Friday, 4 September 2009

Aana pathal/ Kozhi Pidi (Steamed Rice Dumplings in Rich Coconut and Beef Gravy)

AanaPathal (N.B: First of all, it is not aana which means elephant, but it is pronounced as 'na' as in naanam, naanayam etc.)/ Kozhippidi is one of the exotic food hailing from the Great Malabar coast. These are small rice dumplings that are steam cooked and then added to rich gravy that are mainly meat/poultry based. I think great recipes as these are dying now since the process is quite long and takes very long time to prepare. In this era of mechanical life and metropolitan life style who would ever bother spending 3-4 hours just cooking a dinner or a lunch for the sake of eating? No way! These kind of rich dishes are mainly made for the time of Ramadan where you cook just one meal a day; and you need something that you would love to nibble on rather than a quick fix or a takeaway. After all it’s just once a day that you eat, apart from the Suhur (Pre-dawn meal). So it should be satisfying as well. I am not a great savoury person as such, but during Ramadan I always prepare something savoury that I don’t make usually and aanapathal is such a dish. I am not happy by the span of time aanapathal takes to prepare, especially with a little one who clings on to me whenever I step into kitchen. He wants to see everything that I do. So it took me more time than expected. But, to keep him busy, I just sat him on the worktop, gave him a small ball from the dough for him to play with. He was also trying to make the pidis like me, rolling the dough with hand and then pressing it using his cute little finger to make the depression.
One of my readers just mentioned that they call these UnniPathal in thalassery. I think when we use meat in the recipe it is called irachi pidi/erachi pidi...and when we use chicken it is called kozhi Pidi where kozhi is chicken:)

I think it is important to make pidis quite small because the gravy gets coated well on the individual dumplings rather than the bigger ones. And apart from that, the smaller one looks CUTE! We used to help mom to make these dumpling and when it gets larger, she re-do them saying they won’t look good! Here, I make them slightly bigger to finish up the work faster..

I made this stuff only twice just because my husband is not a big fan of Rice-meat combination. Even then he liked it very much when I prepared it. You may substitute chicken or lamb with the beef. My favourite has always been beef, because that’s how my mom prepared it always. When I cooked this for the first time, the pidi did not come out good. It dint get cooked!!!And it would never get cooked as well just because I used the wrong rice for this. And we ended up having something else with the gravy. So choosing the right rice is crucial for this recipe. I had tough time getting the right rice for this kind of dish, due to my lack of knowledge in rice and you can’t believe there are so many kind of rice that looks so similar even the experts might get a bit confused. Again the dough for the Pidis (rice dumplings) are prepared in the same way I prepared
Neypathal. You can see the methods I followed there and prepare this pidi as mentioned there. Anyways, if you are someone who loves tasty food, I would recommend you to try this one. Yes, It is so good.
For the Pidi:
2 cups long grain rice (Pachari)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
2 tspful fennel seeds (Perumjeerakam)
1 large onion (175g), roughly chopped
3/4 Tbs salt
1/2 cup +2 tbs Rice flour

For the gravy:

800 g Beef cut in cubes (Can use chicken or mutton)
3 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
4 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
250 g onion, chopped
30 g (1 heaped Tbs) grated ginger
6 large cloves (2 Tbs) of grated garlic
200g (1 cup) chopped tomato
1 cup water
1-2 tbs oil

For making coconut paste:
2 tbs oil
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups Grated coconut (fresh or desiccated)
2 Tsp rice
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cardamoms
4 cloves
2-3 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
2 cups water

A. For making the pidis:

1. Soak the rice in tap water for 3-4 hours.(Soak for longer time if using parboiled rice).

2. Grind it along with minimal water until you get a coarse and grainy mixture

3. Add coconut, fennel seeds and roughly chopped onions to this and grind for few seconds until everything is just crushed and NOT smooth.

4. Tip the whole mixture in to a large bowl, add salt and mix well.

5. Add the rice powder and mix well using hands until you get a dough that can be shaped into balls.

6. Now, rub your palms and fingers using oil. Take a very small portion of the dough, roll it into rounds and gently press in the middle to make a depression. The size of these pellets should be as small as coin of 1 1/2 " diameter (appx)

7. Oil the steamer and arrange these pellets directly in it in after pressing in a slanting position adjacent to each other.

8. Steam cook for 8-10 minutes until done. The soft rice dough will harden once fully cooked.

For making the coconut Paste:

1. Heat a large frying pan, add oil. Add rice, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and sauté until the aroma comes and rice puff up little. It will take just few seconds or under a minute depending on the heat and saucepan used.

