once the dough is warm enough to handle, shape them into cylinders, or slightly oblong shapes. You can even make circular shapes.
  3. Place 2 in each idly cavity.
  4. Stack the idly plates above one another, and steam for 7-10 minutes without whistle, like in the case of idles.
  5. When you open the cooker lid, you can see that the kozhukattais have developed a slightly shiny /glossy exterior. This means they are done.
  6. Remove the idly stand from the cooker. Let them cool for 5 minutes outside.
  7. After 5-10 minutes, remove the kozhukattais from the plate and serve hot with chutney or sambar of your choice 🙂

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TIPS & TWEAKS

  • The raw rice needs to be soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can soak for even upto 3 hrs prior, if you’re preparing this for dinner.
  • While grinding, the water measurement is crucial. You need to add water qty equal to the qty of raw rice used, to get the right consistency of kozhukattais.
  • NO SOAK METHOD: If you’re in a hurry, just use store bought rice flour, or instant kozhukattai flour.
    • You can add 2.5 cups of water to 1 cup of readymade rice flour.
    • After following tempering steps upto step 5, add water and then salt. Mix well to dissolve salt. Add grated coconut and mix.
    • When this water comes to a boil, add rice flour and keep stirring.
    • It will thicken into a dough quickly.
    • Steam according to instructions. You will get really soft, smooth kozhukattais this way, without any soaking required.
  • Do not overcrowd the idly plates. Restrict yourself to placing 2 kozhukattais in each cavity. If making round kozhukattais, you will be able to place 2 in each cavity.
  • Do not be in a hurry to remove the kozhukattais after steaming. They will be hot, moist and soft, and can break easily. Allow 5 minutes cooling time. As they cool, they will become firmer and easy to handle.
  • You can add grated carrot and finely chopped onions to the tempering as well. We don’t generally add, so I skipped it.

 

 

 

 

 

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