I remember the first time I prepared kozhukattai. It was our first ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ after marriage. Calling my mum and asking her recipes over the phone was a daily affair back then. Mum’s recipe worked like a charm and I made the perfect modakams. My mother-in-law was super impressed. According to her anyone who can make kozhukattai, can make anything ! Thinking about her reaction still brings a smile on my face. Her excitement and appreciation for every dish I prepared, played a huge role in my culinary journey.
These sweet dumplings are made with a rice flour dough filled with a coconut-jaggery filling and steam cooked. They have a typical spherical shape with a pointed cone on top. This is lord Ganesha’s favourite dish and thus prepared with a lot of love and devotion on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
A gluten-free healthy sweet preparation that your family is sure to enjoy.
Here’s my mum’s super easy no fail recipe for sweet kozhukattai.
Enjoy the festivities.
Do let me know if you happen to try this recipe.
Thengai Poornam Kozhukattai / Steamed Sweet Dumplings - Ganesh Chaturthi Special
Steamed sweet dumplings with a delicious coconut jaggery filling .
For the Filling [ Thengai poornam]
Preparation Of The Filling/ Thengai Poornam-
Dissolve the powdered jaggery in the warm water.
Pass the jaggery syrup through a sieve to remove any impurities.
Take the coconut and the jaggery syrup in a large thick bottomed pan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
The mixture would soon start to bubble.
Once the mixture loses most of the water add the ghee.
Keep stirring and continue to cook until the 'poornam' thickens and stops bubbling.
Transfer the filling on a greased plate and allow it to cool completely.
Once cooled, you may shape the filling into marble sized round balls. [ The ghee helps the poornam to be shaped easily. Take a small amount of the filling and shape it into a round ball using your palms ].
Making the Rice flour dough-
Mix the rice flour and salt into the water.
Warm the oil in a large wok/ kadhai.
Pour the rice flour mixture into the wok.
Cook on a medium flame stirring continuously until the mixture comes together into a soft dough ball. [ The mixture will thicken and leave the sides of the wok and come together].
Transfer the soft dough into another bowl.
Shaping and Preparing the Kozhukattai
Take a small lime sized ball of the rice dough.
Flatten it between your palms
Using the thumb and forefingers of both your hands, slowly make a 'cup-like' depression in the center of the flattened dough.
Place the filling into the 'cup' and bring the edges together gently.
Care must be taken that the outer covering isn't cracked or broken.
Roll the kozhukattai between your palms to make a smooth circle.
Pinch a tiny bit of dough on top to give the traditional modakam look.
Repeat the same with the rest of the dough and filling.
Grease the idly mold / the steamer plate before placing the sweet dumplings for steaming.
Fill enough water in the steamer and bring it to boil before placing the kozhukattais inside.
Close the lid and steam cook for 10 minutes.
Open the lid and allow to cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Shaping the modakams though not difficult, gets better with practice.
- The outer covering should not be too thick or the modakam will taste doughy.
- Shape the kozhukattai without cracks or breaks in the outer dough cover to avoid the jaggery from seeping out.
- You can prepare the poornam/ filling well in advance and store it refrigerated.
- The rice dough on the other hand must be freshly prepared, as it is easier to work with the warm soft dough.
- The thengai poornam must be completely cooled before filling into the kozhukattai.
- In case you are left with extra rice dough, don't worry there is a very simple savoury snack that can be made with it called - unduruli kozhukattai.