Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pidi Kozhakattai and puli mulagai

             I fondly remember my grandma and my mom making these kozhakattai's in the kitchen for tiffin ( afternoon meal that Southindians enjoy).I remember the days coming home from school or college and varieties of tiffin were waiting for us(my brother and my sis).We did not like upma back then and used to complain loudly if it was on the menu of the day.The same upma made into Pidi kozhakatti was mouth-watering.It is a time consuming task to make this for a large family that ours was but it was made with love by our paati and amma.
         Our family is a stickler in food combinations, only certain things go together.We don't adjust about condiments or side dishes, it is a matter of our neela naaku (long tongue phrase used for being choosy while being gourmet).If pidi kozhakattai is made then puli molagai and vellam go together and nothing else will be accepted.
        For a family of four Pidi Kozhakattai is made easily, but out of habit I make more to share with friends and neighbours.

Pidi Kozhakattai ( recipe for 4)

Raw rice two cups
Tuvar dal 3tbsps
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Grated coconut 3-4 tbsps
Bengal gram dal 1/2 tsp
Red chillies small round 4-5
Green chillies chopped fine 3
Asafoetida a generous pinch
Curry leaves 6-7
salt to taste

1. Grind the rice and tuvar dal in the mixer to make fine rava or coarse grind.
2.Bring to boil a little above 1 cup water in a deep saute pan. Add coconut flakes and salt.Just enough salt to taste little less salty than sea water.
3.In a separate pan, heat about 1 tbsp oil and sputter mustards seeds add the rest of the ingredients . saute and add when tempered to the boiling water.
4.While stirring add the rava slowly until combined well.Keep stirring while on heat for another 2 minutes ,set aside the upma.
5.When cool enough to handle but not cold ,take palm full of upma and make a fist shaped ball of upma, pressing into palm mould( this is what is called pidi).Finish shaping all the upma into kozhakattai.
6.In a steamer usually a pressure cooker/idli cooker ,Steam the pidi kozhakattai's for 10 minutes of steady steam.
7. Serve them warm as they tend to harden when cold. Usually 4-5 per person with puli mulagai.
Here is an excellent recipe of Puli mulagai from Tasty Palettes. She has the exact recipe that I remember from paati.
I couldn't have written it better.
Don't forget the vellam (jaggery) to complete the plate.I know it is missing from the picture but I forgot in the my eagerness to get a picture.By the time I remembered, it was time to eat and we did eat with vellam.

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