Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai / Arisi Kozhukattai

Pidi Kozhukattai, Arisi Kozhukattai or Kara Kozhukattai is a traditional steamed South Indian Breakfast, Snacks or Tiffin recipe made with brown rice.

Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai / Arisi Kozhukattai

Pidi Kozhukattai is one of the most frequently made South Indian Breakfast. Steamed, low oil, delicious breakfast option that has been a childhood favourite. It is also enjoyed as an early dinner option or as we South Indians call it – Tiffin!

I have made this Pidi Kozhukattai or Arisi Kozhukattai using “Brown Rice” instead of regular White Rice.

You may not find this in most popular restaurants like Idli or Dosa, but they are an equally delicious breakfast option.

Serve them with spicy and tangy Tomato Chutney or Thakkali Chutney and a cup of filter coffee for breakfast. You can serve them with Kothamalli Chutney too.

Pidi Kozhukattai with Tomato Chutney
Pidi Kozhukattai Served with thakkali chutney

What is Pidi Kozhukattai?

  • The word ‘Pidi’ in Tamil actually means ‘to catch’ someone and it is also referred to as measuring something like ‘Oru Pidi Arisi’ which means ‘one fistful of Rice’. The Kozhukattai mixture is actually shaped (oval shape) and pressed by hand. Hence the name Pidi Kozhukattai.
  • Traditionally, Pidi Kozhukattai is made with White Rice. The Rice is soaked, drained, dried and then coarsely ground. Further, the coarse rice is cooked with a tempering of chillies, curry leaves etc and then steamed!
  • Sounds like quite a process, eh? Don’t be daunted by the description. Once you taste them, you would be making it often at home.
  • One of the main reasons why this is frequently made in most South Indian Homes is the fact that it is steamed and extremely light. It is kid friendly too and can be made a tad spicier for adults with extra green chillies.
Steamed Kozhukattai with brown rice

Varieties of Kozhukattai

  • Sweet Kozhukattai (with stuffing) – Also called as Ukadiche Modak in Mahararashtra made with rice flour and a filling of jaggery, coconut. Traditionally made for Vinayagar Chaturthi Festival.
  • Uppu Kozhukattai (with savory stuffing) – Resembles a North Indian Gujiya but made with rice and stuffed with a savory filling of lentils (Urad Dal or skinless black gram). Kozhukattai is made as prasad for Vinayagar Chaturthi. It is also eaten as breakfast or snack too.
  • Ammini Kozhukattai – Easiest to make and yummiest to eat. They are my personal favourite. Made with just rice flour and salt, they are further spiced with different flavours. I have 3 varieties shared on my blog namely – Lemon, Curry Leaves and the Spicy version with red chillies.
Soft Kozhukattai

How to make Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai?

  • Choose a short grain Brown Rice Variety. I have used Organic Somasuri Brown Rice. I use this rice for normal cooking as well.
  • Brown Rice requires extra soaking time than the white rice. Extra soaking would mean faster cooking and even steaming too.
  • Rice should be Soaked, Drained, Dried and then coarsely ground. It will steam and turn fluffy.
  • Grinding finely would mean a pasty Kozhukattai and won’t give you that melt in mouth experience.
  • If you want to make Pidi Kozhukattai as your evening dinner, then the prep work should be late morning around 11 am. The process involves soaking the rice for couple of hours, drying them on a thin cloth and then grinding it coarsely.
  • If you plan to make these for Breakfast then you can begin the above process by late afternoon and then stock the coarsely ground powder in the refrigerator.
  • Alternatively, you can also plan ahead and opt for bulk soaking, grinding and storing in the refrigerator (stays fresh only for 2 days max in freezer).

