Saturday, 21 December 2019

Pidi (Kerala Rice Dumplings)


Pidi-The rice ball dumplings stewed in flavoured coconut base

Pidi is the traditional dish served during Christmas among the christian community in Kerala. These are the rice dumplings stewed in flavoured coconut base. Pidi is usually served with spicy meat dishes  (chicken or beef) and is together called pidiyum kozhiyum in Kerala where the word kozhi means chicken.

As I already said, pidi is the traditional dish of christian community served especially when there is guest or family get together. You may feel that making small equal sized rice balls is very easy but actually it is a tough task  and it requires lots of manpower and time. Generally it is done by the kids and ladies sitting around the vessel and sharing jokes and thoughts. It is really interesting when there is lots of people at home and doing jobs together right.

Pidi recipe shows regional differences and today I will show the basic recipe of pidi. After trying these recipes you can also try the variations like


  1. Traditional way of making pidi by soaking rice flour in water overnight and then ground into a coarse powder.  Then put coconut and jeera and roast it in a wide thick bottomed pan unless you get a nicely roasted flour with the beautiful tempting aroma of rice flour and cumin. It is then cooked in a large and wide pan and then seasoned with some common spices and coconut milk.
  2. The second method is the easiest one, which uses roasted rice flour and rawa. This also gives a beautiful pidi, but with slightly different taste. 
  3. The third option is using roasted, smooth rice flour and coconut. 
Among the above, roasted rice flour and rawa is the easiest one and that recipe, I am sharing here. Only a few things keeping in mind, that we will discuss in detail in today's post. So let us make together the traditional Kerala dish, Pidi.


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Kerala pidi recipe | How to make delicious rice ball dumplings, the pidi in Kerala style | Pidi for erachi pidi


Ingredients


For rice balls


  • 1 cup roasted coarsely ground rice flour (puttu podi)
  • 1/2 cup semolina,roasted
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut, slightly roasted
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

For pidi

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 5 -6 shallots
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups of water (or more)

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Direction of preparation of pidi (Kerala rice dumplings)

  1. The first step in pidi preparation is making small rice dumplings, for that take roasted, coarsely ground rice flour, roasted semolina, slightly roasted coconut and cumin seeds in a clean and neat bowl. Mix them with a spoon so that all the components combine well. You might be noticed that I have used all the components roasted. This is because the roasting lifts the aroma and texture of dumplings. This also prevents stickiness, making the process of  ball making easier.
  2. Now we have to mix these ingredients into a thick and soft dough using hot water. Boil enough water in a saucepan along with some salt. When it comes to a rolling boil, just switch off the flame. The amount of water used to make the dough will vary depending on the quality of flour used. Its amount can be anywhere between 1.2 cups to 2 cups. 
  3. Pour this hot water immediately into the  flour and mix with a spoon or fork unless you get a nicely moist dough. The dough should be thick but not watery. If you feel, you have added too much water, then add some more flour to adjust the consistency. Otherwise, you might feel difficulty while cooking the dumplings. 

  4. Once you get a nicely moist dough, Knead the dough with your hand or a dough hook unless you get a soft and tight dough. If there is too much water, then the dough will be sticky, and low water will give a powdery dry feeling.
  5. Next step is to make small gooseberry sized balls. All the balls should be of equal size and you can sprinkle some rice flour over it to avoid sticking each other, especially if you keep the balls uncooked for a longer period.
  6. To cook these balls, take water in a thick bottomed wide pan. Then put the shallots, garlic, curry leaves, cumin seeds and salt. Keep the pan on high flame, until it boils. 
  7. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, put the rice dumplings and give a gentle stir. Make sure that the dumplings are not sticking to each other and the water level is above the balls. Cover and wait till it boils well, then reduce the flame to medium low and leave it for next 20 to 30 minutes until it cooked well.
  8. Take one ball out of the pan and insert one fork or a toothpick, if it is hard, that means the dumplings are cooked perfectly.
  9. The next step is further seasoning and thickening the gravy. Take coconut milk in a small bowl and put 1 tbsp roasted smooth rice flour. Mix well till the lumps are gone. Then pour this into the gravy and give a mix. 
  10. Increase the flame to high and leave it for next four to five minutes with intermittent stirring unless you get a nice semi-thick gravy.
  11. The gravy will be pale white in colour with non-sticky balls. Keep it covered for at least ten to fifteen minutes as the gravy will come to a nice thick consistency while this resting period.
  12. Then you can serve this with spicy chicken, mutton or beef curry. Share with your near and dear ones and enjoy. 

Happy cooking
Anju         

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