Kozhukattai is something that not many people hear of. Dumplings….not really. Gulab Jamun…..ehh. Upma…..not even close. Nothing can be compared to the art that is Kozhukattai. Every time someone even mentions the name it brings back memories of when I was a kid, eager to help out with making them. It wasn’t just the taste that was good, but the effort in making them was even better. It used to be a whole family ordeal. Everyone sits around rolling big balls of the dough and the fillings. All the children lined up behind their parents to make their mini, sloppy, lop-sided points. It took around 3-4 hours to make around a 100 but they would be done by the end of the night.
Why? Well, it has two main types, like many exotic and delicious dishes. One version is the sweet dumpling. With a scrumptious, soft, squishy outer layer when bitten into, has a sweet chewy inside filled with jaggery center. The other version is the savory version for the more “reserved sweet-toothed” folks. With the same soft exterior, the inside instead has a more doughy inside. But, let’s pretend that you’re devoid of all the information that you just learned. We decided to throw out the idea of the layers and add in a special twist on Kozhukattais all by ourselves. We were able to make these non-traditional Kozhukattais crafting some of the best south Indian food for dinner or for snacks and even the occasional sneaky midnight hunger pangs. No doubt these will be done by the end of the night!
- Raw Rice - 2 cup
- Toor Dhal -1/2 cup
- Water - 5 cups
- Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
- Ginger -1/2 inch (finely diced)
- Green Chillies - 2 (finely chopped)
- Red Chillies - 2 (cut into bits)
- Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
- Channa Dhal - 1tsp
- Curry Leaves - 10 leaves (cut into bits)
- Hing (asofatida) - 1/2 tsp
- Shredded Coconut - 1/2 cup
- Oil - 2 Tbsp
- Salt - to taste
- Grind raw rice and toor dhal in mixer to a coarse powder. It should be of the consistency of idli rawa.
- Heat oil in a deep pan and add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add urad dhal, channa dhal, and red chillies. Fry till they turn golden brown.
- Add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, hing, shredded coconut and fry for a min.
- Add 5 cups of water in the pan and add salt. Once the water comes to a boil add the ground rice-dhal powder from step 1 and mix well without any lumps. Put the burner to low and cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Switch off flame and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the upma to a large plate and make elongated balls with your hands.
- Steam the upma in either idli plate or steamer vessel for about 7 minutes. Serve hot with your choice of chutney or sambar. Enjoy!!!
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