Kadala Pidi aka Undayum Kadalayum

Please go on and repeat the title after me 5 times, that is a crash course on Malayalam for you. Now you have proved that you can learn our language easily, please proceed and try your luck at enouncing the following line 3 times “ethappazham puzhungi vizhungi”. Well done! You are hereby ready to plan your retirement in a beautiful little cottage by the backwaters in Kerala. You will thrive; conversing in the language with such fluency that will put the locals to shame! Thank you. Also, none of these words are bad; title of the post means chickpeas and dough balls roughly and the next one is something like “Plantains boiled and swallowed”.


The name by this dish is called in northern Kerala ( Undaym Kadalyum) sounds more like a title of a story I might have heard as a child, but it is not. As a matter of fact, I had no idea about its existence until about two years ago a friend from Kannur casually mentioned it when we were talking. The description sounded more like a vegetarian version of kozhi pidi, a dish made of rice dumplings and spiced chicken.


The dumplings can be made using rice flour, wheat flour or using both. Black chick peas are preferred, but if you cannot get it by any means, garbanzo beans could work too. The prep work is time consuming; you really will have to make the dough balls as small as uncooked garbanzo beans to get the dish right, but well worth the effort I would say. I got the generous company of my three year old while working on the dough, who had a better idea about how small, small should be. While the tiny dumpling I made looked like an Indian gooseberry at the beginning, she got it right at the very first time. It is all a matter of perspective I say!


Kadala Pidi 


Rice flour – 2 ½ cup
Chick peas black – 2 cups
Coconut grated – 1 ½ cup
Curry leaves – ¼ cup
Onion chopped – 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Garlic crushed – ¼ cup
Ginger crushed – 1/4 tbsp
Green chilies – crushed – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1 ½ tsp
Fennel seeds – crushed – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp

Soak black chick peas over night in water. Cook till the peas are soft in a sauce pan or by using a pressure cooker. When the peas are cooked (with the skin still intact), add 1/4 tsp salt, keep for 10 minutes, and drain excess water. Keep aside

Heat a frying pan and add 1 cup of grated coconut. Dry roast with constant stirring till it is golden brown. Turn off the heat, immediately transfer to a plate. Let it cool. Grind the roasted coconut to a fine paste using a blender, adding just enough water to keep the blades working. Keep aside.

Add the rice flour in a large mixing bowl, add 1 tsp crushed cumin,1/2 cup coconut , 2 tbsp finely crushed onions, and ¼ tsp salt. Add some boiling water (about 1 ½ cup, add more if needed) and mix with a wooden spoon till the flour comes together as a soft dough. When the dough is still warm (but not hot) knead the dough really well with your hands, till it is soft and without lumps (for about 6 minutes). Apply some oil to your hands and form small balls out of the dough (size of a cooked garbanzo bean), and arrange on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat the process till all the dough is used up.

Heat 1 tbsp oil, when it is hot, add crushed green chilies, ½ tsp crushed cumin, crushed garlic, crushed ginger, crushed fennel seeds and sauté for 1 minute. Turn the heat to low, add garam masala, chilly powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder. Mix well, and sauté for 1 more minute. Now add three cups of water and ½ tsp salt to the mixture. Bring the heat up, cook till the water comes to a rolling boil. At this point add the

dough balls. Keep covered and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring to keep the balls separate. After 10 minutes, open the lid, add the cooked chickpeas, adjust the salt if needed and continue cooking with occasional stirring till the mixture starts to thicken. Now add ground coconut, mix well, and cook at high heat with constant stirring till the mixture becomes almost dry with the gravy thickly coating the dough balls. Remove from the stove.

Heat 2 tbsp oil, when the oil is hot add 1 cup finely shopped onions, sauté till the pieces are golden brown. Add curry leaves, when the leaves stop spluttering turn off the heat and add the seasoning to the cooked dumpling mixture. Stir well to combine, keep covered for 5 minutes before serving, garnished with toasted grated coconut and cilantro

Serve along with onion tomato raitha

Onion tomato raitha

Chopped tomato – 1 cup
Chopped onion – ¼ cup

Yogurt – 1 cup
Water – ½ cup
Salt – to taste

Mix everything together and keep for 1 hour before serving.

