ARISI UPMA KOZHAKATTAI|PIDI KOZHAKATTAI
Arisi Upma Kozhakkatai or Pidi Kozhakkatai is a lesser-known gem in the traditional South-Indian breakfast arena. Pidi means to grasp or hold and so these are twice-cooked savory dumplings that are made up of rice, lentils and seasoning and hand-molded into their oblong persona.
To make these dumplings, rice is ground into a coarse powder, a combination of toor dal and ural dal are soaked and turned into a rough paste along with green chillies and curry leaves. Choice seasonings are tempered in coconut oil, water along with the dal paste is added and brought to a boil, the rice is thrown into the swirl of water and simmered until all the water has been absorbed. Once the upma/mixture cools down a bit, they’re portioned out and hand-rolled into oblong-shaped balls and steamed again.
Since these balls are primarily composed of rice and lentils , anything that pairs with rice, sour and/or spicy will pair well with this too. Think Chutney, Molagapodi, Sambar, Rasam, Morkozhambu, Thokku, Pickles, Thayir (yoghurt) or Pulikachal (a tamarind-based condiment). My personal favorite is to eat this along with rasam. My children eat this with sugar.
Kozhakattais also freeze really well. Just pop them into a ziplock bag or a container and throw them in the freezer. When it’s time to serve, you could heat them in two ways. One is to cover the Kozhakattais with a wet tissue/towel and microwave them for 1-2 mins or alternatively, you could steam them in the pressure cooker for 10 mins. They’ll taste as good as new. If possible, take them out of the freezer 30 mins prior to serving. This’ll help hasten the heating process.
If you’re looking for a power breakfast that’s delicious, wholesome and nourishing, look no further!
Looking for a chutney recipe to pair your Kozhakattai with? Click on the links below
Recipes similar to Kozhakattai
THIS RECIPE SERVES 4
- Sona Masoori Rice – 1 cup
- Toor Dal – 2 tbsp
- Urad dal – 1 tbsp
- Green Chillies – 2
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Water – 3.5 cups
- Grated coconut – 1/3 cup
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad – 1 tsp
- Channa dal – 1 tsp
- Hing – 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilli – 1 (Optional)
- Grind the rice into a coarse powder. Alternatively, you could wash the rice, drain and dry the rice on a kitchen towel for 15 mins and then grind the rice into a coarse powder.
- Wash and soak the toor dal and urad dal in water for 30 mins. Discard water. Grind along with Curry leaves and green chilli.
- Make the upma first. For that, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and when it starts to splutter, add the hing, urad dal, channa dal and red chilli if using.
- When the dals turn dark, add the water and the dal paste and bring to a roaring boil.
- Turn down the heat to low and whirl the water and add the rice powder little by little while whirling the water. Don’t add the rice powder all at once, it’ll make the upma lumpy.
- Cover the pan and let the mixture cook on low until the water has evaporated. About 5 – 8 mins.
- Add the grated coconut and put the lid back on and let the mixture sit until it cools down a bit. Mix well before proceeding to the next step.
- When the mixture is at tolerable heat, wet your hands, and take small portions and roll them into oblong-shaped balls.
- Pile the rolled kozhakattais onto a greased steamer or the bottom-most idli plate, the one with the stem, and steam for 10 mins. Let sit for 2 mins. Serve hot with side dish of choice.
- You could omit the urad dal altogether and use 3 tbsps of toor dal
- I’ve used coconut oil, but you could use any oil of choice
- I’ve use Sona Masoori rice or par-boiled rice. You could use any rice of choice but you’ll have to adjust the cook time and quantity of water accordingly.
- I use only 1 green chilli because I serve them to kids.