Beaten Rice Dumplings

Aval Pidi Kolakkatai

What is Aval Pidi Kolakattai?

Aval Pidi Kolakattai or Beaten Rice Dumplings are delicious steamed savory dumplings made of Poha/Flattened Rice, for festive occasions in India.When these dumplings are made with rice powder and stuffed with coconut and jaggery, they are also known as sweet Kolakkattai or Modaks.

Beaten Rice Dumplings
Aval Pidi Kolakattai

How to use Aval/Poha in Aval Pidi Kolakattai?

Poha is flattened rice or beaten rice. It is basically, de-husked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes.It is called by various names, depending on the region in India. Down south it is called Aval/Bajeel, up in the north, it is called Poha.

It can be consumed with very little to no cooking.These rice flakes or Poha, swell when water or milk is added to them, irrespective of whether the liquid is hot or cold.

It is an easy-to-cook, nutritious snack. It is often eaten for breakfast or brunch

Aval Pidi Kolakattai Recipe

Aval Pidi Kolakkatai

Aval Pidi Kolakkatai

Recipe by Maya Shetty
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Cooking time




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  • 2 cups Poha/Flattened Rice

  • 3 cups Water

  • 4 tbsp Desiccated Coconut

  • 6 -8 Green chilies sliced fine

  • 1 ‘ Ginger Julienned

  • 2 -3 tsp Coconut Oil

  • A few Curry leaves

  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 1/4 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 1/4 tsp Urad Dhal

  • Salt to taste

  • A pinch Hing/Asaefoetida


  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel, to this add the mustard, uradh dhal when oil gets warm, add a pinch of asofoetida & curry leaves.
  • Now pour the water in and allow it to boil, by covering it with a lid.
  • Meanwhile use a blender to powder the Aval/Poha/Beaten rice coarsely.Set aside.
  • Once the water begins to boil, add the coarsely powdered Aval into the water& keep stirring till the water evaporates and the paste gets thicker.Once, the water is completely evaporated , move the Aval mix away from the stove and allow it to cool slightly.
  • Now make elongated balls ‘Pidi”(‘Pidi ‘means handful in the south Indian language of Tamil) with your fingers, while the mix is still warm & place it in a steamer for 5 minutes. Take it out, serve hot with any chutney.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories6103
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 77g 119%
    • Saturated Fat 34g 170%
  • Cholesterol mg 0%
  • Sodium 1888mg 79%
  • Potassium 30292mg 866%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1315g 439%
    • Dietary Fiber 158g 632%
    • Sugars 134g
  • Protein 134g 268%

  • Vitamin C 480%
  • Calcium 119%
  • Iron 244%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Religious significance of Aval/Poha

No celebration or festival of Krishna is done without the use of Poha.

In the Hindu mythology, Poha is considered to be a favorite food of Sri Krishna, because it played a significant role in the everlasting friendship of Krishna and Sudama.

Hence on Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the day Hindu’s celebrate the birth of Krishna, offering are made to the deity at home or in temples during worship, using his favorite ingredient, Poha.

Sri Krishna, one of the revered and most popular of all Indian divinities, is worshipped as the eighth incarnation (avatar)of the Hindu god Vishnu. The Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of the Hindu’s is known as the Lord’s song and is based on the teachings of the master himself, Sri Krishna.

The Back Story

Sitting under the dim lights of the train station, waiting to board our train, the West Coast Express, we kids would devour theAmar Chitra Katha’ comics, without missing a word, until our train screeched to a stop in front of us.

Hurriedly we would board the train, find our seat  and once again dive nose deep into our comics.Little did we know then, that we were packing precious memories within our picture books for years to come.They shaped and continue to influence our lives to this day.

One such favorite comic book of mine (among the Amar Chitra Katha’s), was the story of Sudama and Krishna.The cover picture on that comic still sealed in my memory today, after all these years. The image of Sri Krishna washing the feet of his dear friend, Sudama.

It is a story of eternal friendship. Parting as schoolmates they had gone their separate ways to where life lead them.One a prince, the other with humble lifestyle. They meet after ages, and are filled with joy knowing that time had not put a strain on their friendship in any way.

Sudama, though leading a. humble life, remembers his friend Krishna’s favorite food from school days and brings him poha wrapped in a cloth. On entering the majestic palace of Krishna, Sudama is filled with embarrassment.He wonders, how he is to share his humble little goodie bag with a prince who has everything.

If you like me have read the story, you know very well that in the picture below (the cover page!), one can visualize Sudama’s embarrassment to share his humble gift. The tug of love he feels  in his heart for a dear friend he knew so well, takes over his emotion of the shame of “not having enough”


Hats off  to the editors of these Amar Chitra Katha’s, to a child’s mind,the pictures looked so real, the emotions of the characters portrayed spoke through these pictures. In the story that follows we get to experience the magnanimous nature of the Lord, Sri Krishna.Nothing had changed the bond of friendship they shared from then to now.

