Akki kadubu (Rice dumplings)
There are many Malnad dishes that intersect with the Coastal Karnataka cuisine, but each has its own variation and speciality to it. Akki kadubu is one such dish that is prepared in Karavali as well as Malnad, each with tiny alterations. This kadubu is very famous in Kodagu region and has been very dear to my Amma since the time they were in Madikeri, though she doesn't get to cook it often. This is a great breakfast dish when served with sambar, coconut chutney and red chutney.
Cup measurements used - standard 1 cup = 240 ml
Yields around 32 bite sized kadubus (serves 3)
Good quality raw rice (see notes) 1.5 cups
Water 3 cups
Freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup
Green chilli 1
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Soak rice in water for 2 hours and drain the water. Now, spread the rice on a cotton kitchen towel and let it dry indoor overnight. By morning, the rice will be completely dry and ready. Transfer the rice to a mixer jar and pulse it for a few seconds till you get very coarse powder resembling broken wheat - this is rice grits.
Also separately grind grated coconut and chilli to a coarse paste (without water). Now, in a large wok bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add 1 tbsp oil and salt to taste. Add the coconut and chilli paste, cumin and then slowly add the rice grits and mix it to form a lump-free mixture. Now cover the wok and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes - the mixture will now resemble upma.
Turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Once the mixture is warm enough to handle, take a spoon full of mixture and form small dumplings, making a small dent in the centre.
Now steam all the dumplings in a steamer or a pressure cooker (without the weight) for at least 15 minutes and let it cool for 10 more minutes before opening. Serve it hot with sambar and chutney and do not forget to fill in the kadubu dents with ghee!!