A blend of foreign influences and Kerala’s native spices, abundant seafood, and ubiquitous coconut, have created a totally unique collection of dishes from the Malabar side. Bread varieties are one of the specialties of this region. Pathiri as I have stated earlier is the most important flat bread of this region especially among the moplah community. This specific bread has many variations which are baked, fried, pan cooked and steamed.
Today I’m sharing with you all the Neypathiri/Neypathal or velichenna pathiri which are known in different names. Though my family is one where every other food is tried and made. Same is the case with pathiri also. Nice pathiri is the main flat bread which is made on every other day, infact it was made more than chappathis. Then we make kaipathiri, muttapathiri and so on. I never knew the reason why this fried pathiri was not made in my family.
But once after wedding, when I started my life with my in-laws, neypathiri started getting noticed by me and my curiosity regarding this dish started to grew. My mother-in-law is one of the cook, other than my mom and grandmoms who has influenced my culinary enthusiasm. She is from the Malabar region, Kannur, which is as famous for its delcacies as Thalassery.
Many of the popular Malabar delcacies like Muttamala, muttasurkha, kunjipathiri, kalathappam, kinnathappam, unnakaya, chattipathiri were prepared for every other feast in my house. Dishes like neyapthiri, erachiada, meenada, tiny samosas are the dishes which I learned from my mother-in-law including the Kannur Biriyani. My mil make the neypathiri in different ways using rice flour and by using parboiled rice.
When making with rice flour, water is boiled along with the ground coconut, shallots and fennel and the rice flour is added to it and cooked for a minute. Then the kneaded dough is rolled out as in my recipe. Basically the parboiled rice was the popular rice used for this puffed up bread. Now this has turned into Ponni rice which is one of the main rice variety used in India, especially in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu.
The difference I found between ponni and parboiled, when using for this recipe is that the pathiris made with ponni is more softer inside and crisper outside. There are many who grind very coarsely the rice, which i dont prefer. I ground the rice the finely coarse or semolina /rava texture. I heated the water to a less temperature than for the parboiled rice. This needs to be soaked for 5 hrs whereas parboiled needed more time. Be careful not to heat the water more. It shoulde be medium hot only. Otherwise the rice will get cooked.
I grinded the rice in a blender with generous amount of water. But that does not mean very loose batter. It was just below the brink of rice. You will see this in the video. Adding of rice flour and all purpose flour made it into a pliable dough. This is a tested and tried recipe. This way it was much tastier. The dough should be bit on the looser side. Resting for half an hour will give the perfect dough and a super perfect Neypathiri. This rest period will soak in all the moisture content and the flavors get infused thoroughly into the dough.
Adding generous amount of coconut will give enhanced flavor and fennel gives a fresh aroma to the pathiri. Instead of going with regular biriyani, I opted for this dish, since this is made for breakfast on the day of Eid in Malbar region. Liver roast is paired with this bread which is a speciality of this region. That doesnt mean there are no biriyani recipes. You can browse my channel and website for different types of biriyanis posted over there.
Check out aloo methi gosht or one pot mutton curry or Malabar chicken curry to pair with this dish. Tomorrow I’m coming up with a special episode for Eid and with a famous novel dish. So please subscribe to get the latest newsletter.
Heat around 1 ltr of water and soak the rice in it for 5 hours.
After 5 hours, wash and drain the rice.
In a blender, add the rice, coconut, shallots and fennel along with the water.
Grind to a slightly coarse(semolina texture) batter.
Transfer this to a mixing bowl. Add the rice flour, APF and salt and combine.
Knead to a slightly loose dough. Rest for half an hour.
Heat oil in a wok.
Take an aluminium foil and fold it into a medium sized square.
Smear with oil.
Take a big lemon sized dough and roll it into a ball.
Flatten it out on the foil to quarter inch thickness.
Deep fry in oil until golden brown.
Serve hot with the curry of your choice.