Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Neypathal (Deep fried rice pancakes with onion, coconut and fennel)



This was one of the post that I wanted since very very long time. It really took me sometime to get the measurements to put up here. This might be new to many of you out there. Neypathal is one of the festive treats in malabar side of kerala and is made at almost every muslim houses there every once in a while. This is mostly made for dinner along with its combination currys like Malabar Chicken curry, pepper Mutton, mutton/chicken Korma, Chemmeen Muringavaal curry, dahi murg etc........ (I will be posting all these currys soon, so that you can try making this with the curry),for dinner during Ramadan or mainly served for guests. We sometimes have it for breakfast along with a banana and a cup of tea. Some of you must already be acquainted with the simple and humble pathiri/pathal that is just made by mixing rice powder and water or by grinding rice, and then flattened it by hand and roasted on the tawa. For some reason, I used to hate pathiri/pathal just because of its bland taste. And used to be upset when my mom makes delicious pathal and fish curry for dinner. I had skipped my dinner many times for the only cause being the dinner is Pathiri!And now I make them whenever I crave for them.

Apart from using rice in neypathal, all other ingredients and methods are different from pathal/pathiri. Pathal/pathiri is normally roasted in a tawa/griddle by lightly rubbing with oil, but neypathal/neypathiri, as the name indicates, is fried in oil. Like many other malabar dishes, this is another rich dish from there. And if anybody hasn't tasted it yet, I would strongly recommend to try this one at least once. Yes, it is that yummy. I don't know anybody who doesn't like this dish. If you are making it for the first time, try it with long grain rice (Pachari) and half the amount mentioned in the recipe. Because, if the rice is not the right one, you might not be able to get the right texture. And pachari cant go wrong. I have tried few parboiled rice in here, and some of them didn't work right for this recipe. There are quite a few methods of how you can make neypathiri. All are given below.
Method 1

Ingredients:
2 cups long grain rice (Pachari)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 large onion (200g)
1 cup rice powder (Unroasted)
2 tspful fennel (perumjeerakam)
1 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation:


1. Soak the rice in normal tap water for 3-4 hours.
2. Grind it along with minimal water until you get a coarse and grainy mixture. When you touch the ground rice, it should be really grainy.(I have used more water here since my grinder doesn't work with less amount than that).
3. Add coconut, fennel seeds and roughly chopped onions to this and grind for few seconds until everything is just crushed and NOT smooth.
4. Tip the whole mixture in to a large bowl, add salt and mix well.
5. Add the rice powder and mix well using hands.
6. Place a large kadai on high heat. Take a golf size ball and flatten it into thick discs of 4-5 mm width (combined width of 2-3 pooris) using the fingers by placing it on a plastic sheet. (I use a shopper bag cut into square shape). Carefully hold the plastic sheet in one hand and remove the pathal using other hand and slowly slide it in oil. Smear the fingers and palm with oil to avoid the dough sticking to the hand.
7. One you put the neypathal in oil you can see bubbles and after sometimes it will float on top and puff up. it will not stretch and puff up as much as poori since there is no gluten in rice, but it will puff up if properly done. As soon as it puffs up, using a slotted spoon, flip it over and fry both sides until golden.
If you make neypathal with this amount of ingredients, it will easily feed 4-6 people.
P.S: This is the amount that I made yesterday for dinner and it came out perrrfect. The amount of water and powder can vary. If you can grind rice using minimal amount of water that would be the best. Then you need to add less rice powder only. YOU CAN MAKE NEYPATHAL BY HALVING THE AMOUNT IF YOU WANT TO PREPARE IT JUST FOR 2-3 PEOPLE. I normally make with this amount, have it the next day or for breakfast or brunch the next day. The dough can also be kept in fridge and neypathal can be made the next day.

Method 2:


Ingredients:
2 cups Parboiled rice (Puzhukkalari)
1 1/2 - 2 cups freshly grated coconut
1 large onion (200g)
2 cups water
1 cup minus 2 tbsful rice powder (Unroasted)
1 1/2 tbs tspful fennel (perumjeerakam)
1 1/4 tsp salt
Preparation:
1. Soak the rice in tap water overnight.
2. Grind it along with minimal water until you get a coarse and grainy mixture.
3. Add coconut, fennel seeds and roughly chopped onion to this and grind for few seconds until everything is just crushed and NOT smooth.
4. Tip the whole mixture in to a large bowl, add salt and mix well.
5. Add the rice powder and mix well using hands.
6. Place a large kadai on high heat. Take small portion from the dough and roll it in round shape by placing it in the palm to a size of a golf ball. from flatten it into thick discs of 4mm-5 mm (thickness of 2-3 pooris)width,using the fingers by placing it on a plastic sheet. (I use a plastic shopper bag cut into square shape). Carefully hold the plastic sheet in one hand and remove the pathal using other hand and slowly slide it in oil. Smear your hand with little oil, so that the pathal doesn't stick to the hands when you drop it in oil.
7. Once you drop the neypathal in oil you can see bubbles on top of the pathal and after sometimes it will float on top and puff up. It will not stretch and puff up as much as poori since there is no gluten in rice, but it will puff up if properly done. As soon as it puffs up, using a slotted spoon, flip it over and fry both sides until golden. if it doesn't puff up, just slowly tap the pathal at the edges with the spoon until it puffs up. These all are tricks that I learned from my mistakes.

