Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kozhakattai I (Savory Rice Dumplings With Coconut)

Kozhakattais with  Sweet Potato Chutney I

Kozhakattais are steamed rice dumplings - the South Indian equivalents of gnocchi - albeit made with ... you guessed it - rice! It is amazing what one can do with rice :D. These kozhakattais are delicious hot, warm or cold (room temperature cold, not ice cold) anytime at all. I made mini ones to serve as starters with Sweet Potato Chutney - they were very quick to disappear - not a single one remained!

Kozhakattais were often prepared as fasting day foods. Some of the fasts were more like food festivals (lol) - fasting meant only that plain cooked rice was not eaten; but delicacies made from it or other grains were. And believe me, nobody felt even a tiny pang of hunger on these fasts!

We loved eating the leftover kozhakattais for breakfast especially with the beloved kozhakattai story.

I made these kozhakattais with converted rice aka parboiled rice, Uncle Ben's, etc.   Plain raw rice rava may be used as well. You don't have to grind the rice, finely broken rice known as Idli Rava is readily available in Indian markets.


2 cups Converted Rice rava (Idli Rava)
1/2 cup coconut, grated
1 tsp Salt
Chutneys to serve - Coconut, Sweet Potato I or II


1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 Dry Red Chile
1 stalk Curry leaves, minced
1 pinch Asafoetida (Optional)


Place the rava in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of fresh water. Allow to soak for about 3 - 4 hours.

Prepare the tadka: Heat the oil in a large kadai/skillet and add the mustard seeds, dals and chile; when the mustard starts popping and the dals turn pinkish gold, stir in the asafoetida. Remove from heat and add the curry leaves.

Stir in the soaked rice along with the salt, coconut, and a cup of water; cook stirring until the mixture thickens and a stiff dough forms.  Let cool covered for about 30 minutes or so.

When cool enough to handle, form into smallish oval balls and place in a single layer in a steamer; wetting your hands with cool water once in a while helps to keep from getting sticky when rolling the dough into balls.

Cover and steam over boiling water for about 15 minutes; let cool for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Serve warm or cool with coconut or one of the sweet potato chutneys. Enjoy!!

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