Festivals are celebrated round the year in all parts of India with a lot of pomp, enthusiasm and grandeur. It is an important aspect of the Indian culture.
Festivals are joyous occasions, packed with great excitement, rituals, prayer and a reunion with relatives and friends.
Sweets and festive treats form an important part of the festive mood.
This is the way I have been preparing the dough and the filling and it has never failed for me for the past so many years. With Ganesh Chaturthi around soon, thought I would share this with you!!
In Tamil Nadu and Kerala this sweet coconut dumpling is called Kozhukattai and in Andhra it is called Kudumulu and in the North of India it is called Modak
Ingredients to make 20-25
1 Cup Rice Flour
1- 1½ Cups Water
A Pinch Salt
1 Tsp. Oil
4 Tbs. Oil (in a bowl)
For the Filling
¼ Cup Urad Dal
1 Cup Water (to soak the dal)
1-2 Green Chillies
¼ Tsp Asafoetida Powder
3-4 Tbs. Water
½ Tsp. Salt
A Few Curry Leaves
1 Tbs. Oil
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
Preparation of the Dough
Keep a wet muslin cloth handy next to the stove. ( I generally wet a fresh cloth wipe – available in super markets – instead of the muslin cloth)
Bring the water to the boil in a pan on the stove
Add the teaspoon of oil in it and reduce the flame.
Add the flour and swiftly stir the mixture through, bringing it quickly together and put in the wet muslin cloth
Cover the dough with the muslin cloth and bring the flour to the centre of the cloth and press it down firmly.
Alternatively, the rice flour and water (with the drop of oil) can be mixed and placed on the stove instead and swiftly stirred through and brought together into a muslin cloth
Preparation of the Filling (Urad dal filling)
Drain the water from the Urad Dal
Grind the ingredients for the filling with 2 tablespoons of water into a soft mixture
Add the salt to the mixture
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the soft mixture and fry it for 3-4 minutes till the mixture turns a bit powdery.
Preparation of the Kozhukattai
Open the muslin cloth and bring the dough together using your hands rubbed in oil
Take very small portions of it and shape it into a cherry-sized ball. (Cover the rest of the dough with the cloth so that it does not dry out).
Dip your forefinger into the bowl of oil and make a deep dent in the centre of the ball shaping it into a small cup.
Place the thumb on the inside of the cup and the other four fingers should be around the outside of the cup gently turning the cup around to shape.
Place a teaspoon of the powdered urad dal mixture in the cup and fold it together making a little boat shape, gently extending the dough a bit andclosing the top with the forefinger and thumb
Steam batches of 10-12 at one time greasing the dish with a bit of oil so the kozhukattais do not stick to the mould
The kozhukuttais are generally steamed either in an idli mould or a dish placed in a pressure cooker which is steamed for about 3-4 minutes on high.
Reduce the flame and steam it for a further 2 minutes.
Open the pressure cooker after 2-3 minutes and remove the lid and take out the kozhukattais gently.
Note: A large based pan with a lid can be used instead of a pressure cooker. Quarter of the pan should be filled with water and the mould, which is slightly greased with oil is to be placed inside and covered with a lid and allowed to steam as described above.
Fresh Rice Flour is traditionally made for these dishes
The Fine Rice Flour available in Indian Grocery Stores as well as the local Supermarkets works out very well.