Nei Pathal / Nei Pathiri – Deep fried rice puris in Malabar cuisine. Recipe from Vanitha magazine !!
Makes: 12 – 14
1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz boiled rice (puzhukkalari / ukkada chawal)
2 cups water
1/2 cup grated coconut (5 - 6 tablespoon)
6 shallots (chuvannulli / small onion), chopped
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
½ teaspoon salt
6 – 8 tablespoon rice flour (for final mixing)
1/2 teaspoon oil (to grease plastic or banana leaves )
3 greased plastic sheets or banana leaves
250 ml oil (to deep fry)
Wash and soak boiled rice in 2 cups of water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain out water completely. Transfer soaked rice in a mixer bowl and make a smooth paste with grated coconut, chopped shallots, salt and jeea. Use very little water to make a smooth dough. Just sprinkle 1 – 2 tablespoon water to run the mixer.
In a wide bowl, mix the rice paste with 6 tablespoon rice flour (normal rice flour) and make a dough. Add extra 1 – 2 tablespoon rice flour if required to make a soft dough. Knead well and make a soft dough. This dough is totally different from chapatti / puri dough. Adding rice flour helps to make a soft dough. This recipe step is very important.
Divide this dough into 12 – 14 portions and make balls.
Keep each rice balls in between two greased plastic sheets (15 x 15 cm) / banana leaves. Press gently and spread it by palm to make the shape of a puri - 4 - inches in diameter (nei pathiri / nei pathal). Give perfect round shape with the help of an inverted sharp lid / katoris / cookie cutter .. Arrange these nei pathals on another plastic sheet / banana leaf carefully.
Heat oil in a kadai / deep frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and deep - fry nei pathal (one at a time and gently press top portion of the pathal with a flat slotted ladle. Then it will puff puff slightly) till golden color on both the sides. Please do not fry on high heat. Keep medium heat.
Drain out from oil and place it on kitchen towel to absorb extra oil. Please use 3 – 4 paper towels. Serve with any veg or non – vegetarian gravy dishes (korma / lamb or chicken curry and also a plain snack with tea / coffee too) This nei pathal is very crispy and tastier than normal atta / flour puris.