The Upma Kozhukattai or pidi kozhukattai is one of the most popular snack items in a Tamil Brahmin household. As the name goes ‘Pidi' means fist and the dumplings are shaped by pressing together in the fist, just like Gujarathi muthiyas.
These are usually steamed rice grit dumplings. They taste great with sambar and chutney. In many households they are served dunked in spicy hot rasam.
The same recipe can be enjoyed by replacing rice with millets. You can use your choice of millets. I am using Sama/little millet.
Little millet: 1/3 cup
Whole black pepper: ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
Fresh coconut: 2 tbsp
Rock salt: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
Curry leaves: few leaves
Red chilli : 1 no
Chana dal: ½ tbsp
· Blitz the dry millets in a mixie for less than a minute to turn whole millets into grits, along with pepper and cumin seeds.
· Heat a thick bottomed vessel, make a tempering by dry roasting chana dal, mustard seeds, red chilli cut into bits and curry leaves.
· Lower the flame and add water in a measure of twice the ratio of millet to the tempering.
· Add grated coconut, salt and the millet grits and give it a brisk stir.
· Continue cooking on a slow flame until all the water is absorbed and it looks like upma.
· Remove from flame and cover well and allow to rest for 15 mins.
· After 15 mins, mix well and shape the dumplings with your hands. Refer picture.
· You can also shape them as balls if you like.
· Place them on a steamer and steam for around 12 minutes.
Millets are gluten free, rich in fibre and high in nutritional value. They are a good option to add variety to your meals or when you want to go grain free.
Replace them in recipes that call for rice.
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