Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Grits Upma Kozkhakattai

Health recipe!
Upma kozhakattai (steamed rice dumplings) is a traditional South Indian recipe made with rice. You can either eat it as a snack or for dinner. It is usually served with chutney and sambar on the side. For my recipe, I substituted the rice with Quaker Grits (the instant variety) - you will find grits in the cereal aisle in grocery stores. Click here to read more about grits. I made ridge gourd chutney and onion sambar to go along with it. Here are the recipes:

Upma Kozhakattai

2 cups Quaker grits
1/2 cup thuvar dal
1 tbsp grated coconut
2 red chillies (broken)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro (chopped finely)
Few curry leaves (chopped)
1 tsp of mustard
1 tsp of urad dal (black gram dal)
1 tsp of channa dal
1/2 tsp of jeera
1/2 tsp of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

1. Soak the thuvar dal in hot water for about 1-2 hours.
2. Grind the thuvar dal with red chillies and jeera and set aside. You can add water while grinding the dal as you can use this dal mixture as a water measure.
3. Pour oil in a pan and season with mustard, urad dal, channa dal and curry leaves.
4. Add the asafoetida and mix well.
5. Next you have to add water to the pan as you need to cook the grits and dal in water. You have to add two cups of water for one cup of grits/dal. So, here we have 2 1/2 cups of grits/dal and need 5 cups of water. Remember, to measure out the dal paste first. So, if you have 2 cups of the dal mixture, then add 3 more cups of water.
6. Add salt, coconut and cilantro to the dal paste/water in the pan and let it boil.

Dal paste/water coming up to a boil
7. Once the liquid comes up to a boil, reduce the heat and slowly add the grits. This process is very similar to making our regular upma.
8. Cover the pan and cook till the grits becomes soft. This will take somewhere between 10-15 minutes. Add water if you feel the grits is uncooked and cook for some more time. Do not completely cook the mixture.
9. Set aside and once you feel you can handle the mixture (when slightly warm) roll into oval shaped balls and steam them for 10 minutes. I used a steamer tray on a big pot of water.
Upma Kozhakattai ready to be steamed
10. Remove and serve hot with chutney and sambar.
11. You can also put the cooled kozhakattai's in an air tight box or freezer safe bag and store in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them, simply microwave for a few minutes and you will have steaming and fresh rice dumplings ready in minutes.
Upma Kozhakattai ready to be steamed
Recipe courtesy: Laxmi Ramachandran
Ridge gourd chutney
Ingredients2 cups of chopped ridge gourd pieces (you can leave the skin on if you like)
2-3 red chillies
1/2 tsp of tamarind paste
2 pods of garlic
1 tsp mustard
2 tsps of urad dal (black gram dal)
1/2 tsp of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

Method1. Fry the mustard, urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida in 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
2. Sauté the garlic.
3. In the same pan add the ridge gourd pieces and fry till they become a little soft.
4. Transfer all the above to a blender, add the tamarind paste and grind to a paste.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Serve with idli or dosa.

Onion sambar
Ingredients1 cup thuvar dal
1 onion
1 tomato
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp methi seeds
2-3 red chillies
A few curry leaves
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp of Laxmi brand natural tamarind concentrate (if you are using fresh tamarind soak and squeeze out water from a lime-sized ball of tamarind)
2 tsp Sambar Powder (any brand or home made)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

Method1. Pressure cook the thuvar dal and set aside.
2. Pour oil in a pan and season with mustard, methi seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft.
4. Add the tamarind paste and 2 cups of water.
5. Then add the chopped tomatoes, sambar powder, red chilli powder and asafoetida.
6. Let the tamarind mixture boil for about 10 minutes or until the raw smell disappears.
7. Mash the thuvar dal a little and add to the tamarind water.
8. Add salt and let the sambar come up to a boil.
9. Garnish with cilantro (optional).

Note: You can add veggies to this sambar if you like. I make plain onion sambar as it is easy to eat especially with snacks.


Unknown said...

oh...i love uppuma....kozhukkattai looks great..i also make grits uppuma all the time, never thought of making kozhukattai..will try now..

Kavitha said...

Very interesting recipe.
Looks very healthy too.

Pooja said...

I love it . this looks awesome.
thansk for sharing your delicious way of making it.

FH said...

Great recipes!I make Grits Upma too but serve it just Yoghurt.Looks yummy!:)

USHA said...

Hmmm...i never tried upma,it looks good.
Thanksfor sharing ,will try some time for sure

swapna susarla said...

wow lakshmi

mouthwatering recipes..

Menu Today said...

Hi Lakshmi,
Usually I make with Rice rawa, Next time I will try your version. Thanks for sharing.

Seema Bhat said...

Grits Upma looks yummy. I miss my moms so much.

Sia said...

i just love it... as a kid i called this dish as atom bomb;)

Anonymous said...

I love kozhakottais, we call them akki undes in kannada. I will surely try it with Grits. Thanks for a great recipe.