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Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Malabar Rice Pathiri

Posted by Annita on March 28, 2006

The colorful selection of mouthwatering delights are indeed a speciality of Muslim Cuisine.The cuisine of Kerala Muslims alias ‘Mappila Cuisine’ is also well known for its delicate blend of spiciness and subtle mix of ingredients. Traditional Mappila cuisine is spicy and wholesome and has a lot in common with other foods of Kerala with the base as rice.
Malabar Pathiri is a special Mappila bread prepared with rice flour.They make different varieties of pathiri like steam cooked Meen Pathiri(made of Fish),shallow fried Kannan Pathiri (shaped as eye),Adukku Pathiri(made with layered rice& egg) ,Egg Dipped Pathiri,Meat Pathiri,Coconut Pathiri….and many more.Pathiri in all its dry varieties can be tried out as perfect accompaniments to the dense coloured meat preparations.The difference between various pathiris comes from the rice that they are ground from.Biriyani Rice & Ponni rice are mostly use for preparing Pathiri’s in Kerala.
As per the request of our friend Pol,i’ve tried this Plain Rice Pathiri last week.This was the best Pathiri i’ve ever made.Thanks Pol,for reminding me about this,and we had a really different and enjoyable dinner-Pathiri & Mutton Masala.Again this is a special Pathiri recipe from Vanitha.


Rice Flour -2 cups(I used normal ‘Swad’ rice flour available to us from Indian Groceries)
Water – 2 cups
Salt – to taste

For Grinding:-
Grated coconut -1 cup
Shallots – 5
Jeera – 1 tsp
(These grinding ingredients are optional.In Traditional plain pathiri recipe(‘Neriya Pathiri’ in Malabar),they don’t normally add these ground coconut mixture.I got this special recipe from Vanitha and I loved that coconut flavour in Pathiri,rather than the plain one.)


Heat water and salt in a vessel.Stir in the grounded mixture when it starts to boil.When it boils well,put the rice flour into it.Close the lid tightly and simmer it for few minutes.Open the lid and mix the flour well with a spoon.Remove the vessel from fire and allow the content to cool. Knead it to a fine dough using hand without adding water.(Note:-This kneading part has to be done before the flour is completely cooled.)

Kneaded Dough
Kneaded Dough

Make it into small lemon sized balls.

Dough made into small balls
Dough made into lemon sized balls

Take small balls and roll each of it into very thin, round shapes by spreading rice flour over the balls.Cut it into perfect round shape using a round & firm steel plate.

Dough rolled thin & cut into round shape

Heat a thick bottom flat pan. Cook the pathiri by turning both side till done. Don’t use any oil while cooking. Another alternative is rolling it thick and deep frying, just like Puri.

Malabar Pathiri

Difficulties i’ve faced:-
At first,I couldn’t lift the rolled pathiri from my kitchen slab.So I used a banana leaf and rolled the dough on it.Then i could lift the leaf itself and turn it upside down to the heated pan.I think you can get the same effect if its done with a steel plate also.My friend Shuba told ,it can be done on a plastic wrap too with little oil on it.Does anyone knows any other options for it??All inputs are welcome..


53 Responses to “Malabar Rice Pathiri”

  1. sarah said

    I use two baking paper( parchment paper). Place the dough ball on one sheet cover with the other piece of paper and roll..When i don't have baking paper, i snip both sides of a large ziplock, place the dough in the middle and lock the zip lock(so it won't move around) and roll..

    pathiri to be eaten with nadan kozhicurry..hmmmmm!!!

    Thanks Sarah..I liked that too..Will try your tip next time…


  2. Hi Annitha,
    I like the way of ur demo.
    In Andhra, we will call these rotis as "Biyyapu Rotte".
    Biyyam is called "Rice" and my grandma will do this without adding coconut.I like very much.
    Now by adding coconut it will be more tasty i think.Food will bring people together.Will u accept with me.

    yes Vineela..I agree with u..Biyyam Roti is eally new to me


  3. reshma said

    i guess you are making what is called as 'neeriya pathiri' in malabar. As you mentioned, the original recipe does not use coconut or cumin, just plain rice flour, water and salt made into a dough just as you mentioned. With the original recipe the trouble is in rolling out fine perfect pathiris , and not in transferring it, and what folks generally do is to dip each ball into some rice flour. I don't think this will solve your problem, just sharing what I know;)

    Thanks for ur tips Reshma ..I corrected it as 'Neriya Pthiri' in the post.

    I didn't have any probs in rolling it .donno why was it sticking to the bottom..will try with more rice flour next time.


