Friday, 5 September 2014

Varagarisi Pidi Kozhakattai / Steamed Millet balls

Millets are known as "Small Grains" or "Siru Thaaniyangal" in Tamil. They are small seeded grasses and thrive well in dry arid climatic conditions.
Why eat millets?
  •     They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. Hence they are soothing and easy to digest. They are considered to be the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. Compared to rice, especially polished rice, millets release lesser percentage of glucose and over a longer period of time. This lowers the risk of diabetes.
  •    Millets are particularly high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Finger millet (Ragi) is the richest in calcium content, about 10 times that of rice or wheat.
  •      Unlike rice and wheat that require many inputs in terms of soil fertility and water, millets grow well in dry regions as rainfed crops.
  •       By eating millets, we will be encouraging farmers in dryland areas to grow crops that are best suited for those regions.

Before going to my millet kozhakattai, I would like to go on a small flash back on kozhakattai.
Pidi kozhakattai AKA upma kozhakattai was very frequent tiffin item during my childhood. It also has another name called anugundu. It was made of raw rice kuranai which is coarsely ground rice. It was a big process. Soak and wash rice. Dry it and grind it coarsely. Grinding the rice is done using a stone grinder or  endira kal. I searched and searched for the picture of that, and found it finally. We need to place the endira kal on a paper.There are two big stones one above the other. The top one has a hole in the centre. We have to put the rice in the center hole part and keep rotating the wooden handle. The ground rice will get collected down in the paper through the gap between 2 stones.

Those day we had enough time to do all such works. Now with all this busy people this recipe is made simple o simple, by replace the rice part with millets. There is no soak – grind process. Just wash the millets and use.

Ingrediants :
·         Kodo Millet – 1 cup
·         Water – 2 cups
·         Mustard seeds – 1 tea spoon
·         Curry leaves
·         Red chillies -2 numbers
·         Asafoetida – a pinch
·         Oil – 1  tea spoon
·         Salt – to taste
·         Grated coconut – ¼ cup.
Method :
Wash and clean the millets.  Heat a kadai, add a tsp. of oil. After it heats up add mustard seeds, allow it to splutter. Add red chilies and curry leaves. Fry it for 30 secs.
Add water, salt and Asafetida.

Allow it to boil nicely. After that add the millet and keep stirring it till the water is absorbed fully.  It takes about 5-10 mins to get that consistency.

Now added some grated coconut. Mix it well. Allow it to cool. It gets partially cooked in this stage. Next it needs to be steamed.

Make medium sized balls with cooked millets. Place these in idli plates and steam for 8-10 minutes.  Do not put whistle. The aroma of the steam will fill your whole kitchen.
Serve with chutney of your choice. Puli inji is also best combination. My daughter eats with curd and sugar.

  •       I have used kodo millet in this recipe. You can experiment this with various other millets like Kuthiravaali, Tenai, Samai  
  •     You call also add some veggies like carrot, beans.
  •     In the step by step picture i have not added the chana dal and urad dal, that can also be added in seasoning. My daughter dont like it, so i skipped it. But the main picture i took it from archive, that has even veggies and extra seasoning which i made for my office.
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