Pidiyum Kozhiyum or rice dumplings with curried chicken is a traditional Kerala delicacy, especially in the Christian community of the southern state of India. Pidi is a form of rice dumpling that is simmered in water along with a paste made of shallots, garlic, curry leaves and cumin (jeera). The addition of coconut milk adds flavour to the dish and thickens its consistency, making it the perfect meal, come winter. The recipe has several regional variations. However, the one I follow is the classic preparation to making it.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 3 cups rice flour
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 2 tsp cumin (jeera)
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 8 shallots
- 12 garlic cloves
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt to taste
Step 1: In a heavy-bottomed pan, add rice flour, grated coconut, one teaspoon of cumin and two sprigs of curry leaves. Combine well using your hands and keep it aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: After 20 minutes, heat flour and coconut mix using the same pan. Roast it on a medium flame and continuously stir to prevent burning. Turn the flame off once the mix is light brown in colour.
Continuously stir for a few more minutes, after turning the flame off and then allow it to cool.
Step 3: Finely grind the roasted flour using a food processor.
Step 4: Take two tablespoons of the ground mix and keep it aside.
Step 5: For the spice paste, grind shallots, garlic cloves and one teaspoon of cumin in a food processor.
Step 6: In another pan, add three cups of water and boil it. Add the spice paste into the water bring it to a rolling boil. Add the required amount of salt (make sure to add enough salt). Turn the flame off.
Step 7: Time to knead the dough out of the ground flour. Add the boiled, spice infused water in equal portions while kneading the flour. Knead it to a smooth yet thick dough.
Do not discard the remaining liquid as this will be used at a later stage.
Step 8: Pinch small portions of the dough and roll them into marble-sized balls. Keep them aside.
Step 9: In another thick-bottomed pan, boil water – just enough that all the rice balls get soaked – and add the rest of the spice-infused liquid
Drop the rice balls into the pan and allow them to boil for about 7 to 8 minutes on a medium flame so that they are evenly cooked. Give it a gentle stir when needed.
Step 10: Mix two tablespoons of the ground flour (which was kept aside initially) in one cup (200ml) of coconut milk. Then add it into the pan and stir gently. Turn the flame off.
Step 11: Allow it to cool. Serve and enjoy with spicy chicken curry!
Note: In case rice flour is not available, ready-made pathiri podi or idiyappam podi can be used.