Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pidi Kozhukattai with Broken Wheat (Steamed broken wheat dumplings)

I make pidi kozhukattai occasionally.  My kids don’t eat it – so it is only for my husband and me.  I have made it a few times for company – when we had our family reunion and when my friends visited. 

It is such a traditional Tamil Nadu “tiffin” and almost always made at home that you won’t find it in any restaurants.  I never used to like this dish growing up – my grandma used to make this regularly, and I remember complaining about it.  But now, I love it.

Steamed broken wheat dumplings

Last year, my mom visited us during summer vacation.  She has only visited us during winter and when school is in session.  So it was nice to have her at home when we could actually spend time together.

She had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and had completely changed her diet and exercise habits.  She reduced the amount of rice in her diet and went for regular walks every day.  I had stocked my pantry with a lot of other grains so that she could substitute those for rice.

Since I had some company to eat South Indian food for lunch, I made pidi kozhukattai for us one day.  Instead of using idli rice, I used cracked wheat to make this.  It turned out great!  I think the same recipe could be used to make pidi kozhukkatai with oats too.  I will try it out one of these days and let you know.


Here is what you need:

  • ½  cup toor dal
  • ½ cup moong dal
  • 1 cup broken wheat
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. channa dal
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  • 3 red chilies, broken
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • few curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup grated coconut (optional)
  • non-stick cooking spray

Here is how I made it:

  1. Coarsely powder the toor dal and moong dal. Mix this with the broken wheat. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or kadai.  Add mustard seeds, channa dal, and hing.
  3. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the red chilies, green chilies, and curry leaves.
  4. Gently add 5 cups of water and salt to taste.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, add the coconut and the broken wheat mixture, stirring constantly making sure that there are no lumps.
  6. Cover and cook till all the water is absorbed.
  7. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  8. Grease a few idli plates with non-stick spray.
  9. Make oblong balls of the upma with your hands and place them on the idli plates – two to three to a mould.
  10. Steam in a pressure cooker for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve with vathal kuzhambu or puli milagai

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