Toasted Rice Powder aka Pela Pindi

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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

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
3 Hrs1 Hr2.5 Cups of Flour
Toasted Rice Powder aka Pela Pindi A recipe to prepare authentic toasted rice powder.
  • 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
  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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  2. Melanie

    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. jaya rawat

    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. Vidya

    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. Vidya

    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.

    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. Bhargavi

    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. Madhuram

    Siri, thank you very much.