Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can someone from Kerala help me find the name of this snack?

A conversation between mother and her bloggie daughter….

Daughter: Mummyy….I was thinking of posting that kutti unda in coconut milk…you know, the one you used to make for our evening snack time…..

Mother: Which one……? I don’t remember…

Daughter: Mummyyy …the one I like a lot…that small rice flour balls…and you used to soak that in sweetened coconut milk….remember?

Mother: aah…. I remember now….yeah , that’s a good one can write about it…

Daughter: But I don’t know its name….is there any traditional name for it?

Mother: hmm….I am not aware……

Daughter: ….but how can I post it without a name….? It is somewhat similar to Kozhukkatta…I mean look-wise….so….. shall I say…… Kutti-kozhukkatta in thenga-paal or undayum paalum?

Mother: yeah….write something like that……we don’t have any specific name for it…..
Well, this has been a recurring situation in many of my casual conversations with my mother whenever I approach her for some recipe which is my childhood favorite and have no clue on the actual name of the dish. Sometimes my father comes up with the name he is familiar with but in this particular case, he couldn’t be of any help either. This is one of my favorite Palahaaram/snack which my mother always prepared for our after school snack and naturally, I wanted to record this recipe in my blog but I was in a dilemma as I did not want to do the blasphemy of baptizing a snack that has been around for almost a century…….!!!!

These tiny rounds made of softly cooked rice flour is steamed first and then immediately soaked in sweetened rice flour, is a classic example of harmony between coconut milk and rice flour. The subtle and delicate flavor of the sweetened coconut milk embraces the warm steamed dumplings which absorbs the liquid like a sponge, making it more soft and sweet. Here’s how we make this at home:

  • 1 cup rice flour,lightly roasted
  • Salt to taste
  • Around 1 cup hot boiling water or enough to make a smooth dough
  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • Start with mixing rice flour and salt; to this add the boiling hot water, just enough to make a soft and smooth dough; use a spoon to blend everything well and when it is warm enough to touch, knead gently and make tiny balls. The balls should not be pressed too much to round them (Note: the dough should be looser than the chappathi/roti dough but as soft as the Idiyappam/string-hoppers dough)
  • Place these tiny rice flour balls, in a steamer or Idly –steamer or on a plate, in a pressure cooker without keeping the weight, filled with enough water, and steam for 12 minutes, or till it is fully cooked, in medium heat.
  • Sweeten the coconut milk with sugar; transfer the steamed dumplings and soak them in coconut milk when they are still warm/hot. Let the dumplings rest in the sweetened coconut milk for 10-15 minutes before serving.
I would really appreciate if someone from Kerala could help me find the household name or traditional name, if any, of this snack. Some of you might ask me, “what’s in a name as long as it is tasty?”. Well, it matters to me! :) This is one of those traditional snacks - the ‘prepared-at-homes-only’ category - which you cannot find in a small town tea shop or restaurant or bakery and if someone wants to recreate these dishes decades later, they should be able to locate and retrieve the recipe with a simple Google search and I believe, blogs have the reach as well as responsibility towards the same. We can preserve these recipes before it goes extinct and hence, finding out the actual name or the regional name or household name is very significant, atleast to me.

So, my regular readers, blogger friends, new visitors, subject experts and dear ghost readers….do you make this at home? What do you call it? Is there a regional name ? It means a lot to me if you can take a minute to drop a line and throw some light into identifying the name of this snack.

Am I asking too much? :)

Related Posts:
Kanji pidi Ela Ada Kozhukkatta

Updated on Oct 14, 2008:

Thank YOU all for responding to my request and helping me find an answer or atleast help me come close to an answer. Based on your comments and an email I got from my cousin as well as discussion with my parents, I have come to conclusion that this snack which I have featured here is the quick and easy version of Mani-puttu, Thengapaal Kozhukkatta and Allipidi. My conclusion was based on these articles and blogs given below:

Allipidi: Many of you had commented that it is allipidi and it was the first time I was hearing that name! Hence, when Swapna commented that she had read an article in a Kerala Magazine, Vanitha , I requested her to scan that article and share with me. Swapna went out of her way and photographed the entire article for me; here I am sharing those pictures with you all.

Based on that piece of article, I learnt that Allipidi is an elaborate version of what I have blogged; as per the magazine recipe, the small balls made of softly cooked rice flour dough is cooked in coconut milk and sweetened with sugar and finally flavored with powdered spices like cumin, dry ginger and cardamom.

