Sigh, double sigh! 😦 Ask me why? It is time, I’d say. Time for what you’d ask again. It’s time to temporarily bid adieu to my favourite bean ‘Avarekalu’, also known as Machekotte, Surti lilva papdi, and many other names I cannot recollect at the moment because I’m busier lamenting about not being to eat Avarekalu again till winter this year. Sigh again! (stifling sniffs)
‘Pidi’ in Tamil means ‘handful’. And since these kozhkattais are shaped with the hand, with a handful of the kozhkattai maav (maav is batter/dough/mixture prepared), that’s where they get their name from. Pidi Kozhkattais are traditional Tamil tiffin-fare. And these with avarekalu couldn’t get any better!
- Avarekalu – 3 cups (pressure cooked with salt, till softly done)
- Idli soji (Rice rava) – 1 measure (I used 1 paav)
- Green Chillies – 4 nos, finely chopped
- Curry leaves – a sprig, finely chopped
- Coriander/Cilantro – a handful, finely chopped
- Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp (coarsely pounded)
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad dal – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida/Hing – a generous pinch
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Salt – to taste
- Grated Coconut (optional) – 1/2 cup (I din’t use any)
- Water – 2 measures or as required (use same measure as the one for idli soji)
- In a wok, heat the oil and pop the mustard seeds. Add the asafoetida, jeera and urad dal. Fry till urad dal turns golden brown.
- Add the green chillies and curry leaves. Fry for another half minute.
- Add the cooked avarekalu beans and salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to a boil.
- Gradually stir in the idli soji and cook on a high flame. Keep stirring continuously till the mixture comes together and all the water content has been absorbed by the idli soji.
- Lower heat and stir in the coarsely pounded pepper, coriander and grated coconut (if using). Mix well and remove from flame.
- Allow to cool under a fan for about 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, wet your hand and make pidis (elongated balls as seen in the picture) with the entire mixture. You should be able to make about 18-20 pidis with this amount of mixture.
- Transfer to a deep vessel and steam for about 15-20 minutes. (You could also use the idli plates. I’d say the deep vessel is still a better bet since the pidis wouldn’t get crushed and lose shape).
- Enjoy hot with spicy Tomato-Onion Chutney.