Pidi and Kozhi or rice dumplings in a soupy chicken curry is a traditional fare of Travancore Christians. Save this one – it will be treasured by your great grandchildren, years on!
‘Pidiyum Kozhiyum is blessed and served as a part of a religious event – ‘Panthrandu Sleehanmaarude Nercha’ or the ‘ Gift to Twelve Apostles’ – a traditional ceremony related to Syrian Jacobite Christians and Syro Malabar Christians – during which food is served to twelve boy children under the age of 15. The twelve boys represent the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
It is often served today as a part of events such as marriages, religious festivals, etc.
Pidi (Rice Dumplings)
The main ingredient of Pidi is roasted rice flour. For Pidi, take 1 cup roasted rice flour 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 grated coconut and salt as required. Mix all these together and keep them aside. Boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a bowl and add 1tbs of butter/oil.
Into this boiling water, add the rice flour mix. Mix it well with a spoon and keep it aside to cool down. When the rice dough cools, kneed it with your hand. Make small balls of the dough and keep them aside.
Take a pan and boil 2 to 3 cups of coconut milk. Add some curry leaves and 5 cloves of crushed garlic. Add the rice dumplings into the boiling coconut milk and cook them on low flame, for around 5-6 minutes. Avoid mixing the boiling rice balls with a spoon, as they may break.
Remove the pan from the flame. Easter special Pidi is ready!
Kozhi Piralan (Curried Chicken)
There are many hundreds of varieties of curried chicken. But the taste of chicken cooked our traditional way is different. Those who remember the taste of our grandmothers’ special chicken curry will love this dish. Try to use free range chicken or country chicken to make this dish; those taste better than broiler ones.
Thoroughly clean 1kg chicken and cut it into small pieces. Mix 2 teaspoons of chicken masala, 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/4 tbs turmeric powder and 1/4 tbs pepper powder, 1 tbs lemon juice and salt into the chicken pieces. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Then heat 5 tbs oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces. Keep it aside. Fry 3 chopped onions and finely grind it into a paste, in a mixer. Heat 3 tbsp oil in the same pan, add 1/2 tbs mustard and some coconut pieces and fry it it turns light brown. Add the ground onion paste, 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste and curry leaves.
Add 1tbs chicken masala, 1/2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder and 1/2 tbs garam masala and mix it. Add roasted chicken pieces to this mixture and mix well. Add a quarter cup of coconut milk. Stir well until the coconut milk and spices are well-combined with the chicken.
Stir until the chicken curry turns brown in colour. Finally, add 1tbs coconut oil, curry leaves and cover the pan for a while.
Serve with pidi. This curry goes great with appams (rice pancakes), idiappams (string hoppers), rice and chappatis too.
By Nidhi Roney
Online journalist Nidhi Roney is a loving wife and doting mother of two bubbly, active little boys. Nidhi finds time in between her busy work schedule to cook up lovely treats for her family and friends. She is just as creative with food and fashion, as she is with words. Follow her to grab more recipes for finger-lickin good food: https://www.instagram.com/nidhironey