Pidi Kozhakattai a.k.a Upma Kozhakkattai is a very popular tambram tiffin item and is prepared in most of the households, especially on 'fasting' or 'palaharam' days. It is another variety of upma I would say, the main addition being the thoor dhal and pepper which gives the dish a very special aroma and taste.This is a steamed dish and therefore quite healthy too! Here is the recipe:
Raw rice- 1 Cup
Toor Dhal- 1/4 cup or a little less
Peppercorns- 1 tsp
Water- 3 Cups
Salt to taste
Oil- 2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 Tsp
Channa dhal- 1Tsp
Dry red chilly - 1 no.
Peringayam/Hing/ asafoetida- 1 pinch
Curry leaves- a few chopped
Green chillies- 2 nos. finely chopped
Grated coconut- 2 Tbsp
1.Pulse the raw rice, toor dhal and peppercorns coarsely about twice or thrice in a mixer. The mixture has to be coarse and not fine.
2.Heat oil in a pan with a tight fitting lid and add the mustard seeds, urad dhal, channa dhal, dry red chilly, green chillies, hing, curry leaves and grated coconut.
3. Once the dhals turn brown in color, add the water and bring it to a boil and add salt.
4.Now slowly fold in the powdered mixture while continuing to stir it with the other hand to avoid lumps. Check for salt at this and adjust accordingly.
5.Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed and the rice looks cooked. If the mixture is too watery or mushy, let it cook for some more time or if too dry, add a little more water and cook for few minutes.
6.Once done, remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Take small balls of the mixture and just shape it into dumplings ( as seen in the pic) and steam them for about 8-10 minutes till they look shiny and glossy.
7.Upma kozhakkattai is best enjoyed with thengai chutney or paruppu kozhambu or thakkali thokku and definitely not forgetting a dollop of homemade ghee on top!