Thengapaal Kozhukkatta/Paal Kozhukkatta: Based on your comment, I took a virtual trip and landed on Archana’s blog where she has featured this dish. According to her, “Thengappal kozhukatta is a simpler, soupy presentation of these dumplings made by cooking rice dough balls in coconut milk. Served in coconut milk thickened with some rice flour, this recipe is all about flour, flour and more flour.” So, there also the main point of difference is cooking the dumplings in coconut milk.

Mani-puttu: There were many readers who commented that it is Mani-puttu and the same day itself I had a mail from my cousin stating that it is Mani-Puttu. So I was almost ready to zero down on that one but Veenajan commented that she has blogged a similar recipe and it is Maniputtu. On checking out her page, again I noticed the mild variation of cooking the dumplings in coconut milk. And at this point, my mother has expressed a doubt that mani-puttu is steamed in Puttu kutti with a sprinkling of grated coconut and eaten plain and I guess my reader, Jisha is also taking about the same thing.

As much as I am confused, I am beginning to believe that the recipe I have featured is a very simplified version of all these three snacks as the major point of difference is the boiling part of coconut milk and hence I guess I can safely call this, Quick & Easy Mani-puttu, Allipidi, Thengapaal Kozhukkatta! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong and do drop a message here if someone knows the exact name :)

Thanks a ton to all readers and blog buddies who helped me with this :)

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  1. Keralian Rosgulla...??? :))
    I can't help here.

  2. ohh yummy looking snack, first time iam seeing it or hearing of it though. it seems to me like a sweet form of a 'pidi'. i asked my ammuma she dint kno the name eithr.

  3. hi,
    i think this snack is called MadhuraKozhukottai...but am not sure

  4. The first name that comes to my mind is 'pidi'. Its true that I have seen it only served with chicken or immersed in chicken gravy but your mom may have given it a twist and added it to sweetened coconut milk :)

  5. the name of this is "paal-kozhukkatta". nice blog btw...

  6. my mom used to make I also make it for my kids. But...unfortunately on my side also its a 'no name snack' :(

  7. Orumathiri Kothipichitt!

    Please avoid inganathe pictures.
    Jeevichu pokkotte.Key board vrithikedaayi *drool*



  8. Mish, we can call it "thengapalunda".. :)What u tell?Recently mom made a similar one, but she also din't know what was its name.. :)

  9. I think it is called ALLIPIDI.Have to confirm it. You are just tempting me to try all the dishes you post. Nice pictures

  10. Mish,this is a surprise snack for me,which i havent seen/tasted before.Its beautiful and yummy for eyes.
    "kuttikkozhukkatta' is too cute a name to call such a lill' beauty.kandappo enikkoru 'manjunda' pole thonnanu.

  11. My mom also used to make this for us.
    But like you i have no idea what this is called.
    I always loved to eat them.

  12. hey shn...
    my mom in law had made a salted version of this and had served for breakfast which was called alli..she had seen it on television and recreated it..
    the only difference in your snack is can v call it madhura alli??:)

  13. Gud one Shn...i think u can call it sweet pidi..well i'm not so sure...

  14. Oopsie! Was going to type "Kozhukkatta". Sorry maam..If I can find it from anyone I will let you know.

    Anyways..nice recipe..Will tell my mom to make it

  15. When we were kids, we were served 'mani putu' which resembles your receipe and we had it plain. But post marriage we make a more pastier version of this which is called 'Pidi'. The paste comes from coconut grinded with cumin seeds etc and we eat with either beef/mutton curry. In fact wanted you to blog Pidi. See if you can get the authentic version (like d veliapams & biryanis). Good show Shn. Its a virtual delight to read ur blogs.

  16. They look very very good. I hope that you find the name.

  17. U come up with the strangest snacks. Never heard of this one. But hey thats what make u special. The voice of the forgotten snacks. The champion of extinct recipes.

  18. Hi Shn ! I'm also a big fan of this "dessert" or snack ! I made it for my nieces in Cochin this summer, they loved it ! But my mother in law didn't know about it (i have the same problem with her for naming the dishes she makes ! ;) ). I think I have a recipe from KM Mathew. I will check the name she gave and tell you, but it was something like thengapal kozhukkatta...

  19. Super recipe!!!..this dish has found its own variation in tamil nadu..My MIL adds a little salt to the dough..steams the dumplings..and serves it with a tadka of mustard,urad dal,channa dal,green chillies and curry leaves..a favourite tea time snack!!

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. മണി പുട്ട്

  22. there is a similer one in "2004 Vanitha pachakom" I have and they named this dish as "Allipidi"...hope this will help....

