38. papdi no lot (steamed rice flour dough)/khichu

May 9, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

a tribute to Sonal bhabhi

Sonal bhabhi, my late sister in law immediately took me under her wing from the first day I met her. Always smiling, friendly and motherly she taught and advised me whenever I needed her help. Whenever we visited Nairobi, meals were not an elaborate affair at her place. Simple but tasty dishes were prepared in no time to feed us and her family. What I learnt from her was a foolproof recipe to make the perfect papdi no lot(steamed rice flour dough). If you stick to the measurement, then it  turns out not too hard and not too soft. I have tried out this recipe with rice flour from India, Kenya , UK and the end result is the same. Of course feel free to vary the amount of green chillis you use. Papdi no lot is a very popular Gujarati snack and is prepared on a regular basis in most Patel homes. Prepare it for brunch, light lunch, for guests at teatime or dinner,most Gujaratis love it. 

updated: 04/08/2016





Makes 8 pieces

2 cups rice flour
4-5 cups water
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tsp sesame seeds (tal) 
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain,ajmo)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp green chilli paste
12 peppercorns
½ inch cinnamon stick
6 -8 cloves
4 tsp oil
½ tsp soda bicarbonate
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)

  1. Crush the peppercorns lightly. Do not make it into a powder.
  2. Cut the cloves into 2 with a sharp knife.
  3. Cut the cinnamon into smaller pieces.
  4. Sieve the flour. Add to it the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and hing.
  5. Put the water to boil in a saucepan. When it begins to boil, add the cumin, carom and sesame seeds. Let it boil till the water becomes a pale yellowy green colour.
  6. Add the salt, oil, chilli and the soda bicarbonate and immediately add the flour.
  7. Stir using a wooden spoon till all the flour and water is mixed. It may appear lumpy but thats fine.
  8. Take it off the heat and let the dough cool down.
  9. Take the dough out of the pan into a wide vessel like a large tray or plate. Smear your hands with some oil and knead the dough with the palm of your hand till its quite smooth.
  10. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Keep on greasing the palm if the dough sticks. Roll out the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly. Make a hole in the middle with your finger. It should look like a doughnut.
  11. Put water in a steamer. Boil the water.
  12.  When the water is hot place the dough on the steamer tray. Cover with a cotton cloth. Cover the lid.
  13. Steam the dough for 30 minutes on medium heat. If your steamer is small, steam the dough in small batches.
  14. Serve piping hot with oil and garlic chutney or ready pickle masala or red chilli powder.
Tips :
  • Can make ahead and leave it. Just warm it up in the steamer before serving.
  • I find covering the dough while steaming with a big hankerchief the most convenient as  in other cloths the colour may run.
  • Make sure the water in the steamer is not touching the steamer tray or plate. Usually filling it quarter of the way is fine.
  • Can try using the chinese steamer. I am sure it will work.
  • You can freeze them without steaming. Steam when required.
  • Amount of water required will depend on the type of rice flour, some absorb more, some less. I prefer to use initially use only 4 cups and then add more if required once you have added the flour to the water.
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  • Unknown

    April 26, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hi Mayuri, I love your blog, have bookmarked a few recipes to try, thank you for sharing them.
    I made your khichi this morning. It was really delicious! I had problems with the balls keeping their shape, however. Upon steaming, they melted into each other. Not a big problem, as I just cut them into squares when they cooled and they were yummy.
    The dough was quite soft when I was kneading it – should I have added more rice flour? Also, I shaped the dough while it was still warm – should I have waited for it to cool completely?

  • Mayuri's jikoni

    April 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hi,I am glad you love my blog, thank you so much. As for the khichi, you probably had a bit too much water left in the dough.Next time try using 4 cups. Before you roll the balls, if you find the dough too hard you can always add a bit more water.The amount of water required depends so much on the type of rice used to make the flour. Some absorb more water then the others.Because the dough was soft, the balls merged when steamed. Even adding too much soda bicarbonate can result in the balls not maintaining their shape on steaming. But in your case its definitely more water. You could have added a bit more flour.

  • alpa

    September 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Mayuri,
    I LOVE your blog!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to record so many Gujju dishes. I think sometimes people feel that everyday food is not special, but I get scared sometimes that they will be long forgotten! It's this huge phobia of mine LOL. Growing up and even now, I try to memorize all my mother's dishes.

    I also love the way you cook and make special items for your friends and family too. Living in the US all my life, it is so interesting when you talk about your everyday life in Mombasa! I love your writing! Keep going 🙂


  • Anonymous

    November 1, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Wonderful recipe…I'm going to try this one over the weekend. Can you tell me why it's essential to cover the steaming dough balls covered with a cloth?

  • Pari Vasisht

    July 10, 2014 at 3:59 am

    That's such a healthy preparation. Thanks for linking it to ONLY gluten free.

  • Nisa@flavour Diary

    August 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Snack is easy n simple to make…loving it

  • Unknown

    March 22, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Love this!

    Do you know how many carbs would be in one piece?

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 22, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    According to fitness pal 1 serving or 1 cup of papdi no lot has 360 calories and about 80g carbs.

  • Dhruov .S.B

    April 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Hello Mayuriji!
    Please advise if glutenous rice flour can be used for this recipe? Thank you.

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 18, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Hello Dhruov, glutenous rice flour tends to be sticky therefore papdi no lot may turn out sticky. I would not recommend using that rice. Use normal rice or basmati rice flour or any non sticky rice flour.


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