Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pidi/Spiced Rice dumplings-A traditional Kerala Jacobite Delicacy

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Blogging has become so much of an obsession that I can sit for hours drooling over the amazing recipes that my fellow bloggers make everyday...sitting and drooling,I have started suffering casualties in my kitchen!...Making Pidi was too bad an experience this time with casualties one after the other...First I forgot the water kept on my stove....'sheeee........' and it spilt all over my stove,I ran back to find my stove smiling back at me in the new glory of a hot reviving bath!!...Thinking about something,I poured the hot water to the flour in a jiffy and 'pff.....!'..all the flour on my face and around the stove!! Did I stop still?....Hahaha!! I forgot the last batch of Pidi' and all I had was a charred vessel giving me an ugly smile!!....(Luckily,I had two beautiful batches already done!!...or else would have gone starving)So my Pidi this time has come out after all these trials and tribulations,so shouldnt it be tastier...yes, indeed!!the taste of hard work!!

Pidi is one of the several traditional dishes that are nearly becoming extinct and can perhaps be eaten only at those few restaurants which still have it in their menu....One could say that it is very much a sister of Kannadiga's favourite
  • RagiMudha
  • ....Like
  • puttu
  • Idli
  • ,pathal,
  • nermapathiri
  • etc this is quite a healthy dish and tasty too!!...I have grown up with several friends from different communities and was lucky to be exposed to a multicultural, multicuisine lifestyle all thro'out....My Jacobite Christian friends back home claimed this 'pidi' to be a special dish made in many of the typical Jacobite families.It was passed on from generation to generation until the new generations became lazy to learn or to try the pidi which did demand a little bit of patience and effort....And now it has become more of a nostalgic memory of yesterdays,remaining in the twinkling eyes of the mothers and grandmothers....I too had long forgotten this dish until I happened to listen to an interview in which someone was ruminating on the memories of chirattaputtu,pidi, pathal,Ada etc...I searched for a pidi recipe online,but couldnt get anything satisfactory...at last decided to ask my pals back home. This is the recipe that some of them have shared with me.
    Rice Flour-Finely powdered-2 cups(Have extra boiled water-the ratio may vary depending on the quality of the rice flour)
    Hot water-5 1/2 cups-to mix the flour
    Water-5 cups water-to boil the dumplings
    Cumin seed-1 tsp
    Grated coconut-100g
    Indian Shallots-200g(minced)
    Salt-as required
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs.


    Dry roast 1/2 tsp cumin seed,25g garlic(chopped thin),coconut and flour till you can smell the fine aroma of roasted flour and the spice.See to it that the flame is kept medium or else you may end up burning the flour. Now boil water with salt as required.Add 150g baby shallots&1 sprig of curry leaves to it.Now add this spiced water to the roasted rice flour mix.Be careful to add very slowly or else, the rice flour may rise up and spread all over your stove(Casualty no.1,that I had!!)Mix well the flour with a wooden ladle until the whole rice flour becomes a good soft dough.Allow it to cool for some time. Meanwhile boil water with salt,shallots,garlic(pounded) and cumin seed.(You may add a pinch of turmeric,or add any spice to personalise it...but traditionally kept very simple and still very tasty!).Now make dumplings out of the rice dough,i.e., make small rice balls and dip them into the boiling spiced water.Use a wide mouthed deep bottomed vessel for boiling water(Casualty No.2,or else your water may spill over the entire stove and make a mess).Cook the rice dumplings till they are done, for nearly 7 minutes.(If you are making more Pidi in different batches, you may have to add more hot water, for the water you use for boiling the dumplings may get reduced and thickened with each batch of dumplings) Now serve them hot with any spicy nonveg curry like:

  • chicken curry

  • KodiPachiMasala

  • ToddyshopMuttoncurry

  • GonguraMamsam

  • EggPulusu

  • Omelette curry

  • MuttaPuli

  • Pathal

    Pathal is a dish made out of roasted rice flour mixed in hot water,with just cuminseed,grated coconut& salt added to it,and spread out in banana leaf like roti/chappathi with hand, and steam cooked till done.You can either eat it with or without curry....No oil..no fat...What a healthy breakfast indeed!


    There are different types of Ada...A very common form of Ada is again making the rice dough similarly, with just salt added,spread out in banana leaf with hand,like roti, and then coconut-jaggery/coconut-sugar-cardamom filling is placed in the middle,the edges folded in and sealed,and steam cooked!!...How I love my mother's sweet Adas!!

    Once you have finished cooking all the dumplings what you would get would be a lightly spiced thick rice soup, to which you may add a little pepper and some chicken/vegetable stock and can enjoy a very comforting hot rice soup!