    As always nice photo and good write up Mishmash!

  23. when i started reading the come you dont know kozhukkatta!!!;-D

    then i understood it was not that...i think you are in for a tough choice with so many names in the comments section..probably you can go back with this names and verify with your folks..;-P

    this is indeed very traditional and feels quite heavenly..

    i have never had it though!:-(

  24. we call it paal kozhukatta..

  25. Well i have never heard of this dish..looks divine...Dumplings in Coconut milk...or soemthing..cannt think of anything else....nice presentation....


  26. Hi Mish

    My amma used to make this for us ..Nowadays even me too making it for my child ..We used to call this as Mani poot!! Dont knw what others call this ..!!Me also posted this recipe in my blog earlier:)
    Check this link k ..

  27. It is called tengapaal kozhukatta/paal kozhukatta

  28. Hi Mishmash,

    I am regular reader of your blog.I make an alternative version of the above dish. After making the unda season it with mustard seeds, dried chillies,curry leaves and pour the coconut milk and let it boil for 5 mts. It tastes amazing and I call it thengapal kozhukatta.

  29. hi shn,

    we make this at home & we call it unda payasam. we also add steamed or fried banana along with this. It's one of my fav palaharams :)

  30. We call it 'pidi' and is my favorite dessert. Love it more than payasam.

  31. hello mishmash... its called 'pidi'. My mom used to make it. In some parts of kerala, they put these rice dumplings in chicken gravy. its called 'kozhipidi'. A neighbour of mine happens to be a kozhipidi loyal and she used to serve it for special ceremonies. They say its delicious too.

    well, i am a regular reader of your blog.. commenting for the first time though. you rock! keep it up.

  32. We call it thengapal kozhukatti.. looks divine!

  33. Hi Shyn,
    my mom used to make it for breakfast but only difference is she add sliced banana during cooking.we call it 'ethapazam kodhapichathu'.

  34. LOL! My mom and I have the same kind of conversations. It's just what it is, huh? :)

  35. hi i read your blog more often..this recipe is interesting..i too prepare this sometimes..i would like to name this "Paal undai"..hope it works :)

  36. Hi Mish,

    As so many people commented, this is called "Mani Poot".

    'Pidi' is a differnt version with cumin seeds and shallots to be grind and should be boiled together. Pidi doesn't need a steamer. Pidi, commonly eaten with some gravy, either chicken, mutton or egg..

    My mom never made Mani poot and I had this first time in my MIL place. Yummyyyyyyyyyy..

    I am regular reader of your blog and a "ghost" as you mentioned.. Your pictures and dishes are wonderful. Keep the good job up!!!


  37. hi shn,
    i have been trying to comment on this post since yest!! but my internet connection was conking off everytime i click on publish..hope it reaches u today atleast..
    u knw what my mom in law made a salted version of this snack, when we went to kerala for onam..she had seen it on some cookery program on TV..she said its called why cant v call it a "madhura alli"

  38. i am frm irinjalakuda .. its called mani puttu... in our place

  39. Mish we call it our place Mani puttu. I just logged in to see whether you have posted anything and there it is. All your recipes reminds of our childhood. I used to like it very much. The only difference is we make little smaller than yours. Simply loved it.


  40. Hey Shn,

    Its Paal Kozhukkatta. I've tasted it in one of my friend's place.

    [Now I am going to ask mom, why she didn't make it for me like your mom did!]


  41. ......never thought we'll have a tough time in naming our favourite dishes,....thala pukanju.....veedum pukanjuthudangi....:P so we can surely enjoy this without a name...:))after all what's in a name ,elle....our version too have sliced bananas in this.

  42. Wow! I found your blog because of your comment at FoodBlogga and am I glad I did! What wonderful information. The coconut milk snack balls (whatever they're called) sound amazing and I've already taken your garam masala recipe. I love that stuff, but have never tried to grind my own. Thanks! Great blog! I'll be back.

  43. thengapal kozhukatta, i think that is the name

  44. hi
    this is allipidi
    info from amrita tv's taste of kerala

  45. Sonu, its okei :))

    Vidya, aaha...ammumma vicharichu kaanum pettennu kochu-molkku enthu patteennu alle :D thanks anyway...

    Salma, I have updated the post...pls check . Thanks :)

    Nags, Pidi is different...i have blogged that nags, this isn't my mother's inventions, thats what the comments show :)

    Anon, thank you for taking time to let me know....:)

    Sandhya,that is so nice that you re introducing ur kids to such simple they enjoy all these? :)

    Nikhil, hehhe....shemikku sahodara.....:)) The mighty beef and glamorous fish curry is shocked to see you falling for this simpleton :P

    Sal, As I wrote in my post, i didnt want to name a snack that has been around for a long time....but thanks a lot for dropping few lines here....:)pls check out the updated post, if you have time.

