Aana Pathal

To begin with, let me give you a brief intro. This is a malabar dish and it can be described as steamed rice coins in beef curry (ooh..guess that was comprehensive enough). It is one of the great delicacies of the malabar region and made on special occasions.

I know the name sounds strange ..but that’s what it is called. By the way, I want to make the pronunciation clear..(to all those who understand malayalam) the ‘”nn” in Aanna Pathal is the same as in Patannam (malayalam word for city). Hope you didn’t get confused all together. It is also famous in other names like kunji pidi and kunji pathiri.

There are two steps to this, firstly preparation of the coins/pathal and then the beef curry. You can replace the beef with any meat of choice.This is a slightly time taking dish to prepare but it is indeed worth the time and effort. So lets start our project: Aanna Pathal.

Servings : 3 to 4 persons


For the coins/pathal:

  • Rice flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt – 1 tsp (heaped)
  • Coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Fennel Seeds – 3/4 tbsp
  • Shallots – 8 to 10nos.
  • Boiling water – to make dough

For the curry:

  • Beef – 1/2 kg (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • Onion – 2 nos (sliced)
  • Crushed Ginger – 1tbsp (heaped)
  • Crushed Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Green chilies – 2 to 3 nos
  • Curry leaves – 10 nos
  • Tomato – 3 nos (medium)
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Chili powder – 1 tsp (heaped)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil – 3 tbsp

To roast & grind

  • Coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Clove – 2 nos.
  • Cardamom – 2 nos.
  • Shallots – 3 nos.
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  • Rice – 1/2 tsp


For the coins / pathal:

  • Grind together the coconut, shallots and fennel seeds with a little water to form a paste. In a large bowl, mix together rice flour, salt and the ground paste. Pour enough boiling water to it and knead to make a soft dough.
  • Apply a little oil on your palms and shape the dough into small coins. Then steam them for about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before taking them out from the steamer. Do this step in batches.

For the Beef curry:

  • Take a pressure cooker and heat about 3 tbsps of oil in it. Add the fenugreek seeds and wait for them to pop. Then add curry leaves, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute for a minute and add in the sliced onions. Add salt and saute till the onions becomes soft.
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Pour a little water to prevent the spices from burning. Add the tomatoes at this stage and cook till they get mashed up.
  • Then add the washed and well drained beef and mix. Cover and cook under pressure till the beef it done.
  • In a bowl mix together all the ingredients to be roasted except the rice and oil. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the rice. When the rice pops add the coconut mixture and roast till the coconut turns golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Then grind it with some water to make a smooth paste.
  • Open and return the pressure cooker to heat and add the ground paste to it and stir. Allow the curry to boil for a few minutes and then remove from fire.

Aanna Pathal:

  • Add the coins/pathal to the curry and  cook for about 5 minutes or till the curry becomes thick and the coins absorb the flavour of the curry.
  • Aanna Pathal is then ready to be served.