  4. RP said

    Looks like a lot of work, but the end result is worth it. Beautiful pathiris!

    Thanks RP


  5. Archana said

    Hi Annita,
    Thank you for putting this recipe together. I am going to try this out sometime soon. Could you please post recipes for the rest of the pathiris you have mentioned. I am an avid pathiri lover, but unfortunately do not have many interesting recipes at hand . I do make wheat pathiri with ground coconut once in a while, but rice pathiri is an all time favorite. In our part of Kerala ( Alpy) the word pathiri means just plain rice pathiri. I would love to see some more diverse pathiri recipes.

    I haven't tried out many of them Archana.Will post it as soon as i tried out.Thanks for visiting my blog


  6. Jamie said


    I am from Kerala but unfortunately know or do very little Mallu cooking. Recently I have started craving Mallu food and then stumbled upon your website. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I cant wait to try them all.


    Thanks for  visiting my blog Jamie.Do try it out and lemme know how it turned out in ur kitchen.


  7. Annita: It looks so yummy, you are so lucky in finding banana leaves (i remember you comment in Shilpa's about this banana leaf). I have never found these leaves anywhere near us :(
    I am going to try this sometime, thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    Karthi,I got it from Chinese section at an International Grocery store.I think you might get it from some Chinese grocery shop.


  8. Puspha said

    This looks very good. Shld try one day.

    Thanks Pushpa


  9. wow! a very unusual recipe. Reminds me of Akki Roti that some of my bangalore friends make with rice flour. Really lovely, descriptive pictures!!

    I've learned many  names for this roti from the comments..Thanks to blogging!!! 

    Thanks SF..


  10. Lakshmi said

    looks good annita

    Thanks Lakshmi


  11. priya said

    i have never tasted pathiri before, have heard of it though. My mom makes BAKRI with the same ingredients except for coconut and she adds red chilli powder. I should try urs soon. thanx for sharing the recipe.

    Wow!!Another name for this one:)

    Thanks Priya..Do try this one too


  12. Ashwini said

    Such a lovely pic. These will go so well with a nice spicy curry

    Thanks Ashwini.It'll go well with any spicy stuff.


  13. BDSN said

    Hey ..The mixture is indeed a new thing to me…BTW how about wax paper to make these pathiris..I make the same thing but call them "rota".I add finely cut onions,herbs along with rice flour to make rotas …

    Now i've got lots of options too..Blogging is indeed a gud idea,rt?

    Thanks for the tip BSDN..Will be trying it out


  14. Shalini said

    Hi, its a very new dish to me and will def. be a very differnet one at home… sure everybody will like it… anyways how abt making these pathiris in foils…

    Try it out Shalini..Foil is also a good one i think..Have to try out all tips i've got..:)

    Thanks for visiting my blog Shalini


  15. Polachan said


    Pathiri kidilam recipe anu ketto. I am really getting too impressed with this website..

    Hows kadan deepu handling all this good food??


  16. pinkdawn said


    The picture is really tempting me to make one, i have noted down the recipe. Is the rice flour dry fried (as we do for idiappam and puttu) or just powdered after washing (like appam podi), which one do you use?

  17. […] Check out few of my other favorite Bhakri/ Pathiri recipes  from  Bhakshanam and  Annita […]

  18. Divya said

    Hi Annita,
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I love pathiri but I never made it before becuase I didn’t know the how to make it. Now I am very happy & excited, I am going to make it soon :). My husband is also waiting for the pathiri.
    Can you give a curry recipe to go with the pathiri?

    Hi Divya,
    Try it out and let me know about it.I will definitely post a curry recipe for u..:)

  19. Raji said


    I love kerala puttu very much. I saw u cooked Chiratta Puttu in PuttuKutti. It looks red in colour. Can u pls tell me what floor u're using to make Chiratta Puttu?

    Are u placing PuttuKutti in ur Hawkins cooker?

    I placed Puttu mould in Hawkins cooker. It didnt stand properly. After cooking, it didnt come out in proper cylinder shape like puttu becos it's wet inside the puttu mould. Pls help me to clear my doubts.


    Hi Raji,

    You can get flour made of red rice.(Normally we use red rice in Kerala).It is available in all grocery stores.

    I am also using my Hawkins Pressure cooker..It doesn't stand properly in it.But it wont affect the shape or anything.

    The puttu can get wet if the water content is more in the flour.So try adding little water while u dampen the flour.Also if too much of water is there inside the cooker,it can come out through the pressuer valve,when it boils .This can make the puttu wet .

