It is long since I participated in a “JIHVA” event. When I saw that the ingredient for September was Rice – I knew it would be too bad to let the chance to participate go by.
Rice is the staple food in most of the South Indian homes. Personally I feel that there is nothing to beat the smell of freshly cooked rice – the whiff from the white pearly steam that comes out when you open the lid of the vessel containing rice that you put in the cooker or from the vessel that you cook directly on the Gas. Ummmmmm heavenly. When it is hot, just plain rice with a dollop of Ghee mixed in it also taste like the best food on earth. Rice that has been stored for a day, eaten with thin curds is considered one of the best ‘cooling foods’. Then there is my all-time favourite – Thair Chadam (curd rice). There would probably be no Tam-Bram who does not like this ‘symbolic-recognition-of-tamilians’ curd rice!
Rice is also considered as an auspicious food item. In Kerala, it is the first solid food that is given to a child. When the Child is 6 months old, there is held a ceremony called “Choorunu” – all the family members assemble in a temple (usually Guruvayoor) and feed the baby solid food for the first time – rice and paruppu.
The recipe I am going to share is a snack made out of rice primarily. It is one of my favorites. Thanks to amma’s trip to the
Plain rice (eg. Sona Masoori) – 1 cups
Thoor dhal – 2 Tbsp
1 Tblsp Pepper seeds
Soak the two for about 20 minutes, wash clean and spread it out to dry on a towel. Add Grind the dried rice and dhal coarsely.
Note: If you want to store this powder for using it later, make sure the rice and dhal are bone-dry before you grind them.
½ cup grated coconut
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dhal – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 3-4
Salt – to taste
Curry Leaves – 4-5
Asafoetida – to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Heat oil in a Kadai. Add the Mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add the split urad dhal. Fry them gently till they turn brown. Add the curry leaves and split red chillies.
Measure 2 cups of water for each cup of the mixture and add to the kadai. Add asafoetida to the water and let it boil. When it starts to boil, add the coconut. After a minute, add the dry mixture. Cook on medium heat. When the rice and dhal mixture is cooked well, take it off the stove. Cool it a little and then take small portions of the mixture and roll into small balls.
Steam the balls in the cooker, like you would steam idlis. After steam starts to come out of the cooker, reduce the flame to medium and cook on for about 4 minutes. Hot Hot Upma Kozhakattai’s are ready.