Method 3:
One of my distant relatives told me that neypathal can also be made of 'Puttu podi' since the rice is coarsely ground. I have never tried that method yet so I don't have the exact amount in hand. But I bet this method is the most easiest one. Since Puttu podi is not widely available here, I always opt for other two method. But again, the first method using pachari is easier than the one using Parboiled rice since pachari (Long grain rice) takes less soaking time and of course grinds easily.Anyways, for the puttupodi method everything is same as above, but instead of using rice and rice powder, we use puttupodi.Here is the method.


1. Boil water and add salt.
2. Crush coconut with fennel and onion. Keep it aside.
3. Add the puttupodi to the boiled water and mix. Add the ground mixture and mix well.
4. The mixture should just be firm enough to make a ball out of it and flatten it and drop it in the oil.

Important points to be Noted:
1. If using parboiled rice, the texture differ mainly because of rice. I had to change the rice few times because my neypathal wouldn't come out good. Either it would never get cooked, or it would be too hard. My mom uses sona rice for making this. If you are in the UK, you can get the rice that comes in a blue packet at tesco. It is mentioned in the packet as 'Easy cook long grain rice'. But that works very well for this one.
2. If you are new to this dish, I would recommend you to try with Long grain rice (Pachari), just because, pachari is widely available and it cant go wrong as parboiled rice.
3. If you don't have rice powder, you can lay several layers of towels or thick cloth and pour the batter in this stacked towel until it absorb all the moisture from the ground mixture and you get a soft rice dough that you can form into a ball. My mom makes it this way. She grinds her rice in the large electric mortar (Ammiyum kuttiyum) by adding very minimal water, just few tablespoons of water. Since I don't have have that mortar, I add lot of water for my grinder to work. And have to substitute that moisture by adding rice powder. So use minimal water as possible.
4. If the mixture is too dry, it will be easy to flatten it, but it will start cracking in the oil, and it will be dry. SO make sure,just make the the dough firm enough so that you can make a soft ball and fry it in oil. It might take some time to get the hang of it, but once you are used to it, it will be easy. I remember when I first started making this dish, I was so scared when I start to drop the pathal in oil and I drop it from a distance, I think i should say throwing it from a distance, spilling the oil everywhere and smearing the whole surrounding area with oil. Sometimes oil splashed on me as well. So the best thing is to drop slowly into the oil. Just slide in slowly and it works perfect.
5. If the pathal is too thick or too thin, it might not puff up all the time. So adjust accordingly.
6. And most of all, the oil should be really really hot. After frying few neypathal, the oil temperature drops down drastically. So wait for sometime, until the oil is smoking hot and then continue frying them again.

Best reheating method:
The best way to reheat the neypathal would be steaming them until soft. By this way, they really become soft. I also microwave sometimes, but as usual with the Micro-heated stuffs, if not eaten immediately, they go hard.

12 comments:

Nithya said...

Looks very very yummy... I have never heard of it before. will try it soon. :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Wow..great effort to post such authetic dishes with long notes n tips Shabd..we readers truly owe u a thanks..keep up da..:)

Pavithra said...

Wow thats really wonderful recipe dear .. wish i should try this one day

Smitha said...

Adipoli Shabs,
My mother used to make this for us.U r making me homesick :(
Wonderful pics too.

Zayida said...

Pachari is the best..beat an egg and mix with the ari before shaping the pathal..the pathal will be so soft and delicate.

Shabs.. said...

Nithya, let me know once u try it...they are really so yumy with any meat curry. chk my chemmeen muringa curry, thats a good combo with this.

Varsha, I have made lot of mistake with this and I dont my readers to do the same.

Pavithra:)

Smitha, thx for ur lovely comment...

Zayeda,Thx for stopping by. I will try adding egg next time. But my pathal has always been delicate and soft otherwise, as u can see in the pic...:)

kothiyavunu said...

Gr8 job shabs!!!Thakarthu!!!! enikku vayya...you have made it from the scratch.. the traditional way which is time consuming...but it is worth the effort! sherikum itrayum elaborate aayittu post cheythuloo.. hats of u dear..:)

Anonymous said...

thanks a loot shabs!!! well iam new to te kitchen feild was in search of recipes of thalassery/kannur dishes.. n u just made it easy 4 me.. thanks 4 te gr88 recipes..

Shabs.. said...

Hi anon, thx for stopping by and your comments. Glad that my recipes are useful for you. When i started cooking i too had trouble getting hold of kannur thalassery recipes on net, so i started saving my recipes:). Hope i could collect all the possible versions of our dishes. Please use a name next time, so that i can remember
Regards,
shabs.

sajana said...

i tried making the pathal with pachari , but it came out very hard, even though it puffed up. where could i have gone wrong? pls help

sajana

Shabs.. said...

Hi sajana,
Neypathal needs a bit of risk-taking regarding the rice.if using raw rice alone, try to soak it in hot water. Else mix raw rice and par-boiled rice (puzhukkalari). It is traditionally made with puzhukkalari. And i think, the rice powder you used for mixing would be roasted rice powder. If you use roated rice powder to mix, you will get very hard pathal. Soak pachari in hot water and mix to a dough using un-roasted rice powder. your pathal will be fine.

shabs.

Rafeeda said...

Finally I get to see the recipe of Neypathal. I am from Tirur and my hubby from Vadakara - he is mad about this and always cribs that I don't make it. It's just that I am not confident. Now that I have it with full instructions, InshaAllah, very soon I will make it. Hopefully he will be happy... :) Thank you so much, Shab, u r doing a fantastic job!!! :)

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