5 Mar 2008
Pidi / Kunji pathiri are small rice balls that steamed and cooked in the tasty meat, fish or vegetable curry. This is really a delightful dish to take as dinner or evening snack. Pidi has an important role in Malabar cooking since it is their one of the main dishes served for the guests. People from Malabar are well known for their hospitality(ie.salkkaaram). I had few neighbors from Kannur (Cannanore) and Thalassery (Tellichery) side. Every evening , they would bring some delicious snacks for us. I started expecting them knocking my door every day, after a few days I joined with them .. :D
Some times (most of the days) , they shared whatever they cooked for lunch and dinner too, and made me even to think stop cooking.. :) If it is Ramadan month, they prepared various dishes for each day, and dished out to all the neighbors! I felt bad some times, since a person hailing from Central Kerala, our dishes are totally different from theirs, and with a baby (my D was only 1 year old at that time) I couldn't reciprocate the same way they do. But it was also a boon for me, I could learn a little of their cooking methods..
When you make Pidis, make it smaller than this. I have made it little bigger than the original pidis, since I couldn't spend much time for preparing this...
Pidi in mutton gravy..
Kozhippidi/Kunji pathiri Ingredients
Chicken 1/2 kg boneless
green chillies 2
garlic paste 1 tsp
ginger paste 1 tsp
garammasla 1 tsp
pepper powder 1 tsp
chilli powder 1 tsp
coriander powder 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
coriander leaves few
coconut milk 1 cup thick
shallots / chuvannulli 5
For making pidi
rice powder 2 cups
water 1 cup
small onions 4
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
fennel seed 1/2 tsp
Make a paste of small onions , cumin seeds and fennel seeds together.
Boil water. Add salt. Pour this to the rice powder and mix well . Add the above paste and knead it to make a dough.
Apply little oil on palms, make small balls from this and press to make like very small pathiris. Steam them for 5 minutes using an Idli vessel or some thing like that.
Clean and cut chicken into small pieces. Mix it with chopped onion,tomato,green chilly crushed,garlic and ginger paste and all the powders and salt. Add little water enough to cook. When it is half cooked add coconut milk and the prepared pidis to it. Cook on a low flame until the chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick. The pidis should be covered with the masalas.Mix with chopped coriander leaves.
Heat coconut oil, roast chopped small onion and pour this to the preparation.
There are some other methods too for making this.The methods varies for different regions. A fried of mine suggested to make like we do for pathiris.(See the procedure for making pathiris here) So in that way we should add rice powder to boiling water with the other ingredients. Make dough like we do for pathiris and make small pidis as I described before. This method is much better since the flour is already cooked in the boiled water, so you can add the pidis directly to the curry with out steaming them. Boil them for a while with curry.
Some makes this by grinding rice, especially people from Kannur District. I really appreciate their enthusiasm for making good , wondrously tasted dishes, but for me everything seemed little lengthy. I hate standing in the kitchen for long, and finishes cooking soon with the already available ingredients only.. :) So if you are interested to follow the proper Malabar recipe for making pidis I will try to mail it for you, Insha Allah..
Update-Vegetarians can use potato and cauliflower instead of chicken.