    Hope this helps..:)


  20. myhobby said

    Hi Annita,

    Thanks lot for ur prompt reply.

    U’re correct that I may add too much water to make puttu wet. Let me try again and let u know.

    Thanks again,

  21. Rg said

    This sounds delicious…..mmmm…mmmm….good! Adipoli ketto!

    I’ve tried the plain pathiri before, just once…I had difficulties rolling it out…then I quit….now I’m tempted to try this one with coconut and other stuff …I’ll sure try it out soon… Your descriptions with pictures are awesome…thanks a lot Annita….BTW, Could u please post a mild chicken curry recipe to go with it….:)


  22. Rg said

    Well, I tried this special pathiri y/day for dinner and guess what, it was superb….As usual I had difficulty rolling out but not bad, I managed. I probably have to use very less muscle power while rolling out, eh?:)I used Sarah's tip of using parchment papers to roll out the dough…it worked much better.. so thanks to Sarah too for her tips. My family loved the taste of these pathiris…thanks to you annita for sharing this recipe with us especially with all the step by step clear instructions and pictures….

    Good job!

    Thanks a lot.

    Hi Rg, 

    I'm really happy to hear that it turned out good for you.


  23. thanks for sharing

    And thanks for visiting my blog..


  24. shynee said

    Annita I just had a doubt…did u use rice flour which is already roasted?…Traditionally we dont use the rice flour as it is…we roast it slightly before making the dough…and generally I have never experienced the said problem of the dough sticking to the slab…I just wondered whether it has anything to do with the roasting or the water ratio… But whatever cd be the difficulties that u have had…your final product is awesome…

    You might be right,Shynee…I didn’t roast the rice flour before preparing..Will try like that next time and will let you know about it.

    Thanks again


  25. Rg said

    annita, I prepared pathiris for the second time y/day and it turned out perfect..absolutely wonderful…no problems in rolling out or taking it out or whatever….It again tasted great too. I literally danced out of joy. Hurray! I can make good pathiris now… thanks to you annita.

    I’m very happy to hear that,Rg…


  26. Rek said

    Thanks..I have heard abt another recipe for pathiri in which u don’t use coconut or shallots..U can dip it in cocnut milk and have it with chicken curry..Plain

    rice flour is used for this..

    That’s called ‘neriya pathiri’.I’ve tried that once..Thats very tasty too.


  27. Amitha Shinde said

    I roll the dough using the lid of Nido-Milk powder’s tin. But back home, My mom uses a wooden thing which has got a round pit, and she puts a wet cloth over it and roll the dough.

    Thanks for the tip,Amitha


  28. honey said


    Thanks for letting me know about it,honey

  29. rashmi said

    Hi Annita,

    I tried your recipe …everything turned out well except the rolling part….it starts cracking from all the sides…..otherwise the taste is good..thanks

    Next time u’ll surely get it right,rashmi

  30. sandy said

    annita, i just want to know one more thing on making this pathiri..

    How many minutes should we keep this water-salt-rice flour mixture on the stove before stirring and removing it from flame.

    hoping to see ur reply. anyways i should say that ur dishes are mostly superb…

    You don’t have to keep it in the stove for long..Just add rice flour,mix well and remove from heat immediately….
    Hope this helps…I think i’m late in giving you a reply..Sorry about it…

  31. Reena said

    Hi Annita,

    I tried making the pathiri and it turned out very good and yummy. Kind of moist and luckily I didn’t have any trouble rolling out. I managed it on my chapati pallaka.

    My husband & son enjoyed it but had to go with kadala curry(b’cause of Noyamba)yet tasted very good.

    Thanks for sharing & Happy Easter.


    i’m so happy to know abt it,renna..Do try out more recipes from my blog..:))

  32. Joanna said

    Hey Annita,
    I just happened to visit ur blog today. I have already added ur blog to my favourite list. Looking forward to more . :)

    Welcome to my blog,Joanna..Do visit me often..:)

  33. Devi said

    A tip to solve the difficulty in rolling the pathiri

    Add a big heaped spoon of maida (plain flour) to rice powder (almost in the ratio of 1:5)and mix well before adding it to boiling water. You may also sprinkle maida over the pathiri while rolling it (as you would while making chappathi). to my mom, who makes it quite effort lessly.

    Thank you for the tip,Devi

  34. Hi anitha “Oraayiram THANKS”
    Dubail ninna…
    naad vittathil pinne pathiri kaanunnath ippazha…
    vaayil vellam niranju…. naattile pathiri orth kannilum vellam nirayunnu…
    veendum “Oraayiram nanni”

    I am working in Space Star Shipping Co (LLC) as a Manager.

