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Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Bread

Neypathal, deep-fried rice bread with crispy and coarse texture is a Moplah delicacy served for breakfast or dinner with spicy chicken or beef curry.
Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Bread

What is Neypathal?

Deep-fried rice bread is the apt description of a neypathal. They are made with par-boiled rice that is coarsely ground with coconut, onion, and fennel seeds and served with chicken or mutton curry prepared with or without coconut sauce. This is also exactly the same dough that we use to make Kakka Orotti and also to stuff mussels that are made in every Moplah Muslim home, especially in the Malabar region of Kerala, India. Unlike poori, neypathals are thicker and contain texture that helps to adhere to the sauce easily.

In a random conversation F mentioned that he likes neypathals - it came as a total surprise to me as I got to know this after almost 2.5 years of marriage! I called my mom immediately for the recipe. This being the 100th post, I wanted to share something that is connected to my roots.

My memories of Neypathal goes back to childhood summer holidays at Umama's (grandma) home. We cousins used to take turns to grind the rice on the ammi (a flat stone with a rolling pin made of same stone). As kids, we had to stand over a low stool to reach the stone grinder and then move the rolling pin back and forth while simultaneously rolling the pin too while another cousin sprinkles water to the rice and another one waiting behind for her turn... It was an activity that I personally enjoyed and a reason I got into the good books of the elders :-P.

Neypathal Ingredients

Neypathal Ingredients

  • Parboiled rice: Neypathal is made using parboiled like ponni rice. I used to prepare using Basmati while in Yanbu and they were good to eat but not as good as parboiled version. 
  • Freshly grated coconut: This can be substituted with desiccated coconut 
  • Fennel seeds: Cornerstone of Malabar garam masala is almost always accompanied by grated coconut recipes. This cannot be skipped so if you can't find fennel seeds, the closest would anise seed (not star anise) 
  • Red onion or shallots: I almost always use red onion because I lack the patience to peel shallots 
  • Rice Flour: Authentic recipe does not require rice flour. In this recipe, I have added rice flour only to make the dough workable as we are using electric appliances to grind the rice with water. So use water sparingly then you will need less rice flour. 
  • Water to grind and oil to fry
Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Bread

Neypathal Recipe | Deep fried Rice Bread

makes around 10 to 12 palm size bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups parboiled rice (ponni rice)
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced roughly
  • 1 teaspoon Malabar garam masala (optional)
  • Water to grind - use minimal water (from 1/2 to 1 cup depending on the quality of rice)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon rice flour (or enough to make the dough hold together but not too tight)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to grease a plastic sheet (milk packet, sandwich bag, baking paper) and your palm
  • Oil to deep fry

METHOD

Prepare the neypathal dough:
  1. Heat water in a pot just tepid or warm to touch and switch off.
  2. Soak the rice in that water and cover and keep for an hour.
  3. Drain and grind the rice along with grated coconut, onion chunks, fennel seeds, garam masala, salt and water to a coarse and grainy mixture that is not too smooth but not too grainy either. Do it in batches if required.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and start adding rice flour little by little until you can make the mixture into a non-sticky wet dough. You should be able to pinch a little and make balls that don't fall apart or crack. (Cover and keep it until needed).
  1. Heat enough oil to deep fry in a kadai.
  2. Grease one side of a sandwich bag or clean milk packet or any similar sized plastic sheet with oil and place on the work area.
  3. Grease your hands with oil and scoop a lemon or golf sized dough (depending on your kadai size) and place it on a greased sheet.
  4. Start to flatten the dough ball into a disc of little less than 1/4 inch thickness using your palm of the thumb area.
  5. Test the oil readiness by dropping a tiny bit of the dough, if it sizzles up to the surface, then your oil is ready. 
  6. Maintain the flame at medium as the dough needs to get cooked.
  7. Carefully hold the plastic sheet in one hand and peel and remove the pathal using other hand and slowly slide it in oil. It will sink to the bottom of the kadai and will surface only after a few seconds. So wait until it surfaces and then puffs up. 
  8. Use a slotted spoon and splash some hot oil over the bread and then flip carefully and fry the other side too until evenly browned.
  9. Remove the naypathal, drain and keep aside. 
  10. Repeat the process for rest of the dough (refrigerate any remaining dough and use it within 2 days).
  11. Serve hot with any Chicken curry or Beef or Mutton curry.
Note: Neypathal is great when had freshly so it will help if you prepare the curry ahead and start frying only close to the serving time. If you want to re-heat the leftovers the next day, then the best way is to steam it though it would not be crispy any more. But reheating in a microwave or on tawa makes it hard and dry. So, it is better to fry only as much as you need and refrigerate the remaining dough. Use it to make Kakka Orotti! 

Neypathal | Deep fried Rice Bread

TRIED THIS RECIPE? 

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaai so that I can see your creations!

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