    Anon, thanks a lot....I got an article on allipidi...I have updated the post...pls check.

    Ann, aa...enikkum photo eduthu nokkiyappo manjunda pole thanneya thonniye :))

    happy cook, now i am regretting that we didnt bother to find out the names of all those dishes .....irresposnible kids :D

    Divz, Thank you for that info....I have updated the post....yeah, it is a variation of allipidi...but guess what I had not heard that name until I started getting these comments!!!

    Zareen, Pidi is different....i have blogged that too.

    karthik, ayyo....pls avoid 'maam' ...i feel like a 45 year old :P :))) Thanks anyways..

    Jisha, I have already blogged Pidi and added to this post at the end.....and yeah these steamed dumplings can be added to curried meat too...thats a northern kerala dish ...very tasty i guess..... my mother also said maniputtu is served plain....Thank you...its a pleasure to know that someone enjoys coming here :)

    Vegeyum, I have updated the post...pls check :)

    Pooja, hehehhe...may be i come from a strange family :P it's just that I ve forgotten most of the childhood snacks Mummy used to make....but posts or sometime comments too help me shake my memory box a bit ...pinne maala-padakkathinu thee pidicha poleyaa :)) you will see another such post in next few days :))

    Charline, that would be very helpful if you can refer that book...i dont have her re right, most of these simple snacks our moms and grannys made is having indentity crisis these days as none knows the traditional name :) it's sad!

    Anju, wow...thats tadka sure gives a savory touch to it....must be darn good with tea/coffee.

    Anon, thank you so much cousin also mailed me with the same name.,,,,,thanks again :)

    Nangil Girl, yeah...this is a simpler version of that....thats what I understood after all the web search....pls check the updated post...i have given in detail.

    Kitchen Flavours, thank you.:)

    Swapna, I really dont know how to thank you for that article....there was sooo much of info....Did you check the post ?:)

    Mathew, :) yeah I never thought I will spend so much time finding the name of a snack :)) You know I wouldnt exaggerate is one of thhose real humble simple snacks...that freshly squeezed coconut milk and those soft dumpolings...when eaten warm, it is kinda special...thats the charm with all these old world snacks...ask amma to make it next time when u go home...can be done on a day she makes idiappam :P

    Anon, yes, it i s quicker version of that...thank you :)

    Rashmi, thank you dear :)

    Veenajan, thanks a lot for the link...I checked out your recipe...the only difference is that you boil the coconut milk where as in mine, I add the steamed ones to the plain cocnut can say it is a quick mani puttu :)

    Jayashree, yes i guess it is an easy version of it....thanks a lot..pls check out the updated post.

    Anon, thats real cool snack....i can imagine the aroma of it with mustard seeds and curry!! It seems , from one of the avove comments, in tamil nadu, they dont add coconut milk...just the tadka..and serve with tea....that also sounds great , isn't it? Thanks a lot :)

    Maria, guess what....i have another post ready all coz of you....that banana reminded me another dish my grandma used to make and you know me, i had to make that , eat and photograph 's coming soon :D Thank you so much for that ! :)

    Divya, hmm...quickie of that one :)

    Gini, pidi is's bigger and grated coconut is also added and some flavour it with cumins seeds and small onions....i think may be in your area, pidi is the name for this one....these regional variation is confusing right?:)

    The green heart, yeah i have seen kozhipidi in many blogs...but pidi as such is a different one...i have blogged that...anyway, check out the updated post...Thanks for dropping by and also reading my page :)

    Sujatha, yeah...similar to that...pls check the updated post.

    Kalathil, yeah...i am beginning to think it is :) Thank you....pls check the updated post.

    Anon, Thanks a lot....:)

    Mil, my granny made one with ethappazham alone....i got reminded of that reading some of your comments and made it this evening :) Thanks !

