Toasted Rice Powder aka Pela Pindi

Toasted Rice Sweet

When I was growing up, my favorite after school snack was the pela pindi unttalu my grandmother used to prepare for me. It’s powdered toasted rice, shaped into balls adding either jaggery or sugar. It’s nothing fancy but I just loved it and still am a big fan. My grandmother used to prepare the powder for me in bulk and send it to me until she passed away last year, so I did not get a chance to make it myself. I wanted to introduced this traditional dish to my son, so I started the process. I can’t believe how painstaking task it is and I’m floored by the fact that she made this for me each and every time I wanted this. She prepared it for me even 2 years back when I was pregnant and she was 77 years old. I think I should have chosen this recipe to pay my tribute to my grandmother for the JFI – Love event. Now let’s proceed to the recipe.

Pela Pindi Recipe

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Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
3 Hrs1 Hr2.5 Cups of Flour
AuthorCategoryMethod
SweetsCooking
Toasted Rice Powder aka Pela Pindi A recipe to prepare authentic toasted rice powder.
Ingredients:
  • 3 Cups Raw Rice

Toasted Powdered Rice

Ingredients For The Undalu/Urundai:
  • 2.5 Cups Toasted Rice Powder
  • 3 to 5 Tablespoons Or As Per Your Taste Powdered Jaggery Or Sugar
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Ghee
  • As Required Milk
Procedure:
  1. Wash the rice a couple of times, drain it in a colander completely and spread it on a clean cloth or unprinted paper. Let it dry for 3 hours. Now toast a handful of rice in a dry frying pan. It has to be nice and golden brown. Don’t toast all the rice at once. The key point is that all the rice should be toasted evenly and should not get burnt. That’s why it’s done little by little. This is how it’s done originally. By the time I toasted 1 cup of the rice, my knees were paining like anything and moreover the rice was not toasted evenly also. I think if it’s a gas stove the process can be completed a little quickly. I have an electric range. When I reduced the heat, it was not getting browned, but when I increased the heat, it was getting burnt.
  2. So I got an idea of toasting it in the microwave oven. But that also did not give the result I expected. Then I spread the rice in a cookie sheet and toasted it in the oven at 350 F until the rice was golden brown (approx. 35-40 minutes). Keep checking it every 10 minutes and give it a toss. The rice was toasted perfectly. Let it cool down for a while and then powder it in a blender/food processor. Store it in a clean air tight container.
  3. Here is the close-up shot of the rice toasted using a frying pan. Notice that it is not toasted evenly.
  4. Toasted Rice using a frying pan

  5. Rice toasted in the oven.
  6. Toasted Rice in the Oven.

  7. Comparison.
  8. Comparison of toasted rice

Procedure Pela Pindi:
  1. Combine all the ingredients and shape into balls, like you would prepare rava laddus. Add ghee or milk as required to get the correct consistency. Personally I prefer the jaggery undalu.
  2. Pela Pindi Laddu

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32 COMMENTS

  1. […] (scallion) and mung dal side dish for chapathis and spring onion pakoras. How I can I forget the pela pindi recipe! It’s very difficult to choose a recipe but I would like to share the tomato chutney recipe […]

  2. I look forward to trying this. What are the approximate proportions for each of the ingredients?

    Thank you!

    You’re welcome Melanie. It depends upon the quantity of toasted rice powder you use and the sweetness you want. So start adding jaggery/sugar in small quantities and increase it as needed.

  3. hi madhuram!stumbled upon ur blog through sm foodblog.i tried ur recipe and it tasted great.i m happy to learn traditional sweets of south india as my knowledge is limited.

    Thank you very much for trying it Jaya.

  4. That does sound good.I am pretty sure she doesn’t know that method tho.Try the pagu/syrup with “pana vellam” maybe that works. Also I think you would have to make the pagu first and then add the rice flour. But you would know better.

    I did try the paagu method. But did not get it right. Should try it a couple more times to find the ratio.

