Ola Pidis, also known as Panai Olai Kozhukattai, is a festive sweet enjoyed during Ganesh Chaturthi, and Mahashivratri. It is a treat for sweet lovers who are also fond of their fitness and figure. And it is extremely affordable contrary to the other sugar-free sweet delicacies. Ola Pidis Kozhukattais is a sweet snack or appetiser. It is an age-old recipe made by the South Indians to relish upon special days. It is delicious and popular in districts like Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tenkasi.

Also Read: 5 Vegetarian Snacks From Maharashtra To Enjoy With Evening Tea

Besides, it is every kid’s favourite snack. It is a lovely concoction of rice flour, jaggery, bananas, and some crushed dried fruits. These ingredients make the dough, which is then steamed. It is simple, easy and quick to prepare without any hassle. Above all, it is a healthy dish with the powerful nutrients of bananas, calorie-free jaggery, goodness loaded cashews and raisins and rice flour without not even a little bit of oil. It is a unique dessert snack which is definitely going to be your favourite too.

Ola in Hindi, means a leaf or a strip from a leaf of palm. Earlier, South Indians used to prepare this traditional dish with hand-grounded rice flour, powdered palm jaggery (Karuppatti) and grated coconut which was then stuffed into the palm leaves. With time passing by, folks have started using sugar and jaggery making it Kozhukattai. Kozhukattai is a rice-made steamed dumpling filled with coconut and jaggery but appears like Modaks. But unlike the typical Kozhukattais they are tall and round wrapped in a leaf, hence called Ola Pidis. The meal is especially prepared during the auspicious Thirukarthigai Day, celebrated in some regions of South.

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Here’s the recipe for Ola Pidis Kozhukattai.

Ingredients: 

    ½ kg rice flour (fried)

    5 bananas

    300 gm jaggery water (boiled in water and then filtered)

    15 cardamoms 

    250 gm cashew nuts (crushed)

    100 gm raisins (finely chopped)

    1½  tsp black sesame seeds

    10-12 palm leaf (washed and cut into medium-sized pieces)

    30 banana fibre (or any other thread to tie)

    Salt, as per taste

    Water, as required

Method:

1.    In a pot, heat water over medium flame and add grated jaggery. 

2.    Let it boil for 6 minutes. Then remove and strain it.

3.    Ground some cardamom in a silbatta or grinder and keep aside for a while.

4.    In a bowl, take some bananas and mash them along with some jaggery water. 

5.    Add rice flour, black sesame seeds, crushed cashews, chopped raisins and grounded cardamom powder. 

6.    Add a pinch of salt. And make a well mixed, smooth batter.

7.    Now, heat water in an Idli steamer and add a few cardamoms to it. 

8.    Place an Idli plate into the steamer.

9.    Make many Ola Pidis - Take a palm leaf and add small portions of banana filling into it, lengthwise. Cover the open side with another palm leaf. 

10.    Tie the top and bottom with the thread. Continue the same procedure and fill other palm leaves with the stuffing too.

11.    Place the ola pidis in the Idli plate and cover with a lid.  Steam them properly for 15-20 minutes.

12.    Remove from flame and keep aside. Let it cool.

13.    When cool, remove the leaflets, and serve the traditional snack with tea.