    A wonderful Rice soup too!!-Bye product of Pidi!!

    Thakoli is another tasty combination of Pidi,which is once again becoming quite extinct.Now that Ann has reminded me, I thought I'll add that too for anybody interested to try. I have eaten this during my school days when my friends used to bring it for lunch and it was indeed very tasty.There were again individual differences. No two thakoli was similar.But the basic concept was the same.Rice balls cooked in prawn gravy.While some made plain rice balls, some had some fried prawns inside. I would leave it to the fancy of each cook!!The method for preparing the rice balls remain the same. Now let me share the gravy part:

    Prawn gravy:

    Prawns -250g-cleaned,deveined
    Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
    Chilly powder - 1 tsp
    Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    Garam masala – 1 tsp
    Shallots/Onion - 1 large-chopped thin
    Ginger-garlic paste- 2tsp.
    Green chillies - 4 nos
    Curry leaves - 1 sprig
    Coconut milk – ½ cup.
    Oil-as required
    Salt - As required

    Heat oil in a wok.Saute Curry leaves,shallots,ginger-garlic paste,,green chilliesIin the same order)over medium heat.Add coriander powder, chilly powder,garam masala and turmeric powder and mix well.Saute for a minute.Now add prawns and cook until the prawns are done.Finally add the Coconut milk,stir well.Add the prepared Rice dumplings into the gravy and remove from heat.Serve it hot along with the gravy.Undoubtedly it is a royal treat!You could add a wonderful twist to the whole thakoli by frying some shallots and adding it to the rice dumplings before steaming them.


    Annita said...

    i have been searching for this Pidi for long..Awaiting ur recipe..Can't wait to try oit out..thanks Shynee

    monu said...


    nasrani nostalgia :D

    archana said...

    Goodness gracious, i made pidi two days ago and took a photo too. I never had this while growing up, started making it after getting married, and love it sooooo. Mine is a quickfix protocol . Looking forward to read your post.

    Anonymous said...

    Okay,Okay take a break will you?
    If you keep on churning out all this wonderful recipes, where do you think my weight is going to go?

    sravanthi said...

    Hi! Thanks for the generous comments. You know, you're the first one to leave a comment on my blog. I've seen your blog, too, earlier, though. I love cooking and reading about food myself.

    sravanthi said...

    yes, i am a journalist, by the way.

    indianadoc said...

    >Thanx annita for dropping in...pl do try and let me know...
    >thanx monu for visiting my blog...hmmm...I know it is a nostalgia for many!!
    >Archana do post your snaps, I know it will get a new stature with all your photography!!...and moreover I cd know if there is a different way of doing it.
    >Hahaha LG!! I know you are a slim beauty(to be honest, my image of LG is that of a tall slim sweety, correct me if I am wrong!!)...and with all your munthirikothu...where am I to go?...my husband has already started... it is enough of bloggging...you r cooking more to blog and I'm putting on weight...look at the excuse!!
    >Sravanthi, thanx for dropping in...I just guessed it by your language...u seemed to have a journalistic flair...and moreover there were subscripts about having published the post already elsewhere...pl do keep in touch...

    Ann said...

    This is an excellent recipe,but I think I make this in a different way ..btw, do you know 'thakoli' some thing similar to pidi..?

    indianadoc said...

    Yes Ann,I have been told that every family had their own Pidi recipes which were similar and unique at the same time!!I would love to hear your recipe.Well Thakoli is I believe the same Pidi or rice balls cooked in a prawn gravy. My friends used to bring it for lunch...there again I have seen some putting fried prawns inside the rice balls....It was indeed very tasty.

    Rashmi said...

    hi...my aunt who tried this recipe told me when she added the pidi to the boiling water, the whole thing got diluted in to the water...anyway to avoid this???please do reply...

    indianadoc said...

    I dint have any so called prob rashmi as u can see from the snaps and even Annita who tried has come successful...Well,I think the rice to water ratio might have created the mess. If you make the dough too loose, it is very likely that it will break apart...should add water enough to hold the dough together...and the flame too keep it medium...Another possibility is the quality of the rice flour,where the water retention is a bit too high for some variety....

    Sreeja said...

    I tried the pidi and it came out well. I had made idiyappam mavu and then found the my daughter has misplaced the idyapam achu and i could not find it anywhere. Then i remembered the delicious pidi and chicken curry that my neighbour family used to bring for easter etc. Searched and found ur blog. Also the omlette curry looks yummy.. will try it soon, for my husband is an ardent egg fan