Step by Step Instructions to make Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai

  1. Wash the Brown Rice 2-3 times and then soak it for atleast 4 hours.
  2. Drain the water and then spread the rice on a soft cotton cloth (on the kitchen platform). This process will drain all the excess moisture. It takes around an hour for the water to drain.
  3. Once the rice has drained all the moisture, grind it in a mixer grinder into a coarse powder and keep aside.
  4. Heat a kadhai or non-stick pan, add coconut oil and mustard seeds.
  5. Once the mustard crackles, add chana dal, red and green chillies, curry leaves.
  6. After the chana dal turns slightly brownish, add the 2 cups of water and salt to taste and allow it to simmer.
  7. Once it reaches a boil, slowly add the coarsely grounded rice while stirring the mixture continuously to avoid lumps. Cover and cook for couple of seconds.
  8. Open the lid, keep stirring the mixture until the moisture is fully absorbed by the rice flour and the mixture reaches a slightly tighter consistency.
  9. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes before dividing into equal portions, and shaping them into oval shape dumplings. 
  10. In the meanwhile, prepare a steamer and grease the plates slightly.
  11. Place the Kozhukattais on the steamer plates and steam them for 15 to 20 minutes.
  12. Allow them to cool slightly before opening the lid and serve them immediately with an accompaniment of your choice.

Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai / Arisi Kozhukattai

Pidi Kozhukattai, Arisi Kozhukattai or Kara Kozhukattai is a traditional steamed South Indian Breakfast, Snacks or Tiffin recipe made with brown rice. Detailed Recipe with step by step pics
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: arisi kozhukattai, brown rice recipes, Evening Tiffin Recipes, pidi kozhukattai, South Indian Breakfast Recipe, steamed snacks, Vegan Recipe
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brown Rice I have used a short grain variety
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 3-4 nos Whole Red chillies I have added Pondi chillies
  • 3-4 nos Green Chillies finely chopped You may adjust quantity or skip if required
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil You can use neutral oil or sesame oil too
  • 6 cups Water as required See Notes
  • Curry Leaves as required
  • Salt as per taste

Instructions

  • Wash the Brown Rice 2-3 times and then soak it for atleast 4 hours.
  • Drain the water and then spread the rice on a soft cotton cloth (on the kitchen platform). This process will drain all the excess moisture. It takes around an hour for the water to drain.
  • Once the rice has drained all the moisture, grind it in a mixer grinder into a coarse powder and keep aside.
  • Heat a kadhai or non-stick pan, add coconut oil and mustard seeds.
  • Once they crackle, add chana dal, red and green chillies, curry leaves.
  • Once the chana dal turns slightly brownish, add the 2 cups of water and salt to taste and allow it to simmer
  • Once it reaches a boil, slowly add the coarsely grounded rice while stirring the mixture continuously to avoid lumps. Cover and cook for couple of seconds
  • Open the lid, keep stirring the mixture until the moisture is fully absorbed by the rice flour and the mixture reaches a slightly tighter consistency.
  • Allow it to cool for 15 minutes before dividing into equal portions, and shaping them
    into oval shape dumplings
  • In the meanwhile, prepare a steamer and grease the plates with few drops of oil.
  • Place the Kozhukattais on the steamer plates and steam them for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Allow them to cool slightly before opening the lid and serve them immediately with an
    accompaniment of your choice

Notes

  • Quantity of Water – 2 cups rice for soaking the brown rice + 2 cups for Cooking hte Rice + 2 cups for Steamer.
  • Traditionally, a cup of grated coconut is added along with the rice flour and tastes great. However, since we go easy on coconut consumption too and have paired it with a coconut chutney which balances the taste.
  • Since we are always short of time and cannot follow a lengthy procedure for everyday cooking, the soaking and grinding process can be done a day earlier and stored in the freezer for atleast 2 days.
  • Since it is coarse rice flour and not finely powdered, it spoils fast if kept for longer (even in the freezer). So, this is an ideal weekend meal.
  • Traditionally, a cup of grated coconut is added along with the rice flour and tastes great. However, since we go easy on coconut consumption too and have paired it with a coconut chutney which balances the taste.
  • You can try the same recipe using white rice. The soaking time would be only 2 hours instead of 4. 

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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Must be super yummy Vidya. I will try it one of these days and I will have some coconut added 😊
    And lovely narration of the grandparents routine 👍

    1. Thank you Sir for stopping by and providing your wonderful feedback. And about the coconut, my mom does the same, add more and trust me it does taste delicious and soft. Do try and let me know how you liked it. Would be happy to hear.

      1. Thank you
        And sure I will try. Let me copy the recipe

  2. That’s a beautiful writeup Vidya ! Nostalgic ! The kozhukattai looks delicious 😍

  3. Nice reading about your grand parents’ life back then, it seems to be more or less similar to my grandparents’ life as well ! Love your delicious pidi kozhukattai with coconut chutney!!

