Kozhukatta/ Steamed Rice Dumplings
Kozhukatta is a traditional Kerala delicacy. They are soft round steamed rice dumplings with both sweet and savory fillings. It is a tasty and guilt-free treat or a snack. At home in Kerala, my mom often made these in the afternoon, so we can enjoy them as a snack at tea time. But you can have it any time of the day and if you have a sweet tooth like me kozhukatta is a perfect guilt-free snack. This is a classic one you will never get tired of eating.
It seems like these sweet dumplings is an age-old traditional snack. Kozhukatta is also a popular festival offering. It is made on special days like Onam, Vishu and Vinayaka Chathurthi as offerings. Kozhukatta perunal is celebrated by the Christians of Kerala. It is the day before palms Sunday. Modhak is the North Indian version of Kozhukatta.
Kerala style kozhukatta has a sweet filling. It is a quick recipe with very few ingredients, rice flour, coconut and jaggery being the tastemakers. Do not like jaggery? try coconut and sugar filling instead. It also has the inviting flavor of ghee and cardamom. Also, dry ginger powder, roasted cumin powder, cashew nuts, raisins, chopped sweet plantains, chopped jackfruit, etc, can be added for according to your taste preference. Lentils can also be used as filling for kozhukatta. Undaputtu is a savory version with fish or prawns as a filling. Try these yummy dumplings, you will surely love it.
Cooking time- 40 minutes
Recipe type- snack/breakfast
How to make rice flour at home
To make homemade rice flour wash and soak 3 cups of raw rice for two to three hours and strain into a colander. After five minutes spread the rice on a piece of cloth and leave it to dry for 10 minutes. Do not allow it to be completely dry. There should be a little moister left in the rice. Using a mixer make a fine powder. Sieve the flour to make sure there are no lumps and use get a real fine powder. Grind the large chunks again and sieve once again.
Step two is roasting the rice flour. Heat a heavy bottom pan and roast the rice in a low flame. Too much heat will burn the flour. This roasting will take 10-12 minutes. Stir continuously for even roasting of the flour. In the first stage, as you stir, you will see that moisture escaping from the flour. But it will subside as you continue the roasting the flour. Scoop flour in a spatula and when you lift you will see no moisture, indicating that the flour is completely dry. When you rub flour in between your finger you will get a finer smoother touch. Sieve once again and when it cools down store in an airtight container. This flour can be stored for up to a month.
Jaggery -coconut filling
The filling for this recipe is candied coconut flavored with ghee and cardamom. The sweetener and tastemaker is jaggery. It is a natural sweetener and a healthier option to refined sugar. It is obtained from the sap of the palm tree and is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium. Darker colored jaggery has a rich molasses taste that goes well with coconut. Use freshly grated coconut for this recipe. You can make a large batch and use it for several recipes. You can also serve this as coconut candy.
How to Make Kozhukatta
Rice flour- 2 cups
Hot boiling water- 1 to 1 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1 tsp
Coconut oil- 2 tsp
For the filling
Coconut- 2 cup
Cardamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Chopped cashew nuts – 5-6 (optional)
Roasted cumin powder- a pinch (optional)
Ghee- 1 tsp
To make the filling
First crush and powder the jaggery. Mix one cup of water and bring jaggery to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till all the jaggery melts. Strain out the impurities.
In a heavy bottom, pan adds the strained jaggery and simmer it till it starts thickening. Stir in between and cook till it and attains a two tread consistency. Add coconut and mix well. When you add coconut the mixture will lose its thick consistency. It will start thickening after three or four minutes. Allow the mixture to simmer till it becomes completely dry and leaves the edges of the pan. Add ghee, cardamom powder, cumin powder, and chopped cashew nuts and mix well. Allow this mixture to cool down completely.
To make the dough
Boil two cups of water along with salt and sugar. In a bowl add rice flour and make a well in the center. When the water comes to a rolling boil, carefully add the water little by little into the flour and mix with a wooden spatula till all the dough comes together. Mix the coconut oil too, cover and let it rest for a few minutes. When it cools down a bit knead the dough and make it smooth. you need a smooth soft dough. It feels stiff to add a little more water and knead. If sticky add more flour. The coconut oil enhances the flavor and reduce the stickiness of the dough and make it easy to handle. Make into a large lemon sized ball. Cover and set aside.
Making kozhukatta balls and steaming
For the ball-shaped kozhukatta, grab a medium size dough ball, place it in your palm and flatten it with your other hand, form it to a cup shape. Make small balls of coconut jaggery filling and place it in the center. Carefully bring in the edges together and seal. Mold it into the shape of a ball and smooth the top. Steam this in a steamer or a pressure cooker without the weight on for around ten minutes. Remove the lid and allow it to cool before serving. Enjoy with tea. Happy Cooking!
Hope you will all enjoy…