Whoever said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, needs a pat on his/ her back. So very true... Some men literally depend on their stomach to love their women, don't they??? :) My D and B are very easy to please - you give them anything, they eat. They don't even give opinions, which is a tad a bit irritating, especially when you expect them to give feedback for improvements. But then I take it this way - they don't say anything, means it is fine to their tastes!!!
But the case of my HD is different. He does not complain, nor does he demand that he needs so and so. That's the biggest problem. If I ask him about the food, he says it is good, and then just eats one chapathi with the curry or has just one peice of the snack or cake prepared. That kind of frustrates me. I then ask him, "You told me it's good, why don't you eat more then?" He smiles and says, "If it tasted bad, would I even touch it?" My tongue gets tied...
Then slowly I realize what he likes is more of "naadan" (country) food. He is a thick Payyolian at heart. Nothing for him is as good as the "tyre pathiri" (thick rice pancakes, steamed through a banana leaf) along with fish curry, or tapioca cooked along with sardine. Unfortunately, whatever he wants me to cook, I have no inkling how to cook!!! And just like my umma, my in-law also gives approximates, but HD wants me to match her by taste, which I definitely cannot - she is such a gifted cook! Just like my umma, her cooking is limited but whatever she cooks, tastes extraordinary. So to cut the story short, I know now that if I have to get my HD to eat properly, I have to learn some northern Malabar delicacies!
This is the first one I tried - the Neypathal. When we were at his cousin's house and were served this, he sarcastically remarked, "Ninakithokke undakikoode??" (Why can't you make this?) So I made it a point to get the recipe from her and make it. This is an easy version, there is another where you soak the rice, grind it, put it on a thick cloth for it to become like dough, etc. etc. But that can wait! I should say that he was so satisfied that whatever I had made up was finished by him and B, I didn't have any to carry to office next day for lunch. :)
Neypathal/ Neypathiri/ Deep Fried Rice Puris
1-1/2 cup rice flour
1-1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
Oil for deep frying
Boil the water along with the salt till it comes to a rolling boil. Lower the flame and add the rice powder into it. Mix vigorously using a spoon until well mixed. Switch off the flame and keep aside.
Pulse the coconut, shallots and fennel seeds till just grinded - 2 pulses should do. Add this to the rice flour mixture. When the flour is warm enough to handle, slowly mix well and form into a dough. Do not add water, however, if it is feeling sticky, wet your hands and knead together till it forms a ball.
Heat a deep kadai and pour oil. Let it heat. Take a large lemon size ball from the dough. On your rolling board, spread some oil and slightly press by your hands till it forms a round shape. It is not necessary to use the rolling pin, just shape it by the hand and keep the pathal slightly thick. Slowly pick it up and slide into the hot oil, frying both the sides till golden brown. Repeat till dough is finish.
Serve with spicy chicken or mutton curry - devour!!!!
1. Only make the round shapes by hand, and that too with oil only, otherwise, the oil will all get dirty with the rice flour burns!!!
2. Keep the pathiris thick, and fry them on low-medium flame till nice and brown so that the inside gets cooked well.
I served this with Erachi Varattiyathu/ Mutton Masala Curry which went so well with it... coming up next!!! :)