    1. Aren’t we South Indians a bit similar in our routines? especially the earlier generations were very disciplined. Thanks and glad you could relate it and also loved the dish.

  4. Good post Vidya , love your narratives makes it so interesting. The brown rice kozhukattai looks delicious!

    1. I am so glad to hear that from you dear. Thank you and this is the motivation I need from friends like you.

  5. I also get amazed, when I think about our grandparents, they made every meal fresh from scratch with no kitchen appliances for at least minimum 5 people. Nowadays I get tired when I cook three simple meals per day, with the use of all kitchen appliances. I guess, that is the reason they were fit and healthy. I am not a morning person. So my day is totally depends on the time I wake up.

    Lovely dish, thank you for sharing. I love the way, you describe the recipes.

    1. Tell me about it Malini, we are such lazy souls who have the latest appliances yet crib about cooking more than 2 things on the menu and these guys cooked for an entire lot and that too not in advance (no freezing or storing). Something to learn and ponder. Glad you like the write ups and this is so encouraging to hear.

      1. Very true, dear 🙂 I shared your recipe on “It’s all about Vegetarian / Vegan Food” group on Facebook. Hope you don’t mind. I created this group to collect healthy vegetarian recipes. If you are interested, please join.

      2. Why would I mind my dear? Please go ahead and add me, shall be happy to be a part of your lovely group.

      3. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Loved reading about your grandparents routine and can so relate to it. Makes me so hungry to see your brown rice Kozhukattai, they look so delicious. I have tried it with rice powder in my recipe here, https://stirringmyspicysoul.com/2017/11/12/spicy-kozhukattai/, it tastes yummy too. I had to figure out a shorter version coz I do not have the time to do it from scratch.Sure to visit your blog again as I see some of my favorite forgotten recipes posted here. Thank you & Happy blogging !

    1. Hey, Yes rice powder is an easy option but I somehow prefer this long method, will check out the recipe on your blog as well though. Thank you for appreciating my work and will keep in touch. Best wishes!

  7. Nice post Vidhya…love your beautiful read❤ and such an yummy dish, love the way how u made with brown rice 🍚 looks really delightful ✌

    1. thank you so much dear, yes, healthy twists are certainly interesting.

  8. Awesome post Vidya, loved it…one quick question, can we use any other oil instead of coconut oil..will try this for sure..☺

    1. Thanks dear, you can use a vegetable oil too but then i recommend adding grated coconut say 1/2 cup to 1 cup rice while making the upma mixture. Of if you want to skip coconut as well, just make it simple and serve with chutney. It won’t have a coconut flavour and aroma to it without the oil or the grated coconut.

      1. Ok…Thanks a lot Vidya for such amazing information…Will definitely take care of this while making !!

  9. very nice recipe. thank you for stopping by vidya at my space.

  10. Wonderful recipe. I have been meaning to try pidi kozhakattai for a while now. Will give it a try 🙂

    1. Thanks dear. The newspaper was a last minute addition and I loved it too.

  11. We don’t use much brown rice in our day-to-day cooking. I’ve only used it once to create a risotto, and I sometimes use it to make dosa and pulao. Your brown rice pidi kozhukattai sounds so delish – I’ll definitely be trying it out. 🙂
    Love the picture, too – love how it is very everyday, yet gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Priya. I try and use all possible healthy produce that’s within my budget and great for everyday consumption. Brown Rice helps you stay full and I tend to use it more during the first half as its full of fibre. The main meals include hand pound rice or sometimes the simple and basic white rice too. Glad you liked the concept and styling. Thanks so much.

  12. 5 stars
    This amazing recipe was a must to try and made yesterday. My family was like” wow what a great meal. Pet bhar Gaya Magar niyat nahi Bhari.” We north Indians know very little about South Indian dishes and this was very new to me. Though I baked with white rice but am sure it will turn out equally good with any other millet too. Thanks for sharing and once again happy birthday to you. Keep on sharing your lovely recipes.

    1. Hi Samana, thank you for the feedback. Traditionally, like I mentioned in the post, this is made with white rice only and it tastes amazing. Millets would be lovely too and I am sure now you will experiment with different varieties. Thank you for the birthday wishes and the encouragement. Follow us for all the lovely recipes and more. Cheers.

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