Home HEALTH & FITNESS Pathiri: All About Keralas Light As Air Bread

Pathiri: All About Keralas Light As Air Bread

Pathiri: All About Keralas Light As Air Bread


It’s easy to get distracted by the views of the Western Ghats at Augusta Heights, the all-day diner at Great Trails Wayanad. This is the newest luxury resort in one of Kerala’s most scenic districts that borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But those views quickly disappeared from my sight as soon as I saw one of my favourite South Indian breads arrive at my table. The Pathiri is a quintessential part of the cuisine of Kerala’s Mappila community in the Malabar region and is usually served during special occasions and Iftaar.

Rice flour is the mainstay of this bread that also combines water and a small amount of cooking oil (coconut oil is best). It’s not very different from Akki (rice) roti served in Karnataka, except that it has no seasoning ingredients and is almost a rice flour version of a phulka that’s light as air. The tough part is keeping track of the number of pathiris you polish off the table especially when it’s served with its traditional accompaniment of chicken curry.

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Pramod Shankar, the Executive Chef at Great Trails suggested that I try the pathiri with chemeen (prawn) roast instead of chicken curry and I’m glad he had his way. This is probably the best pairing I’ve tried for the pathiri. The pathiri is known by multiple names in Kerala that include ari (rice) pathiri or nice pathiri. It’s typically served for breakfast (with fish curry in many homes in North Kerala) or dinner. While Pathiri generally refers to a flat bread crafted with rice flour, there are many versions of pathiri that include the chatti pathiri, a layered pasty that is made in sweet and savoury versions with wheat flour and maida.


You can try making the ari pathiri or rice pathiri with the prawn roast at home:

Recipe -Ari Pathiri

Recipe courtesy – Pramod Shankar, Executive Chef, Great Trails Wayanad


  • 1 cup rice flour (fine roasted) 

  • 1 cup water 

  • 1 tsp coconut oil 

  • ½ tsp salt 


  1. Sieve the roasted rice powder using a fine mesh.
  2. Boil three glasses of water with salt and 1 teaspoon oil in a large vessel.
  3. Add the rice flour with constant stirring (Use one cup of water for one cup of rice flour). This is the key step; keep stirring otherwise the flour will get burnt and stick to the bottom.
  4. Simmer for 10-15 seconds (the water starts boiling and rises above the flour) and turn of the flame.
  5. Apply some coconut oil to your palms and knead the dough thoroughly with your hands. Do it in a single stretch. Pathiri will be softer if you knead it when the dough is still hot. Knead it until the dough becomes uniformly smooth and less sticky.
  6. Roll out small portions of the dough into lime sized ball and flatten it between the palms to give it shape.
  7. Using a chapatti press /chapatti roller flatten each ball into thin pathiris. You can apply some oil to both sides of the pathiri press to prevent sticking.
  8. Sprinkle little rice flour slightly on both sides of the pathiri using your hands and keep it aside in a plate.
  9. Heat a non-stick tawa; alternate to a low to medium flame once the pan turns hot. Place each pathiri on it, flip over after 10-15 seconds and press on the centre with back of a flat spoon and wait till it puffs up. Wait for another 30 seconds. You should flip the pathiris when you see the steam.


Recipe courtesy – Pramod Shankar, Executive Chef, Great Trails Wayanad


  • 550gm Medium Prawns
  • 5 green chillies, fresh, each sliced lengthwise in half, deseeded
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 piece ginger, 2-inches in length, peeled and finely chopped
  • 15 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder, or more as per your taste
  • 30 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 large pinches roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fish masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 4 tablespoons Kokum water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, or more as required


  1. Use a large pan and toss in green chillies, garlic, ginger, and shallots, then add black pepper powder, red chilli powder, curry leaves, turmeric powder, roasted cumin seeds, meat masala powder, coriander powder, kokum water, and salt. Stir well to mix.
  2. Pour in water, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Toss prawns into the kadai and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour 1 tablespoon coconut oil onto the prawns and stir for 1 minute. Add one more tablespoon of oil and sauté prawns for another minute. Add the remaining coconut oil, continue to sauté till the prawns are cooked through, about 1 more minute.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside, serve garnished with curry leaves

About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie – a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.


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