2. Add fennel seeds and coconut and sauté until the coconut starts taking golden colour.

3. Grind all into a smooth paste by adding the required amount of water, I added 2 cups (480 mls).

For making the Gravy:

1. Heat a pressure cooker, add oil. When hot, Add onions and salt and sauté till it starts turning golden. Don’t brown. Add ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell fades.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover and cook for few minutes until everything is well combined.Add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and sauté for few seconds.

3. Add beef and stir well. Add a cup of water and pressure cook till meat is cooked and oil clears from sides. Add the ground coconut mixture, curry leaves and garam masala to this and bring to boil stirring well. Cook for a couple of minutes more.

4. Add the cooked pidi into this one, stir well and cook in very low flame for 5 minutes. Take it off the flame. By this time, the gravy will be very thick coating all the pidis.

The sequence I followed:

1. I made the rice dough ready for making pidis. I then kept them aside.

2. Then I started off with the gravy.

3. When the gravy was being done, I shaped the pidis and cooked them.

4. After the pidi's were done, I sautéed the coconut and ground them and then added them to the curry.

5. Later added pidi to curry.

1. The process is quite lengthy, but the gravy can be made a day ahead and then the pidis the next day.

2. If you are not using water while grinding, you don’t have to use the rice powder. So increase the amount of rice to 2 ½ - 3 cups.

3. As I mentioned in
Neypathal, this pidis can also be made from rice powder, parboiled rice etc. The dough is exactly the same, but for aanapathal we steam the rice where as in Neypathal we fry them. If using parboiled rice, try to get PONNI rice. It works well for this. Please see how I made the dough for Neypathal . Because the dough is the same.

4. Before making the pidi, try by grinding little rice and steaming it. If it gets cooked in less than 10 minutes, then that rice should work fine for this recipe. I had to waste whole lot of the rice dough the first time I made it, because as I told you, the rice wasn't the right one.

5. You can add few greenchillies if the curry is not spicy enough. Since my Kashmiri Chilli (Melam Brand) is quite hot, I dint use any Green chillies in the gravy.

Before I go, Here comes another award from my beautiful friends Sushma Mallya and Faiza Ali has passed on to me the beautiful Honest scrap Award. Thank you sweeties.

Requirements of the award:-I must thank the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it .
I must list 10 honest things about myself .
I must put a copy of Honest Scrap logo on my blog .
I must select atleast 7 other worthy bloggers and list their links.
I must notify the bloggers of the award and hopefully they will follow the above three requirements also.
I will try to be honest while writing honest things about me:)
1. I love little kids and babies. They are so adorable and cute! Probably they would hate me because I always squeeze them.
2. I love cooking a lot and trying out new recipes, a recently discovered obsession. I also love love anything that is food related ;crockeries, cookery shows, cookery books and foodies too!
3. I am a computer/Internet addict. I Can spend hours sitting on it and browsing.
4. I used to be an athletic/ sports person during my school days and now I am a lazy home-maker.
5. I have the worst habit of munching on something every time.
6. I am very slow at eating, which I find it very difficult especially during Parties and weddings.
7. I talk a lot, and sometimes I hate it.
8. Love sweets and chocolates. If those things don’t make me fat, I can live on them without having anything else.
9. Love to cook for the ones I love and love to please them with good, comforting food. I love it when my dad comes into the kitchen looking for sweets; he knows that if I am there at home, there would be some sweet goodies around. He loves my Gulab Jamun, Saba's Cheesecake and the biscuit caramel pudding alot. He’s got such a sweet tooth, goodness!.....Now you know where I got my sweet tooth from!
10. And for the last one, I am a Libra-Scorpio Cusp!
I would like to pass on this award to the following Honest Bloggers:


Seena said...

adipoli, makale.. ! pinne enne enna nombu thurakkan vilikkunne.. ? ee peru njan aadyayittu kelkkukaya.. :)

Priya Suresh said...

Wow shabs this dish is really very very new to me...Pidis looks happy to learn new dishes from u, thanks for trying oats halwa..happy u like it..thanks for sharing the award honoured.loved reading!

Shabs.. said...

oh seena, Ningaleyonney vilikkano....U can come anytime even without me inviting you. Always u will have a treat from my side:)...That name is very common in kannur. But when i searched online I dint even find one!!