    Thanks Nadeer and welcome to my blog..
    Do visit me often

  35. Mrs Leela Manilal said

    There is a baking sheat is available ( non stick and reusable one ) in Uk. This one is very good for for the above purpose.

    Let me ask you one thing,if you don’t mind please give me Neyy pathiri ,is a an old recipe & very tasty also
    Mrs L manilal

  36. sheej said

    hi annita,i only ‘ve heard about plain pathiri but even my mummy not tried this one.but we used to deep fry in oil making it a thick ball.(called as neyy pathiri itself.coconut and jeera used).my mummy used to roll the balls with hands or in a puri roller where a cotton cloth is placed up and down so that it absorbs the extra water content in it and makes it soft and puffy while frying in oil. good combination with chicken curry.
    thanks for this item where i’ve to try it out now

  37. parvathy said

    thank for ur delicious pathiri recipe..

  38. Ramki said

    Hi Annita,

    This recipe goes straight into my One page cookbook – 1001 South Indian breads.


  39. smruthy said


    how does one make a meen paththiri? If you know, please mail me at

  40. Aj said

    Man o Man, What a find. I am in US and been searching for Pathri Rice all over and could not find one to buy locally here in US. Mentioning SWAD brand was soo wonderfull. We are regular pathri consumers and would always get pathri rice poweder from inida. But now we dont have to. We luckily had som swad brand powder at home and man , it was so good.. ! excellent info here anitha.we had it with some fine egg masala curry.
    Appreciate sharing the info. I am adding some tags below so people who search for pathri rice in US can find that SWAD will do the magic.
    SWAD pathri Rice. Buy pathri Rice . Pathiri rice in USA. Pathiri Rice SWAD. SWAD Pathiri Rice.
    Anitha you are so amazing!!

    Thank you for your nice comments,Aj..And happy to hear that u could make good Pathiri with it.

  41. praveen said

    Thanks Annita,

    Now I know why my “Pathiri” went wrong. I used cold water to mix the rice flour, which lead to more heating afterwards and became hard. Now I regret for not helping my mother in “Pathiri” making.
    Thanks a lot

    You’ll learn only from mistakes Praveen..:))
    Thank you for the comment..

  42. Reeja Ameen said

    Dear Annita,

    I used to make pathiri’s the same way as you did but I used to add 1 tsp of coconut oil in the boiling water before adding the rice flour, so that we will not face any problems like sticking.

  43. pwngzef said

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  44. Basheer said

    my mother makes three kind of pathiri. neriya pathiri, vatt pathiri and kai pathiri. i like kai pathiri with cocunut milk

  45. shifaa said

    i”v tried this out many times but not up to the satisfaction the final product ie.,neriya becomes hard after cooking.what could be the problem?

  46. Kiran Mary said

    First time to peep into ur blog, really exotic,
    I was in search of Pathiri Recipe and found urs,Great Recipe
    But i dont have Plantain Leaf, Anyway am going to try out ur recipe with Aluminum Foil , hope its outcome will be good…… :-) BTW drop into my Website when u get time .

    Kiran Mary

  47. mark said

    Hi Annita,

    I never tried cooking before. I found your recipes are wonderful and make me remember about my childhood memories and traditional dishes we have in Kerala homes. I really appreciate your works. I miss those things now , and I cook sometimes the traditional dishes I miss. By the way, to make this rice pathiri if you roast the rice flour in a pan about 5 minutes before mixing it with boiled water, it will not stick. Regards n God bless…. mark

  48. Great, going to make this pathiri :)

  49. Vineetha said

    Hi Annita as the recipe was posted many days back I don’t know whether you will check this or not.Any way, I have tried this and found it really tasty.I have a suggestion after making the dough, if you are having a chappatthi presser you can make some wonderful circular shaped ,thin and tasty pathhiris as follows.Take two plastic papers.Clean it and rub its surface with a drop of oil or melted ghee.Place one of them over the chappatthi presser,place the rice ball over it.Then place the second sheet over the rice ball and the press it.You can find a wonderful patthiri.It can be easily placed over the Tava to make the patthiries.Thank You

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  52. Isebel said

    I use two plastic wraps, and press down the rice ball dough with a heavy object( I use pressure cooker:-)) . This is for thicker pathiri, not for neriya pathiri.

  53. […] friend came to my help and I looked up a lot of recipes and you can get an idea from here  and here to how to make pathiri. Normally pathiri are made with raw rice powder. However I am pretending to […]

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