Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Poori

Monday, February 15, 2016

My memories of Neypathal goes back to childhood summer holidays at Umama's (grandma) home. We cousins used to take turns to grind the rice on the Ammi Kalu (a flat stone with a rolling pin made of same stone) for any pathals (flat bread) or chutneys. Being kids, we had to stand over a low stool to reach the stone grinder and then move the rolling pin back and forth while simultaneously rolling the pin too while another cousin sprinkles water to the rice and another one waiting behind for her turn... It was an activity that I personally enjoyed and a reason I got into the good books of the elders :-P. I never once felt it as a labour instead enjoyed it so much that sometimes we fight if one of them stays longer on the stool.. :-P Of course it is always the girls who were fond of doing this activity. They still use the ammi kalu and these days every house has one at least as a show piece.

Now there are Pathals that are flat breads roasted on tawa with some ghee and then there are these Neypathals that are deep fried as the name suggests. It is made with coarsely ground long grain rice with some coconut, onion, fennel seeds etc. This is a common dish in every Muslim home especially in the Malabar region. In this recipe I have added rice flour only to make the dough workable as we are using electric appliances to grind the rice. This is served with chicken curry, mutton fry, beef masala and can be a breakfast or dinner.. I would't mind even for lunch as it is deep fried!


As I knew F never enjoyed pathals when he was served back home, I never had to make them here. I cook food that both enjoy, even if it means I don't get to eat my favourites. It is totally personal choice, as I hate to cook for one. And building up on the craving will make the journey to home a lot more fun isn't it?

Recently in some random conversation F said that he likes neypathals - it came as a total surprise to me as I got to know this after almost 2.5 years of marriage! I called my mom immediately for the recipe. This is my first attempt, and I have been wanting to try again before I blog about this.. but I couldn't wait any more. This being the 100th post, I wanted to share something that is connected to my roots and that is not widely known or made.

You sure do will miss the authentic taste as we use food processor, but it is better to keep the recipe alive than totally miss it. Even though I have used brown rice, dessicated coconut, basmati rice - all these scream "not authentic", yet this tasted so good and close to the usual ones. This is the best I could do to recreate the old recipe here in Yanbu.

Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Poori

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup white basmati rice or any long grain rice
1/2 cup brown basmati rice (can be replaced with the same long grain rice)
Enough water to soak both the rice
1 medium onion
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (or 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup water
5 tablespoons rice flour (unroasted)
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Poori


METHOD:
  1. Wash, soak both white and brown rice together in enough water for at least 3 to 4 hours and then drain all the water from the soaked rice (you can transfer the rice into mesh colander to drain the water)
  2. In a mixie, add the rice and grind coarsely for a few seconds and then add chunked onion, dessicated/fresh grated coconut, fennel seeds, garam masala, salt and grind again adding up to 1/2 cup of water - do not make it too fine. The final texture should be grainy.
  3. Transfer the content into a bowl and then start adding unroasted rice flour one tablespoon at a time and mix well until you feel comfortable working with it. We are looking for a stage when it will stop being too sticky and be able to make patties. I used 5 tablespoon, it may be less or more depending on the rice quality. 
  4. Test and adjust the salt and spices for the last time
  5. Keep a freezer bag or any similar plastic sheet ready on the work area. Take a lemon sized dough and place it on a plastic sheet and cover it with another plastic sheet and flatten it using your palm or rolling pin. The thickness to be maintained is more than pooris or chapatis... 
  6. Heat enough oil in a deep pan or kadai. Test the oil by dropping a tiny bit of the dough, if it sizzles up to the surface, then your oil is ready. Prefer to keep the flame at medium as the dough needs to get cooked. 
  7. Remove the top sheet, and carefully release to your other hand and slide it into the hot oil. It will sink to the bottom of the kadai and will surface only after a few seconds. So wait until it surfaces and puffs up. Use a slotted spoon to flip carefully and fry other side too until evenly cooked. Drain and keep aside to drain excess oil if any. 
  8. Serve hot with any non-veg curry. I served with boneless chicken curry. 

If you are new to this and you like rice, then you have to give this a try. Make sure to have it as soon as possible.. so prepare the curry ahead and start frying only close to the serving time. If you want to re-heat the leftovers next day, then best way is to steam it or microwave it with a glass of water inside to prevent from drying. I don't think there will be any leftovers with the above recipe :-)


I did the rolling and dropping in oil and F fried them, once done we began to eat.. and all of a sudden I realized I hadn't clicked a picture, so grabbed the left overs and took the above pictures... So again, I am not sure how many naypathals I made, but roughly it was 10 to 12 and we were left craving for more...

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