Priya, thanks dear for ur lovely comments.

Bergamot said...

this is something really new and looks just yummy... would love to taste...

PriyaRaj said...

My 1st visit here ..u have very great recipes ..usually my Mom will do this kari kozhukattai coz she's from this our favourite dish in our home..till now i have't tried this alone..will soon try......thanx for sharing ..will be following u daily .. said...

Congrats on ur award dear...n thanks a lot for passing it on to me....superb recipe...i love this dish..

Shabs.. said...

Bergamot, I am sure u will love it once u try...

En samaiyal, thx for ur visit and ur compliments:)...Yeah, this dish is actually curry Kozhukkatta, Isn't it?It is a damn favorite at my home too...:)

Dori said...

I have bookmarked your recipe! It looks so good! Nice to read about you, and thanks for passing along :)

shama said...

hi shabs
I also experimented with a lot of rice. Finally, I found good results using Ponni Boiled rice for all the Thalassery/Kannur dishes .

Shabs.. said...

Meeso, thanks. try it, u shud like it..

Shama, Thx for stopping by.Ya, my mom uses ponni rice. I think i have mentioned it...That rice can never go wrong. I dont get that rice here. so sometimes i use pachari, which also works well and easier than boiled rice and some other brand's boiled rice.

Arabic Bites said...

Hi shabs,
Wow.. this recipe looks so good,first time seeing those Pidis I'll definitely give those a try.
Thank you for sharing the recipe.
& thank you so much for passing the award :)
it's so nice to know more about you shabs ;)

Take Care.

Duchess of Tea said...

Thank you darling for this honour, I am speechless. If you don’t mind, I will post the award on sidebar, but I will wait a few days to post it since I just had a huge award post which included your tag. Thanks again luv.

Love & Hugs
Duchess ♥♥♥

vidhas said...

Hi Shabs, congrats on your award, and some thing is waiting for u in my blog.

vidhas said...

Congrats on ur award, and collect your award from my blog.

Shabs.. said...

Arabic bites, If u want to try the recipe, please choose the right rice, named Ponni. And reduce the chilli little bit, cos I think it might be a bit too hot for u.:) This one really tastes fabulous.

Duchess, U can add it whenever you want dear. I just gave it to appreciate u.

Vidhas thx for the award...I am excited, let me see that one:)

Parita said...

What a different dish dear..looks fantastic :) Congratulations on your award!

Shabs.. said...

Thx parita... said...

Lovely dish Shabs .. and congratulation on ur award dear !!
keep rocking .

PriyaRaj said...

Thanks for ur nice comment & following me dear .....soo nice of u ...

Parita said...

I have passed an award to you, pls accept it :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Kiduu..I have only heard of these dishes..kandittu kothiyavanu..I'd also prefer a beef gravy,my fav n I feel its more juicy..:)..I was imagining the baby boy sitting n helping cute da..:)

Zoyah said...


looks really yummy! I LOVE coconut in savoury dishes...adds a nice richness!

also, your number 6 honest thing really strikes me! I am the slowest eater in my family, and am ALWAYS still eating long after everyone is done! I totally sympathize!

ps - will have the cake recipe up soon! :)

Shabs.. said...

Thx dear...

En samaiyal..:)

Parita...thx for the award, will surely take it from u:)

Varsha....ya, im also a beef lover, especially for some dishes, im adamant i need beef and this is one such a dish. My MIL makes it with chicken. My l'l one drove me crazy that day!!God....It was a long day for me...I dont think I would make this again until my kid is sensible enuf to understand something:)

Zoya, m just like u, My mom sometimes says Im like a cow taking the food from tummy (or i dono where) and chewing it again and again and never finish eating forever...There is some word for it,dono......Lols..Oh so there r many out there like me:)

Sushma Mallya said...

Congraz on ur awards shabs...hope u get more and more.....

Zareena said...

Adipoli recipe aanallo Shabs.... 2 divasam munne i saw a similar recipe named kakkorotty in a recipe book...athu kandappo thotte undaakanm ennu alochichirikumbolaaanu ithu kaanunnathu...ini vaikunilla...innu thanne Inshah Allah undakanam...ente nattil (south kerala)we make similar ones usually with aadinte thala....we call it thakkoli...i think we make it even with chicken n prawns too...

Zayida Muhammed said...

this is unnipathil for us(thalassery version)...we prepare small undas and put a small kuzhi.. and it is tasty ig u put jeerakam and salt while grinding.

Shabs.. said...

