What is Kakka Orotti?
Kakka is a Malayalam word for clams and Orotti is flatbread dough that is made with ground rice. It is known by many other names like kakka rotti, aanapathal, pidi, aanaorotti, kunjipathal, undio, pinde, etc. The difference in name is largely depending on the region of origin in the southern state of India - mostly Kerala and coastal Karnataka. They are known differently and also are made differently except that all of them use rice for the balls, are steam cooked and are folded into a prepared curry with meat or seafood.
Kakka Orotti is a true Moplah dish that is celebrated as a staple and also as a special occasion food. Back home, this dish brings all the ladies of the home together in the kitchen, each contributing to rolling the dumplings while catching up with the latest neighbourhood news. I remember as a kid watching my aunts and grandmas with oiled palms rolling the kakka orotti while incessantly talking and laughing together! A scene that is less prevalent these days so I don't know if this tradition will continue with our generation... 😞
me making sense of my mom's WhatsApp voice messages 😁
Kakka Orotti Ingredients
- par-boiled rice (ponni rice)
- freshly grated coconut
- fennel seeds
- rice flour
How to make Moplah style Kakka Orotti?
- Prepare the rice dough
- Make the balls (as described in the recipe) and steam them in batches, while steaming-
- Roast the ingredients for coconut sauce and make a paste, while roasting-
- Prep the ingredients for the chicken/beef curry
- Prepare the chicken gravy
- Fold in the steamed Kakka orotti
Mom's Kakka Orotti | Steamed Mini Rice Dumplings in Roasted Coconut Sauce Chicken Gravy
- 2 cups parboiled rice (ponni rice or koorva)
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 medium onion, diced roughly
- 1 cup of water (approx)
- 3 tablespoon rice flour (approx)
- Salt to taste
- oil to grease the steamer and your palm
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons of raw rice grains
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 cup grated coconut
- water to make a smooth paste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 large onions, sliced finely
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 850gms to 1kg whole skinless chicken, curry cut
- 2 cups of water
- Salt to taste
- Prepared coconut paste
- 1 teaspoon Malabar garam masala powder
- Fistful curry leaves
- Soak the rice in enough just hot water and cover and keep for an hour
- Drain and grind the rice along with grated coconut, onion chunks, fennel seeds, salt and water to a coarse and grainy mixture that is not too smooth but not too grainy either. Do it in batches if required.
- Transfer the mixture into a bowl and start adding rice flour little by little until you can make the mixture into a non-sticky dough. You should be able to pinch a little and make balls that don't fall apart or sticky. (Cover and keep it until needed)
- Grease your steamer vessels lightly with oil
- When you are ready to prepare the kaka orottis, rub both your palms and fingers with oil and take a handful of the dough, roll it between your hands into a log shape. Keep the log-shaped dough on your left hand cupped in your fingers and pinch a small portion and roll it into a ball on the left-hand palm. Press it lightly in the middle to make a dent and keep them on the pan.
- Repeat this until the steamer pan is filled with these dumplings.
- Steam cook on a medium flame for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
- Transfer them to a container and keep them covered
- Repeat until all of the dough is used up.
- Keep aside until needed. (At this point you can refrigerate the steamed dumplings if you intend to use next day)
- Heat oil in a wide frying pan
- Add raw rice and sauté until rice puffs up
- Add fennel seeds and grated coconut and sauté again until the coconut starts turning golden
- Let it cool and then grind with water to make it into a smooth paste
- Keep aside
- Heat oil in a big enough curry pot (this will be the pot where you will add the steamed kakka orotti so ensure you use the right size where you can stir and fold comfortably)
- Add the curry leaves along with chopped onions and sauté until golden
- add ginger-garlic paste and saute for couple more minutes or until the raw smell fades
- Now, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until everything comes together
- You can cover and cook at this point if it is too dry
- Lower the flame and add all the spice powders - chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and sauté for couple more minutes
- Now, add the washed and drained chicken pieces and stir well.
- Add enough water, season with salt and cover and cook until chicken is completely cooked. (open and stir occasionally to prevent burning)
- Add the prepared coconut paste and bring to boil while stirring well
- Now, add some more curry leaves and a good dash of garam masala
- Gently fold in the steamed rice kakka orottis
- Fold until all the coins are coated with the gravy
- Cover and cook on very low flame for 5 to 10 minutes
- Switch off and serve hot for lunch or dinner
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