A crinkled egg

Coconut oil has seen it all, from getting dissed as a health hazard to being lauded as the next best thing to boost your well being, and everything in between. Looks like we are talking about its benefits once again, but I do have my doubts about how long this is going to last. There is presumably only one reason for the roller coaster ride coconut oil is taking with regard to public affection, which namely is an astonishing lack of unbiased information about the nature and effects of the oil. We are surely in need of some meticulously planned, un-skewed research to shed the much required light into the properties of virgin coconut oil. Where else should they do it other than in places were the palm grows in plenty? KAU, are you there?

egg oroast 1a

When it comes to using coconut oil in anything, people from Kerala are in no dearth for ideas. My earliest memories of the world around me are a little blurred, thanks to that bottle of coconut oil my mother used to empty on my head during bath times. The oil never left my eye you see ! The oil did not help much with my hair either, but to this day I love coconut oil in cooking. We use it in moderation, but curries from my home state in India are not quite the same with out coconut oil in it.

egg oroast 1

This is my favorite Kerala style egg roast, the only way I make them these days. I especially love the crinkled appearance of the egg, which is achieved by pouring hot oil all over it. To make it work better you can use some more oil than what is called for in the recipe to fry the eggs, and then use only the required amount to fry the onions.

egg roast 3

Egg roast

Eggs, hard boiled and peeled – 4
Onions thinly sliced lengthwise – 4 cups
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Coconut oil – ¼ cup
Salt – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 10
Green onions chopped – ¼ cup ( optional)

Sprinkle salt all over the sliced onions, mix well, keep aside for 20 minutes. Now using your hands squeeze most of the water out of the onions and spread on a paper towel. Heat oil in small sauce pan (so that you can spoon the oil easily). When the oil is hot, add two eggs at a time. Spoon the hot oil over the eggs; you will see the surface crinkling. Turn the eggs around, and take it out and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Roasting two eggs usually takes one minute.

Now to the hot oil (you may need to switch to a sautéing pan at this point) add the sliced onions, sauté till it gets a pale golden brown color. Turn off the heat. Take 1/4th of the sautéed onions and grind to a fine paste adding chilly powder ,vinegar and ¼ cup of water in a blender. Add the ground mixture to the sautéed onions in the pan, turn on the heat, add curry leave, and green onions if using, and sauté at medium heat till the gravy is very thick. At this point, add the eggs, and gently toss to coat with the gravy. Turn of the stove; keep the pan covered for a minute before serving

egg oroast 4

Cardamom cashew cookies

card-cookie 1

Snow in summer plants are not in bloom yet, these photos were taken on a day two years ago when I could go out and pluck a flower from our back yard, and then compose a shot around it. I love flowers as props, but only when I can get them from our garden. Our first snow storm which amassed a whopping one inch of snow came a week ago, and in just a couple of hours withered the first blooms on my lovely Euphorbia plant, which blossomed for the first time after taking its time to grow up . My gardening pals assure me that it will spring back in a week or two, I hope it does, or else I am going to be very annoyed at the snow, don’t you dare come back this year, or may be you can, on Christmas day, that is fine with me. Thanks.
card cookie 2

Perched snugly below these flowers are some lovely cardamom cookies, slathered generously with some white chocolate. What make these cookies burst with flavor is the powdered toasted cashew nuts in them, so if you decide to skip the decorating part altogether it will be quite alright. Just like you would do with any other rolled cookie, chill the dough for a good one hour before you start working with it.

card cookie 3

Cardamom cashew cookies

Cashew nuts – 1 cup
All purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter, unsalted – 1 cup (two sticks)
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Egg yolks – 2
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp ( or seeds from 10 pods powdered)
White chocolate chips (optional) - for decoration 3/4 cup

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread cashew nuts on it. Roast the nuts at 350oC till the nuts are slightly browned (takes about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it from after 5 minutes)Turn the oven off; take the sheet out, cool on kitchen counter. When the nuts are cool, grind to a fine powder adding ¼ cup sugar, keep aside.

Cream butter and the remaining sugar together till fluffy (about 5 minutes), add eggs and beat again for 2 more minutes. Add the ground nut mixture, cardamom powder and mix well for a minute. Now add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly to combine (for 1 minute). Devide the dough into two, cover with kitchen wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Heat oven to 350 degree C. Roll the dough between parchment sheets to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut shapes out of it. If it gets difficult to lift the cut out shapes, return the dough to fridge, chill for 5 minutes and then take out the cutouts. Keep the cookies 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or till the edges begin to brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack, store in an air tight container for up to a week. Makes about 40 cookies.

Decorating (optional)
Keep the white chocolate chips in a thick glass mixing bowl. Microwave till the chips look glossy but still hold the shape. Take the bowl out and with a fork, whisk thoroughly, till you a get a smooth mixture. Apply the molten chocolate on the cookie using a brush. Sprinkle with some crushed nuts or decorative sugar crystals if you like.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...