Rice is a staple in the South of India. Traditionally steamed rice is eaten for lunch and dinner. For breakfast and evening snacks, rice is used in different forms to make scrumptious snacks. Some of the most common and well-known food items are idlis, dosas and appam. Dumplings are made in different ways, for example, modak or kadubu (filled dumpling – both savory and sweet, usually made during Ganesh Chaturthi), Coorgi kadubu (round dumplings made with rice flour and eaten with a veg, chicken or pork curry). But one of my favorite dumplings is upma kozhukattai. Eaten with chutney or sambar makes it a wholesome meal. I even eat it plain at any time of the day.
Idli rava (rice rava)* – 2 cups
grated coconut – 3/4 cup
water -4 cups
salt to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp channa dal (split chickpea lentil)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black gram lentil)
asafoetida 1 pinch
dried red chillies 3-4, broken into pieces
curry leaves 1 tsp
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and when they crackle, add all the other ingredients for tempering and fry till the lentils are golden brown.
Add water and salt and let it boil.
Add coconut and rice and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Keep stirring till all the water evaporates and it comes together. (It has the consistency of upma)
Let it cool for a few minutes.
Dip your hand in cold water, take a spoonful of the upma in your palms and form into oblong shapes. Place in a steamer plate. Do this with all the upma.
Steam the kozhukattais for 10 -15 minutes. You could use a regular steamer or the idli plates in a pressure cooker.
Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar.
*Idli rava – Traditionally to make rice rava at home, wash and strain rice, spread on a muslin cloth and let dry. In a mixer, pulse the rice till coarse and use. Now, idli rava is sold which saves time.
tiffin – a snack or a light meal