This Barley based Pidi Kozhukattai is a much healthier option than the regular pidi kozhukattai that is made from rice flour. As everyone knows, rice flour is high glycemic and not a good choice for diabetics.
So, why not use the traditional method to maintain the taste but make it from high fiber barley flour instead? It is healthy, tasty and very easy to make.
A little bit about Tsampa
Tsampa is roasted barley flour used regularly in Tibet. It is roasted in high heat in sand, filtered and ground. Thus it is a cooked, ready-to-eat flour. People living in harsh mountainous regions can take them out anywhere, mix it with water and eat it directly without cooking.
If you see some videos of people eating tsampa, they mix it with their hand with some hot tea, just like our “pidi” (which mean to hold). Thus I thought it will be perfect for pidi kozhukattai.
The 2 step process involves:
- Making the tempering:
2) Steaming the dumplings
High fiber, healthy and tasty pidi kozhukattai from barley flour (tsampa)
- 1 cup Tsampa
- 1.5 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Chana Dal
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Split Urad Dal
- 2-3 pinches Hing
- Curry leaves
- 1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
- 1 cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt (or to taste)
Get the sesame oil heated in a Kadai (wok). Add chana dal first, to give it some time to fry. Once it turns reddish, add mustard seeds, urad dal, hing and curry leaves.
Add shredded coconut, stir fry for a few seconds. Add a cup of water and bring to boil. Add 1 cup of tsampa and stir until it comes together like an upma (thick porridge).
Switch off heat and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
Oil your hands. Using your palm as a mold, make about 8-10 dumplings and steam them for 5 minutes.
Once the steamer cools, plate and serve.
Since tsampa is a cooked flour, if you do not achieve molding consistency, feel free to add fresh flour to the upma and stir until you reach molding consistency.
Ok, taste time. I loved it (well..duh!!) But true test – My kids ate it. They ate it for dinner, they ate it as lunch in their lunch boxes. They came back with empty boxes. It was a hit!! This is not one of those, “it is healthy, might as well eat it” kind of recipes. It is a damn tasty replacement.
From my previous blog articles see [Glycemic Index, Why South Indian Cuisine…], one should be able to ascertain – For diabetics, any flour is bad enough, but white rice flour is absolutely horrible. So, try Tsampa or try oats.
Hopefully, our fascination with eating all things white is trending down. Except for the greyish color, there is no reason why one should hesitate using a whole grain flour for our traditional recipes. Make rules that fit your health and taste, not what tradition dictates.
Tsampa is a traditional flour with a lot of benefits, but you might have to search a little. I was unable to find a link on Amazon, but I hope you find it at any local Nepali/Tibet grocery store near you.
Do buy it, try it and post your comments below. Or try your own multigrain version. Break the kitchen rules and share your experiences :). I look forward to it!!