Sushma, thx dear...

Zareena, I had read about kaakurotti in a book by lakshmi nair...I think that is even more time consuming than this one since it has fried poori in it as well:)...Might make it when I go to my moms.....Undaakki engane undu ennu para ketto....Thakkoli is something I dint even hear....My makes excellent curry with Aadinte thala, I never even bothered about it. I dont think i will be making it too...A bit scary and Aruppu..:)

Zayida, thx for stopping by, And thx for the name as well...will add it in here...I never used jeerakam for this, but i know many using it...will try next time.Visit again:)

Srivalli said...

Shabs...your place is no less!..:)..what a lovely place and great looking dishes!..thanks for leading me here...never seen these rice dumplings..looks great...and yes let me take a tour around your blog now...thanks...will be adding the link soon...

Unknown said...

Hey Shabs
This dish is new to me, it looks so good. I want to try this, but dont know whether I've the patience to make it :(

My mom in law makes a pidi, its made using rice powder and then the pidis are cooked in coconut milk. Varutharacha chickn curry is the best combo for that pidi :)

Shabs.. said...

Srivalli, thx for stopping by and ur lovely comments...

Maria,the pidi u r talking about is qute similar to this i think except for the dough ingredients....this is a Malabar specialty....I dont think it's common in the south.... The gravy I used here is varutharachathu only:...

Anonymous said...

Finally a recipe for aanapathal!! Our pidis are slighty different from yours. While you make a big depression in the middle of the pidi, we press the pidi in the middle with 2 fingers so it looks different. we make it mostly with chicken and really small in size (if there are enough people to share the work!!). But the taste is worth all the effort. And it tastes better the next day!!

--fais said...

Please come and collect your award from my blog dear

Cham said...

Look like kari kozhukattai! pidi are gorgeous!

Deeba PAB said...

Congrats on the award. Well done.Was fun reading about you.
O BTW, Can you mail me at so I can reply to your query? Thanks

Duchess of Tea said...

Yummy!! Darling, a girl can get thick around the waist simply by visiting your delicious blog!! Have a sweet and lovely weekend.

Love & Hugs
Duchess ♥ ♥ ♥

Raji said...

My first time visit to your website..around 4 p.m this evening...i have been planning to make a simple chicken dumpling and fell in love with your recipe..i did not get soak the rice for 3-4 hr..just 1 hr..(i shall do it next time..) it didnot time much time as I thought...end just taste di now...i have to give you 10 out of 10 for this recipe...thank you so much for teh detailed steps ans accurate kozipidi is ready here..thanks again

Shabs.. said...

Raji..I was sooooooo happy when i read ur comments....thanx alot for getting back to me.....this is one of my faaaaaaaaaavorite dish, but i find it a bit tedious with my son to make make once in a very while when i crave alot....Once again, thx alot for ur comments and letting me know about it.

bhagy said...

me tried this pidi ysterday....its good...but i have one question...will it b soo hard after steaming....?.mine turned so hard thats why i'm asking...otherwise it was nice....
thanks for the recipie

Shabs.. said...

Hi bhagy...
Thanks for trying the recipe n getting back with the feedback. Im glad u liked it....My pidi was not hard. It was soft. Which rice did u use and which rice powder? As i mentioned, rice is a crucial thing in this recipe...I used unroasted rice powder as well...Or may be u ground the rice too coarsely...Try grinding the rice smooth next time....And try ponni rice or pachari/raw rice.

bhagy said...

ya i used puttu podi(taste buds)instead unroasted rice powder ... i used pachari but may b cos of consistency it turned hard...its ok any way thanks for the reply and recipie too..i will use ur tips next time....

Shabs.. said...

Hi bhagi,
Normally all roasted powders are mixed in very hot or boiling water. If it is mixed with normal tap water it tends to be very very hard. I learned it from my experience. That's y i mentioned unroasted rice powder. Next time u make this try making it with just puttu podi by mixing all the ground ingredients and using boiling water.u can see instructions in neypathal recipe. My friend tried it this way and she told it was great. It's difficult to get it right the first time, thats y i mentioned in the notes to try the pidis by using less rice...
Hope it come out good for u next time....
Take care..

Aparna said...

oru award avde ayachitundu...4rm my side..:)

വല്യമ്മായി said...

Hi Shabs,
Yesterday I tried your recipe and here is the result

Shabs.. said...

Thanks for trying out. They have come out perfect for you. I would have loved it more moist:)

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