Pidi (Rice dumplings) – Kerala Special
When I was a child, Pidi used to be the quintessential dish for any special occasion. Though the process of making dough is relatively easy, the time consuming part is rolling out small balls off the dough. That’s when the whole family comes together with their helping hands. The big balls of dough would be kept on the table. The family members ranging from the oldest to the tiniest tot would gather around. Each small group will be given a ball from which they have to roll out tiny balls. All would be happily cracking jokes and catching up with each other while rolling out these balls. Inevitably in such gatherings, one can find a toddler trying to contribute by rolling out a teeny little ball in the best way he/she could. That look of achievement when all the elders approve his/her work by applauding !! Priceless….Family bonding at it’s best. Just recollecting such occasions make me want to go back to those good old days.
Back in those days, rice flour was made at home, which called for soaking, grinding, roasting etc. Nowadays the effort is much lesser as rice flour is readily available in the market. The flour I used was Double Horse Puttu Podi. The traditional accompaniment for Pidi is Kozhi Varutharachathu or Beef Varitharachathu. But one could have with any gravy of your choice. Personally I prefer the traditional combination 🙂 The recipe of Kozhi Varutharachathu will be shared in my next post. This recipe will serve 3 people if you are a light eater like me.
I have found that the quantity of water to make dough varies for different brands.You may add water little at a time to get the right consistency.
Pidi (Rice dumplings) - Kerala Special
- 1 - 1/3 cups Rice flour
- 3/4 cup Grated Coconut
- to taste Salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons Water
- 1 cup Boiling Water for kneading
- 3 cups Water for cooking balls
To be Ground to a Fine Paste
- 1/4 cup Grated Coconut
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 5-6 Garlic cloves
- Grind the coconut, garlic and cumin seeds with a little bit of water, to a smooth fine paste. Keep aside.
- Take the grated coconut in a bowl.
- Add water (2-3 tablespoons).
- Tip in the rice flour and mix well.
- The mixture should have a slight moisture content.
- To test, take a handful of the mixture and press together. If it holds shape as shown in the picture, it is good.
- Heat a pan. Put the flour mixture and roast on low heat, stirring continuously, till it turns a shade darker. (from pure white to white)
- Transfer the mixture back into the bowl.
- Add the ground coconut paste and salt and mix.
- Carefully add the boiling water, a little at a time and mix well till you get a ball of dough .
- To test, roll out a small ball from the dough.
- Take a small container of water and bring to a boil.
- Drop the ball into it. If it holds shape, you have achieved the right consistency.
- Keep aside 2 tablespoons of the dough mixture for later use.
- Roll small balls off the remaining dough.
- Take a pan of 3 cups of water.
- To be on the safer side, you can take a little more water.
- Once it comes to a rolling boil, you can remove some water and keep aside. This can be used later, if needed.
- Carefully drop all the balls into the water, making sure they are spread evenly in the pan.
- If you feel that more water is required add the boiling water which is kept aside. Do NOT add cold water.
- The water should be covering the entire balls. Do NOT stir.
- Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Dilute the dough which has been kept aside, with the hot water.
- Add this into the ball mixture and carefully stir the mixture.
- Cook further till the balls are cooked through and the liquid reaches a saucy consistency.
- Keep in mind that the sauce gets thicker once it cools down.
- Serve with Kozhi Varutharachathu or any other gravy of your choice.
- Note: If you feel that the Pidi is dry, you can add boiling water to it and mix well.