Hope everyone is gearing up for Vinayaga Chaturthi and it is project kozhukattai for many including me! Thanks to Sathya, who is a die-hard fan of Kozhukattai that I am mastering the kozhukatti making procedure.
Ahh! This post reminds me of those days of going out with appa to buy clay idol of Vinayagar, while amma would be busy in kitchen preparing an elaborate meal which includes Kozhukattais, vadai and payasam. After amma is done with the cooking, we used to decorate the idol and poojai shelf with fresh flowers.
There is also a savory version of kozhukatti made with ulundu/urad dhal and with the leftover dough you can make mani/ammini kozhukatti too. Recipe will be posted soon
Ingredients you will need:
For outer layer/cover:
1 cup rice flour
1 & 1/4 cups of water
1 tsp of sesame oil (gingelly oil)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of grated coconut (Fresh coconut would be my choice but frozen too works fine!)
3/4 cup Jaggery (add another 1/4 cup more if the jaggery isn’t very sweet)
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
I use store-bought rice flour for making the outer cover but my mother usually makes the rice flour at home. For home-made rice flour: Wash and soak 1 cup raw rice for an hour. Drain the rice and spread it in a single layer on a clean cloth for 15 minutes and grind it to a fine powder. Sieve it and let the rice powder dry for sometime before working with it.
It is advisable to prepare the filling first as it will cool completely while making the covering.
Powder the Jaggery. In a pan, preferable a nonstick one, put the jaggery and 1/4 cup of water. On a slow fire, let the jaggery completely dissolve and starts to froth. It should thicken like a syrup.
Add the grated coconut and stir well. As it starts to cook add the cardamom powder. The right time to take it off the stove is when the water is fully absorbed and the filling becomes sticky and all well mixed. Let it cool completely. If the filling is hot, the kozhakkatai will break when stuffed with this mixture.
As the coconut-Jaggery mixture cools, its best time to make the dough.
In the heavy bottom pan, pour 1 and 1/4 cup water and bring it to a boil. Add salt and sesame seed oil to the boiling water. I would recommend boiling extra water separately in case the mixture becomes very dry (depending on the type of rice flour, you will need different amounts of water)
As the water boils, start adding the rice flour little by little, at the same time with a wooden spoon keep stirring for approx. about 2-3 minutes. Dough should be almost cooked with the hot water so that you get a pliable dough. Do not stop stirring, if its not stirred continuously, lumps will start to form. Keep stirring till the raw smell of rice is gone and will start becoming like a sticky dough. Remove from fire.
Take a clean cloth and dip it in water. Lightly squeeze the excess water and spread it in a plate.
Place the rice dough in the cloth and cover the dough by bringing the sides of cloth to the center. This will help in keeping the dough moist and prevent a thick rough layer to coat the dough.
Once the dough is little warm and manageable enough to knead, grease your palms with sesame seed oil and knead well. There might be small lumps which will be gone by kneading well. If the dough is not kneaded well, you may not be able to make the cups properly and will break while making.
After kneading the dough well, the dough will be no longer sticky but be a smooth dough.
Take a small lemon size ball from the dough and cover the rest of the dough with a wet cloth.
Make a cup out of the little portion of dough. Keep the filling in center and pull all the edges together.
The Kozhakkattai is ready to be steamed. Steam it for about 8-10 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before you serve.
The color will be changed from white to pale brown cause of the jaggery filling.