25 January 2012

Ari Unda / Kerala Rice Ladoos

Ari Unda/ Rice Ladoos are one of the traditional sweets of Kerala. It is prepared during festivals and even when there are sudden guests at home. In the earlier days it used to be prepared in the 'Ural' the traditional stone mortar. The pounding stick is called as 'Ulakka'.I still remember my mom pounding the rice and jaggery in the stone mortar. And she used to do it with so much ease. The way she used to do as if in a musical motion. I remember giving it a try and my it was heavy indeed. As I don't have a stone mortar, I made it in a grinder. Do give it a try.

So here is my mom's recipe to make soft and yummy Ari Undas.

Rice ( Matta rice/ Red Kuttari/Par Boiled Rice) - 1/2 kg
Jaggery - 700 gm
Scraped Coconut - 2 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
Cardamom - 8 pods

Pick stones if any in rice and wash.
Strain the water well.
Divide the rice into 3 portions.
In an aluminium (thick bottom) kadai roast the rice, one portion at a time. Keep stirring on medium flame.Roast it till the rice breaks. Bite the rice to see if it cracks easily. The rice pops up.
Transfer to a wide plate or lid to cool a bit. Roast the other portions in a similar way.
When the rice is cooled a bit and still warm add the cardamom and powder it real fine.
Pass the rice powder through a strainer and keep aside.
Transfer the scraped coconut into a grinder and grind it for 3 minutes before adding jaggery.
Pound the jaggery into very small pieces*.
Add this slowly into the grinder.
Grind the mixture into very fine paste.
Now add the rice powder slowly into the grinder.
Grind till everything is well mixed.
Roll it into balls and serve.

Use a mixture of dark and light coloured jaggery.
The secret to soft ari undas is the right level of roasting the rice. It has to be very well roasted. The rice breaks and pops up. It cracks easily in your mouth. And the rice powder has to be strained to remove any husk.
*Make sure the jaggery is pounded into small pieces else it will be difficult to grind in a grinder. Add slowly.
In the same way add rice powder slowly. Do not be tempted to add all of it at one go as the grinder stone will get stuck and become messy for you to handle.
The mixture will be very soft. Not to worry the ladoos harden the next day.
Consume it in 2 days if kept at room temperature. Else refrigerate it and consume in a weeks time.

05 January 2012

Malabar Aripathiri With Kozhi Roast / Malabar Rice Roti With Chicken Roast

Aripathiri is a thin roti made from rice flour and a speciality of the Malabar region of Kerala. It is so thin that it just melts in the mouth. A healthy roti without oil. It is served for breakfast or dinner and goes well with any masala curries. I like it best with Nadan Varutharacha Chicken Curry or any simple chicken curry or roast.

The only thing to keep in mind when you think of making Pathiri is that you need to be ready to stay long in the kitchen. :) Because no matter how many Pathiris you serve it just disappears in seconds. It is so tasty that you cannot stop eating at just one or two.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed the New Year weekend.

I thought to begin the year with a local special which is one of my favorite too.

Ari Pathiri


Rice flour - 1 1/2 cup + more for dusting
Water - 1 cup
Salt - as required

Boil water. When it comes to a rolling boil add salt.
Tip in the flour into a wide bowl.
Add water to the flour.
Using a ladle slowly mix it.
When it is a little cool knead it into a smooth dough.
Make small balls.
Place each ball on a chapathi board. Sprinkle little rice flour on it and roll it into thin pathiris.
Cut out perfect pathiris using a lid with sharp edges.
Heat a tawa. When it is medium hot place one pathiri on it.
After about 10 seconds turn it over and let cook well on that side.
When small brown dots start appearing flip it over and with a wooden ladle press it gently on the sides. When the pathiri puffs up remove from tawa.

Use very fine rice powder.
The amount of water may differ depending on the kind on flour used. Just remember that you need to knead it like chapathi dough. 
Knead the flour till it is real soft. If you are going to roll out pathiris after a long time sprinkle some warm water and knead again before use.
Do not use too much rice flour to sprinkle as pathiris will get too dry.
Cook pathiris on medium heat only as if it is too high it gets burnt easily and will not cook inside. And if it is too low it gets stiff.

Chicken Roast with 1 tsp Oil
Recipe Source : My own


Chicken - 1/2 kg (cut into small pieces)
Onion - 2 large (thinly sliced)
Chilly - 1 slit into half
Ginger - 1'' piece
Garlic - 4
Tomato - 2 large
Chicken Masala - 2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Vinegar / Lime - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - a pinch
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup (thin)
Oil - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup finely chopped
Salt - as required

Marinate the chicken with vinegar/lime, salt and pepper for 1/2 hour or min 15 mins.
Chop the ginger and chilly roughly.
Place the ginger, garlic and chilly in a pestle and mortar and crush it.
Heat oil in a nonstick kadai.
Saute the onions till soft.
Add the crushed ginger, garlic and chilly.
Add chicken masala, garam masala and coriander powder. Saute.
Add tomato. Mix well. Add salt. Cover and cook on low flame till the tomato is well cooked.
Add the chicken and cover. Place a heavy weight on the lid. Cook on slow flame.
After 10 minutes open and stir. Again cover and cook till chicken is fully cooked.
Add coconut milk. Stir well. Check salt and let all the gravy get absorbed in the chicken.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Slow cooking helps in absorbing all the flavours in the chicken.
I used Eastern Chicken Masala powder.