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5 Mar 2008

Kunjippathiri / Kozhi Pidi / Steamed Rice Dumplings In Meat Gravy

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
onions 3
tomato 2
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.
Keep aside.
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.


  1. They are very appealing! Nice pictures! Tks for sharing recipe n info.

  2. typical malabar muslim dish :) i used to have this every year without fail at the food festival that happens yearly in kottayam. brings back those memories. i still remember the first time i had this and how amma explained to me what it is and how its made. she has never tried it though..

  3. the look so beautiful...

  4. This looks wonderful I must try it sometime for sure. I love any kind of dumplings and all your currys are so tasty so I can't wait to try this. :-) Lovely pictures they look I want to get a spoon and taste it from the picture!

  5. OMG!! I love it. Looks very traditional like a grandmother would make in the olden days. Thanks for posting Seena!:)

  6. Oh it looks so delicious and i am feeling nostalgic when i saw that pic. One of our neighbours were from malabar area and she used to make this in her home and then give us a plate and we used to eat them with pure pleasure.

  7. Really sounds great..pic looks yummy and delicious

  8. What a new dish to me but I like the idea of kozhukattais (pidis) in a spicy gravy. So for a vegetable gravy.. do I just substitute the chicken with some veggies?

  9. title kandathum kothi pidichu evide ethi :)
    i never knew that pidi is also called as kunji pathiri...i thought kunji pathiri is the small version of our regular pathiris :D I have heard of this kozhi pidi...but never tasted it,,,,,should make this soon.....bookmarking it :)

  10. We used to make kozhi pidi,just before starting lent..but in that pidi looks like small balls,This is different version of that..Pictures make me drooling..I wish I would be ur neighbour now(hihi)


  11. Thanks dear friends for your lovely comments!

    You can try this using vegetables, but not all the veggies. Try using potatoes instead of chicken with few cauliflower florets.. It may work for you. If you take eggs, add boiled eggs too, will be good..

  12. Thank you Seena for your reply.. :) Will let you know when I try it out.

  13. This sounds new to me....Love to have it one day...Nice recipe....It is always good have traditional food...Love it...

  14. never heard about this recipe , pic looks soo good seena

  15. Your rice balls look so nice and soft. When I tried do it, they came very hard and when I added them to the dish they were tasting rubbery and some of them started melting into the dish. So I removed all the balls out from curry. The only thing I did not add was onion paste while making the rice balls. Please let me know what I can do to make them soft and fluffy.


  16. Aparna,
    The problem is with your rice powder.May be the rice powder is not of good quality or the dough is not cooked and kneaded well.So next time pls try using some other good brand..
    Thanks for trying out this dish, hope you can do well next time..
    Good luck dear, :)

  17. I made this today,it was tasting good. but my idi was small and it never became big when I mixed it the gravy :(.Pidis were less in number also :(

  18. Dear Reshma,
    pidis are small balls, so don't worry about the size.Moreover, it won't become big when you cook them.Next time make some more pidis, ok.. :)

  19. Is shallots and small onions the same

  20. Fajesha, welcome to Salkkaaram! :)
    Yeah, shallots are small onions, which are chuvannulli or kunjulli in Malayalam..
    Novice in the kitchen... ? ;)
    Good luck!

  21. its looks so nice... i will do it??is this chilly powder is optional...???

  22. its really tastyy....

  23. Hi Seena, I was v.happy when i discovered your site. I am from ksnnur & my mom used to cook mouth watering varieties of malabar food. But i am not a good cook like her. Now after mariage I am living in Mumbai & I really miss her food. I really appreciate you for posting good malabri food.

  24. Hi Anon, welocme, I would love to see you all with a name.. :)
    thanks for the comment, hope to publish more Malabar recipes later.. Keep visiting.. :)

  25. pls specify wat u meant by small onoins in making pidi..r dey shallots...?? n u dint mention wat to do wit gingr garlic paste....!!

  26. aslm alkm itha...ithum adipoli thanne.tried it ystrdy for hubby couldnt stop praising how tasty it was..i then told him ith nammade seenathade recipe aan ketto...

  27. Wa alaikkum salam dear Zeb! :)
    thanks for the comment, I hope you are going to call me for a dinner next time we visit there..m,ready? ;)

  28. Do let me know when you visit Dubai next time...IA,njan dinnern vilikkaam...

  29. i tried came out really good....thanks for the recepie....

  30. Assalamu Alaikum seena itha.... Thanx for this fabulous recipe.... I tried it out for our ifthar last week... my ikka gave me 10/10 marks for it.. :):):)
    most of your recipes i've tried out as well.. only problem i face in ur blog is i donno how to copy ur recipes or to take a printed version???

  31. was lukin 4 a kozhi pidi recipe wen i came across urz...really tasty dish...thanku so much 4 sharin

  32. great thanx for post the recipe. thanx .............


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