A nostalgic Malabar snack made with roasted raw rice, coconut and lots of cashews…
So this month as well, I am doing two weeks for the Blogging Marathon #132, knowing fairly well that I will be taking a break from the BM for the next two months, one month because of Ramadan and the other because I am not good at cooking that spontaneously when pressed with time. I better know my weaknesses and play accordingly, isn’t it? Hehe… I am doing the theme “Healthy Snacks” this week and while scheduling my posts, I realized that I had put all sweet dishes in line. So much so for my blog name… 😀
The first snack I chose is a favorite with my kids since a very long time. If there is something that hasn’t changed among their favorites, then it is andiputt. These Malabar style bliss balls are made with roasted matta rice, lots of cashew nuts and coconut. Jaggery is used as the sweetener. My earliest memories go back to seeing the fresh cashew nuts being roasted on open fire outside till nicely done, then smashed to get those pearl like delicious stuff inside. Those cashew nuts would go into make these sweet balls, giving them a beautiful charred flavor. Clearly, since now that process hardly happens, you get refined tasting balls. Hehe…
The main time taken is to roast the rice. I have used matta rice like I have seen my mattamma and umma using. After washing and draining the rice to get rid of its water, roast it on a hot pan as much as possible, till you keep hearing popping sounds and the rice releases a beautiful aroma. I can’t specify how much time it would take, but it can easily take around 30 to 45 minutes and needs constant stirring to ensure equal popping. The time to stop roasting is when the popping ceases. While you allow the rice to cool, you can roast the cashew nuts, melt your jaggery and keep the grated coconut ready. Once everything is ready, the rest of the process happens in tandem and you get deliciousness that can’t be described.
There are a few factors that determine how the snack turns out. If you use more jaggery, you may have softer balls. The color of the jaggery also determines how dark or light it is. It is not necessary to use all cashews to make them. There are times we take a mix of equal quantities of peanuts and cashew-nuts. Cardamom is used to flavor the balls. Since the coconut is usually used direct, there are chances of it getting rancid as time passes. However, I lightly roast the coconut just till it is less moist, so that the balls stay fresh for longer. I prefer storing them in an airtight container inside the fridge till they are done, which doesn’t take too long, considering my girls love to have them whenever they feel like. I think I have covered all the points here… Hehe… Off to the recipe…
Andi Putt | Ari Unda ~ Malabar Cashewnut Rice Balls
- 1 1/2 cups matta rice
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 450 gm jaggery melted in 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 cups cashewnuts refer notes
- Wash the rice well till water is clear. Allow it to drip excess water in a colander.
- In a hot pan, add the drained rice and roast on medium flame, stirring constantly. You will start hearing pop sounds. Keep tossing till the pop sound ceases. This process can take around half an hour to 45 minutes.
- Once the rice has popped completely and it smells roasted, switch off and transfer to a flat dry tray. Allow to cool completely.
- In the same pan, roast the coconut just till the moisture in gone. Empty into another wide pan.
- Roast the cashewnuts as well till just done and switch off.
- Melt the jaggery, strain the mixture and keep it warm.
- Once cool, grind the rice as smooth as you can. Coarse bits are fine. Drop into the same pan as the coconut.
- Now grind the cashewnuts till coarse. Do not overgrind to avoid it from becoming butter. Add into the rice mixture.
- Add the cardamom and give the whole powder a good mix.
- Now pour the melted jaggery in batches while mixing the powders and use up the whole till all the mixture is moist.
- Start making them in to small rounds as soon as possible. They will be soft when done at first, but as they sit, they harden up slightly.
- Enjoy them with a cup of sulaimani.