Noted writer S Hareesh is excited to introduce 'Pidiyum Kozhiyum' or boiled rice balls with spicy and rich chicken curry that is an iconic dish of Central Kerala. “I was ten years old when I went to my friend's house to attend his first holy communion celebrations. Even though I didn’t attend the church service, I was fascinated by the aroma of the flavoursome chicken curry that was cooked at his home. I and my friends waited near the verandah after exchanging pleasantries with the relatives. By that time, my friend had returned from the church. Our faces gleamed with happiness and our tummies roared with hunger. We managed to find seats in the first row when the feast began. That was the first time when I had tasted the mouthwatering dish called pidiyum kozhiyum,” recalls Hareesh.
Kottayam is blessed with a rich cuisine that boasts of unique dishes. Pidiyum kozhiyum is a special dish that is traditionally prepared in the Christian homes during special occasions like Christmas and Easter or to celebrate baptisms or first holy communion.
“I enjoyed the small rice balls by mixing them in the rich and flavoursome gravy of the chicken curry. Suddenly, I saw that one of my friends were clutching his throat and showing signs of suffocation. The elders understood the matter immediately. He had swallowed a chicken bone along with the pidi. He tried local remedies like swallowing balls of rice. However, it didn’t work, and he had to be taken to the medical college. Even though my memory of pidyum kozhiyum is a bit painful, I still haven’t forgotten the amazing taste of that dish. Since then, I haven’t missed a chance to enjoy the delicious pidiyum kozhiyum,” says the writer.
Check out the recipes of pidiyum kozhiyum
1 kg rice flour
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 garlic cloves
1 cup coconut milk
2 sprigs curry leaves
Salt as required
Dry roast the rice flour
When the flour turns fragrant add the grated coconut
Boil some water by adding cumin seeds and crushed garlic
Pour this water into the flour mixture
Mix well and make small balls from them
Heat an uruli or a wide bottom vessel
Pour the water that has been boiled with cumin and garlic
Bring it to a boil before adding curry leaves, grated coconut and coconut milk and salt
Now add the rice balls
Turn off the flame when the rice balls are cooked and the gravy turns thicker.
½ coconut (grated)
Crushed green chillies
Cook the chicken pieces by adding turmeric powder and salt
Grind the grated coconut with dried chillies, coriander powder and garam masala
Heat oil in a pan
Sauté the onion, green chillies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves
Add the chicken masala too
Into it add the coconut paste, salt and some water
Finally, add the cooked chicken pieces
Simmer until the gravy thicken up
Pour the rich chicken curry over pidi and enjoy!