  5. Hello,
    I was so excited to read your writeup. My grandmother used to make pella pindi for us too when we got back from school. We used to love it. My grandma is 86 and a week or so ago when I visited her I got the recipe from her. Until now I hadn’t met a single person who knew about pella pindi and then I read your writeup mirroring my thoughts about my grandma and I had to leave a comment.My grandma would serve pella pindi another way too. she would mix it with sour buttermilk and add chilli powder and salt (like porridge). thanks for sharing the oven technique, I was going to make it myself.
    Thanks,
    Vidya

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment Vidya. Even when I googled it earlier I was surprised that I did not find the result I expected, that’s why I blogged about it. This recipe is close to my heart and so I wanted to record it. The “ganji” type is new to me atleast. Maybe my grandmother would have known it too. Actually my maternal grandmother used to prepare it another way also. She used to melt jaggery, boil it and mix the toasted rice powder. It would look like “kali”. That used to be good too. I tried it but was not successful. I guess the water/jaggery/flour ratio is crucial. Unfortunately she is no more. If your grandmother happens to know that please write to me.

  6. Wow tasty receipe…alternatively if u add dry coconut powder ,cardomom powder and jaggery syrup to the powdered rice it is known as ARIUNDA in Kerala…But your receipe sounds great…. 😆

  7. the undalu look yummy and delish Madhu.. 🙂 remind me of the goodies, my grandmom used to make for me.. 🙂

    Siri

  8. Ramya, welcome to my blog. My mother in law does the wheat flour version.

    Hetal, congrats on the award and thank you for passing it to me.

    Swati, tell me about it. I really don’t understand how selfless they can be.

    Dee, we also make palakayalu. My husband’s favorite is the bella palakayalu.

    Shweta, do try it and let me know if you liked it.

    Ashaji, thank you very much. My husband clicked it.

  9. Fabulous photo! So realistic, I can almost grab it!:))
    I love the sweet, my grandmother makes something like this too.

  10. I can’t believe my luck! Thanks so much for sharing this with me Madhu. I will use it wisely (I hope) 🙂 This flour looks and smells so good! Can’t wait to make these laddoos 🙂 Thanks again!

  11. hmm.. Madhu we do the same with rice flour , sugar or salt and fry them in the oil, call them palakayalu.. I havent heard of this

  12. Grandmoms are really loving and caring ..I miss my grandmom too..
    The process looks long and tedious but the efforts would be worthwhile ..
    I especially liked the beautiful pictures that you clicked!! 🙂

  13. hey, we make something similar in karnataka too, called thambittu. I recently posted the wheat flour version of it. Love your picture… It looks gr8!!

  14. Laavanya, thank you very much. Do give it a try. Actually they make thiruvadhirai kali with this powder and payatham paruppu.

    Kamala, thank you. When you mentioned poritha arisi podi, I thought that you meant simply toasting the rice and powdering it? Did your mother in law soak the rice too before toasting it? Afte seeing your comment only I remember my grandmother telling that this powder gives crispness to the curries.

    Laksh, sure. I will make it for you the next time we meet.

    Sunshinemom, this is used in making thiruvadhirai kali also.

    Sangeeth, Sukanya, Roma, Cham, Ranji thank you very much. It was definitely very delcious.

    Kumudha, I remember that my grandmother used only ponni raw rice. So that’s the one I used too. I’m not sure how it will taste it any other type of rice. Hope this helps.

    Thank you very much Madhavi, Uma, Sagari, Shubha and Hetal.

    A-kay do try it and let me know if you liked it. Actually I wanted to send some more flour, but I did not have the time to prepare another batch.

  15. It is kinda like vella seedai (which I love) but not fried in oil – best of both worlds 🙂 Now that I have the powder, will definitely try this. Thanks Madhuram for sharing this awesome recipe with us.

  16. Nice one….
    Madhuram… madhuram is coming up with lotsa easy to make and never heard of sweets…:) loving it..:)

  17. awww! that rice ball is (in the first pic.) is too cute! Love the step by step instructions. Lovely recipe, Madhu!

  18. This laddu looks so much like besan laddu.

    Can we use long-grain rice or ponni rice to make this delicious sweet?

    Thanks again for sharing so many wonderful recipes!

  19. Love ur laddu… We add some roasted rice flour for certain dishes (gravy) but never heard or tasted this delicous balls Madhu!

  20. WOW!…. This is a different recipe. Looks so good. Never tried this laddu before. Urs have turned out so perfect. So great pictures.

  21. Looks nice, and I really appreciate the comparisons! Very thoughtful:) I don’t think I have ever had this but I suppose the taste is similar to the powdery portion inside adirasam. Am I right?

  22. Nice pictures… the rice flour urundai looks delicious. I’ve not tasted this before so I don’t know it’s Tamil name..

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