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Monday, November 23, 2015

Andi Puttu | Andi Unda | Cashew Rice balls | Malabar Delicacy

There are many recipes from Kerala which are just isolated in that area and are hard to find anywhere outside.This is one such recipe from Malabar but I tasted this recipe at my in laws place.My FIL introduced this snack to me at home when once he bought from the local bakery there.I tasted these balls then for the first time and never had seen such a snack at my place though its similar to ari unda(rice balls).I loved them very much and so made it a point to buy them thereafter from the bakeries there.They are popularly called 'andi puttu' or 'andi unda' meaning cashew balls.Being away from home,I was craving for these and so started preparing them at home.I have made them a couple of times now and is a fool proof recipe.

They are so easy to prepare and kids also love this snack.They love to take it to school for their snack time as well when they get bored of their regular affair of fruits and salads.The biggest drawback about this snack is that you can't make them in big batches and store,it turns rancid in just 2-3 days if not stored properly as it has fresh coconut.The recipe uses simple ingredients like fresh grated coconut,roasted rice powder and cashews.I have sneaked in blanched almonds along with cashews to make it more healthy and there is no use of ghee or butter in this recipe.If you plan to use cashews alone then use a cup of cashews.They are very easy to prepare and can be instantly had for tea.Make sure to use red matta rice that is available in all Indian grocery stores which adds the taste and color.Also,the dark colored jaggery or karipetti is best suited to make this snack but here we hardly get that and so I have used whatever was available here.These are very tempting and you can't stop munching so there will be hardly any left overs.Don't worry,go ahead and try after reading the 'notes' section !!

Preparation time~15 minutes
Cooking time~ 15 minutes
Serves~15-17 balls
*parboiled rice/red matta rice 1/2 cup
jaggery 3/4 cup-1 cup
*cashew nuts 1/2 cup
*blanched almonds 1/2 cup
grated coconut 1 cup
cardamom powder 1/2 tsp(optional)

  • Dry roast the cashews/almonds in a wok until nicely done without burning (keep stirring) on low flame.Transfer to a plate and leave aside.
  • Then in the same wok /kadai/cheeni chatti,transfer the rice and fry the rice until nicely roasted and light browned.The rice starts to pop once its nicely roasted,you can switch off flame at that point.Transfer immediately to another plate or remove from residual heat.Leave to cool and then blend in a blender to fine powder.Transfer to a plate.

  • In a blender jar,add the cashews/almonds and pulse two times.Remove on a plate and separate the big chunks of cashew/almond pieces.Add to blender and pulse again two times(this ensures even coarse chopped mixture).Transfer to a plate.To the same blender,add the grated coconut or thawed frozen coconut.Pulse two more times to break the *long strands of coconut but if you are using freshly grated coconut then make sure to grate it fine so that you can skip this step .
  • Now in a sauce pan,melt the *jaggery with 2tbsp of water.Strain for any impurities.Put it back on stove and keep stirring on low medium flame to get a one string consistency.Add cardamom powder if using at this point.To this,mix the cashew/almond and coconut mixture.And finally,tip the powdered rice.Keep mixing to combine well.Switch off flame.
  • Wait till its warm to touch.Shape in roundels or balls,serve with tea or store in air tight bags and refrigerate.

* The recipe is adapted from Magpie's recipes.
* The authentic recipe uses only cashew nuts.And if you are using cashews alone then use 1 cup.But I used a mixture of cashew and almonds so that I sneak in almonds for kids.I used blanched almonds.
*I haven't washed the rice as the rice absorbs water once washed and so doesn't powder smooth.I have tried washing the rice the first time when I made the balls but the rice was coarsely powdered.If you feel it very important to wash the rice before using,then wash and rinse one or two times,drain the water immediately and spread on layers of paper towel.Sun dry or dry in oven before roasting and powdering.
*You can just add grated jaggery and proceed to mix with other ingredients if you know the jaggery has no impurities.Grated jaggery gives the solid hard undas/balls whereas balls made with the melted jaggery takes time to solidify.It has to rest for two hours to give that feel at room temperature.
* I haven't sieved the powder as the rice flour is very smooth once powdered as it is roasted and then blend.Its always better to keep a little extra table spoon of rice powdered.If you feel the moisture is too much in the mixture can add the ground rice to absorb the moisture.I didn't add any extra rice powder other than mentioned in the list.
* I use daily delight brand of frozen coconut and it has long strands of coconut.But if you use any other brand then don't pulse if its finely grated.
* You can slightly roast the coconut just to dry the moisture out without changing the color of the coconut.That way it may help to store longer. OR Wring the frozen coconut on layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture.
* This snack doesn't remain fresh for long as the coconut may turn rancid.Refrigerate any left overs for 3-4 days,thaw before serving.