While growing up, Ganesh Chathurthi, meant preparing poornam kozhukattais and ulundu kozhukattais. These two were the only two offerings prepared. We have an ancestral idol of Lord Ganesh, for which my grandparents used to perform special pooja on this day. There was no tradition of buying clay idols of Ganesha or preparing a vast spread of offerings. The pooja was short, simple and sweet. I and my brother used to wait impatiently for my grandparents to finish the pooja to grab the kozhukattais.
After marriage the scene changed quite a bit. My MIL, prepared a minimum of 3 to 4 varieties of kozhukattais. Apart from the kozhukattais, she also prepared many other offerings like Sundal, Paccha Arisi idly, Neiappam, Ellu Urundai, Chakkarai Pongal and Vadai. She also followed the custom of buying a clay idol of Ganesha and doing pooja for it. I enjoy doing the shopping for Ganesh chathurthi, selecting the best Ganesh with a nice colourful umberalla, getting the Erukumpoo Maalai, Arugam pullu, guavas, custard apples etc etc. Looking forward to all the fun
this Chathurthi also.
Makes about 15 medium sized kozhukattais
What you'll need
For the filling
- Scraped Fresh Coconut – 1 cup
- Powdered Jaggery – 1 cup
- Cardamom – 3 to 4
- Ghee – 1 tsp
For outer covering
- Rice Flour/Idiyappam flour – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup + 1/4 use only if required
- Salt – a pinch
- Coconut oil/ Sesame oil – 2 tsp + a little for greasing
- Place a Kadai on heat. Add the powdered jaggery and dissolve it using ¼ cup of water.
- Strain the jaggery syrup for impurities. Wash the kadai and pour the syrup back into the kadai.
- Heat it on medium flame for 5 to 6 minutes stirring once in a while. Let the syrup form a soft ball consistency. To check for consistency, add a drop of the syrup in a bowl of water and try to gather it and form a ball with you fingers.
- Once the soft ball consistency has reached, add the scraped coconut and stir continuously for 3 to 4 minutes or until all the moisture has almost evaporated and the whole this starts coming together as a mass.
- Add the powdered cardamom and a teaspoon of ghee mix well and keep aside.
- Cool and make into small balls.
- Take the idiyappam flour in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Bring 1 ½ cups of water to boil add the oil.
- Now add about 1 cup of hot water to the flour and mix well with a wooden spatula.
- Add more water if required and knead into a smooth dough
- Grease your palms and pinch out small lemon sized balls out of the dough. Flatten the dough in your palms and place a ball of jaggery coconut filling in the center. Gather the edges and seal the filling forming a peak at the top. (just like you would do for the stuffed paratha). Prepare more kozhukattais using the remaining dough and filling.
- Heat a steamer, you can also use the idli stand. Place the kozhukattais one by one without touching each other and steam for 10 minutes or until the outer layer is shiny.
- Always keep a little extra hot water and use only if required.
- Keep the rice flour dough covered so that it doesn’t dry up.
- While making the filling if you wait for the soft ball consistency to form, you won’t have to stir for a long time after adding the coconut thereby saving time. But remember to add in the soft ball consistency.
- Do not stir for a very long time after adding the coconut, as the mixture tightens a little on cooling and will become very hard and rubbery if stirred for a long time.