They attended school together as kids, their backgrounds different, yet their friendship deep,  was never based on materialistic values…how rare it is these days ! Sharing such stories on auspicious days like Janmashtami, reminds us why we hold the values they taught us, so dear to this day.

The best of schoolmates-Krishna and Sudama

We learnt from them, we grew because of them, the deep morals they inculcated in the ever fertile mind of a young child…..stories that every child needs to be exposed to, to grow into a mature , well balanced adult.

For those of you, who are new to the story of the friendship between Sudama and Krishna, here it goes……Having gone to school together, as children….

Krishna and Sudama as schoolmates

….the time had come for them to go their separate ways, after attaining all the education they needed, in the ashram, they parted  with a heavy heart promising to stay in touch….

School days are done

……and just like you and me, life took over, each had their own responsibilities, families to take care of , duties to perform ….. the days became weeks, weeks became months, months turned into years…. a lot of time had gone past, yet when they spoke about their childhood memories to their life partners, they spoke with great fondness, so each was aware of the other’s existence ,having never really met in person.

Sudama fell through difficult times, in spite of his hard work and was faced with the financial challenge of providing for his family. On one such occasion, his wife gently prodded him to seek the help of his childhood friend, Krishna, whom he spoke fondly of at all times. They came from different back grounds.

Krishna, was the Prince of Mathura and was well placed materialistically while Sudama, was less fortunate . Sudama felt reluctant to seek his friend for help, since he valued his friendship more than any materialistic gain, and had his pride . Yet these were trying times, no doubt.

So one day, after much reluctance Sudama, heads to Mathura to seek out his friend for help.He takes a humble gift of ‘beaten rice/Poha/ Bajeel” tied in  a cloth at the edge of his shawl & covers it , as he enters the palace grounds.

Krishna runs up to the gates to meet him, receives him at the palace by washing his feet ( “Atithi Devo Bhava”/treat your guest like God , a tradition followed in  the Hindu culture ) and is so excited to meet him, they share pleasantries after having met after so many years .

Sudama is overwhelmed with embarrassment about his humble gift and hides it even further into his shawl….. Krishna , being the mischievous one forever, spots the little cloth bag, pulls it out, opens it to find his favorite food “Poha” and starts eating it immediately, thanking Sudama profusely for remembering his favorite snack..Watching Krishna relish it with childlike innocence relieves Sudama of his embarrassment, and they go back to being the same old friends they had been at school, quickly making Sudama forget the reason for his visit  to see Krishna .

A few days later, Sudama takes leave,  after letting his  dear friend know how much he enjoyed seeing him after so many years, and continues on his long journey home. On the way back he  remembers that he had completely forgotten to ask Krishna for help.

Now what could he tell his wife and starving children? With such thoughts in mind, he is heading home….but as  he nears home, where once stood his humble hut, stood a palatial home.Confused and wondering if he lost his way, he starts heading out when his wife & children dressed in lovely clothes run towards him from the mansion to greet him.

It was then that Sudama understands the love of his friend, Krishna…..all he did was take him a mouthful of Poha, yet how much the Lord had blessed  him with.

Moral of the story : The Almighty knows what you need and will deliver at the right time, meanwhile have  faith that he will never let you down.

This evenings “Poha” or “Aval Pidi Kolakattai ” is a tribute to this beautiful friendship, celebrating the love of friends and the Lord’s magnanimous nature.

My list of Poha recipes

My published posts using Beaten Rice/Poha/Aval/Bajeel are listed below for your interest.

The Bottom Line

Would you give my Aval Pidi Kolakattai a try this festive season? Now that it is the Gokulashtami /Sri Krishna festival season, would you plan to try making this quick and easy poha recipe at home?

Enjoy the simple joys that life brings packed in cultural wraps around food and its people !

Happy Janmashtami, to each one of you. May the Almighty’s grace always shower on us.

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  1. Maya, this was so beautiful! What a rich and meaningful story. I had never read it before and I am always learning. Thank you for sharing this wisdom and writing it in such a wonderful way.

    • Thank you, Marielena for stopping by blog and taking the time to read my latest post, so appreciate your kind words.Glad to share the stories I grew up with, to the ones who might not have heard it before, isn’t that how we learn about different cultures, always open to learn about new ones too 🙂 Thank YOU !

  2. Maya you made me relive my childhood…my Amar katha days….you have narrated the story so beautifully and the images added to the beauty of the story. Thank you dear for reminding every one the true values of life on this auspicious occasion ,

    • thank you, dear Chethana, for stopping by to read my blog post, it was one of the Amar Chitra Kathas that impacted me so much as a child, what better day to share it than on Krishna Janmashtami.Thank you, for your kind words 🙂

  3. Beautiful Maya….thank you.