Upma kozhakattai – Steamed savory rice flour dumplings

This dish brings back wonderful childhood memories of delicious, hot steamy dumplings that my mom cooked. Eaten with coconut chutney and sambar this is a dish to die for. Fortunately, the husband and the kid are equally fond of this quick, comfort meal. While this is an easy week night meal, it does require some planning ahead. Here is the simple recipe-

Raw rice or idli rice – 2 cups
Tur dal or pigeon peas – 3 tablespoons ( soaked in water for about 20 mins)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies (optional)
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 red chillies
A few curry leaves
Salt to taste

Soak the rice overnight. In the morning, drain the soaked rice and spread it over a newspaper or a thick piece of cloth and let it dry. When the rice is completely dry, make a coarse powder in a blender. The powder should look like cornmeal.

Grind the pigeon peas along with the green chillies and coconut to a coarse paste.

In a thick bottom pan, add a tsp of oil. When hot add mustard seeds, red chillies and let the mustard splutter.

Pour 3 cups hot water and add salt. Now add the pigeon peas and coconut mixture. Slowly add the rice powder and mix till all the water is absorbed.

Now make oval balls out of the mixture and steam it in a steamer or idli maker for about 15-17 mins until they are cooked. Serve with chutney or sambar.

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