Upma Kozhukattai/Pidi Kozhukattai

A staple in most tambram households, ours was no different and this was a relished dish back home. The process is  a multistep one and is not at all labor intensive to be feared. You can entirely cut down the process by a step when you use Rice Rava or Idli Rava. Please note this is entirely different from sooji/ wheat rava .

The idea that this being rice based, is more easier on the stomach for digestion unlike the sooji which is more stripped of its fiber content.

If you would like to make the rava at home, then you will simply have to coarsely powder  the raw rice to a granular stage. Sieve it to get rid of the flour , so you have only the granular stage of rice with you.

There are 2 ways to make this

——  Take 2 cups of  raw rice ( basmati, sona masoori ) and run it through your food processor/ blender to get the coarse stage.

——  In a wide wok, heat 2 -3 Tbsp. of Tuvar dal, 1 Tbsp. of channa dal and 1/2 tbsp of whole black pepper. Slightly warm it  to get the flavors crackling and coarsely pound it along with the raw rice. This option has a more fiery outcome but is simply delicious .

Upma Kozhukattai/Pidi Kozhukattai

 

For my preparation, I used the store bought Idli rice rava. I believe this would be the parboiled variety, but it works well too.

Serves : 6

Prep time :    

  • Stage 1 : Making the upma : 10-15 min   
  • Stage 2 :  Cooling time 10 min
  • Stage 3 : Making the globes : 15 min
  • Stage 4 : Steaming : 12- 15 min

Makes about 18-24 ( depending on the size of the globe )             

Ingredients :

Base Ingredients:

  • Idli rava or Rice Rava – 2 cup
  • Fresh or frozen grated coconut  – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 5 cup
  • Salt  : 1.5 tsp. ( adjusted to taste)

Tempering/ Tadka :

  • Flavorless oil / coconut oil / Gingelly oil : 2.5 Tbsp.
  • Jeera : 1.25 tsp.
  • Mustard Seeds :1.25 tsp.
  • Channa dal : 1.5  Tbsp.
  • Split urad dal ( de husked ) : 1 Tbsp.
  • Hing/ Asafoetida : a huge/ generous pinch
  • Red chilies : 4 -5, split in 2 pieces each
  • Black whole pepper : 6-8. slightly crushed
  • Ginger : skinned, 1 inch , grated.
  • Curry Leaves  – 12

Method:

  • You will need a heavy bottomed or good non stick kadai or saucepan for this with a well fitting lid.
  • Heat the kadai/ sauce pan with the oil and temper with asafoetida, mustard seeds and jeera. Once the seeds crackle add the channa dal and urad dal and on golden -browning ( it is a term, I made it up ), add the split red chilies and curry leaves and ginger and black peppercorns. 
  • Add the 5 cups of water and when it reached a slight boil , add in the grated coconut  and salt. Stir to ensure distribution of salt. Let it come to a full boil now.
  • Once it reaches the full boil, lower the heat to medium and add the rice rava ( idli rava) and stir well.
  • Cover with the lid and let it cook on low for about 7-8 minutes.
  • The water would be completely absorbed when you open the lid after this time  and  you can turn off the flame now. Stir once again very well  and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile get a steamer ready. You can use pressure cooker vessel with idli stand. It works perfect or  I just used a colander over a pot of boiling water  to steam it.
  • Dip you hands in cold water or if you can handle the heat just go ahead, make big lemon or golf sized balls with cooked upma. I particularly like the round globes, but my grandma would make the oblong ones.
  • Steam it for about 12 – 15 minutes.
  • Let it stand for a couple of minutes and then serve hot with chutney and sambar.

Upma Kozhukattai/Pidi Kozhukattai

Notes :

  • Usually the Idli rava / rice rava cooking ratio is 1 cup : 2 cups of water. But the brand I seem to use yields a very dry mix. Hence I increased the rava : water ratio. Use what works for you.
  • I would not omit the grated coconut. It adds to tenderness of the upma outcome. It is worth it. 
  • If you do not have red chilies, use green chilies.
  • Another variation would be to pulse the coconut along with few sprigs of cilantro. It yields a good flavor too.

 

Whole wheat Bread spiced just right- And stir fried!

Alright ! I confess I get cravings for the spicy , tangy kind. It could be midnight masala or an afternoon -I-want -something -different – crave.

I simply blame them on my genes of course. You see, I have heard from my mom that she often craved for spicy, tangy food during her life enduring phase with me. I beg to differ, I often though the traffic through the placenta was one way kind. After all, genetic makeup of a fetus is heavily influenced by the chromosomal contributors 🙂 Not the other way around!

Either way , I cannot simply endure toast for too long a time. So out pops this creation, to fulfill the craving of a spice deprived palate.

Be warned : this recipe is born out things available at hand , and can be made definitely healthier by addition of veggies. But once in a while, I would love to indulge in guilty bites:-)

Feeding the guilt :

  • Whole wheat bread –  6- 8 slices. Sliced into one inch squares.
  • Red/White/Yellow Onion – 1 Large – diced finely or as per viewer’s choice.
  • GreenThai chillis – 4-5 – chopped finely or slit lengthwise.
  • Turmeric powder – A pinch
  • Curry powder  – 1 tsp
  • White split Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Black mustard seeds  – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – A pinch
  • Curry Leaves  – A few
  • Handful of coriander leaves – chopped finely.
  • My open secret ingredient : Maggie hot and sweet tomato chilli sauce – 2 tsp
  • Olive oil : 2 tsp
  • Salt  –  to taste. I used about a 1/4 tsp for this recipe.

And your mouth begins to water …

  • Heat oil in a wok and add in the mustard seeds and pinch of Asafoetida. Add in the urad dal and when it turns brown in color add in the green chillis and curry leaves.  Add  in the pinch of turmeric powder.Sauté for a min or two.
  • Add in the chopped onions and cook them till them are fine and translucent.
  • Add in the curry powder and stir it in for about 30 seconds.
  • Now gently toss in the sliced bread squares. The idea is to coat in the flavors and spices evenly.
  • Now add in the pinch of salt and 2 tsp of maggie tomato chilli sauce.
  • Stir it in gently once again.(By now the aroma wafting from the stove should make your tummies rumble :-))
  • Add in the freshly chopped coriander and serve it right up!

 

Order up!

A fabulous trip down the memory lane !  Serve it with a cup of ginger chai. Life is Jil-Jil Jiga ( according to a very dear friend of my husband !)

Notes:

  • Make a healthier version of this by adding in freshly grated carrots, sprouts and sliced bell peppers
  • Tamarind sweet and sour chutney is a great substitute for the chilli sauce called for in the recipe
  • Bread a little over the shelf life ?? This recipe rescues it ! In fact this one of the  best ways to use it. My craving of course can warrant the use of the freshest bread when required.
  • Whole wheat dinner rolls could be substituted for bread as well.
  • Dont feel like eating chunks of bread?  leave the bread out on the counter aka airing it out for a couple of days. Finely crumble them and use it in the recipe 🙂
  • Feel the need for protein – Add in a few peanuts and you are in:-)

Happy indulging!