    Susan, yeah...i get the picture from ur blogs :D

    Anon, i didnt want to name it....thats why i requested you all to come up with the actual name...thanks anyway....very nice of you take time and drop a line here....:)

    M, Thanks for following my blog and happy to see you shedding the ghost image :) I have already blogged pidi...check out the updated post :)

    Divz, hey....I did get your message the first time.....i have published too...didnt you see? anyway that was so sweet of you to drop the message again :)

    Sni, thanks a lot....I have updated the post :)

    Anjali, hmm....may be i post more recipes from my childhood days....and that could be reason it takes you to your childhood days :) I was too lazy to make it tiny...hence the bigger ones :D

    Praveen, Thanks a lot....from all the search I did, this is the quicker version of paal kozhukkatta...thats what I could understand...btw, if your mom scolds you, I am not the culprit :P

    Liz, aake oru thala alle ulloo...athu veruthe pukakkanda...vereyum aavshyam varum :D sliced banana version vere onnu varunnundu...:)

    Melissa, Thank you so much:) yeah do try with the masala, am sure you will love is better than the ones you get from the stores...I liked your healthy approach to cooking :)

    Swathi, yeah....fraternal twin, I should say :P Check out the updated post.

    Anon, Thanks a lot....looks like allipodi was featured in tv shows and magazines was completely new to me...thanks a lot for introducing me to this!


  46. Hi Mish ..
    Ha yea thats the only difference ..:)
    And a lot for the link ..

  47. guess what...I made Allipidi today morning....and you are responsible for that!!! all the e-mails and photography tempted me to make this immediately [:P]....first time making this and I followed the same method from the was very good!!! thanks a lot :)

  48. It's called paal kozhukatta

  49. adipoli!! ok let me try this. i have had this stuffed and as a savory version but not soaked in coconut the way, my mom seems to be a friend of your mom's in her style of talking!!

  50. Shn,
    I asked umma and she prepared a dish like this.But it is jaggery added.. Your pidi picture is an "innocent beauty"!

  51. This is "mani puttu". I used to eat this back at home(Trichur).
    This looks so good.!!!!!!


  52. hi.. its called PIDI. PID+Chicken curry is a great combination like kappa+meen curry..

  53. Its called PIDI. pidi+chicken curry is a great combination like kappa+meen curry

  54. It's called "PIDI"...:)

  55. trissur side il ethine maniputtu ennalle paraya ?

  56. Hi Shn, not only did I enjoy reading this post, comments n following posts, my kids thoroughly enjoyed this lovely 'sanck'! THANKYOU for this keeper recipe n also for making people go weak by the descriptions!! :D

  57. hi,
    In the outskirts of TVM it is called undakali ie unda in kali
    (dumplings in porridge)
    As you cross the border to Tamilnadu it is called palkozhukattai.
    Anyway I love your site and it brings back memories so sweet to my heart.Thank you so very much for what you are doing.Jazz

  58. Made this the other day with left over idiappam dough. Just wondering, does the dumplings swell a lot after putting in coconut milk ? Mine was a bit hard. Also do you know how to make uniappams ?


  59. Maya, it doesnt swell that much but when you add the hot dunplings right out of the steamer to the coconut milk, it gets more soft...i guess may be ur dough needs to be bit more loose and do not roll the balls very tightly as u make the chappathi should be rolled very gently...Unniappam, i dont have the pan, it will take some time :)

  60. My Ammachi(grandma) used to make it when I was a kid- used to call it Undayum charum. Funny name,eh ? :)Brings back a lot of sweet memories....

  61. this is known by the name 'paal kozukattai' in tamilnadu and especially cooked and served to mark the sprouting of first teeth in infants.coconut milk is sometimes substituted with cow's milk and to it is added the thickened portions of milk(paal yedu)or thick cream.

  62. Mani puttu! thats how v call it :)

  63. My mom told me they used to call it by the name of "Kunjuappan" curry...

  64. My mom told they used to call it "kunjuappan" curry

  65. We also call this Kunjappa curry, and used to be one of my favorite breakfast mom used to make.


  66. I am an Anglo Indian from Kochi and I remember knowing this dish from my early child hood by the name of 'Cha Cha'. My mum used to use a few banana slices or when jack fruit is available a few pods of jack fruit shredded.

    I hope this helps.

    Merilla isaacs

  67. i know this snack very kottayam people call this Vellathil Unda or Pidi

  68. hiiiiiii
    i am from kottayam,we called this pidi.(we made this on special occasions.)i think this is a authentic christians dish.

  69. this is called pidi in malabar ara

  70. i am from mother used to make this as a evening snack.we used to cal this...cha cha...nancy

  71. We call this as Pidi, usually served with thenga varutta kozhi curry in Ernakulam and Kottayam Dist. i was badly searching for the pidi recipe we make in our christian style... my family love this and its a usual dish during our family getogether....The pictures are really impressive...

  72. hiiii

    dis is mi fav snack.. i cal this as kozhukatta payasam.. it looks yummyyyyyyy


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