Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dumplings : Indian Style

Dumpling is a dish similar to the well-known Chinese dumplings or momos. In India, this is a dish made of primarily the Rice flour and varied styles such as sweet (alias Modaks), salted, fried etc. Its considered to be the favorite dish of Lord Ganesha and is made to celebrate his birthday (Ganesh Chaturthi). It is famously known as "Kozhukatai" in South India.

While I've tried making the sweet kozhukatai also known as Modak, this year I also tried to make the salted kozhukatai. Good start with all liking what they got to taste! This is joined effort of mine & aunt (sangee's mom) based on recipes read on the web :)

Sweet Kozhukatai / Modaks
Salt Kozhukatai 
Kozhukatai Flour 

  1. Rice Powder: 3 cups (for both sweet & Salt kozhukatai) - You can buy the readily available rice powder or soak raw rice in water for about an hour, drain, ensure all water is absorbed via a cloth, and powder it in a mixer. Seive it to get the nice powder.
  2. Oil : Preferably Coconut oil - 2 tspn
  3. Salt : 1/4 tspn
  4. Water: 2.5 cups (same measuring cup as the one used for the powder)
  5. Milk : 0.5 cup
  1. In a pan, add water and heat it along with salt, oil, & milk.
  2. As the water starts to boil, add the rice powder slowly & stirring constantly
  3. As soon as the powder is mixed with the water, remove it from fire
  4. Mix it with hand to make it into a smooth dough. Sprinkle water and a bit of oil to mix it smoothly. If its too watery, add more of rice powder.
  5. Leave the dough covered with a cloth for a few minutes
Sweet Kozhukatai 

Stuffing Ingredients:
  1. Coconut : grated 1 cup
  2. Jaggery : grated 3/4 cup 
  3. Cardomom powder : 1/4 tspn (2-3 pieces powdered)
  4. Oil or Ghee : 2 tspn
  5. Water : 1/2 cup or lesser to just dissolve the jaggery
  1. In a pan, add water and the jaggery
  2. When it dissolves completely, filter it to remove any sand or other particles
  3. Add it back to the pan and allow it to start boiling
  4. To this add the coconut, ghee, and cardomom powder continuosly stirring it
  5. When it reaches a consistency like a ball with not sticking on to the pan, remove from fire
Salt Kozhukatai 

Stuffing Ingredients:
  1. Uradh dhal (Uzhutamparupu): 1/2 cup soaked in water for 2-3 hours
  2. Green Chillies: 2-3 (based on the spice level)
  3. Salt : per taste
  4. Curry leaves: 4-5 pieces
  5. Oil : 2 tspn
  6. Mustard seeds: 1/2 tspn
  7. Coconut (optional) : 1-2 tspn
  8. Asafotedia (hing) : a pinch
  1. Grind the soaked & drained dhal with green chillie, salt & curry leaves. Ensure its coarse & don't use much water. Sprinkle water (if rqd) and grind
  2. Take this mix, make it to into medium-sized balls & steam it (you can use idli plates by applying a bit of oil) - for 5-7 mts
  3. Remove & break the cooked balls
  4. In a pan, add oil. When its hot, add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add this steamed mix along with hing and coconut.
  5. Cook them for 2-3 mts & remove from fire.
Making the Kozhukatai (both sweet / salt)
  1. Take a lemon-sized dough in hand, apply a bit of oil, and make it into a cup shape (shd be thin on the sides & deep in the middle)
  2. At the center, place a lemon-sized sweet / salt stuffing
  3. Close the cup into the desired shape - could be a round or horizontal or any other shape you can think of. Ensure the stuffing is fully covered & there is a balance between the dough & stuffing proportion.
  4. Once all made, take the idli plates, apply a bit of oil / ghee in each plate & place these kozhukatais. 
  5. Steam them for 5-7 mts. When done they appear transparent (you can just touch water and touch the kozhukatais by the fingers. If its not sticky its done)
  6. Serve them hot
We get those kozhukatai makers (shown below) which will ease your job. Just ensure you apply oil before placing the dough inside it.

Enjoy delicious & healthy kozhukatais! These make for a good evening snack as well. These are 2 basic varieties. Soon planning to try on some more & will share. Till then, eat healthy & enjoy life!